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Yes, Rails Does Support PWAs

Yes, Rails Does Support PWAs

Progressive Web Apps are a constellation of conventions. Those conventions fit neatly into Rails, without the need to introduce a complicated Javascript front end. By embracing core Rails technologies like ActiveJob, ActionCable, Russian Doll Caching, and sprinkles of Stimulus, you can deliver powerful and immersive front end web apps. You can read more here: https://johnbeatty.co/2019/05/06/hnpwa-with-rails-and-stimulus-introduction/

John Beatty

April 30, 2019
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  1. Yes, Rails Does
    Support PWAs
    John Beatty – Railsconf 2019

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  2. About Me
    • Started developing iOS, Android, and Blackberry apps in 2010
    • Learned Rails to build backend APIs and CMSes for these apps

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  3. About Me
    • Started developing iOS, Android, and Blackberry apps in 2010
    • Learned Rails to build backend APIs and CMSes for these apps
    • Worked at various startups and independently in the DC area
    • IT Director and CS Teacher at a small school
    • Blog at johnbeatty.co

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  4. About You!
    • You’re going to become Rails - PWA advocates
    • No more handwaving!
    • You’ll be able to argue for a full Rails app instead of a Rails API
    and a something-something-dot-js front end

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  5. About You!
    • You’re going to become Rails - PWA advocates
    • No more handwaving!
    • You’ll be able to advocate for a full Rails app instead of a Rails
    API and a something-something-dot-js front end
    • Let’s build a version of the Hacker News Progressive Web App
    • https://hnpwa.com
    • Spiritual successor to TodoMVC

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  6. P What?
    • Progressive Web Apps are a convention
    • A very simple convention
    • index.html
    • manifest.json
    • service-worker.js

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  7. PWA – index.html



    The World's Fastest PWA!




    !

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  8. PWA – index.html

    The World's Fastest PWA!
    This is the one!!
    <br/>if (navigator.serviceWorker) {<br/>navigator.serviceWorker.register('/worlds-fastest-pwa/service-worker.js',<br/>{ scope: '/worlds-fastest-pwa/' })<br/>.then(function(reg) {<br/>console.log('[Companion]', 'Service worker registered!');<br/>console.log(reg);<br/>});<br/>}<br/>!
    !
    !

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  9. PWA – manifest.json
    {
    "short_name": "FAST",
    "name": "The Worlds Fastest PWA",
    "icons": [
    {
    "src": "/worlds-fastest-pwa/icon_192.png",
    "type": "image/png",
    "sizes": "192x192"
    },
    {
    "src": "/worlds-fastest-pwa/icon_512.png",
    "type": "image/png",
    "sizes": "512x512"
    }
    ],
    "start_url": "/worlds-fastest-pwa/",
    "background_color": "#3367D6",
    "display": "standalone",
    "scope": "/worlds-fastest-pwa/",
    "theme_color": "#C50001"
    }

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  10. PWA – service-worker.js

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  11. PWA – service-worker.js
    var CACHE_VERSION = 'v1';
    var CACHE_NAME = CACHE_VERSION + ':sw-cache-';
    function onInstall(event) {
    console.log('[Serviceworker]', "Installing!", event);
    event.waitUntil(
    caches.open(CACHE_NAME).then(function prefill(cache) {
    return cache.addAll([
    '/worlds-fastest-pwa/offline.html',
    ]);
    })
    );
    }

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  12. PWA – service-worker.js
    function onActivate(event) {
    console.log('[Serviceworker]', "Activating!", event);
    event.waitUntil(
    caches.keys().then(function(cacheNames) {
    return Promise.all(
    cacheNames.filter(function(cacheName) {
    !// Return true if you want to remove this cache,
    !// but remember that caches are shared across
    !// the whole origin
    return cacheName.indexOf(CACHE_VERSION) !!!== 0;
    }).map(function(cacheName) {
    return caches.delete(cacheName);
    })
    );
    })
    );
    }

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  13. PWA – service-worker.js
    function onFetch(event) {
    event.respondWith(
    !// try to return untouched request from network first
    fetch(event.request).catch(function() {
    !// if it fails, try to return request from the cache
    return caches.match(event.request).then(function(response) {
    if (response) {
    return response;
    }
    !// if not found in cache, return default offline content for navigate
    requests
    if (event.request.mode !!=== 'navigate' !||
    (event.request.method !!=== 'GET' !&&
    event.request.headers.get('accept').includes('text/html'))) {
    return caches.match('/worlds-fastest-pwa/offline.html');
    }
    })
    })
    );
    }

