Column formatting is nothing new in SharePoint. For years, citizen developers have greatly improved the standard List and Library UI provided by SharePoint, by injecting HTML into SharePoint item fields. It was a way to augment the views and provide some very visually appealing KPI indicators above and beyond out of the box. However, throughout the years the methods and practices for implementing this has changed over and over. No surprise that the new "modern" SharePoint interface has brought about a couple new methods as well in the form of "Column Formatting" and "SharePoint Framework Extensions".