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Salesforce just announced Base Lightning Components and Visualforce developer are more than happy to see it.

Having to write huge piles of complex html divs for Lightning really feels like a step back from a developer perspective. Many now hope for Lightning-enhanced replacements of more complex Visualforce components like apex:pageBlockTable, apex:relatedList, apex:dataTable.

  1. Is this really doable in the new One-Page app model where most of the work is done in the browser and Javascript?

  2. Should developers with many Apex controllers and Visualforce pages really hope for more Base components come around or embrace the new model and rewrite their pages for the new world?

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    Waiting to get #struckbylightning. Maybe we'll find out at DreamForce? – Adrian Larson Sep 22 '16 at 16:04
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    Aura has a aura:dataTable component already, though it's not exposed yet in Lightning (see github.com/forcedotcom/aura/blob/master/aura-components/src/…). There are a lot of components and attributes in the open source framework that aren't in Lightning (yet). The other thing that's missing right now is parity for Visualforce's standard controllers, which means a lot of manual Apex -- but it looks like this is on the radar slideshare.net/developerforce/…. – shannonsans Sep 22 '16 at 17:21
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short disclaimer: i do not work for Salesforce, but last two years went through many bumps with lightning development, so i can give you prospective of application developer.

Now answers: The technology or framework is like a party: you don't want to come too early, neither you want to stay too late. Salesforce has plenty of components which they use in-house. Every release they expose more and more to outside world.

Speaking about "lightning:" components - most of them are still in beta stage. They are about to replace ui components plus hadful of containers, like scrollable lists, lazy load containers. Chances are there will be those you are asking for next release or release after.

To answer your questions:

Is this really doable in the new One-Page app model where most of the work is done in the browser and Javascript?

Yes, it is doable. It requires extra work to fill in the gaps (those sweet components that visual-force used to have and lightning does not expose yet). I started that a year ago, every sf release it is harder due to additional restrictions, critical updates like data-access check and locker service.

It is not necessary to follow single-page approach though, unless the project requires. The app can be multi-page, can be spread across many visual-force pages, which wrap lightning using lightning-out

Should developers with many Apex controllers and Visual-force pages really hope for more Base components come around or embrace the new model and rewrite their pages for the new world?

From what customer support and their devs say - developers will get more components, however it is unclear which components will come first, which will be added after.

Some teams just use Lightning Design System styling to theme visual-force pages and happy with that. This is the easiest.

The other level of "lightning-embracement" is to fully rewrite screen-by-screen and code custom implementation for the components which are not released yet.

The passive approach is just wait long enough when there will be enough for relatively seamless development, like it worked with visual-force.

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