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  14. PWA – service-worker.js
    self.addEventListener('install', onInstall);
    self.addEventListener('activate', onActivate);
    self.addEventListener('fetch', onFetch);

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  15. PWA – resources
    • Microsoft’s PWA builder
    • provides a quick test of what you can add to an existing site to
    make it a PWA
    • https://www.pwabuilder.com
    • Service Worker Cookbook
    • https://serviceworke.rs

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  16. PWA – resources
    • Google’s Lighthouse Audit Test
    • Audit your website in Chrome
    • World’s Fastest PWA
    • No fancy frameworks
    • 100/100 on Google’s Lighthouse test
    • https://github.com/johnbeatty/worlds-fastest-pwa
    • https://johnbeatty.github.io/worlds-fastest-pwa/

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  17. World’s Fastest PWA
    johnbeatty.github.io/worlds-fastest-pwa

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  18. World’s Fastest PWA
    online
    offline

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  19. Why?
    • It’s a new convention to solve a common problem
    • Do we need a mobile app?
    • Restaurant Ordering with push notifications
    • Store offline information

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  20. How
    • If we want to match the perceived performance of a mobile app
    • We need to make things feel fast
    • Let’s use a bunch of existing rails conventions!

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  21. How
    • Stimulus
    • ActionCable
    • ActiveJob
    • Russian Doll Caching
    • HTML everywhere

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  22. HNPWA
    • Let’s build a version of the Hacker News Progressive Web App
    • https://hnpwa.com
    • Spiritual successor to TodoMVC
    • https://github.com/johnbeatty/hnpwa-app

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  23. Don’t Block The Main
    Thread
    • In iOS development, we had a rule “Don’t block the main
    thread”
    • Web apps need to adopt this rule too
    • Load the bare minimum, and then let data load in from
    background

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  24. Don’t Block The Main
    Thread
    • Turbolinks helps by loading the CSS and Javascript only once
    • ActionCable loads data as it’s available, so the request can send
    the skeleton HTML first
    • Any background tasks, such as calls to third party APIs, can be
    put into ActiveJob
    • The service worker caches files locally

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  25. The HNPWA
    USING RAILS AS THE FRONT END

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  26. HNPWA
    • Attempting to highlight a fast, reliable, and engaging experience
    • https://hnpwa.com
    • https://github.com/tastejs/hacker-news-pwas

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  27. HNPWA
    • A spiritual successor to TODOMVC
    • Trying to compare different tech stacks
    • Can differ on based on server infrastructure and performance
    patterns

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  28. The HNPWA built with Rails

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  29. HNPWA
    It scored 100s on Google’s Lighthouse test

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  30. HNPWA
    Emerging Markets Mobile Test

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  31. Hacker News API
    • JSON API provides all the data
    • https://github.com/HackerNews/API
    • 5 endpoints are used to pull Item ids from Hacker News
    • An Item endpoint provides all the information for each id

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  32. Hacker News API
    • Item
    • Contain all the displayable information we care about
    • User
    • Contains username and bio

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  33. Modeling
    The Hacker News API
    Item
    TopItem NewItem ShowItem AskItem JobItem
    Each parent item refers to an Item, since an Item could be from Top, New, Show, or Ask at the same time

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  34. Modeling
    The Hacker News API
    Item
    TopItem
    Each parent item records its order as received from the API so that it can match how it appears on Hacker News
    Item
    TopItem
    Item
    TopItem
    Location 0
    Location 1
    Location 2

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  35. Modeling
    The Hacker News API
    Item
    Comments are represented as children items
    Item Item
    Item Item

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  36. Fetching
    The Hacker News API
    • There are five end points like this:
    • /top loads /v0/topstories in LoadTopItemsJob
    • /new loads /v0/newstories in LoadNewItemsJob
    • /ask loads /v0/askstories in LoadAskItemsJob
    • /show loads /v0/showstories in LoadShowItemsJob
    • /job loads /v0/jobstories in LoadJobItemsJob
    • Each Job is scheduled by the whenever gem

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  37. Fetching
    The Hacker News API
    • The /top page could visit the APIs /v0/topstories endpoint and
    gets back up 500 different ids
    • Then it needs to make 500 requests to /v0/item/ for
    each id
    • Even when paginated, this is a lot of API traffic
    • If it’s put into a job that runs on a regular interval, the app
    won’t block the “main thread”

