DevTools architecture refresh: migrating to Web Components

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This post is part of a series of blog posts describing the changes we are making to DevTools' architecture and how it is built.

When DevTools was first created many, many years ago the team chose to build a bespoke UI framework. This was a reasonable choice at the time and has served DevTools well.

But since then various features have landed in the platform and one of those, Web Components, is a great fit for building new UI elements in DevTools. By leaning on what the platform provides we can greatly reduce the amount of bespoke UI code we have to maintain and invest more in building features for DevTools, rather than supporting bespoke infrastructure.

To help with the transition, we created a guide to building UI elements in DevTools to share with the wider DevTools team. Some of the guide is bespoke to DevTools and its architecture, which brings its own set of constraints, but some of it are generic guidelines on the approaches we've used to build, structure and test Web Components.

Today, we're making this document publicly available at goo.gle/building-ui-devtools. If you've ever wondered more about how Web Components are used in large, real world applications, or some of the challenges that come with integrating components into a large, pre-existing codebase, this document could help and provide some answers. If you have any questions about our guidelines, feel free to tweet me.

Download the preview channels

Consider using the Chrome Canary, Dev or Beta as your default development browser. These preview channels give you access to the latest DevTools features, test cutting-edge web platform APIs, and find issues on your site before your users do!

Getting in touch with the Chrome DevTools team

Use the following options to discuss the new features and changes in the post, or anything else related to DevTools.

  • Submit a suggestion or feedback to us via crbug.com.
  • Report a DevTools issue using the More options   More   > Help > Report a DevTools issues in DevTools.
  • Tweet at @ChromeDevTools.
  • Leave comments on our What's new in DevTools YouTube videos.

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