The Ember Times - Issue No. 93

ഹായ് Emberistas! 🐹

Welcome to a Survey Special of The Ember Times! Besides a call for contribution to the Ember Engines Guides MVP that we're featuring this week, this issue will highlight the results of this year's Ember Community Survey. With over 1200 responses, thanks to you, the results of this survey give a nice insight into the Ember Community, where we currently are and also what we can improve upon. You can of course read the results yourself, but we as Ember Times writers will give you a nice overview and highlight three main reasons why the community still loves to use Ember today, as well as ways that we can reflect and improve. So enjoy the read. 📜


Reason #1. Community 🏆

One great reason to use Ember is the community that you are/will be a part of. Ember provides a wide platform for everyone to be an active learner and contributor. Where will you discover yourself next?

This year, we surveyed 10 different ways to learn and contribute!

Our 5 most favorite places to learn: (drumrolls, please)

And our 5 most favorite ways to give back: 🥁🥁🥁

  • Attend Meetups and conferences (35%)
  • Open issues (35%)
  • Maintain addons (27%)
  • Open PRs (24%)
  • Answer community questions (16%)

It's great to see that we all like to meet in person and share knowledge with each other. Each year, you can meet Ember devs from around the world at EmberConf, EmberCamp, and EmberFest. You can also meet them on a regular basis through Meetups.

What can you do if there isn't a Meetup in your area? We'd like to suggest that you start small. Get together with a few friends for coffee or food, and catch up over latest Ember news. You can also throw a viewing party and watch together (1) past talks and (2) live streams 🍿. If you'd like to know more about starting your own Meetup, you can join the #meetup-organizers channel on Discord where we'd be happy to help you.

Side note 1. Please contact #discord-server-admin to join the #meetup-organizers channel.

Side note 2. If you haven't joined the Ember Community on Discord, do so today! 😉


Reason #2. Stable and More Reliable Than Ever 💪

According to the results of the latest community survey, modern Ember apps are everywhere! We can see that a great number of Ember apps has kept up with the latest releases. Most Ember apps beyond 3.x were locked in at version 3.7, 3.4 and 3.8.

Seeing that a great number of Ember apps has managed to keep up with some of the latest releases is quite striking. It shows that Ember continues to deliver on its promise of Stability without Stagnation. As a framework that has thrived in the fast-paced front-end ecosystem for over seven years, Ember has always promoted itself as a stable and reliable solution for developers who want to make sure that the applications they're building are not only functional, but also still easy to maintain and upgrade tomorrow.

A major contributing factor for the project's stability is the fine-tuned release process which offers a straightforward upgrade path. The release process has been refined several times in the past. A 6-week release cycle started with Ember 1.0 (that was more than 5 years ago!) and provided the community with beta and canary builds, as well as feature flags for public API changes that aren't yet released for every single release. A few years later, the LTS releases made it even easier for developers to keep up with important updates and bug fixes while still being able to upgrade their applications smoothly in their own time.

Additionally, community-maintained tools such as Ember CLI Update and a plethora of codemods support developers with their upgrades. The addon Ember Try is another great way to continuously test projects against the latest Ember releases and to upgrade with confidence.

The success of the LTS release is also reflected in the results of the latest survey, in which the 2.18 and the 3.4 LTS release are among the most popular versions of Ember that today's apps depend on.

Ember's success in providing stability and reliability shines also through the age of applications that the survey participants have built. Almost a third of the applications were more than 4 years old. This emphasises that the community is not only able to build amazing products, but that it is also empowered to maintain those apps over an extraordinary long time without a rebuild.


Reason #3. Business Case 💼

Ember developers can make a strong case for choosing Ember at work. With stability comes peace of mind for business users, who "can relax knowing that deprecations & breaking changes will be flagged up months/years in advance."

By choosing Ember, you can save your development team time, particularly once you're familiar with Ember. In recommending Ember, one respondent said:

You can learn Ember once and apply your knowledge in any other Ember project. That is an achievement which can't even be remotely accomplished by (other frameworks). Ember is always a coherent experience as all addons can be authored and consumed via the same tools. Spending less brainpower on tooling, setting up a testing environment, or writing testable code is a very good thing.