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  38. Fetching
    The Hacker News API
    class LoadTopItemsJob < ApplicationJob
    queue_as :default
    def perform(*args)
    top_stories_json = JSON.parse Http.get("https:!//hacker-news.firebaseio.com/v0/
    topstories.json").to_s
    top_stories_json.each_with_index do |hn_story_id, top_news_location|
    LoadTopItemJob.perform_later top_news_location, hn_story_id
    end
    TopItem.where("location !>= ?", top_stories_json.length).destroy_all
    end
    end
    app/jobs/load_top_items_job.rb

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  39. Fetching
    The Hacker News API
    • Each of these id fetching jobs spawns more individual job
    • LoadTopItemJob fetches the details for an Item, stores the
    results, and then passes the information to anyone listening for
    that item on the front end over an ActionCable connection
    • Caches the Item into an HTML partial
    • Repeat for LoadNewItemJob, LoadShowItemJob,
    LoadAskItemJob, and LoadJobItemJob

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  40. Fetching
    The Hacker News API
    class LoadTopItemJob < ApplicationJob
    queue_as :default
    def perform(top_news_location, hn_story_id)
    story_json = JSON.parse Http.get("https:!//hacker-news.firebaseio.com/v0/item/
    !#{hn_story_id}.json?print=pretty").to_s
    # populate Item and TopItem model from story_json
    ActionCable.server.broadcast "TopItemChannel:!#{top_item.location}", {
    message: TopsController.render( top_item.item ).squish,
    location: top_item.location
    }
    ActionCable.server.broadcast "ItemsListChannel:!#{top_item.item.id}", {
    item: ItemsController.render( top_item.item ).squish,
    item_id: top_item.item.id
    }
    end
    end
    app/jobs/load_top_item_job.rb

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  41. Displaying
    The Hacker News API
    • Everything is rendered server side in HTML
    • Using Russian Doll Caching to deliver HTML really quickly,
    despite N+1 stucture

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  42. Displaying
    The Hacker News API
    class TopsController < ApplicationController
    def show
    @page = params[:page] ? params[:page].to_i : FIRST_PAGE
    @total_pages = TopItem.count / ITEMS_PER_PAGE
    @top_item = TopItem.order(:updated_at).last
    @top_items =
    TopItem.order(:location).limit(ITEMS_PER_PAGE).offset(@page *
    ITEMS_PER_PAGE).includes(:item)
    end
    end
    app/controllers/tops_controller.rb

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  43. Displaying
    The Hacker News API
    <%= cache ['news-list', @top_item, @page] do %>
    data-controller="item-location items"
    data-item-location-channel="TopItemChannel">

    <% @top_items.each_slice(4) do |slice| %>
    <% slice.each do |top_item| %>
    <%= render top_item %>
    <% end %>
    <% end %>
    !
    !
    <% end %>
    app/views/tops/show.html.erb

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  44. Displaying
    The Hacker News API
    <%= cache top_item do %>

    <%= render top_item.item %>
    !
    <% end %>
    app/views/top_items/_top_item.html.erb

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  45. Displaying
    The Hacker News API
    <%= cache item do %>


    !!!
    !

    !!!
    !

    !!!
    !
    !
    <% end %>
    app/views/items/_item.html.erb

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  46. Displaying
    The Hacker News API
    • By aggressively caching the content as it’s received, and using
    the Russian doll caching, page loads can feel instantaneous
    • It feels like the app isn’t blocking the main thread
    • This caching technique is used on the other pages

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  47. Refreshing
    The Hacker News API
    • What happens as the background jobs pull in new information?
    • Send it over a websocket!

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  48. Refreshing
    The Hacker News API
    • Each page uses listens for new items
    • Stimulus manages subscribing and closing the ActionCable
    subscriptions as a reader navigates through the site.

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  49. Refreshing
    The Hacker News API
    • There are two different channels on the /top page,
    • ItemsListChannel: Listen for updates to an individual item
    • TopItemChannel: Listen for updates to a location change
    • Asynchronous updates make the web app feel performant

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  50. Subscribing
    To ActionCable Channels
    • Stimulus Controllers connect to ActionCable to listen to changes
    to items.

