POLL: Ember is still burning...barely (?)

Ember 3.7 arrives with new features and minor changes

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
© Shutterstock / Erik Svoboda  

The latest version of the Ember project is here with a couple of new features for the Ember CLI and some minor changes and bug fixes to Ember.js. Here, we take a look at Ember 3.7 and discuss Ember’s current status in comparison to the other three big competitors in the JavaScript ecosystem.

Ember is here with a new release.

The 3.7 release of the Ember project brings a couple of new features for the Ember CLI and some minor changes and bug fixes to Ember.js.

For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Ember project is a bundle that consists of:

  • Ember.js: The core framework for building ambitious web applications
  • Ember Data: The official data persistence library for Ember.js applications
  • Ember CLI: The command line interface for managing and packaging Ember.js applications

Let’s check out the new release and have a quick look at Ember’s status in comparison to the other three big competitors in the JavaScript ecosystem Angular, React, and Vue.

The new release

Ember.js – There are no new features or deprecations in this release. You should note, however, that support for Node 4 has been officially dropped and support for Node 6 is scheduled to be dropped later this year.

Ember Data – There are no changes for this library with the latest release.

Ember CLI – There are two features introduced with the 3.7 release. Namely:

  • Compatibility section in addon README: Whenever you generate a new addon using Ember CLI it will automatically generate a README file for your addon. With Ember CLI 3.7 this README will now include a compatibility section that will allow you to easily communicate to users of the addon what is needed to use the addon.
  • Remove last usage of Babel 6: Ember CLI 3.7 has removed the last usage of Babel 6 which was used for supporting compiling templates in addon/ and supporting addon-test-support/ in addons that themselves do not have any .js processors (e.g. no dependency on ember-cli-babel). Keep in mind that this change is not a breaking change since the module compilation between Babel 6 and Babel 7 is compatible.

For upgrading Ember CLI you simply use the ember-cli-update project:

npm install -g ember-cli-update

Ember is still burning…barely

Some months ago, V. Lascik wrote a blog post and took a hard look at Ember’s status in 2018, criticized its shortcomings and offered some points of potential improvements. One of his main points was that Ember is indeed a great framework, however, “without enough convincing reasons for the larger world to start to get it as well, it won’t matter.”

So let’s revisit this conversation and see where Ember stands right now compared to the other three giants of the JavaScript ecosystem, based on weekly downloads on npm.

The comparison is not very flattering for Ember. On a weekly-downloads basis, Ember seems to have hit rock bottom with all of the three other frameworks being far ahead.

SEE ALSO: Angular, Ember, and Vue: Is choosing a framework simply a matter of taste?

Nonetheless, the community seems to be standing beside the framework. Some months ago, in a HackerNews thread on whether Ember is fading away or not, commenters seem to still be very fond of the framework.

I still strongly favor Ember for exactly the reasons React and other frameworks simply haven’t caught up: the out of the box experience.

I can start building an actual app within 3 minutes of typing “ember new” – with React, I’d spend the first couple of days just fiddling around with build scripts. Sure, there are now react boilerplates that do this, but there are too many out there to properly evaluate what to use. Why not just make it a part of the framework? I think one of the reasons React has been successful is that most developers inherently enjoy the actual act of tinkering as much as they do actually building something. They are ok with spending the first 72 hours of their project picking and setting up their build tools. On the other hand, I can’t stand that stuff.

That’s what’s so weird to me about all this. Ember is to front end JS exactly what Rails was. Yet rails was successful and Ember wasn’t. I think it’s the difference between front-end culture and back-end culture.

What is your opinion on the matter? Are you still a fan of Ember or are you among those who have given up on this framework? Let us know in the poll below.

Are you using/have you ever used Ember?

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Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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