But it can be challenging to sway folks outside of the community to Ember. For example, another survey respondent shared:

[Ember] just isn't used broadly enough in my part of the country to encourage people in that direction. The exception is for a large team that is starting from scratch - there I would recommend it still.

This quote reminded us of our past Readers’ Question from @kategengler, where she discussed "How do I pitch Ember at my company?" We thought it would be worthwhile to share some of her tips again:

  • Ember is used by large corporations such as LinkedIn, Intercom, Discourse, Sentry, and others.
  • Everything you need is included out-of-the-box (router, data layer, build tool), but there’s also the flexibility to replace pieces if needed.
  • There are many high-quality community-contributed/maintained addons. There are well-established solutions for common needs such as deployment, internationalization, accessibility, user interface elements, etc. See more at emberobserver.com.
  • Ember CLI makes it simple to get a local development environment going.
  • LTS releases ensure you don’t have to constantly update Ember to get bug and security fixes.
  • Ember evolves without making sudden breaking changes. API changes are signaled well in advance of a major version through deprecations, with the major versions merely removing those deprecated APIs.
  • The Ember community is active, helpful, and easy to find in the Ember Community on Discord.

How Can We Improve? 💡 Looking Ahead... 👀🚀

Of course the community survey highlights and reinforces so many of the aspects we all know and love about Ember.js, the community, the productivity, the stability! ♥️🎉✨ But, the survey also gives us as community members a chance to reflect on things we can do better. 🤔

Specifically the survey empowers community members, gives us a voice and a chance to comment about how we feel Ember can improve. Some shout-outs this year include continuing to broaden and diversify opinions, lighter builds and less Ember-specific syntax.

Also, some of the excellent talks we heard at EmberConf in 2019, like @MelSumner's amazing talk Don't Break The Web, highlighted the importance of improving accessibility not just in Ember, but across the web as a whole.

The results of the survey's skillset self-appraisal underscore this point. While many survey participants identified themselves as possessing advanced skills in areas like Ember, JavaScript, HTML and CSS, almost 70% of participants self-identified at a beginner level skill regarding Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA). So it turns out many of us can improve our skills in building accessible applications, let's seize the opportunity to improve and act on this data! ✨💪✨

A big, big thank you to all of those who participated in the 2019 Ember Community Survey! With your participation the survey provides all of us with a platform for discussion and ideas and is a truly important part of how we can all help move Ember.js forward in 2019 and beyond! 🚀🚀🚀


Quest: Ember Engines Guides MVP 🚂

@villander started a quest issue to track all the work left to do to get an MVP of the Ember Engines Guides out!

There are tasks open from moving docs from the README to ember-engines.com to clarifying the philosophy and intended uses for engines. Plenty for everyone with all levels of experience with Ember Engines to contribute!


Contributors' Corner 👏

This week we'd like to thank @kiwiupover, @rwjblue, @luxferresum, @chancancode, @locks, @Turbo87, @igorT, @dcyriller, @runspired, @mansona, @jenweber, @jessica-jordan, @toddjordan, @samselikoff, @scalvert, @miguelcobain, @ghislaineguerin, @BradLeftley, @uchihamalolan, @RichardOtvos and @xg-wang for their contributions to Ember and related repositories! 💖


Got a Question? Ask Readers' Questions! 🤓

Office Hours Tomster Mascot

Wondering about something related to Ember, Ember Data, Glimmer, or addons in the Ember ecosystem, but don't know where to ask? Readers’ Questions are just for you!

Submit your own short and sweet question under bit.ly/ask-ember-core. And don’t worry, there are no silly questions, we appreciate them all - promise! 🤞


#embertimes 📰

Want to write for the Ember Times? Have a suggestion for next week's issue? Join us at #support-ember-times on the Ember Community Discord or ping us @embertimes on Twitter.

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That's another wrap! ✨

Be kind,

Chris Ng, Isaac Lee, Jared Galanis, Jessica Jordan, Amy Lam, Anne-Greeth van Herwijnen and the Learning Team