089: glimmer-redux with Toran Billups

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Toran Billups: @toranb | GitHub | Blog

Toran Billips joined us for an insightful conversation regarding glimmer-redux: Predictable state management for Glimmer apps.

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Transcript

ELRICK: Hello and welcome to another Frontside Podcast, Episode 89. My name is Elrick Ryan, a developer here at the Frontside. I'm joined by Wil Wilsman, another developer here at the Frontside. Wil, how are you doing?

WIL: I'm good. How are you?

ELRICK: I'm great, man. I'm excited for this podcast that we have coming up here. Today we are fortunate to have with us a podcast elite member now, Mr Toran Billups. Toran, how are you doing?

TORAN: Oh, man. I joined the elite platinum club or something?

ELRICK: Yes, you are in the platinum club right now. I think this is probably what? Your third or fourth episode by now?

TORAN: Oh, yeah. I think the fourth.

ELRICK: Oh, yeah. You're in the elite club right now. You are a Midwest programmer and I hear there is a difference between a Silicon Valley programmer and a Midwest programmer. Could you tell us about what the difference is? Because it's the first time I've heard anything about this.

TORAN: Admittedly, I stole this from a very popular developer, Justin Searls who spoke at length one time on a podcast, not too different in this one about his experiences in consulting for companies, who are more in the startup phase or a company that you'll find in Silicon Valley that is mostly just trying to test an idea and get to market, versus his experience for finance or insurance companies based out of the Midwest. I like that idea because my experiences have taught me. I'm a little bit happier when I'm working for companies that are interested in quality or attributes of quality and view the software longevity as mission-critical versus a software that is really just a byproduct of an interesting idea and if we validate that idea in a market, we can always rewrite the software later. Midwest, I guess the short version is we care about the work we're doing and we understand that rewrites are difficult, if ever possible.

ELRICK: Interesting, so the Midwest seems to be concerned with long term goals.

TORAN: Yeah, I think sustainable --

ELRICK: Sustainable software, at least.

TORAN: Yep.

ELRICK: Today, you are joining us to not only talk about the Midwest and the beautiful Midwest programmers. You're here to talk about Glimmer Redux.

TORAN: Glimmer Redux is a little library I wrote, I think last month. I should start off by asking you guys if you're familiar with a Glimmer JS or if you've heard of that.

ELRICK: I've heard of Glimmer JS. I haven't had an opportunity to play around or mess around with it yet. I don't know if that's good or bad because I'm just really busy but I really want to get into it. Wil, what about yourself?

WIL: I've read through the docs but I haven't played with it at all. It looks really nice.

TORAN: I think the joke that was off the air last time I was on, Wil you might remember this. You're on that podcast with Charles. I said something like, "I'm not young enough to actually be working with Glimmer," and I felt that way for a long time because one thing you should know is it's a pre-1.0 and if you guys have ever worked in a pre-1.0 ecosystem, myself the biggest experience I have to draw from is really pre-1.0 Ember and there were some big changes before 1.0.

You can imagine back to that throwaway comment about being very young, there was actually a big change in Glimmer itself recently where they decided to... I don't know if the right word is Pascal Case but they've literally gone away from that 'dasharized' components. It used to have 'foo-bar' and in your template, you would actually see lower case of 'foo-bar' and now that would just be all uppercase. Well, not all uppercase but 'FooBar' and no dash, which is a big change recently.

WIL: So a class case, kind of like React or JSX.

TORAN: Yeah, exactly. They have a great blog post. Actually, we can reference that in the show notes, about some of these big changes in that release. It was Glimmer 0.8 so it's still, it's making its way to the 1.0 but I got interested in this really for two reasons in the last couple of months. The first was, if you actually go build something with Glimmer -- and this is my experience -- is for the novice programmer just taking a look at it, it's really just a way to use web components to build an application. There's no routing. There's no opinions, really. There's no services like you have in Ember or contexts like you have in React. The first challenge you run up against is when you get beyond a single component or two components and suddenly, you need to share some state across this application. How do you do that?

If you guys have some experience, I know the Frontside, with React, if you're not using MobX or Redux or something like that, a lot of times you'll see this pattern where you're actually passing a piece of state through the entire tree or the shared state through a big part of the component tree. Of course, that becomes painful as the application gets to a certain size. One of the things I thought about is if I was to build a real application, the one in mind that was certainly not built yet because I'm not using Glimmer at work but I always think about the ember-rideshare.

