[Luneos-dev] Choosing a new JavaScript framework and UI library

Doug Reeder reeder.29 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 21:38:21 UTC 2016

It’s (almost) 2017, and LGSVL has decided on the direction of “Enyo-next”.  (http://forums.enyojs.com/discussion/comment/10494/#Comment_10494)  It will be a breaking update, and Onyx will not be making the transition, as announced last spring.  So, we need to pick a direction for the apps.

As noted last spring, Moore’s Law no longer helps us, and sticking with Enyo 2.5/2.7 would tie us to its performance, which has plateaued.  We need quick app launches & transitions, 60 fps animation and heavy lifting off the main thread, which Enyo 2.5/2.7 struggles to do.  The people who know Enyo best have decided that updating it is not the best use of their programmer time.  I strongly dis-reccomend we try to maintain it ourselves.

The momentum of apps using web technologies has clearly shifted from OS-specific packaging to Progressive Web Apps.  This is great for us, as we won’t need to convince each app developer to re-package their app for LuneOS.  It will require work to show PWAs on the home screens.  It also means most apps won’t match the look of the core apps.  So, we’ll want to implement a look and feel that doesn’t clash with modern web apps.  (That is, flatter than webOS, but not sacrificing usability.)  As long as we have a list widget with swipeable items, we’re free to implement and extend the feel of webOS.  Visual design can follow app implementation, if our apps all use a common theme library.

Our first decision is the characteristics we need our JavaScript framework to have. I proposed these characteristics last spring; does anyone feel we need different ones?
* Emphasizes development of large, sophisticated apps
* Responsive, touch-friendly widgets
* Widget creation is quick on current mobile hardware (for transitions)
* Supports 60 fps animation on current mobile hardware
* Will continue to be maintained if one major corporate backer changes direction

Doug Reeder
reeder.29 at gmail.com


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