What kind of Web Components do we need?

Published 2015-07-02 category: thoughts

Web Components will allow web developers to create their own elements: custom elements. Last week I attended the Web Component panel and accessibility break-out at Edge Conference, and left both sessions full of questions. One was: what kind of custom elements do we need?

The idea of Web Components and specifically their custom elements, is that you no longer depend on the browser to provide you with elements: you can bring your own. Many blog posts about the subject emphasise how exciting this is. Yes, this is exciting new tech. It gives website owners lots of freedom, but also a big responsibility. I think Web Components have their use case for the web at large, but I can’t help but feeling that for many websites, it will be too costly to create and unnecessary to use custom elements.

Existing HTML elements come with benefits

Many of the existing, standardised HTML elements come with semantics, and browsers can do all kinds of smart things with them. Some examples: