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Created Jun 17, 2019

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EmberJS2019 - We need to preach ember more

I've struggled with putting this post together as there's only one thing I wish to say and that is "We need to preach about Ember more". I can go on with an entire story of how and why but it in order to ensure it is not seen as a jab to other communities I'd skipp the shennanigans and hit the nail on the head directly.

The fact remains that Ember is awesome and everyone who works with Ember currently knows this, however outside the ember community, not a lot of people know so much about it's awesomeness. This isn't because we have failed as a community, no, not even remotely close because as a community we are absolutely the best when it comes to being closely knit and being concerned about the vision of our dear Ember.

My problem however lies with our modesty when it comes to Ember (which isn't a bad thing but seems to work against us a bit these days). I know this because it's the same thing with us in Suomi(Finland) and I can see all the similarities. Like Finland, Ember is absolutely modest in talking about our amazing strides. A typical example is the success of the our Finnish Ice Hockey team who beat both Sweden (our arch rivals in hockey), Russia and Canada to clinch the World IHL title (without any players who play in the NHL) yet most people know nothing about this achievement. If this was a title either Sweden or Canada won, the entire world will hear a thing our two about it. Now when you come to the JavaScript world, Ember is basically Finland if using Octane as an example. if Octane, with its graciousness and no major breaking changes was to be something done by another JavaScript project say React or Vue or Angular, the entire JavaScript world wouldn't have heard the end of it. I know this for sure because I've watched these communities closely and together with nullvoxpopuli we've engaged thier bias a lot and called out a lot of BS.

Everytime I go to a conference and speak about something related to Ember, the first disclaimer I put out is that I am not directly involved in the Ember Project apart from being an Ember user in the community. I do this to make people understand that I absolutely speak about Ember and it's awesomeness from a neutral point of view as someone who has used it and teaches it (along with both Vue, React and Angular). There are just so many beautiful things that Ember provides which we do not talk about often and I'm hoping in the near future we actually change this.

In most discussions, whenever Ember is mentioned, the first thing you hear is "Do people still use that" or "Is Ember still alive" and I always go with the simple answer, "If you have a LinkedIn profile, then you use an EmberJS project" and this is where you get most people to understand the scale at which Ember is used so as to eliminate thier bias. About a day ago (from the time of this publication), in a twitter reponse to "Dan Abramov" I mentioned that conditional rendering in Vue.js is actually quite "clear" when compared to how it's done in React the response I got was:

I think “clear” is very subjective here 🙂 If you’re familiar with template languages then Vue way might make more sense. If you come from JS background, using JS variables and an if statement might be more familiar.

— Dan Abramov (@dan_abramov) June 16, 2019

And I proceeded to responsed back to be explicitly clear

I meant "clear" in terms of readability and most especially for newbies. Considering we first teach DOM manipulation with Vanilla JS before shifting students to frameworks (We've used both Ember, Angular, React and now Vue) I wouldn't say it has to do with templating knowledge 😊

— Kenigbolo Meya Stephen 🇫🇮🇬🇧🇳🇬🇬🇭 (@expensivestevie) June 16, 2019

My response was mostly to ensure the React community didn't bounce on the response and form a religious opinion about templating vs more JavaScript like, since being a part of that community also has shown me that in most cases these are how opinions and biases originate. Now in a different situation, this could already be picked as a bias against Vue.js or Ember being more "template like" when in reality I was trying to speak about clear in terms readability, especially if you have no prior knowledge of any of the libraries or frameworks whatsoever.

One common discussion that comes up whenever Jessica Jordan and myself are at a conference is how there are so many awesome features of Ember that the Javascript community do not know about and how it sounds wierd to people when you mention it mostly because they have no idea what you're talking about as thier comunities probably have no such thing. I recall showing lazy loading with ember engines as well as lazy loading with lazy loading mixin (this was available since 2014 iirc) and there was genuine surprise everywhere.

My hope is that as a community we would preach a bit more about ember, we might not be as big as other communities however what we have is a family that is absolutely modest as opposed to fanatical and this we can use to our advantage in channeling a strong message of facts as opposed to fiction. A starting point that'll be nice to have could be doing a direct uncompromised and unbiased comparison with other frameworks where we highlight where ember excels better that others. Currently nullvoxpopuli does this occasionally on twitter and I'm always at hand to point out misconceptions wherever I find them, however I'd like to see something more standard, maybe similar to what is currently available in Vue.js as I believe this will help in preaching our strong points more and can easily serve as a reference information used as standard response to a lot of unnecessary biased opinions.

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