Streamlining Polymer one-page apps in Drupal

On the ELMS:LN team, we’ve been working a lot with polymer and webcomponent based development this year. It’s our new workflow for all front-end development and we want Drupal to be the best platform for this type of development. At first, we made little elements and they were good. We stacked them together, and started integrating them into our user interfaces and polyfills made life happy.

But then, we started doing data integrations. We wanted more then just static, pretty elements, we wanted data driven applications that are (basically) headless or hybrid solutions that embed components into Drupal to streamline and decouple their development without being fully headless. I started writing a few modules which seemed to have a TON of code that was the same between them. So, a few refactors later and a lot of white boarding, and now we’ve got the ability to do autoloading of polymer based one-page apps by just enabling modules and dropping apps in discoverable directories!

This approach keeps the design team as disconnected as possible from Drupal while still being able to interface with it in a modular fashion. Think of being able to roll out a new dashboard module with all of it’s display being contained in a single element; now you’ve got 1 page app development workflows. Your design / front-end team doesn’t need to know Drupal (let’s say this again in bigger text):


No, not by knowing twig, but by learning a technology closer to the browser (that works anywhere) in Web Components!

Check out the file for more details about this workflow as text or watch this video!