Creating Embeddable JavaScript Widgets

Goal:

Create embeddable JavaScript widgets that clients will pay for and that their users will use

Constraints

  • Performant
    • Initial load time
    • Browsing experience
  • Doesn't collide with host's environment
  • Low configuration effort for host
  • Equivalent-or-better Browser Support
  • Allow for modern-day tooling/development processes
  • Ready selves for new versions of our widget

Terminology

Host vs. Widget

Host:

Any web application that 'hosts' an external widget. For example, a small business' website.

 

Widget:

Any DOM elements that are created/inserted by a third-party script. For example, the 'like' button embedded in a website.

Embed Script

Definition:

All code required to successfully load and configure a third-party widget to be embedded.

 

An embed script may be a simple, single <script> element, or may require more sophisticated set-up.

Logic Code

Definition:

Any third-party code that:

- Augments the DOM shown to an end user

- Interacts with the host's events/DOM

Host/Widget Conflicts

  • CSS

  • JS

  • Data Storage

Host/Widget Conflicts:

CSS

Host/Widget Conflicts:

JS

Host/Widget Conflicts:
Data Storage

Tackling

Performance

Performance Sub-Concerns

  • Non-Blocking Script Load
  • Time-To-Render
  • Initial Download Size
  • Total Download Size
  • JavaScript Performance

Script-Loading

and Configuration

Lots of <script> tags?

One normal <script> tag?

One `async` <script> tag?

Loading <script>s

with <script>s!

Loading Resources

As Needed

Attribute-Based Configuration

Javascript-Based Configuration

Rendering HTML

and

Handling State

"Embedded" Widgets

vs. "Adjacent" Widgets

document.write()

Micro-HTML-Rendering Libraries

Some to check out: 

  • http://connect.iobridge.com/api/javascript-widget-control-api/
  • https://github.com/foretagsplatsen/widgetjs
  • https://github.com/nicolas-van/widget.js?utm_source=next.36kr.com

React Widgets

https://github.com/seriousben/embeddable-react-widget

Vue Widgets

https://github.com/DJanoskova/Vuidget

Hyperapp Widgets

https://hackernoon.com/javascript-framework-comparison-with-examples-react-vue-hyperapp-97f064fb468d

hyperapp = 1Kb

<iframe>s:

Good and Bad

src-based <iframe>

<iframe src="https://locaisolutions.com"/>

src-less <iframe>

https://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/security/sandboxed-iframes/

To <iframe>

or not to <iframe>...

Data I/O

Same-Origin Policy

(SOP)

JSON-P

(JSON with Padding)

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing

(CORS)

https://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/cors/

<iframe> Interop with window.postMessage()

Fun with easyXDM

Security Concerns

  • Cross-Site Scripting
  • XSRF

Authorizing and Authenticating Requests

Data Storage

  • Cookies?
  • Session Storage?
  • Local Storage?
  • Off-Site (on our servers)

Testing

& Debugging

Unit Testing

Browser Testing

Bookmarklet Testing

(browser extensions work too)

Debugging <iframe>s

Versioning

Analytics

deck

By Stachu Korick

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