Jan. 27, 2022

Discovering Ember, Adopting Orbit, and Unlocking Optimization with Chris Thoburn (runspired)

Runspired’s journey with Ember began just like Chuck’s, Robbie’s, and many who’ve come before them — with confusion, hesitancy, and gradual infatuation. 

The year was 2008 and runspired was launching an app. Somewhere along the way, he realized that if he wanted to build the collaborative web-first application he envisioned, he needed to build in JavaScript. 

Sifting through Angular and React, nothing stuck. When he finally stumbled upon Ember, the pitfalls and confusion were obvious and almost immediately he abandoned the framework. But runspired soon realized that features within Ember matched the ideas he began developing in his own framework years prior. Suddenly, everything clicked and today runspired is an Ember aficionado with big ideas on the future of framework and the secrets to cutting edge optimization.

In this episode, Robbie, Chuck, and runspired discuss flaws in the developer community, why Orbit is useful, shifting the approach to API frameworks, and why JSON:API and GraphQL are a match made in developer heaven. 

Key Takeaways

  • [01:37] - A whiskey review.
  • [11:26] - How runspired’s journey in the Ember community evolved. 
  • [20:22] - What runspired thinks about RedwoodJS and API frameworks. 
  • [24:03] - Why Orbit is flawed but incredibly useful. 
  • [29:45] - What’s missing from the developer community. 
  • [36:01] - Why JSON:API and GraphQL are a perfect marriage. 
  • [41:59] - What Ember Data cares about.
  • [48:01] - A conversation about whatnot including Chris’ dive into professional running. 
  • [55:55] - A cause runspired cares about in the Ember community. 


[18:30] - “I’ve never found a reason to want to re-evaluate Ember as my main framework. Every time I’ve had a complaint, it’s evolved to satisfy that complaint with time.” ~ runspired

[23:00] - “So many of the problems that I see applications encounter late in their life cycles are problems where the API framework just wasn’t set up well in the first place. And if they had had a better framework for building APIs and understanding how applications are maybe going to mature, and how that API is going to need to evolve as the application matures, they probably would have been set up for better success.” ~ runspired

[24:42] - “Orbit, in my opinion, is the gold standard of data libraries for the front-end right now. Because it solves every problem that you don’t know you have yet. But that’s also its big flaw because it has found the end architecture that you’ve got to evolve to if you end up with those problems.” ~ runspired


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