I know you guys had Alex Matchneer, recently talking about routing and Alex mentions in that episode this challenge for the Ember router today, to be reactive to server-sent events. In the case, imagine you have an Uber or a Lyft app and after the ride is over, the server wants to send an event, maybe and then the app needs to react to that event -- sending you maybe to a new route or sending you back to the map to pick a new ride. The gist of the ride share app is, and Alex, of course I would reference anyone to that podcast, he does a lot better job describing the routing challenges and those are a little bit out of scope for this discussion, but imagine you're going to build an app that ambitious and you're going to build a Lyft in Glimmer.

What I found was missing is really what we take for granted in Ember, which is the Ember Service and that is like a singleton or an object that allows you to have a piece of state and then share that state around by injecting that service in only the components that need to reach up and grab that shared state. Redux, which I know your audience is pretty familiar with but a quick recap, Redux is just kind of a global JavaScript object that has state and there's often a library that lets you connect to that state so you can use it in your various components. Glimmer Redux is no different than that, actually. It just allows you, instead of having to create maybe one global JavaScript object and kind of pass it down the hierarchy, you can instead just connect the components that need to be aware of Redux. The ones that don't, of course they just don't connect.

ELRICK: I know that you had a hand or build ember-redux and now you build Glimmer Redux. Were there any challenges between building those two different add-ons into two different ecosystems?

TORAN: I should take one minor step back because that question is a great segue. I didn't want to touch on the second motivation for Glimmer Redux, which is actually really closely related here and that is, of course I did write ember-redux so with every open source project, there's a little selfish motivation here. I imagine last year when Glimmer was announced at EmberConf that there would be a story from Glimmer to Ember. The idea being you’re a small startup, you just want to get your web application going, you don't necessarily like all the big conventions or you just don't think you need all of Ember when you get started but six months down the road, you're suddenly looking at tree shaking and lazy loading with engines and you're thinking, "I wish we had that."

Realistically speaking, like today what would a transition for a Glimmer shop to Ember be. Honestly, I think it's tough without a library like Glimmer Redux. Of course, I wrote this with pretty much a mere of the connect API. If people were to check out the ReadMe of Glimmer Redux and ember-redux and you looked at a connected or redux-aware component in both of those cases, the best case scenario is the only difference would be in the import. Instead of import connect from a Glimmer Redux, you would be import connect from ember-redux. Everything else underneath, all the ecosystem of Redux that you can use and both are completely compatible. In fact, if you were to move, imagine you Ember new and you're thinking, "I got to move my Glimmer ride-share to ember-rideshare.

Since Redux does a good job in encapsulating all of the state transformations in vanilla JavaScript, you don't have to really worry about the differences between a number object and not having Ember object. After you did Ember new, essentially you would copy over your components. For the most part, they're still template-driven. A lot of handlebars and a lot of TypeScript to JavaScript is the biggest mismatch you would have between Glimmer and coming over to Ember, of course but there is Ember CLI TypeScript or Ember TypeScript, I think. Long story short, you essentially copy the directories of your reducers or middleware from your Glimmer app over to Ember and there should be no changes necessary at all.

ELRICK: I know that is the dream that you touched on, I think they phrase it as 'NPM installing your way up to Ember.' In your perspective, do you think that is going to be a thing? Is it going to get there? What are your feelings on that?

TORAN: I would definitely be in trouble if I didn't say upfront that I'm not on the Ember core team. Sometimes, people get that confused for some reason but I don't speak for the core team and I'm not really privy to anything. But I do think that the core team has this in mind that there will be a set of NPM installable modules that eventually land you the full set of tools and abstractions that we see in Ember today. A big one that I'd hit on earlier is services. What will services or the Glimmer 0.5 version of services look like when it lands and what about routing and those sort of things?

This was really my personal take on how could I make that migration right now without asking permission from the core team. In a Glimmer Redux, I think honestly it offers a good 80% of that. You still have the routing issue, which is a little challenging and you have the TypeScript issue, which you just have to be aware of some of the limitations of using TypeScript in Ember.

ELRICK: That's an excellent point that you made because when people outside of the core team take it upon themselves to then try to implement different things around the ecosystem, that can then be motivation or an example for people outside of the core team to see like, "This is a possible solution to a goal we're trying to reach." Kudos to you.