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  51. Subscribing
    To ActionCable Channels
    data-controller="item-location items"
    data-item-location-channel="TopItemChannel">
    app/views/tops/show.html.erb

    <%= render top_item.item %>
    !
    app/views/top_items/_top_item.html.erb

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  52. Subscribing
    To ActionCable Channels
    app/javascript/controllers/item_location_controller.js
    import { Controller } from "stimulus"
    import createChannel from "cables/cable";
    export default class extends Controller {
    initialize() {
    let thisController = this;
    this.channel = createChannel( this.data.get("channel"), {
    connected() {
    thisController.listen()
    },
    received({ message, location }) {
    let existingItem = document.querySelector(`[data-location='${ location }']`)
    if (existingItem) {
    existingItem.innerHTML = message
    }
    }
    });
    }
    }

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  53. Subscribing
    To ActionCable Channels
    app/javascript/controllers/item_location_controller.js
    connect() {
    this.listen()
    }
    disconnect() {
    if (this.channel) {
    this.channel.perform('unfollow')
    }
    }
    listen() {
    if (this.channel) {
    let locations = []
    for (const value of document.querySelectorAll(`[data-location]`)) {
    locations.push( value.getAttribute('data-location') )
    }
    this.channel.perform('follow', { locations: locations } )
    }
    }
    }

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  54. Subscribing
    To ActionCable Channels
    app/channels/top_item_channel.rb
    class TopItemChannel < ApplicationCable!::Channel
    def follow(data)
    stop_all_streams
    locations = data['locations']
    unless locations.nil?
    locations.each do |location|
    stream_from "TopItemChannel:!#{location}"
    end
    end
    end
    def unfollow
    stop_all_streams
    end
    end

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  55. PWA
    The Hacker News API
    • How do we make this really fast web app a PWA now?
    • Where do the PWA conventions fit into a Rails app?

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  56. PWA
    The Hacker News API
    Rails.application.routes.draw do
    get '/service-worker.js' !=> "service_worker#service_worker"
    get '/manifest.json' !=> "service_worker#manifest"
    get '/offline.html' !=> "service_worker#offline"
    end
    config/routes.rb

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  57. PWA
    The Hacker News API
    class ServiceWorkerController < ApplicationController
    protect_from_forgery except: :service_worker
    def service_worker
    end
    def manifest
    end
    def offline
    end
    end
    app/controllers/service_worker_controller.rb

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  58. {
    "short_name": "HNWPA",
    "name": "Hacker News Progressive Web App",
    "icons": [
    {
    "src": "<%= asset_path('train_192.png') %>",
    "type": "image/png",
    "sizes": "192x192"
    },
    {
    "src": "<%= asset_path('train_512.png') %>",
    "type": "image/png",
    "sizes": "512x512"
    }
    ],
    "start_url": "<%= top_path %>",
    "background_color": "#f2f3f5",
    "display": "standalone",
    "scope": "<%= root_path %>",
    "theme_color": "#f60"
    } app/views/service_worker/manifest.json.erb

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  59. var CACHE_VERSION = 'v1';
    var CACHE_NAME = CACHE_VERSION + ':sw-cache-';
    function onInstall(event) {
    console.log('[Serviceworker]', "Installing!", event);
    event.waitUntil(
    caches.open(CACHE_NAME).then(function prefill(cache) {
    return cache.addAll([
    '<%= asset_pack_path 'application.js' %>',
    '<%= asset_pack_path 'application.css' %>',
    '/offline.html',
    ]);
    })
    );
    }
    app/views/service_worker/service-worker.js.erb

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  60. PWAs Are Easy
    • We just described a fast web app that is is built entirely on Rails
    defaults
    • Turbolinks let’s the app only send HTML after the first load
    • Russian Doll Caching speeds up each request
    • ActiveJob keeps unnecessary work out of the request response
    cycle
    • ActionCable loads data as its ready
    • Stimulus adds the sprinkles of interactivity

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  61. PWAs Are Easy
    • We just described a fast web app that is is built entirely on Rails
    defaults
    • Turbolinks let’s the app only send HTML after the first load
    • Russian Doll Caching speeds up each request
    • ActiveJob keeps unnecessary work out of the request response
    cycle
    • ActionCable loads data as its ready
    • Stimulus adds the sprinkles of interactivity

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  62. You’re a PWA Native
    • Speed up your web app by not blocking the “main thread”
    • PWAs can now replace android apps
    • This might be something to consider in light of Turbolinks’
    Native Android wrapper in the midst of a rewrite
    • You’re now able to cut through the front end fog, and keep it
    Rails.

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  63. Thank you!
    @jpbeatty
    https://johnbeatty.co

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