Going Offline

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a lover of JavaScript. I admire those who can make it bend to their will, but I usually end up frustrated and annoyed whenever I try and write anything in JavaScript. That’s why I was intrigued by Jeremy Keith’s latest book Going Offline from A Book Apart. And seeing a few people I admire sing its praises on Twitter, I decided to give it a try.

Jeremy does a great job of taking you through how to build a service worker and take your site offline. The proof is in the pudding and well, this non JavaScript lover now has a service worker on her site. (Disclaimer: it isn’t perfect, but it’s working and I’m proud of that.) And what I really loved about the book is that he slowly goes through the process, having you do a little bit of code and a little bit more until you have a basic service worker. And then, if you want, you can make it better and better as you read through the final chapters.

If I have one complaint it’s a minor one: I would’ve loved if at the end of each chapter there was the entire service worker you’d built, everything in the file, shown. In the later chapters I got quite confused and enlisted the help of a few friends to help me figure out what I was doing wrong and why I had some errors. I still have a few things I’d love to do to my service worker, but once my frustration level rose, I backed off a bit. I’ll most likely go back and improve my offline page, but for now, it’s simple and I’m OK with that.

Thanks Jeremy, for writing this, for giving me some confidence in writing a bit of JavaScript and for helping me make my site into a PWA! Also thank you for your strong and well worded defense of the web, the open web, and how service workers help promote it.

Native apps rely on app stores for distribution. Progressive web apps use URLs. The World Wide Web becomes one big app store, but an app store where everyone is free to publish without asking for permission. (Chapter 9)