TORAN: Back to your original question about 15 minutes ago, what was different about the ecosystems writing ember-redux the add-on and Glimmer Redux, which is... I don't really even want to call it an add-on. I kind of label it as a Glimmer library but to your point just a second ago, when I got interested and saying, "I wrote Glimmer Redux, now I want to share it so other Glimmer authors don't need to copy/paste this file," and the first resistance I hit up on is there really is no Glimmer library or Glimmer add-on. You could write an Ember add-on because if you guys get into Glimmer, you'll find this as well. There are certain hooks that are used in the Glimmer build process where Ember add-ons like Ember CLI SASS can be used from Glimmer.

But the challenge I had using an Ember add-on, of course is that this wasn't an Ember component or anything Ember related. It needed to really be test driven from a Glimmer apps. Really, if you went to NPM installers, what you're pulling in is effectively my Glimmer app that also exports publicly this connect function, which is not necessarily you're leading, maybe anything to core team that could happen. A big reason for that as well and one of the challenges building this, is that Glimmer right now, after to try to emulate my 'quasi-success' in doing this, is really bring your own build system, to actually share a Glimmer components or internals like this connect API that Glimmer components can use.

What I mean by that is on the website, one of the challenges I faced was -- this isn't a knock against the core team, this is just my honest experiences -- when I read the Glimmer JS docs and it says right in the installing guide, "Glimmer uses Ember CLI, this battle-tested command line interface from the Ember project." Now, pause right there because again, not to beat up on the Ember core team or anything but assuming in that one sentence that they're using Ember app, what I noticed when I opened the Ember CLI build file is the project was actually a Glimmer app. Now, I did a little bit of digging here and I think this is validated, at least back when I worked on Glimmer Redux last month, that Glimmer app is not like inheriting or pulling in a bunch of shared code from Ember app. It's actually a completely separate build tool.

As part of this process, I actually for the first time had to go through and learn Rollup and understand how the Broccoli process is kicked off, how both Rollup and Babel are used to build this and then how to apply some convention. If you guys are familiar with Ember, you have this add-on directory and an app directory. The guidance from the Ember team is around how to structure add-ons. Of course, you write all of your kind of private-ish or add-on code in the add-on directory and then whatever you think will be public, you export from the app directory and that sort of merges it into the tree when the application is built. People are allowed to use your code but then also, they can override that code.

One of the challenges here is if I wanted that exact same API and I want people to make this migration from Glimmer to Ember using Redux, I had to actually invent that convention so I wrote a Rollup plugin and it's all listed in the docs here. One of the strange things people who are checking out Glimmer Redux hit me with first is, "I see a Yarn installed Glimmer Redux but then second step is installing this Rollup plugin. What's the deal?" I think it is because most people assume the Ember CLI you're using is identical and somehow, I should have written an Ember CLI add-on for this. I think that was the biggest learning curve and people should just be aware of that.

If you're interested in sharing code right now, there is really not a baked story and that's okay. It allows people to innovate. Of course, the innovator's dilemma being that, I don't really know without [inaudible] some migrating RFC or getting involved with the core team, how to make that thing. I ultimately just hope the core team improves this and I'm sure they will but for right now, I don't really want to wait around for it.

ELRICK: Got you. What is Rollup, for people that are not familiar with what Rollup is? I'm sure everyone is probably familiar with Babel by now because it's used everywhere but what is Rollup?

TORAN: Embarrassingly, I don't know the technical... But I would say the role that you can see, if you actually step through the node process as your Glimmer app is being built, is it helps really condense the overall build size. What I see is it's essentially traversing like Browserify in some ways. This is, again just my primitive look but it traverses all the imports you have and it tries to pull in the bare minimum to keep the bundle size as small as possible.

ELRICK: Toran, you have had a lot of experience with Redux and Redux is now being used in several different software platforms, I guess or software areas like Vue and they probably even have in Angular now. They have it in Ember and React. Redux is kind of spreading its wings and it seeds across every ecosystem. Do you feel that Redux has reached a state where people are just satisfied with the current state of Redux or do you think that people are going to be then, looking to build another abstraction on top of Redux? Do you have any thoughts on that?

TORAN: The fact that Redux is so simple has allowed it to become so ubiquitous. I heard someone say this term the other today, which is like, 'ubiquity over consistency,' and that I think describes the both the growth of Redux and why it is kind of de facto for data management across all ecosystems. I think there's two camps that I hear about and I'm curious if you guys see this in your consulting work but there is certainly, the developer see this ubiquity but no consistency and see chaos in their experiences. I can totally relate to this.

