So, it has come to this.
Reports, yes, your application will have to have reports – in brand colours, with images and logos abounding, and probably festooned with graphs of various sizes, shapes and degrees of relevance to what was once a nice, streamlined set of data. This report has just become a part of the application ‘product’, meant not just to communicate, but also to entice and enthrall. Form has become just as important as function… and, did I forget to mention? It also needs to be exportable.
Exportable, portable, downloadable, shareable – because as I mentioned, it’s not just data now. It is now something clients/users need to be able to ‘have’, to attach to emails, send to their marketing departments, and incorporate into their powerpoints.
There’s a few ways to make this happen, but generally speaking, it’s time to break out the PDFs.
Last time we discussed the Fetch API in general, taking a look at how it differed from the XMLHttpRequest API, and some of its advantages. Today, we’re going to take a look at a little library that you can include in your projects today that offers you localStorage caching for the Fetch API.
Long ago, we briefly brushed upon the topic of what has made jQuery such a valuable part of the web developer’s toolset for such a long time – namely, a cleaner interface for interacting with the DOM, and the $.ajax abstraction over XMLHttpRequest.
These days, I would go a step farther and discuss how it has positively influenced browser APIs. jQuery offered a way to find elements using their css selectors, and this eventually gave us
document.querySelectorAll. More recently, browser developers have taken another page from jQuery’s playbook and introduced a new, Promise-based API for making asynchronous requests, and so much more – Fetch.
Why go Fetch? Let’s take a look.
Last time, we decided to embark on a brave new adventure and give our Django framework a big upgrade with the inclusion of Django Channels. We got just far enough to get the development server running, but while this may be an adequate start, it’s better to develop against something like what we intend to deploy, right?
So, let’s go the rest of the way and get ready to develop against something that at least resembles a standard production-ready environment with Django Channels.
You stare mournfully into the mass of code you’ve inherited. At some point, it’s clear, the requirements called for the server to push information to the client, because there’s an unholy mix of Server-Side Events, long-polling, hidden iframes and even a Java applet in there, all supporting some level of long-term connectivity with the server. It’s almost fascinating in its barely functional hideousness, and you would be inclined to leave well enough alone… except for the new feature specifications you’ve been assigned, which require the client to be able to send data back to the server in response to the received events, in as close to real-time as you can get.
It’s time for a major overhaul. Only Websockets can save us now. And, as it so happens, one of your favourite frameworks just added support for real-time, bi-directional communication…