The Embroider Initiative Becomes the Ember Initiative

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anchorWhat is the Ember Initiative about?

Mainmatter will continue to assign a team to work on Ember and its ecosystem full-time, indefinitely if we secure enough funding (more on that below). They will address topics relevant to the Ember ecosystem and every company that uses Ember. The team won’t focus on a single topic like they did with the Embroider initiative. Instead, they will work on various issues, addressing whatever is most pressing for the Ember ecosystem at any given time. To start, we’re proposing 4 main topics:

anchorPolishing Embroider

While the Embroider initiative has been a great success and the path towards Vite is wide open, there is some work left to do to polish the experience:

  • Backwards compatibility: Making Vite builds work with older Ember versions will make it easier for many teams to switch. We suggest making Embroider and Vite compatible with Ember 4.x.
  • Documentation: While building Ember apps with Vite should be an out-of-the-box experience, some documentation will need to be updated before it can be the default experience for the wider Ember community.
  • Opening upgrade paths for the most popular addons: Ember apps rely heavily on addons, but not all widely used ones work with Vite. We propose that we add support or document alternatives for the most used addons in the Ember ecosystem.

anchorDeveloper Tooling

Developer tooling hasn't seen much improvement in the Ember ecosystem in the past few years. We suggest working on:

  • Ember Inspector: The inspector needs some changes to work properly with Vite-built Ember apps. Also, its capabilities for modern Ember patterns like <template> tag components are limited. Fixing this will make developers more efficient.
  • Glint tooling and TS support: We suggest our team works with Alex Matchneer, who has already begun improving Ember’s developer experience with TS and moving Glint to Volar for easier maintainability (see Alex’s talk about the topic at Ember Europe).

anchorCompiling Ember Apps to Web Components

Teams and companies are increasingly adopting polyglot architectures for their frontends, using a mix of different frameworks. Using web components in Ember apps is already straightforward. We suggest creating an easy way to compile Ember apps themselves into web components so they can be used in other applications. This will make it significantly easier to use (and continue using) Ember in these contexts.

anchorRoute and Router Manager APIs

Improving the router has been a long-standing goal in the Ember community, with little progress in recent years (Polaris, Ember's next edition, will not ship with a router). While the topic is big and we won't be able to ship a new router soon, we suggest working on the first step: implementing manager APIs for routes and the routing system. This will unblock experimentation by allowing the implementation of routes and the routing system to be swapped, bringing the ecosystem one step closer to a new router.

Eventually, a new router will bring several benefits:

  • By removing controllers and route templates and routing components directly, there will be fewer concepts to deal with (and learn when coming new to Ember), making it much simpler to work with the framework.
  • Eventually, there will be a simpler and more stable mechanism for handling query parameters.
  • A new router will eliminate subtle bugs in the current routing system that have impacted several teams working with Ember.
  • A new routing system will ideally simplify interoperability with other frameworks, such as allowing routing of components written in React, Svelte, and more.
  • It will be easier to split large codebases into smaller, isolated parts that separate teams can work on, as a new router will open the way for building a new version of engines.

anchorFunding the Initiative

We’d like to fund the above work the same way that worked well for the Embroider initiative. Instead of trying to get one company to sponsor all of the work, we’re asking many companies to contribute a little each so they can have a substantial impact together. Companies that have built on and invested in Ember have good reasons to invest in its longevity and progression (see my talk on the topic at EmberFest 2023).

Sponsors joining the Ember initiative not only invest in the future and longevity of their apps but also get a seat at the initiative's table. They can share their pain points with Ember and, depending on the sponsorship tier, influence our team's focus. They stay updated on what's happening and, again depending on the sponsorship tier, benefit from pairing sessions with our experts.

We encourage companies of all sizes to join the initiative by offering various sponsorship tiers to fit every budget. To help make this a permanent effort, we provide a discount for companies that sign up for a full year at a time.

anchorA Call to Action

If you are a current sponsor, a decision maker at a company that uses Ember, or a passionate Ember engineer willing to convince your higher-ups to join the initiative, please reach out! We’re hopeful we can build on the success of the Embroider initiative and make the Ember initiative a success for the entire ecosystem, but we need your support!


anchorIf you're facing challenges with Ember.js and need a helping hand, reach out!

Contact us!

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