Our good friend Gosia over at STXnext has written a lovely piece about her experience helping build our new site. Check it out!
It includes a shoutout to you good folks here at D&D!
We were implementing changes to the website based on feedback collected from the Sutta Central Discourse forum. Truthfully, the product wouldn’t be what it is today if it hadn’t been for the input from these lovely people. So it’s not a stretch to say that the client’s site was created not only for, but just as much with the people it was designed to serve.
I’ve been reading technical literature for decades and I am still amazed by the practice of coining a technical definition like “progressive web app” without telling the audience what the word “progressive” adds to the well known term “web app”.
The obvious question (to me anyway) is why did they use that word. What is the “progress” in a progressive web app?
I even followed a link to another article entitled Progressive Web Apps: Features and Business Advantages but that article didn’t answer my question either.
Finally, half way into a wikipedia article I get a answer:
Progressive - Work for every user, regardless of browser choice because they’re built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet. If you click on the link you find (finally!):
Progressive enhancement is a strategy for web design that emphasizes core webpage content first. This strategy then progressively adds more nuanced and technically rigorous layers of presentation and features on top of the content as the end-user’s browser/internet connection allow.
The proposed benefits of this strategy are that it allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing an enhanced version of the page to those with more advanced browser software or greater bandwidth.
Oh, I say. Very cool. Why didn’t you say that at the outset?
To all that suttacentral added: an enhanced version of the page to those with less bandwidth or even no internet access at all!
Oh well. Maybe as people say “It’s tough to be you!”. It was this sense of craziness (even non-mindfulness) that put me on the path to learning how to be a better writer myself.
Oh, and “very cool” is how I describe suttacentral.net. And instead of using the words that the Buddha’s other “cool kids” use I’m going to express my admiration and delight for the right/appropriate use of technology for dharma and sangha. A right livelihood indeed.
On unsupported browsers it acts like a normal website. On supported browsers it makes use of new features like service workers to provide features that formerly were only possible on native apps, such as offline usage or push notifications.
… then there is the added twist … progressive web sites were cool new technology in 1988! As I do the math that was a couple of years ago …
In that era is was known as client-server technology and the common talk was of “thin clients” vs. “thick clients”. Using different words and newer software the basic design ideas persist. Even back then the cultural practice of renaming existing techniques and technologies every couple of years was already several decade old.
In some ways this is like the dharma. Old but often re-discovered. And still a ‘killer app’.