Ensure compliance as a Progressive Web App

Mouth

Well-known member
I understand that they are using the technology but they do not appear to be trying to pass it off as a traditional app.
Because they also have native apps, and likely do not want to confuse their customers/audience. With their investment in the native apps, and the additional functionality (read tracking) I'm sure the prefer users utilise their native apps first over their PWA
 

dethfire

Well-known member
I think it's a matter of time for any serious website. The question is how much work is it for XF? Is it another rewrite or could it be done as 2.2?
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
Because they also have native apps, and likely do not want to confuse their customers/audience. With their investment in the native apps, and the additional functionality (read tracking) I'm sure the prefer users utilise their native apps first over their PWA
You linked an article that said PWA apps will replace native apps...
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
👏 Correct, that's what the article says.
So according to you, Twitter would prefer users to use their native app. Yet you link an article that says PWA apps will replace native apps.

Because they also have native apps, and likely do not want to confuse their customers/audience. With their investment in the native apps, and the additional functionality (read tracking) I'm sure the prefer users utilise their native apps first over their PWA
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
Try reading it, and you'll likely understand.
In the same thread you have argued that companies want users to use their native app and PWA will replace native apps.

I've read the article and it is an opinion piece as its only sources are anecdotes. There is no more evidence that PWA will replace native apps then there was on AMP replacing native apps. The only thing we can all continue to celebrate is the technology and design continue to move forward. I personally much rather see the XF team develop in other areas until a better or best solution is available. I think they did this with push notifications. They delivered a good experience that will not get any better until Apple changes its mind and if there is one company on earth that does not want companies to abandon native apps then it is Apple.
 

eva2000

Well-known member
I personally much rather see the XF team develop in other areas until a better or best solution is available. I think they did this with push notifications.
Push notifications while nice, I think you might see end users turning them off eventually. I only have xenforo.com forums with push notifications and already my phone is getting bombarded with pushes. I can only imagine when you are member of a dozen forums with such push notifications, that it will end up overwhelming the users too.

PWA doesn't have to be about replacing native apps. When configured correctly for precaching/caching at browser cache storage level, the page speed performance for the site is way better and offers a better experience for forum visitors - especially on mobile connections and slower mobile network speed profiles like 3G etc. For me it's around 50-70% faster average Dom Content Loaded Times after switching site and xenforo 1.5 forum over to PWA service worker with both pre-cache and caching at worker level. If you just combine that with Xenforo native responsive themes then mobile and desktop user page load experience is much better.

before PWA conversion July 1 - 23, 2018

190103

after PWA conversion July 24 - 29, 2018

190104

Just drilling down for China based traffic shows huge improvements in page load speed after PWA conversion

before PWA

190105

190106

after PWA

190107

I wrote this for my forum uses regarding my Xenforo PWA implementation
  • The key to performance is service worker cache/precaching. A service worker is basically a network router/cache proxy written in Javascript and sits between the client visitor web browser and the web site.
  • Service workers require the site be using HTTPS for security reasons.
  • When a service worker is registered and installed into the client visitor's web browser, the service worker lives in the client's web browser.
  • The service worker now act as a network proxy - routing and caching and/or pre-caching requests and depending on how the service worker is written and configured can do routing, caching and/or pre-caching of requests from client web browser to the web site (i.e. this forum).
  • For this forum, I have configured the service worker do do precaching, caching and routing of requests. For example, if a visitor loads a forum thread and the browser requests the CSS/JS files to render the page, the registered and installed service worker intercepts this request for CSS/JS files and determines if these CSS/JS files are within the client browser's local cache storage area or not. If the CSS/JS file(s) are found in the client browser's local cache storage, the file(s) are served from the client's local browser cache storage area. If the file(s) are not found in local browser cache storage area or if there's a newer more updated version of the file(s), then the service worker initiates a network request back to the site/forums to fetch the latest copy of the CSS/JS files. Then in this forum's service worker configuration, after fetching the latest copy of the CSS/JS files, it also populates or updates the client's browser local cache storage area with this newer copy for future requests of the same CSS/JS file. As you can see where the page load speed comes from, serving an already cached file from a client visitor's local browser cache storage area is much faster than going over the network to fetch the files form the site/forums
    :)
  • Additionally, service workers can pre-caching files. So known static files i.e. CSS/JS, site structured images, web fonts etc can also be configured to be pre-cached. All pre-cached files need a hashed revision listing so that service worker can tell when changes occur. You'd need to automate the updating of these files and their updated hashed revision listings over time. So at service worker registration and install time, these pre-cached files are loaded into a client's browser cache storage area ready for first use on subsequent requests
    :)
  • As you can see, service workers allow Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to also support offline mode. As files that make up the web page rendered display are cached in client's browser cache storage area and service worker proxy consults the local cache first before going through a network request to the site/forums. So if you loose internet connectivity, the client may already have a previously cached/pre-cached files in their local browser cache storage area to be served in offline mode
 
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Kevin

Well-known member
Amp has *nothing
Push notifications while nice, I think you might see end users turning them off eventually. I only have xenforo.com forums with push notifications and already my phone is getting bombarded with pushes. I can only imagine when you are member of a dozen forums with such push notifications, that it will end up overwhelming the users too.
[OT] Yep, I made that mistake. Turned on notifications for XF (and only XF) for my phone, personal laptop, and work desktop... didn't realize that they'll get queued to all of the devices even if I've already 'clicked thru' the alerts on a different device while the other devices were inactive. It's surprising how many alerts can be generated with the default settings. When 2.1 is released I suspect I'll enable push notices for my own sites to monitor them but will be extremely selective what others sites I enable them for. [/OT]
 

Glockie

Well-known member
Someone on twitter just visited my site and asked whether there was an app for it. :X3:
Mobile Suite turned forums into PWAs, and it did increase traffic by putting forums on the home screen. XF2 is a lot more mobile friendly as well, so you don't need an app skin per-se.

