How Flipboard Built Their Web Version

Michael Johnston, writing for Flipboard’s engineering blog on how and why they built their new web version:

These types of animations have always suffered from jank on the web, particularly on mobile devices, for one simple reason:

The DOM is too slow.

It’s not just slow, it’s really slow. If you touch the DOM in any way during an animation you’ve already blown through your 16ms frame budget.

Fascinating, really. Flipboard more or less built their own web app framework based on the HTML5 <canvas> element, completely eschewing the DOM and traditional CSS. To me, that Flipboard went this route is a scathing condemnation of the DOM/CSS web standards stack.

Viewing the HTML source of their web version is a real eye-opener. There’s almost nothing there.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015