Telescope 2021 — A PWA

“it’s not real until it hits Telescope as a blog post about what happened” — professor Dave

Those were words from my respectful professor, the one and only Dave, who I admire a lot. He reminded me of why we start the practice of writing blogs. It is not only a way to record what happened, but also a way to evaluate on your mistakes and the thought process that you went through to make them. These help you to become a better developer.

Today, my PWA’s PR finally got merged. A few of us were quite excited about it including myself. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have reached out to the creator of next-pwa to learn if the service worker would update the cache when there was a newer version in prod. And he confirmed “YES”. This is the last piece of wonderings we have to ensure that when we merge it, it won’t create more bugs.

After a few reviews from Dave to help me refine my code better and remove any extra code, I merged the PR with a big relief. I was worried that it would not be able to be merged before v2.0. If you used Telescope’s dev link right now you can install it to your Android phones and PC using Chrome or “Add to Home Screen” on iOS. An app icon will appear on your home screen and you can access Telescope like how you would through the browser, but it feels like a native app. My PR might have added only 70ish line of codes but to come to this point, it required a lot of efforts from many people to have a good code structure and a friendly mobile design. I want to shout out to Telescope team for making the website well responsive on mobile so its PWA feels seamless. Without these efforts, this PR would not happen.

So why I believe PWA will eventually play a big part in the future of applications. First, PWAs are powerful, effective, fast and app-like. Second, it worked offline. Third, PWAs can help companies save resource by developing native apps for different platforms. Coming from a business background, I understand that for corporations, it is always about the bottom line. It is same as why full-stack developers are more demanded or why cross-platform techs like React Native and Flutter have been on the rise. Many websites you are using are PWAs including Twitter, Youtube and of course our beloved Telescope. With the new initiative letting you install a PWA on PC, My gut feeling is that there will be more to come.

My PWA’s exploration has not ended, I still have a few things to do and one of them is to register cache of the blog posts. However, that would be a topic for a future blog post. Now I’m going to use my installed PWA to check if this blog got updated to Telescope.

Thank you for reading.

Tony Vu.

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