Last week we went to the Sencha Road Show in Paris. We got an overview of what Sencha accomplished lately and what to expect in 2016.
Me, AppFoundry and Sencha
I started my developing endeavors as a Flash/Flex consultant @ AppFoundry. When the flash world got shook up and started dying a slow death, I went looking for a new technology. I built a small app with different mobile JS frameworks. Around that time Sencha started promoting their Sencha Program To Help Flex Devs Migrate from Flash To HTML5. I started looking at Sencha Touch and got hooked. I created a small demo and presented it to AppFoundry and we saw the potential. In 2013 we participated in the HTML5 is Ready App Contest. Now we have 2 full time Sencha consultants @ AppFoundry working on a big Extjs4 project at a client.
Sencha Road Show
In March Sencha was doing a Road Show through Europe stopping in London, Paris, Munich. Each show consisted of 2 presentations from Sencha speakers and 1 presentation from a local speaker, followed by a Roadmap of things to come.
The first presentation was by Don Griffin, Director of Engineering at Sencha. It was also the talk I was most interested in. Testing right now with ExtJS is really hard to do. In our current project we tried using Siesta but we stopped using it because it took to much upkeep. It’s also hard to find examples of how to test in Sencha. Well Sencha was aware of this and the community asking for it and created Sencha Test with two clear goals in mind:
- Improve the quality of Ext JS apps through end-to-end testing
- Boost developer productivity through unit and functional testing
Migration to Ext JS 6
The next presentation was by Lee Boonstra about migrating from Ext versions 3,4,5 to version 6. My current project is running on Extjs4 so i’m looking forward to the moment we can upgrade to 6. That way i can make use of the MVVM pattern and data package improvements.
Here is an overview of what you get by upgrading to a new version:
The preferred way to migrate is in one big step directly to version 6.
For version 3 there is a lot of work to do because it didn’t use the MVC pattern yet.
For version 4 the upgrade shouldn’t be to much of a problem. Using Sencha CMD (Command Line) you can build the project and it notifies of any deprecated functions. There are 3 types of migration
- Simple migration (keep MVC pattern)
- Advanced migration (move to MVVM pattern)
- Advanced migration + universal app (Mobile/Desktop App)
For version 5 the upgrade is a no-brainer because Extjs 6 is backwards compatible with Extjs 5.
Optimization for Search Engines
The next presentation was by Léopold Trouillet who was the local speaker for Paris. The presentation was in french and no speakerdeck is available.
He talked about creating a single-page application (SPA) with Extjs and Search Engine optimization (SEO). In an SPA you only have 1 URL which get indexed by google e.g. http://appfoundry.be. If you were to have a secondary page in the application it would be split with a hash(#) e.g. http://appfoundry.be#page2. A Search engine doesn’t pick a hash(#) up as a separate page so it won’t know there is a page2 to index. You can fix this by using a hashbang(#!) e.g. http://appfoundry.be#!page2. This gets picked up by Search engines as a separate page and does get indexed.
At the end of the show Don showed Sencha’s roadmap for 2016 New and exciting things to expect are
- Mobile themes
- D3 integration
- Grid enhancements
- Pivot grid
- Exporter enhancements
It was interesting to see what Sencha will roll out in the coming months to make my life as a developer easier. It was also fun to see and talk to the Sencha community and representing AppFoundry.