There are development shops I've seen where one team goes this direction because there's no strict guidance goes another and then when those teams meet up for a project in 12 months, they look at each other and the apps are, of course nothing alike, which is a big problem that Ember tries to solve. My biggest question here really is kind of curving us slightly back to the Glimmer story.

If I can reframe your question, Ember is traditionally very big on convention and I think a lot of the community that is still in Ember today in large part is because of this convention, these guide rails about the community has set up but Glimmer being this NPM install your way to Ember, I think along the way, there's going to be either a new set of users that are coming just for the winds of the Glimmer VM and they happen to find themselves, not necessarily in love with some restrictions or opinions that would come with a migration directly to Ember and I'm curious if the Glimmer community that will show up for that is mostly Ember backed, meaning that they want to slowly build with RFC as a process that the entire community uses and there's one solution like we end up with often an Ember. If a community evolves more experimentally like you saw in React, where there was, of course Redux but then there was MobX and then there was various little wares for Redux that different teams would try out and eventually, there was no one proven way but there was always at the heart of it, Redux with some extensions or other add-ons around it that got teams to where they are today. I'm curious to see where this Redux, especially with the Glimmer influence, will end up.

WIL: You touched on a little, I think one of the, maybe not a problem necessarily but one of the biggest barriers in Redux and React and maybe Glimmer -- I'm not sure -- is that it's almost too loose without any opinions at all so it kind of gives developers the freedom to mess things up big time. What's your opinion on that with Glimmer, like Glimmer is headed toward this NPM install? Is it too loose?

TORAN: I guess that's the question, I wish we both had the answer to. It's funny. It's a double-edged sword. If it's loose, it seems like somebody is going to go create a mess but at the same time, if it's loose on the surface, it often seems like it has less surface area and as a result, a lower learning curve. React is a good example where most people, I think have gone to React or at least in my experience, I like React because it was so simple and there wasn't a huge amount of things to learn. There wasn't this full ecosystem, at least out of the gate but of course, what you find the moment you want to join a team or go build something ambitious is that you've got to make a bunch of decisions and that is certainly the calling card of Ember. What makes Ember special is they've settled on a handful of those decisions.

I think ideally, I'd like to see the community in Glimmer check out Redux, get an idea of what problem it actually solves for them and if it is useful, then find a set of middleware or extensions from the wider ecosystem that actually solve the problems they face. Back to this Glimmer rideshare example, I think one thing that stands in the way as I play around with that is just a very basic routing story. Even if that is as simple as I have a component that I'll just call it route, what hooks in this Glimmer component are correct to fetch data.

In the Ember ecosystem, we have a very special route object, essentially who has a set of hooks that are known for handling the asynchronous stuff in our Ember apps but there isn't anything like that yet, in Glimmer which is the next stumbling block for me to actually go build something big. I'm kind of messing around with the idea of this reactive router built out of Glimmer components but until that's actually kind of surface, mostly just spit balling here.

ELRICK: With flexibility comes a lot of power but then there's also the case where our flexibility could lead to chaos. But being that something as flexible, it allows you to adapt it to whatever your particular needs are -- you know, the 'special snowflake' as everyone ends up being. Because Ember has been around for a while now and has proven itself and its battle-tested in a lot of areas, now as NPM install in our way from Glimmer up to Ember, do you think that they'll be able to then, extract some of those hardened pieces of Ember out of Ember and then give us a solution inside of the Glimmer ecosystem based off of the Ember ecosystem? Then not have so many varying different opinions or different packages or add-ons or libraries that you may need to pull from that you may just have like a set of Glimmer-approved libraries or add-ons to use to then, get your way up to this full Ember app. Do you think that that's a road they're taking? Or a possible road?

TORAN: Yeah, I think for sure. A lot of the talk right now if you're in the Glimmer channel on Slack in the Ember community, I think the next big step here is having the ability to take a Glimmer component as it exists today and use that, extrapolate from there and the plan is to prove out things in a more experimental ecosystem as pre-1.0 Glimmer ecosystem. As they become more solid, we essentially just adopt them and then use them as a first class. In Ember actually, this isn't true but I envision a world where in the months ahead, we're essentially using Glimmer components in Ember so I'm already challenging myself with how would a library or add-on author help people make this progression from Glimmer to Ember if they don't do something like I've done here with Glimmer Redux because eventually, there will be this shared component world, at least in the middle ground, where Ember has both Ember components and Glimmer components.

