Learning about Web Components

In my post on my professional New Year's resolutions for this year, I mentioned I want to learn more about Web Components. They're a hot topic right now and I'd like to learn how they work and how to build them.

As usual with a topic that's quite popular, I got a bit lost trying to follow conversations online. I wanted a super basic explanation and tutorial on how to build a first Web Component. I also didn't want to use a framework like Lit at first, as I wanted to grasp the basic concepts of Web Components and not necessarily start shipping whole projects using them.

So I started with an article published in last year's 12 days of web called Web Components. I trust 12 days of web as it's a curated list by Stephanie Eckles so I thought it would be promising. I started following the code and replicating it in a Codepen. I found the complication of styling the component a bit distracting as it needed to look like a toggle. However, I managed to follow everything until I got to the Shadow DOM section. I found the explanation for this a bit too advanced, and this and the Slots section felt like tips for people who have built Web Components before and wanted a "best practice" way to do this. I got confused and abandoned the article at this point.

I didn't give up, and I went to the HTMHell calendar next. I started following the article Web Components FTW! by Chris Ferdinandi. I found this one much easier to understand and like it was written for complete beginners. Linking to the MDN explanation of Using shadow DOM was a good call, as I found this to be a great resource to understand what it's supposed to do and how it can live outside custom components too.

I also enjoyed that there was no focus on styling at all and it let you focus on how building a component works, what are the callbacks etc. Here is my CodePen with the result.

A couple of quick notes I took while going through these articles:

There's a lot more to learn here, and I will be continuing my learning journey by building a couple of Web Components on my own, probably for this site.