We recently metĀ up with Hongxu Liu, developer evangelist for Famo.us.

Famo.us – Open Source JavaScript Framework

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UI Palette: Could you please tell us about Famo.us and what inspired you all to make this platform?

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Hongxu Liu, Famo.us: Famo.us is a JavaScript development platform with a 3D physics and layout engine. Famo.us allows developers to build apps with complex animations that run at 60 fps in most modern web browsers including on mobile devices.

To clarify, I did not invent Famo.us. Prior to Famo.us I had been working on building mobile apps using PhoneGap. Then I saw a demo app called Nathan built in Famo.us. The animations and interactivity blew me away and I was hooked.

UIP: Famo.us gives devs a new level of interactivity it seems. How difficult is it to implement with PhoneGap and other wrappers?

Hongxu Liu: Famo.us apps are built using standard JS, CSS, and HTML so they’re compatible with PhoneGap, although we’re developing our own wrapper that will provide better performance.

UIP: Are there any features for Famo.us that you feel go under-utilized by users?

Hongxu Liu: That’s an interesting question. Currently the platform is still rather nascent so we don’t have as a large of a library of pre-built widgets as jQuery or iOS. Most Famo.us users thus far have been building their apps with core components, which is a lot of fun, like playing with Legos; however their jobs could be made easier by using some of the components we’ve already invented and optimized greatly, like our scrollview.

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UIP: What are the biggest challenges facing Famo.us right now?

Hongxu Liu: I think one of our biggest challenges is to get people to understand what Famo.us is and how it’s different than other JS frameworks and libraries. While developers use traditional web development skills as they code in Famo.us, they have to apply them differently. If they try to continue their old ways of doing things, they’re going to run into performance problems very quickly. That’s why we’ve invested so much in education.

Famo.us has recently announced a partnership with Firebase, and has gotten plenty of attention as one of the best new ways for developers to create apps.

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