That said, it was missing offline mode, and a bonus of the recently added API is that it's a lot more doable now, at least in the scope of basic content types (forums, threads, posts).
My point is this: everyone needs an app. But as long as you use add-ons you can simply forget about that. You cannot have a generic XF App that also works for your specific set of add-ons. The project scope of such app would be insane.

Making Xenforo a Progressive Web App resolves that. Then addons can simply be made for that and the PWA can be wrapped into an App with some cherries on top. It's just one more piece of the puzzle just like API and Push are.

This seems to be one of those suggestions that most of us need, but few realize it.
It’s needed here. Often get asked (weekly and more) - do you have an app.
Used to have one and it was worth it. Now not so. But won’t mention any names.
Still, it was a wrapper but did the job as it included push notifications tailored to our needs.
Have to keep up with the times here, regardless of your own view in truth.
Your members will probably appreciate an app. Your newbies will actively look for one.. regardless of what the ‘app’ technically entails. :)
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
I keep hearing this called an app and I think that is what piques interest. It is no more of an app then XF is today. The advantage to PWA is faster load times. It would not affect how XF does push notifications, all of the existing constraints still exist. Users are not going to use an icon that you save to their phone when they can get the same experience (PWA) in the mobile browser. If there is a knock on native apps is that users have to back out and load other apps opposed to just hitting the address bar and selecting a favorite or type in an address.
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
What existing constraints are you referring to?
iOS push notifications are the biggest constraint that affects forums. There are obvious other constraints dealing with hardware access but that probably impacts forums less.

The 3 advantages I have heard for PWA are:

1) Faster - In my opinion, this is the only advantage

2) Home screen icon - This has been possible for years and is worthless. Even if your site has PWA users want access to the address bar. This is probably the biggest knock on apps today and why I prefer to browse through the safari on my iPhone. I literally have apps installed to give me push notifications on news.

3) Offline browsing - How often are your users away from the internet and what is exactly cached? Offline browsing would be limited just as it is in native apps

All PWA gets you is a faster experience, it is not an app anymore then any other website is. To go a step further I do not think you would even need an app if Apple allowed push on iOS. (doubtful that will ever happen)
 

eva2000

Well-known member
PWA isn't just about being a native installable app. It's about improving your visitor page loading speed and experience - which can be done both in normal web browsers or the installed native app (it's never one or the other as it can be done in both).

I am sure your forum users implicitly expect and want faster page loading times and won't be explicitly demanding it (unless you have a painfully slow loading forum). I can't see any down side to making your forums up to 50% faster for you visitors and members.
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
Seems you're confused by what constitutes experience.
Regardless, your opinion is a broken record of the same argument you've already given and your repetitive posts in this topic are adding no value.
If you are going to quote me then quote the whole sentence.

"Users are not going to use an icon that you save to their phone when they can get the same experience (PWA) in the mobile browser."

Your post is nothing more than a personal attack. I was clearly talking about the "icon" that has been mentioned in this thread.

If you are going to quote me then quote the whole sentence.

"Users are not going to use an icon that you save to their phone when they can get the same experience (PWA) in the mobile browser."

You can prompt and save websites to the homescreen today which is what that experience does not change.

In my opinion, your suggestion has received very little feedback because your initial post did not contain any detail. A better post would be like the ones that eva2000 wrote where he compared the speed of PWA vs mobile. (The fact his data was for XF is especially helpful). I see little value of PWA past speed. I certainly value speed but believe that the XF should focus on other items first. I go back to AMP, which people asked for. I think most of us would agree that PWA is a better option, so the question is what's next?
 

AndrewSimm

Active member
PWA isn't just about being a native installable app. It's about improving your visitor page loading speed and experience - which can be done both in normal web browsers or the installed native app (it's never one or the other as it can be done in both).

I am sure your forum users implicitly expect and want faster page loading times and won't be explicitly demanding it (unless you have a painfully slow loading forum). I can't see any down side to making your forums up to 50% faster for you visitors and members.
I do not disagree with anything you have said. I have invested a lot of time and money in making sure my site runs fast. (we did business years ago CanesInSight).
 

eva2000

Well-known member
I do not disagree with anything you have said. I have invested a lot of time and money in making sure my site runs fast. (we did business years ago CanesInSight).
Ah I remember now - did a server optimisation consult for you ~5 yrs ago - so clearly optimal server/site performance is important :) Properly configured PWA would only make your site/forums perform even faster especially for visitors who are geographically farther away from your site/server's location and/or when they have slow or poor mobile connectivity speeds :D

Just run your site/forums through WebPageTest.org mobile speed profile page load tests and Google PageSpeed Insights v5 tests focusing on mobile and you can see where PWA properly configured would help too.
 
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