Skip to main content

Offline-first Web Apps

Matt Andrews (Financial Times)
Performance
Location: 212 Level: Advanced
Average rating: ****.
(4.04, 25 ratings)
Slides:   external link

The upcoming HTML5 feature known as Service Worker is set to turn the web on its head, enabling websites to run without an internet connection and to load quickly even when the connection is bad.

But with that evolutionary step, web applications need to become more complex, and to handle the fact that their source code may remain on a device for much longer than a single session. Without the safety net of starting fresh every time the user hits a link, considerations such as memory management, data consistency, encapsulation and backwards compatibility now come into play. Front-end developers are suddenly fully-fledged software engineers! The web page is our app platform, and the browser our runtime.

The fastest byte is a byte not sent, so the fastest website is the website that doesn’t need to load anything. Step with me into a world of good hacks, unbeatable performance and smart, multivariate responsiveness, drawn from experience building web apps for the FT and The Economist.

Photo of Matt Andrews

Matt Andrews

Financial Times

Matt started his web development career as a freelancer creating websites for music festivals and even one of the original members of The Rolling Stones – and now works for the Financial Times on the FT Web app, one of the most successful cross platform HTML5 offline web apps. He also writes a tutorial column for the FT Labs website on building using HTML5 offline technologies.