I think it’s a road yet to be traveled and that's what I'm excited to be on the podcast and get people talking about building libraries for Glimmer, just because there is not a cow path or a paved road for you right now. I think if you learn just a little bit of Rollup or you dive in and take a look at the DI system built in a Glimmer right now, there is a lot you can actually do with it. I know there are certainly big named add-on authors already checking it out in preparation for such a migration.

WIL: Besides the whole Rollup process, was there any other friction points in integrating Redux with Glimmer?

TORAN: One that I want to call out but it is, I believe still Rollup related. It's mostly a PSA, to warn people. If you are building one of these little libraries like I talked about with Glimmer and you're going to do a Yarn link, which means that you're going to just work locally and not really publish to NPM until you're done, be aware that if you're Yarn linking and then going over to another project to test this Glimmer library, then you'll actually get temporarily two copies of Glimmer. In fact, that is how this Rollup plugin I wrote -- sort of 'bring your own build' for Glimmer -- became essential as I was like, "I'm getting two copies of the Glimmer component," so what was happening is example, I was playing with this connect API, it was always calling into the wrong Glimmer code so the code that I was expecting in my add-on was never firing. We come to find out when you're not doing Yarn link or you're not working locally, this isn't a problem.

Actually, Tom Dale reached out and helped me a little bit later because my first version of the Rollup plugin had this little hack in there that said essentially, "I'm going to mask away this duplicate Glimmer problem," and it turns out it's not a problem. If you are working locally, be aware that you will have this problem as my guess.

ELRICK: What gets you most excited using Glimmer? Are there any specific features or things within Glimmer to get you most excited? I guess the second question would be, what do you think Glimmer is going to unlock for the future of app development in Ember?

TORAN: I think the first thing I get excited about was visible in this talk that Tom Dale gave a couple weeks ago. I'll try and dig that up for the show notes where he show the advantages of Glimmer over the competition today. The big thing that just blew me away was some of the advantages over, even Preact, which I was kind of surprised that a lot of times there's this rivalry for performance especially between React and Angular and Ember but no one ever really talks about Preact, which is known in a lot of ways as the thinner, lighter-weight React, if I'm not completely wrong. I'm sure somebody is going to be table flip on that definition.

But my view was that if you were really performance-hungry, you could check out Preact, which was for performance reasons there was a smaller bundle size so you're just actually shipping less JavaScript, which means they're parsing less JavaScript and Tom went directly after this library in his talk and just showed a very interesting point at the end. I don't want to spoil it for people but let's just say, it appears to show Glimmer as just an order of magnitude better as a primitive for building web components. I think that is the big draw and how will that make Ember better. I think, mostly in the same way that I just described, where we'll essentially get a component for free in Ember that is just a better performing primitive for the web.

ELRICK: I'm not too familiar with the guts of Glimmer but from what I understand, Glimmer compiles down and it has some opcodes that then compile down to binary. Is that correct?

TORAN: Yeah, I think there is a binary format that they're shipping or they will soon be shipping. If you're really interested in the technical details of that, I'll definitely be sure you check out this talk from Tom because now the real magic behind this is they essentially boil it down to the ability to compile these templates down to 'byte code,' as they call it and Tom has a really funny part in his talk where he says, "You know, it's not a marketing term, this byte code word," and it becomes true because later in the talk, you hear that, essentially the Glimmer VM or the big value add of Glimmers VM is that you're just feeding it with byte code until the next 16 millisecond buffer comes up to paint, in which case you just pause and that allows, I think as he describes, less jank or allows less freezing up that main thread because you're releasing control back to the UI every 16 milliseconds, essentially.

ELRICK: Yesterday, there was a meet up with a lot of the Ember core team. Ed Faulkner had made a point that since Glimmer compiled down to byte code that then is not too far of a stretch to then use that with something like Web Assembly, that with then give Glimmer an extreme performance boost. He sets up Glimmer to be used in what can be potentially the future of the web, which is Web Assembly, which I thought was really interesting and it kind of blew my mind to think, "Oh, yeah. That is true since it compiled down to byte code and Web Assembly compiles down to that." We can get that performance boost in that Glimmer is forward thinking in a sense.

