I came across this report written by Alan Dávalos about the web develpment landscape that is well worth reading. I'm going to pick out a few bits but I'd advise reading the report because there is a lot of useful details in it.
The biggest change is that Internet Explorer has been retired and there's no need to support it anymore. It is a relief although I haven't had to cater for IE in a while. Internet Explorer was the baseline for web development for a long time so what will take its place?
The new baseline for web development according to the report should be:
- Safari is the baseline in terms of web standards: The sites we develop must work in Safari versions at least 2 years old.
- Low-tier Android devices are the baseline in terms of performance: Low-tier Android devices have advanced little in the past few years so we must make sure our sites are super performant.
- 4G is the baseline in terms of networks: Mobile networks have become a lot faster and stabler worldwide in recent years.
I didn't realize how far Safari had fallen behind Chrome and Firefox when it came to implementing web standards.
the number of web standards only Safari hasn’t implemented is many times bigger than those of Firefox and Chrome. To be precise, 2.4 times as much as Firefox and 4.7 times as much as Chrome.
It's important to remember not to get distracted by the shiny new features offered in other browsers. If it doesn't work in Safari then it use something else or put in a polyfill.
I will be wading back into the JS framework waters again and it seems that the waves have stilled. With 3 mature and popular frameworks available the support and help should be well established by now. I will have to consider performance where some of the newer frameworks are testing better.
It may be worth moving back to vanilla JS because the performance is better and there isn't the overhead of having each user downloading the framework in order to get the website to work. It is an approach worth considering.
Things to remember
The advice in the conclusion of the report feels like common sense but it's worth taking note of:
- If you can use CSS, use CSS.
- Check your toolset.
- Not everything needs to be a SPA.
- Build for modern browsers.
- Consider accessibility (a11y) from the beginning.