- Author: Robert Johnson
The final day of the Dev Summit has come and gone. Some highlights:
Later, I had a look at JS optimization; in particular, ESRI's Web Optimizer. This is a really neat tool that's actually been around for a while, but which I had completely forgotten about. In a nutshell, it allows users to create a custom build of the API containing only the modules which are called in the code of their application. This drastically improves loading times and performance.
I finished out the day with two "road ahead" sessions outlining future development. Keeping with the theme of the day, one covered plans for the JS API, particularly the 4.0 release which should be entering beta in the coming months. Things to look forward to: 3D support, improved 2D performance, new classes, and script simplification.
The other "road ahead" session was billed as "ArcGIS Desktop and Pro" but only covered ArcGIS Pro. There are some pretty cool features like vector tile map and web scene authoring, lots of 3D functionality and range sliders for exploring multi-dimensional data. Overall, Pro looks like a really powerful application. However, at the end of the session, the first audience question was, "What about ArcGIS Desktop?" The answer: "ArcGIS Pro is part of the desktop environment." This was followed by a second question: "Is there a road ahead for Desktop?" After some hemming and hawing by the ESRI devs, we were told, "We'll cover that at the User Conference." Sounds like yet another hint at the inevitable demise of the traditional ArcGIS Desktop.
Overall, this was a great conference and an invaluable learning experience. I look forward to putting what I learned to good use and I hope to attend the Dev Summit again in the future.