TORAN: Yeah, man. I totally agree. One of the things I honestly value about the Ember core team is they're very both tactical and visionary at the same time, where in the short term, they're doing things to accomplish real pain points we have but without anyone really realizing it, they're also setting up the stage to solve huge problems that we're all going to face in six, 12, 18 months. I definitely appreciate and love the work these guys are doing. They should hear about it. Obviously, this is all open source and most of this time is gifted, just given away so I really appreciate the core team.

WIL: Speaking of performance, we know that the Ember has a run loop and basically, most of these libraries have some sort of loop that determines when they should batch things together or render things to the screen. Does the Glimmer have this concept? What do they take advantage of to make it as performant as you say?

TORAN: Yeah, that's actually a really good question and I'm probably minimally equipped to answer it but the short version of it is there is no equivalent run loop for batching work that I've seen inside of Glimmer. Instead, you're more directly interacting with request animation frame, which we miss directly from Mozilla here but requests animation frame tells the browser you [inaudible] browser call specific function to update an animation before the next repaint. Where does this come in for Glimmer?

Essentially when you call set or you decide to change a property that Glimmer is listening to and if anyone was not familiar with Glimmer, you designate this by using the tracked attribute. The tracked attribute, when you change a value, it fires this 'set property did change' and behind the scenes, 'set property did change,' if you are familiar with Ember, in my mind is close to 'notify property change,' which is what happens when you do Ember.set.

If you've ever actually change something in Ember behind the scenes, there is a notify property change event fired and then we queue that work and it's a similar-ish process except that there is no run loop. What we do is we just call schedule rerender, I think in Glimmer and that just fires off request animation frame to try and rerender within that 16 millisecond window before the next repaint.

WIL: From my understanding, the request animation frame is Glimmer's run loop essentially.

TORAN: I think I saw actually a discussion between someone at Ember core kind of saying in the public channel that, if you're using Embers run loop, the equivalent-ish today would be request animation frame but the point came up that there's really no way to have a different set of cues because Ember itself has many different cues in the run loop and request animation frame, as far as I know really is just one function with a single callback, where you try and fit in as much work before that repaint as you can. I don't think there's prioritization that you would get in the Ember run loop. But at the same time, I'm not sure if that's actually a requirement. I don't think request animation frame was as mature as it is today back when backburner, which is behind the scenes of what Ember run loop is using, was built years ago.

ELRICK: Since Glimmer is using requests animation frame and not the Ember run loop, is it going to continue to use requests animation frame in the future or they're going to develop like a run loop equivalency for Glimmer?

TORAN: That's definitely out of my depth. I know from looking inside the code, the rerender work essentially calls like a 'begin,' to say begin doing your work, which I believe is like the reconciliation type work if you have a React background, I believe. I don't know what decides to end that. If the request animation frame is truly saying, "We're at the 16 millisecond budget and we're going to quit feeding the Glimmer VM byte code instructions now because we need to go back and paint." I would guess that that is the high level narrative but I actually don't know the implementation details.

ELRICK: Since Glimmer is pre-1.0, it's a place for you to experiment, try out new things, really exciting area to play around in. What kind applications do you see people building today using Glimmer and what's the good application that's a good fit for Glimmer right now for you to experiment with?

TORAN: The big application that I've seen that exists is being built with Glimmer in its current form is the Glimmer Playground. The Glimmer Playground is an area to go mess around with Glimmer, if you've never used it or you just want to go [inaudible] with the basics. As far as what is an ideal application, honestly I think we're at a point where we need to push the bounds of what a purely component based library can do. I think if you could come up with some kind of basic routing story and have a mechanism to share state and bubble events, whether that's Redux or some kind of home grown service layer at some point. That would allow you, in my opinion to build just about anything.

The only caveat that you're going to be missing is a ton of opinions and you're going to be paving new grounds so just be aware that happy path for any pre-1.0 is be aware that they could change anything, anytime. But that shouldn't really restrict you from making a hobby project out of it.

Back to your original question, I would say building any app that you're okay to go back and rework, not necessarily reinventing Facebook or something like that with it at this moment but at the same time, it would be great if someone did in a hobby way because we need to see some of the constraints and challenges. I got playing around with it myself and noticing if I'm going to build anything with Glimmer, I've got to have a way to share state and bubble events up to the single atom at the top that allows me to share all state. I think without some experimentation, we just won't know what apps are possible.

