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Insights / Press

Frontend Usergroup Meeting with Microsoft Evangelist Christian Heilmann

September 26, 2016
Jan DeppischJan DeppischFrontend-Developer

Guest speaker at the 10th meeting of the Frontend Usergroup RheinMain was Microsoft Developer Evangelist Christian Heilmannn. In his 90-minute presentation in front of a record audience of 50 in the offices of AOE, Heilmann provided numerous interesting insights and practical examples concerning the “Progressive web and the problem of JavaScript.”  

Due to HTML-, CSS- and JavaScript standards as well as sophisticated web browsers, developers today have an extensive toolset for developing web applications at their disposal. This toolset enables powerful applications which offer an excellent user experience (UX) across all end user devices. The data size of the websites is a critical success factor, as one can’t generally presume high-speed Internet connections, such as those found in urban areas, and devices with large screens. Heilmann used the 10k APART project as an example.

The lowest-common Denominator

In order to provide an optimal user experience to regions with weaker Internet connections and mobile devices, it is therefore necessary to define the lowest-common denominator, upon which the code is gradually expanded to include features such as service workers for offline functionality. In terms of of progressive enhancement, the web design method to make websites usable for devices with limited functions such as a lack of JavaScript or CSS support, all important information is provided in this manner. The decisive factor hereby as starting with the lowest-common denominator and adding expanded functionalities, not the other way around by downgrading functions for weaker connections and browsers.

In addition to performance, Heilmann regards excellent error handling and maximum protection against security gaps as important success factors for successful web applications. According to Heilmann, frontend developers should spend less time complaining about Internet Explorer and browser errors and more time in collaborating with browser vendors, e.g. through pull requests. “Today’s Web should be better than a native app,” Heilmann said in his much-applauded speech.

You can find Christian Heilmann’s presentation on Slideshare