PWA Progressive Web Apps discussion

For the past few months, I have been looking for a web site to add a PWA capabillity to but so far I can’t justify the benefit or the effort required to do so.

There seems to be a lot of effort required to manually add the URL’s pointing to all of the resources you require (fonts, images, etc.), inside the Manifest page. This process is an identify what you want, copy the URL and then paste the uRl into the Manifest, so there is quite a bit of scope to go wrong with that manual process, and the resuting PWA would need complete testing to make sure all resources are correct. In addition, updating the normal web pages would requre additional effort for any new resources.

So it occurred to me that a potential good Weaver friendly way to do this, would be to create a new RW plugin, let’s call it a WPA plugin, that could be used to build a Manifest page that would be used to create a PWA site. The great bulk of the information required, if not all of it, exists within a RW Project file and technically could be automatically accessed and use to build a manufest page. So building a PWA site could be a one click solution.

This is one of those applications where a plugin would make great sense, because everything you need already exists inside RW and just needs effectively “reformatting”.

Whether there is a market for such a plugin is another issue, but technically I suspect it could be done.

PWA is one of those great ideas that seems absolutely amazing until you start to wonder what exactly you’d use it for. It would have made sense in the climate of a few years ago when everyone was excited about apps, and clients were asking ‘can we make an app?’ But now? The best application of PWA I’ve come across so far was Joe’s suggestion to make an app of the dashboard page of TCMS. That really makes sense to me. However, I don’t use TCMS.

When we are dealing with static sites from RW I think it will be of limited appeal other than caching control etc. The majority of commercial sites written in a frontend framework such as React, Vue etc and so are already “apps”. Adopting the PWA formalism therefore makes much more direct sense.


@Webdeersign You know of these stacks…?

Agree. Limited appeal and for those who build quick sites, the advantages are further reduced. However, for some specific uses such as restaurant sites, I can see benefits for the end users and also for those who want to jump on the latest and perceived best technology. Something I am currently considering for a client, is creating more ornate and bigger files for menus, alergy advice, etc when viewed via the app. Also if you build commercial sites, then being able to offer a PWA option adds a further arrow to your quiver.

@wolf Yes. However, it struck me that creating a PWA site appears to be better suited to a plugin that deals with the RW site and page data, rather than a stack that requires everything to input into a stack. E.g. A RW plugin can access the page names, titles, access the URL’s of load all images and fonts saved in Resources, because RW already knows this stuff. From RW the plugin can create the manifest page, edit the htaccess file and mark pages as changed. There are many PWA generators that can also be used but you still have to do a lot of pasting in resource URL’s, etc…

Ultimately, I would like to quickly deploy a PWA site for specific application, and then demo it to a client and demonstrate the advantages.