ELRICK: You've been talking a lot about Glimmer today and using Glimmer. Since Glimmer is pre-1.0, are there any limitations that people should be aware of when they're going to be going into building a new Glimmer app?

TORAN: For Glimmer Redux specifically, one of the challenges that people would see and they should know about if they're going to use this little Glimmer library, is that it doesn't yet allow you to write reducers in TypeScript, which would be a little counterintuitive because if you get into Glimmer, you'll notice the big differences -- everything is in TypeScript and not JavaScript. Luckily though, I think this is really just a build tool decision. Truthfully, the spike version of this that I have where you can use TypeScript, it doesn't require any change to the Glimmer Redux library at all. In fact it's completely unchanged. The difference here is that the Rollup plugin I use needs to see a change.

It's kind of weird in that way, back to my point earlier where you kind of bring your own build chain and one of the things I don't like right now, which is the reason I haven't published this TypeScript version of it is that I'm actually doing a TypeScript compile of all the reducers or middleware in the Rollup plugin. With the mass confusion right now between Broccoli, Rollup and Babel, I just don't feel really great about it. Mostly because I have not truly been in the guts of the Glimmer app build tool or the application pipeline yet and I want to be a bit more educated there before ship something, back to being a Midwest developer here. I just don't feel good about shipping something and say, "Oops, we got it wrong."

I take a lot of time and I also take a lot of pride in what I am shipping so I want to have a really good story about TypeScript. It does make for a little bit of a weird experience: bouncing between Glimmer components written TypeScript and flipping back to reducer file written in JavaScript. just be aware of it and at the same time, I didn't want to completely halt shipping it because again, I think we need to actually build apps with this and a concession here being that, of course you have to write reducers in JavaScript was still enough for me personally to get some value out of building Glimmer apps and honestly, it got me building them sooner.

WIL: Is there a way to use Glimmer Redux without the Rollup? Can we import something into our Glimmer app to use it or this Rollup is required?

TORAN: Yeah, that's a great point. You can omit the Rollup plugin entirely. What that results in is you'll have to do some hand wiring yourself. One of the upsides or one of the benefits of this Rollup plugin that I wrote is this conventionally provides a store and redux-thunk, kind of like a happy path for people who are just not familiar with wiring up their own Redux store. If you forego this plugin, you just have to do that yourself. You may actually have to do some kind of Rollup hacking in your Glimmer app, which is the thing I want to avoid.

The one in particular that I know you'd have to do is there is a Node ENV that is looking for a production setting in Redux so the first thing you have to do is use a Rollup replace plugin to replace Node ENV with Ember ENV. If you can't do that, you actually get an error in just trying to stand up your Glimmer app with Redux.

ELRICK: Toran, are you giving any talks or have any books or anything that you want to get out there and talk about?

TORAN: I'm not actually on speaking circuit right now. I am certainly, probably like you guys are, thrown a talk or two together for the EmberConf proposals that are now out. I think they're open until November 21st. If anyone is thinking about submitting a talk to EmberConf, this should be in next March. Now is the time to get those in and I certainly have one out there but I've got one, off the top of my head that I would certainly like to find some time and submit that's related to Glimmer.

ELRICK: Cool. We had a wonderful podcast today. We touched on Glimmer Redux and Glimmer and I want to thank Toran for coming on. Thank you, Toran.

TORAN: Thanks for having me, guys. The fifth time I have to be on, I don't know if that will be in 2017, though.

ELRICK: Yeah, we're going to bring you back for a fifth time and I would also like to thank Wil for coming on the podcast as well. Wil, thank you.

WIL: Thanks for having us, Elrick.

ELRICK: Anytime. Toran, if people want to reach you, is there a particular place on Twitter or anything that people can reach out to you or email or anything?

TORAN: Yeah, at GitHub, I got my email out there but also on Twitter, of course. You can reply me there. If you have a question specifically about Glimmer Redux, of course you can got to GitHub and throw an issue up there or hit me in the Redux channel on the Ember Community Slack.

ELRICK: Thank you all once again for listening. This is the Frontside signing off and if you want to reach out, you can always hit us up at the Frontside.io and we always want to hear about your new project that you're working on. Thank you for listening and that's peace from the Frontside.

WIL: Everybody have a good Thanksgiving!

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