Octane Release Update

The short version: We're still learning from the community as they adopt Octane, and won't be recommending Octane as the default Ember mode in the Ember's 3.14 release. You can continue to opt-in to Octane in Ember 3.14, and the developer experience of doing so is continuing to improve.

Octane Feedback has been positive

Ember developers have been able to opt-in to Octane since Ember 3.13. By their own estimation, some developers have been shipping Octane apps to production! This has, as expected, resulted in substantial feedback from the community.

The feedback about the new programming model has largely been positive.

Polish

Ember 3.13 is feature-complete for Octane in the core framework. 3.13 contains all the features applications need in order to use the Octane programming model. Most developers working with Octane can safely be crowned early adopters.

We expected to be ready to recommend Octane to all users by Ember 3.14, after squashing bugs, wrapping up work on the Ember inspector, focusing a lot of effort on documentation, finalizing codemods, and helping the addon ecosystem provide a good experience to Octane users.

And Ember contributors took up the call and substantially improved the level of polish for Octane.

However, there are a handful of remaining issues that mean 3.14 will fall short of what we expect from an Octane MVP.

Decoupling jQuery Removal

One of the most consistent pieces of feedback we got from users since 3.13 is that disabling jQuery integration was an unexpectedly hard part of their migration.

Originally, we thought that the migration process would be straight forward. Developers should have been able to adopt the @ember/jquery addon as a transitioning tool.

For various reasons, the truth is a little bit more subtle than that, and removing jQuery dominated the transition process for a number of users.

Because there is no technical reason to couple the removal of jQuery integration with Octane, we decided not to require Octane apps to disable jQuery integration. This requirement change is implemented as of the 3.14.0 release.

Finishing the Inspector Work

Ember 3.13 shipped new debugging APIs that allow the Ember Inspector to show Glimmer components (and any components using a custom component manager) in the component pane.

However existing code in the inspector ended up being more difficult to work with than anticipated, and the integration work for these new debugger APIs remains uncompleted. The inspector is a key tool for new Ember developers learning the framework, and we consider this part of the Octane story incomplete.

Documentation

Documentation is probably the most important part of Octane. If we don't have clear documentation about the Octane programming model developers will struggle as they build their own way to think about the framework.

Since before EmberConf (last March), we've been working on updating the documentation with new Octane idioms. The Learning Team has led this effort, with a lot of additional work provided by folks on the Framework Team. Both the guides and API docs are up to date with the new idioms, from top to bottom.

That said, we still have a handful of things left to do.

First, the current API docs don't yet include the documentation for @glimmer/component. The Learning Team is working on that actively, and it should be done soon.

Second, while the template and component guides are updated with the latest Octane idioms (thanks Chris H. Garrett!), the current preview version of guides don't fully embrace the pedagogy of the new programming model. There is an active effort to provide a starting point that is more aligned with Octane, but it's not quite ready yet. That, too, should be done soon.

What's Next

If you tried out Octane in Ember 3.13, keep on using it. The features that make up Octane are now stable, which means they come with the Semantic Versioning guarantees any Ember feature has.

If you were waiting until Ember 3.14 to try out Octane, only do so if you're willing to accept a version of Octane that the Ember team doesn't feel is polished enough to recommend to all users quite yet. Ember 3.14 is a great time for adventurous users to try updating their production apps to Octane, and report back any problems that you find.

Swing and a Miss

We said we expected to recommend Octane for all users with 3.14.

Missing this goal is disappointing, but getting Octane right is the most important thing. Had we decided to recommend Octane at Ember 3.14, or delayed the release and committed to shipping it in a few weeks, we would have risked having Octane be an experience somewhat less than what we aspire for it to be. And that would have defeated the whole effort.

Onward! Let's make the shipping version of Octane as amazing as we all know it can be.