Adaptive Web Components Framework

AWC is a framework for the implementation of adpative user interface components based on the
Web Components Specifications. Components are implemented as custom elements
that are able to switch to different variants of their inner DOM structure depending on user preferences or context
conditions. Additionally, it provides CSS context queries to allow developers to easily define styles that depend on
context properties.

How to try it...

To play around with some AWC examples:

  • git clone this repository
  • be sure to have node and npm installed (see node.js)
  • go to the examples subdirectory
  • npm install the examples' dependencies
  • npm start to run lite-server
  • try the examples in any browser natively supporting custom elements, templates and shadow DOM or through the
    webcomponents.js polyfills (Browser Support Table).

How to create your own adaptive web components

The Adaptive Web Components Framework is pre-bundled in standalone distributable file located at dist/awc-core.js.
By simply loading this script, AWC's public API is exposed in a global awc object.

  • Load adaptive web components core
<script src="dist/awc-core.js"></script>
  • Implement your adaptive web component and its variants
// Create the adaptive web component class
class MyAdaptiveElement extends awc.AdaptiveComponent(HTMLElement) {
  // Implementation of properties and behavior

// Register an adaptive variant (first one will be used as default)
  class MyFirstVariant extends awc.AdaptiveVariant {
    get template() {/*...*/}
    static matches(context) {/*...*/}
    // Implementation of properties and behavior

// Register additional variants

// Define the adaptive web component as custom element
window.customElements.define('my-adaptive-element', MyAdaptiveElement);
  • Create a profile store for your page

// Create a changable profile store instance
let profilestore = new awc.ProfileStore(true);
  • Use your adaptive web component in your page
  • Change context properties in the profile store to switch variants
profilestore.changeProfile(/*{propname: value}*/);

For for more details see the API documentation or have a look into the sources of the provided

How to use context dependent styles

AWC provides the custom <context-style> element. Similar to media queries @media rules, it allows to define CSS
styles through @context rules. The contained CSS rules are applied to the document depending on context properties as
supplied by a profile store.

<!-- Reference to external file containing context rules -->
<context-style href="stylesheets/contexts.css"></context-style>

<!-- Context-conditional reference to external file -->
<context-style context="(max-context-property: 40%)" href="stylesheets/styles.css"></context-style>

<!-- Inline with context rules -->
  @context (max-context-property: 40%) { 
    body { background-color: #eee}

@context rules support both, the traditional min-/max- prefixed notation as well as the range notation defined in
Media Queries Level 4.

@context (30% <= context-property <= 70%) { 
   body { background-color: #eee}

@context (min-context-property: 30%) and (max-context-property: 70%) {
  body { background-color: #eee}

Known limitations

  • Currently, AWC only works in browers that support ES6 classes.
  • The current version of AWC should still be treatet as a research prototype. It may not be ready for productive use.
    Be sure to test your implementations based on it in all relevant browsers.
  • Adaptive web components have to be custom elements, not customized native elements. That means that the
    AdaptiveComponent mixin may only be applied to HTMLElement.
  • Adaptive web components that extend other adaptive web components are not yet supported.


The Adaptive Web Components Framework is licensed under the Clear BSD License.

Funding Acknowledgement

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
under grant agreement no. 610510 (Prosperity4all).

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