EmberConf 2015 Day 1


Opening Keynote: Tom Dale and Yehuda Katz

  • To kick off the conference Tomster joined Tom Dale and Yehuda Katz on stage!
  • @mixonic@ef4@mmun were welcomed as new members to the Ember Core Team
  • Big thanks to Robert Jackson @rwjblue!!!!

Ember 2014 in Review

  • Rapid Release worked great! 6 week release cycle to get new features into everyone’s hands.


<a href={{url}}>

instead of

<a {{bindAttr href="url"}}> 
  • Block parameters, faster and lower memory, validation for templates
  • Killed metamorphs!
  • Improvements to Ember Inspector including Ember Data and promises pane, render performance tab, multiple <iframe>s, and redesigned UI, to name a few.

Ember CLI

  • Single install command for Addons, test support, massive performance improvements, and API stubbing, and server proxy (the list goes on!).

Testing Ecosystem

  • handles asynchrony

Ember Data

  • Relationship syncing, async relationships - built with async loading in mind.
  • Adapter Ecosystem

That was last year, what’s next?

  • Versioned Guides – live today!
  • Next Version of Ember CLI (as of last night)
  • Engines
  • List View
  • Components (already in Canary)
  • Liquid Fire
  • Async and Routable Components
  • Ember Data: JSON API support out of the box
  • Pagination and Filtering
  • Shipping Ember Data 1.0
  • 6/12 release date for Ember 2.0, Ember Inspector, Ember CLI, LiquidFire, etc.

Ember.js Performance by Stefan Penner


  • Important choices to make, how to make the right choices?
  • Time vs. Space
  • Things that are costly in space: closures, objects, non-optimized code, compiled code, excess shape allocations
  • In Ember.js, need to do less work, align with primitives

Mis-alignment #1

Problem: Ember does too much work.

Solution: do less

  • Actions up, bindings down, no two-way bindings, explicit data flow
  • RIP singleton controllers, explicit lifecycle

Mis-alignment #2

Problem: init and super are hard to learn and mis-aligned with ES2015

Solution: Embrace super

  • Explicit defaults in super
  • Don’t set properties until super
  • When to call _super(): When overwriting a framework method before touching this

Mis-alignment #3

Problem: Ember.Object.reopen, buggy, complex internals, massive allocations & shapes

Solution: Limit reopen to before first instantiation

  • Meta is a good thing. Every class has a meta, every instance has a meta. Metas for instances are what kill us. Meta is “live” inheriting. If can limit reopen, can make all metas one shape.
  • meta.listeners is crazier
  • Solution: work with V8 to make things better

Designing for Ember Apps by Steve Trevathan


  • Mental models: Understand where the user is coming from and what kinds of interactions they deal with
    • “What I think the thing is”
    • Influenced by experiences from the past
    • Not always solid: can be updated and changed. (improvements)
  • 2 types of mental models
    • Macro: what I think it is from a distance.
    • Micro: how I think each individual interaction works; the specific feature.
  • Build a framework of understanding
    • Some apps are just too complicated
    • Use explicitly if they apply
    • Break mental models if it improves the experience

Design Patterns

#1 Gradual Engagement

  • Core value given for free. Eventually you may be asked to sign up.

#2 Skeleton UI

  • ex. Google maps: grid becomes fully rendered map.

#3 Carry Context

  • ex. rdio: music played on laptop is reflected on iPad (or other devices).

#4 Reuse Core Interactions

  • ex. Browsing Pinterest: provides click and follow tangent.
  • Micro becomes Macro; core interactions become a symbol of your app.
  • “When I go home and think of your app, I think of the experience, the micro features more than the macro ones.”

#5 Offline Mode

  • ex. Google Docs: “trying connect” message and can’t interact with document. Incredibly Frustrating.

Tools of the Trade

  • A free design pattern library for Ember apps.

Hijaking Hacker News with Ember.js by Godfrey Chan


  • Being a canadian is awesome

Hijacking Hacker News App

  • Browser extension that transforms old site design to new, more usable app
  • Runs in hacker news domain

Getting the Data

  • $.get("/news').then(): request html page, extract data, then manipulate
  • Hacker News HTML Scrapper: need adapter to help talk to Ember Data store; customize adapter and serializer.

Fixing the URLs

  • Hacker News urls are not ideal for building an Ember app.
  • HN urls (serialized App States) to Ember Router (Actual App States)
    • trick Ember into seeing URLs that are different from what is in the address bar
  • Router location types: Ember.HistoryLocation vs. Ember.HashLocation
    • Can use same mechanism to make a custom Ember.Location: App.HackerNewsLocation = Ember.Location.extend()


  • Changing preferences in one place and can see changes reflected in other
    • Use observer pattern

The Possibilities

  • What if your ideas do not line up with the framework’s choices?
  • If the frameworks is doing it’s job, than the possibilities should be endless!

