State of Frontend WG (March 2023)

Date: Mar 29, 2023


The Frontend Working Group is responsible for stewardship of the frontend of the Open edX platform.  The working group exists as a technical advisory board meant to empower the community to reach sound architectural decisions and to help coordinate ongoing frontend work.


Over the past year, we:

  • Started discovery on a more modular micro-frontend architecture that hopes to solve many of the frontend problems voiced by the community over the past few years

  • Assisted the BTR working group in getting new MFEs released in Olive

  • Started work on migrating from NodeJS version 16 to 18

  • Maintained a series of frontend repositories, including applying security updates and removing technical debt

  • Created a Github project where all current and future work is accounted for, allowing us to, among other things:

    • Have an easy way to keep track of the many (many!) on-going frontend projects across different repositories in the Open edX org

    • Review on-going work every two weeks, thus guaranteeing that any stalled issues get noticed and acted upon

    • Keep a backlog of scoped issues that can be taken up by anybody in the community

    • Keep a backlog of larger epics as a more-technical companion to the Open edX Roadmap equivalent

  • Started having weekly meetings in different time zones, so that more people in the community can benefit from them

Concrete Plans - Next 6 Months

Over the next six months, we will:

  • Get the Modular MFE Domains OEP ratified and start migrating existing MFEs into the proposed architecture

  • Investigate ways to make the frontend architecture more pluggable and customizable, perhaps using the Modular MFE Domains proposal as a basis

  • Complete the upgrade to NodeJS 18 across all MFEs

  • Investigate and implement a way to make it easier for frontend developers to review Github PRs, perhaps via a automated sandbox approach

  • Continue the work of deprecating edx-platform frontend views and reimplementing them as micro-frontend apps

  • Continue the work of coordinating maintenance of frontend repositories

  • Continue to encourage more frontend teams to join not only the Frontend Working Group, but the Maintainership Pilot as well

Our Github project:

Future Vision for the Group

Going forward, the main goal is to increase the number of maintainers and other community members participating in the group’s activities. The Open edX frontend landscape is wide and varied, and only a small part of the ecossystem is currently represented. We’re committed to making it as easy as possible for engagement to happen - increasing asynchronous touch points, holding meetings in widely suitable times, and others.