Update: I've started a 'Getting Started with Famo.us' series where we learn the Famo.us framework together.
When Famo.us did finally launch, comments and opinions stared flooding in – most of them overwhelmingly negative. I approached these with some scepticism – developers are notoriously critical by nature and I was expecting the die-hard "everything sucks but native" crowd to shut it down immediately.
Take a look at what people were saying over at Hacker News. Among the response to criticism from a Famo.us employee, you will find the majority of responses shared the common theme of "this is awful, and your scrollbar doesn't even work".
"Does no-one do QA? Do you not have a Steve Jobs-esque character who has taste and an eye for detail and who can look at this stuff the way your users will? Because such a person would've looked at this and Noped the **** out of there, cancelled whatever PR you had planned, and put everyone around a table saying "we're not there and can we fix it?". – joaren (HN commenter)
"Scroll doesn't work (can't even hit spacebar or use the arrow keys), demos don't seem to work (I can't scroll to get to more than the first 2 anyway), and there is an unclickable scroll bar just taunting me." – skizm (HN commenter)
With my enthusiasm for the framework taking a heavy blow before I even got to try it out, I figured I would head over, sign into my developer account that had been waiting in line for access for about a month, and give it a go myself. I would soon find out that they were right.
Let me jump off the negativity train for a little while and say there were some things I liked as well. Despite the let down on performance, the demo applications are really cool. There's some very heavy animations and 3D effects going on – it's clear that Famo.us could be used to do some awesome stuff. The Famo.us University is also impressive, although there's certainly more to be added here they are doing a great job at introducing people to the framework through a series of interactive tutorials.
The primary focus of this blog has been Sencha Touch and PhoneGap Build, so of course many of my readers may be wondering what impact Famo.us has on the technical environment around it. Should you use Sencha Touch or Famo.us? No matter what way you put it, Famo.us isn't ready to create the production quality mobile applications we can create with Sencha Touch and PhoneGap right now. It may not even be necessary to choose between Sencha Touch and Famo.us, in fact there is already support for a Famo.us and Angular.js hybrid. Famo.us does also have a PhoneGap Build competitor in the works, but I think it will be a long time before this will be an option worth looking into.
I was really excited for the Famo.us launch and can't help but feel just a little let down. This is still very exciting though, we need people who are willing to innovate and push the boundaries of mobile web. The more competition there is the faster we're going to see improvements and I can't wait to see what the Famo.us team do from here.
I'd like to start playing around with the framework and seeing what I can do with it, and perhaps put some stuff up on the blog. Would you be interested in some more Famo.us posts in the future? Let me know in the comments, and let me know your first impressions of the framework.