Our Reacticon

A few days ago we attended Reacticon, the first conference about PWA in the Magento ecosystem.

It was composed of one day of conferences and another one of code! Here are our key takeaways.

A friendly community

First of all, we want to thank every attendees, speakers and of course organizers. It was a wonderful event thanks to you.

Everyone was keen to share insights and answer questions, which led to very interesting discussions.

PWA as a buzzword

PWA was the keyword of this event. Everyone is excited that they will soon be able to create wonderful eCommerce experiences with Magento. But, it seems that there is still a lot a confusion around it.

One feel that they need to use React and create a SPA to create a PWA. Another say that you need to offer a full offline experience. Some claim that you only need a shortcut to your homescreen.

Fortunately, Shane Osbourne was here to remind everyone to improve their user and developer experience step by step. Focus on one feature at a time, and in the long run, you’ll deliver awesome shopping experiences to your customers.

Magento Research is promising

James Zetlen gave more information about PWA Studio, and the processes behind it. He introduced the Magento Research Github organization, a new way for Magento to innovate and interact from the community. We could expect:

  • open source code shared early with the community to get feedback
  • more flexible tools (reusable outside Magento)
  • shorter release cycles, since it does not follow Magento’s versioning scheme

This is something new in the Magento ecosystem, and — in our opinion — one of the best things that happened to Magento these past few years. Anyone who saw James and Andrew in the same room at the same time will understand immediately!

PWA Studio is the first playground for Magento Research and feels as promising in its approach. Andrew Levine emphasized that they wish to empower the community rather than to provide an one-size-fits-all solution. Few things are yet public and they are focusing on internal experimentation. We will follow up with a blog post to have a deeper look on how can it play with the ecosystem.

Spoiler Alert: Front-Commerce will play nicely with what is planned!

The community has concerns too

Reacticon was also an interactive event where attendees could ask questions and share their thoughts. Here is what concerned them the most.

Developers would like a stable implementation ASAP

While speakers were discussing offline, bundle size and performance, attendees were asking to get rid of UI Components. They just want to escape the frontend hell they face every day. Developers understand that there is no future for the current Magento frontend. But there are no alternatives yet!

Offline or push notifications don’t matter much to them. They need a solution allowing them to build stores in a more productive way, right now. Webperfs are important too, but from our discussions it seems that any non-Magento solution will be a great improvement by default.

Let’s support the most important Magento features, and work on PWA related awesomeness as soon as checkout customization is fun again!

Extension Developers are worried

They made an open request to us — PWA solutions maintainers — asking for consistency across solutions. It would be very tedious to maintain different components and codebase for each frontend. We started to discuss with some extension developers, and are available to work more on this by giving our input when needed. A clean, stateless WebAPI and some well designed React Components might be enough.

Front-Commerce is part of this ecosystem

Even though we were not speakers, it was great to be mentioned many times during the event.

As one of the first solution available, we’ve already solved in our way a lot of the things that were discussed. We presented some of our implementation details and gave advices from our experience to attendees and speakers. Meeting with the teams behind Vue Storefront and Deity led to constructive discussions about our respective visions and choices. We are now even more motivated for the remaining tasks before releasing 1.0.

On the second day, Pierre improvised a 15 minutes live coding session about our GraphQL middleware. He illustrated how to extend the base GraphQL schema by creating a new module. Adding new fields to existing types or integrating custom features from any API is straightforward!

We also contributed to the PWA Studio by experimenting the Layout loader and opening a PR against an issue. It’s not like if we had a 6 month old promise to keep!

How could we make a good use of all the smart developers attending Reacticon? User testing!

Developer experience is a core feature of Front-Commerce, so we ran user tests for this website (documentation is critical) and our living styleguide to help us prioritize our backlog. Thanks everyone for your time and honest feedback!

Front-Commerce 1.0 is on its way and — trust us — you’ll like it.

Reacticon v2

Last but not least, Reacticon v2 has been anounced! See you there!

Back to top