The Art of Ember App Deployment by Luke Melia


  • Need to adjust deployment techniques from “server app” days
  • When traffic starts routing to the new app, finger-printed assets can no longer be accessed
    • Need to keep old and new finger printed assets for a few minutes after a deploy.


  • Learn from native apps - phones run different versions of an app
  • Keep API working for older clients through API versioning

Deployment & serving strategy

  • HTML page should be managed and deployed as part of static asset deployment process
  • HTML page should be served by the API server
  • Preview before activating
  • A/B Testing
    • Setting global flags based on A/B buckets
    • Serving up wholly different HTML based on A/B bucket
  • Notify connected clients

The New ember-cli-deploy

  • Merged these three projects: ember-deploy, front-end-builds, ember-cli-deploy
  • Now, one project with 6 maintainers (and growing!)


  • Release 0.4.0 by the end of this week!
  • Reelease 0.5.0
    • New pipeline hooks and plugins architecture
    • Includes post-deploy hook
    • Documentation for plugin developers
    • ember-cli-front-end-builds becomes a plugin
    • USAGE: ember deploy staging
  • Beyond 0.5.0: deployment to named buckets, support A/B tests, beta testing, etc.

Ambitious UX for Ambitious Apps by Lauren Tan


Good Design is:

* how it works
* reactive
* playful
* informative
  • Designing the product vs. designing the experience
  • You are not the same as your website users

Good Design is Reactive

  • Instant feeback
  • Flow of data and maintaining relationships between that data
  • Ember allows reactivity through the observer pattern

The Observer Pattern

  • Computed properties transform properties and keep relationships in sync
  • Computed Property Macros to keep things DRY.
    • Ember ships with a bunch of these out of the box (map, mapBy, concat, etc)
  • Observers synchronously invoked when dependent properties change

Good design is playful

  • Has personality
  • Ex. Slack when you open app (fun messages)

Good Design is Informative

  • Visibility of System Status
    • Jakob Nielson - 10 heuristics for User Interface Design
  • Ex. Flash messages

Good Design is Intuitive

  • Drag and drop (trello, Google Calendar, etc…)
  • Ember handles drag and drop events out of the box
    • add draggable=true to any html element to make it draggable

Bring Sanity to Frontend Infastructure with Ember by Sam Selikoff


How Ember Can Help Today:

  • Ember and Ember CLI helps infastructure by reducing boilerplate
  • Similar directory structure and architecture
  • Conventions: eliminate trivial differences that hold us back
  • Writing add-ons for shareable code. Allows us to build structure.
  • Use ember deploy to deploy apps. Auth and backend config work into separate deploy server.
  • Testing in Ember using ember test. QUnit provides helpers.
  • Identify redundancies and abstractions

How Ember Can Help Tomorrow:

  • Semantic versioning and CLI conventions
  • Flexibility
  • New standards and best practices
    • generally, shared solutions/frameworks help identify and discover ways of improving applications
    • Ember always keeps up to date with these best practices
  • “Ember is not just a framework, it’s a philosophy” of how to create and improve software
    • First, give real developers the tools to tinker
    • Then, deliberately fold in shared solutions

In summary, innovate & share!

Dynamic Graphic Composition In Ember by Chris Henn


Spliting a Statistical Graphic into Parts

  • Splitting a problem allows us to change one feature of the graphic at a time
  • Suggests the aspects of a plot that are possible to change
  • Encourages custom visualizations for every data situation
  • Demo: Scatterplot example
    • Adds multiple regression lines (in example, based on # of cylinders of each car)

      {{#each subset as |subset|}}
        // component
    • Each point in the graph is an svg circle

Grammer of Graphics by Hadley Wickham

(Book of guidlines to follow)

  • Data to Aesthetic Mappings
  • Scales: one per Asthetic mapping
    • Each data to aesthetic mapping has some mapping function
    • he has chosen to represent these as points in scatterplot example
  • Layers: geom, stat, optional data to aesthetic mapping
  • Coordinate System
  • Faceting

What does this look like using Ember?

  • Data to Aesthetics = outer layer component which takes in the data as params
  • Scales = computed properties (using computer property macros)
  • Layers = looks like top level component, but must pass the scales

Further Considerations

  • Interactivity
  • Animations and transitions
    • performance (updating graphic many times per second)

Test-Driven Development By Example by Toran Billups


Live coding!!

  • Red, green, refactor
    • You get a lot of feedback from red (so it can be red, red, red, green, refactor)
  • Incorrect selector in template to make sure you’re doing it correctly (aka. test should fail)
  • Test should not be very layout dependent
    • Should be more general and not break whenever you make template changes that do not change app functionality.
  • Test names should be descriptive
  • Testing computed properties is recommended because of how caching works with them. Failing test will let you know which properties should be observed in order to break the cache.
  • Design proof testing

DockYard is a digital product agency offering exceptional user experience, design, full stack engineering, web app development, custom software, Ember, Elixir, and Phoenix services, consulting, and training.

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