Synchronizing application state using Virtual DOM trees

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1. © Gofore Oy 2016 ã Synchronizing Application State Using Virtual DOM Trees Jari-Pekka Voutilainen, Tommi Mikkonen and Kari Systä Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 2. Me ã…
  • 1. © Gofore Oy 2016 • Synchronizing Application State Using Virtual DOM Trees Jari-Pekka Voutilainen, Tommi Mikkonen and Kari Systä Jari-Pekka Voutilainen
  • 2. Me • PHD student at Tampere University of Technology • Researched Browser applications since 2011 • Currently working at Gofore Ltd. • Finnish software consultation company • @zharktas in twitter • Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 2
  • 3. Agenda • Background • Liquid applications • Browser application state • Virtual DOM • Serializing browser state • Demos Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 3
  • 4. Background • Multiple devices • Applications need to be installed multiple times • Applications might be in different states • Applications require large scale backend for storing state • Transferring application between devices is not currently feasible. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 4
  • 5. Liquid Applications • Defined as applications that can flow from device to device. • Three subsystems were identified: • User interface • Persistent data and content • State of the application Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 5
  • 6. Liquid applications • This study focuses on the state of the applications. • Multiple options for migrating browser application state: • Complete memory space of the browser • Pre-defined set of variables • Determining relevant state from the application Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 6
  • 7. Liquid Application Framework • The goal is to make developing liquid applications simple. • Developers had to implement specific APIs for application transfer. • Application should not be designed to be liquid. • Basis should be in existing browser implementations. • Liquid applications do not need to be installed everywhere, therefore they should not require custom browser. • Application should be device agnostic. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 7
  • 8. Browser application state • Our previous studies: • Largely focused on JavaScript variables • Lively3D had pre-defined variables which were serialized • Backend-as-a-Service projects which stored variables to cloud database • HTML5 Mobile Agents allowed user defined variables which were serialized with the agent. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 8
  • 9. Browser application state • JavaScript variables are not the only state in applications that is relevant. • Most modern web applications store some of the state to the DOM tree. • Dynamically created elements, styles and so on.. • Most modern JavaScript frameworks do this behind the scenes. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 9
  • 10. Virtual DOM • Popularized by React.js. • Novel technology, multiple implementations. • Abstract version of the DOM tree. • Usually consists of the following algorithms: • Creation • Manipulation • Comparison • Applying to DOM tree Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 10
  • 11. Proof of Concept • Our proof of concept focuses on the state synchronization. • Requires minimal implementation from the developer. • Main contribution is in the browser side • Server side is minimal implementation to enable migration • Could be implemented numerous ways, currently using WebSockets. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 11
  • 12. Proof of concept • Our Proof of Concept is based on the initial state of the application. • Virtualized from DOM tree after the application has loaded. • Can be used as a comparison point to whatever state the DOM tree has. • Virtual DOM library used in the PoC, provides comparison algorithm which creates a set of operations needed to execute for DOM tree to change from a to b. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 12
  • 13. State transfer • Our PoC creates required set of operations to migrate from initial state to the current state. • Can not be migrated as such since JavaScript object prototypes are not serialized. • Some of the prototype information is stored with the object so that the prototypes can be recreated in the next browser. • Receiving browser applies the operations to its initial state and applies this to the actual DOM. • Application DOM is migrated from browser to browser. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 13
  • 14. Issues • Only data present in the DOM is migrated. • Functions bound to the DOM elements are actually in JavaScript namespace • Bindings are lost when DOM is migrated. • To compensate PoC has means for developers to register functions and how they are bound in DOM • These are serialized and rebound after migration. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 14
  • 15. Demos • Example application: Todo list • User can add items, mark them done and remove them • All of the state of application is stored to the DOM for the sake of demo • TODO app Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 15
  • 16. Minimal implementation • To enable state migration, developer needs minimal implementation. Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 16 State transfer var Liquid = require(‘@zharktas/liquid.js'); var liquid = new Liquid();
  • 17. Binding dynamic functions • To transfer dynamic functions, developer needs to register the functions and note them in the DOM Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 17 Bound functions var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.addEventListener('click', someFunction); checkbox.setAttribute('data-handler', 'toggleClick'); liquid.registerHandler('toggleClick', {'click': someFunction});
  • 18. Examples online • All code is available at Github and NPM • • • Jari-Pekka Voutilainen 18
  • 19. Questions ? @zharktas Jari-Pekka Voutilainen +358 40 553 8558
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