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The Sad State of Web Development

By Patrick following x   2018 Dec 6, 8:12am 668 views   12 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

Back when I was a wee programmer, working on some of the first web sites ever, the guys I worked with figured we'd all be out of a job in 10 years because the website construction would become standardized and automated.

Welp, it's been more than 20 years now, and the job of creating websites has become much more complex and much less automated, not easier. React is the full-blown nightmare of taking two steps backwards for every inch forwards in this regard - now javascript that you used to just write and serve requires an extremely complex pre-compile step. You can't even "view source" anymore to see what's on the page when you use React, or go to a certain page with a url. And you lose your debugging info unless you create a "map", which is yet another step. Same for CSS. You used to just be able to write it, but now you have to pre-compile with Less or Sass. CSS itself has ballooned in complexity.

Where are the components I can simply snap together to add a forum to a site, or an on-page json editor, or graphing? Why are all urls custom and not standardized?

So this was encouraging news today at least: the idea that every site should have the same url path to its password change function:


I love how the guy who proposed it keeps it that simple, telling the complexity-mongers to fuck off, in a nice way:

Why not allow sites to override this location with an HTTP Link header or an HTML link element?

Implementation complexity. (This would require keeping site-specific state client-side, verifying & invalidating said state periodically, etc.)

Why not serve a JSON resource with links to other account management functions?

Specification complexity. If we determine we need other account management well-known resources in the future, we can specify them then.

The one mistake he made was including that dot. WTF? That hides the dir for no good reason. I asked the author of the proposal to remove the dot.
1   Tenpoundbass   ignore (13)   2018 Dec 6, 10:49am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I don't use frameworks other than the latest flavor of JQuery.

Since it's all so complex now. It gives you a license to be as complex as you want.
I write some crazy stuff that 15 years ago I would have been thrown out for writing such craziness.
Now I can get as creative as want and still not be no where near as complex as the JS and CSS libraries box solutions come with.

I have an ERP integrator I wrote where I describe the tables, form fields and keys in a dashboard.
Create projects with those tables, include fields I need. Join tables together. The data is all saved in one table name value keys.
I pivot the data for views. I have area in the for creator for the projects, where I write Javascript for the page. I make calls to a service that either retuns fully built html foms, or JSON data if I need it from a Jquery call. The Javascript is injected in the head as the page loads.

If you view source, you'll just see the HTML stub I have in the directories for CRUD pages. Index/Edit/Create/Details. With the Javascript injection I can call for Subform records.

I'm impressed it works and serves over 20,000 orders a week. Considering the data for every table is stored in one table.

I can change field names, add or remove through the dashboard, the program keeps going. No Compiling no introduced bugs, no Sql code to manage. It all uses the same dynamic processor I wrote to Marshall the data to the DataTable.

It's so versatile I've used in 4 different ways and still coming up with new ways. Now I'm working on using it for EDI processing. Even if it wont use the form and web pages, it is a great place to describe the various schemas I'll need for the EDI project I'm working on now.

Someone once asked me what motivated me to do it. I said because Fuck MVC. If it can be so convoluted, Then I can build a more practical and versatile convoluted system than THAT!

Don't get mad at other people's complexity. Instead I use it for a reason to roll my own complexities.
2   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Dec 6, 11:47am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

One train of thought is that a lot of front end design will be done by unskilled people using WordPress and Dreamweaver.
Yes, the frameworks make it too fucking complicated, enough to make me not want to be a front end developer and go into DBA and data architecture (I am a Database Developer who uses Oracle APEX mostly).
3   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (2)   2018 Dec 6, 11:49am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

This just goes to show that a web browser is a terrible platform to build applications.
Companies like Microsoft sabotaged any effort toward a standard set of advanced UI widgets. Because then who would buy Windows?

Developers are losing brain cells learning frameworks that will be obsolete before they debug their kludges.
4   Hircus   ignore (0)   2018 Dec 7, 12:10am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says
Where are the components I can simply snap together to add a forum to a site, or an on-page json editor, or graphing

Web Components look promising. The shadow dom gives you the namespacing + encapsulation you need to easily plug stuff in without causing conflicts.
5   B.A.C.A.H.   ignore (0)   2018 Dec 7, 6:36am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I dunno, Patrick. My niece in the Philippines has a computer science degree and works doing web development. 100% of their work is outsourced from California. She has described the work she does to me, it sounds very much like what you describe here. Supporting a whole household on a whole lot less than $5k per year. Armies of young CS graduates like her are actually suppressing the wages over there for this sort of work.
6   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Dec 7, 9:05am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I took the Udacity Front-End web development nana degree program and decided that I really didn't want to do that for a living. Even the job ads often require you to have experience in whatever flavor of the month framework they are using, which IMO is seriously fucked up.
7   HEYYOU   ignore (25)   2018 Dec 7, 10:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Technology is like medicine. There is no profit in a cure.
8   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (2)   2018 Dec 7, 11:13am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Technology is like medicine. There is no profit in a cure.

9   Patrick   ignore (1)   2018 Dec 7, 5:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Was thinking that React could be greatly simplified by eliminating the use of JSX, and just using pure js function calls, something like this:

item(props, 'some item'),
item(props, 'another item'),

Function calls already nest nicely.
10   Tenpoundbass   ignore (13)   2018 Dec 7, 6:02pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says
item(props, 'some item'),
item(props, 'another item'),

I have ripped Javascript Objects a new one ten ways to Sunday.
There's just no simpler way than creating Javascrip Objects, and sending them on an Ajax call as JSON.

Can even rip them down to XML and pass it to an endpoint or queue.

I just love Generics in C# LINQ queries are a breeze and Lambda experssions even simpler.

I often with I could declare the Objects Lists and complex objects as a var without having to build big elaborate classes, like it is in Javascript.
11   Patrick   ignore (1)   2018 Dec 20, 9:09am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

An article that argues well for making all websites actually work even if javascript is turned off:

12   HEYYOU   ignore (25)   2018 Dec 20, 10:43am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

At least privacy is not a internet issue.
Certainly any new developments will be fail-safe.

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