> We aren't going to get off of your lawn while you continue to beat a dead horse.
> a failure of your imagination and ability to adapt
Please don't do this in HN comments regardless of how tired you are.
The recent web practices (I'm talking mostly of the last 2-3 years, since more and more people have started copying Twitter with its launch of its "every website needs to be a JS-app" thingie) have practically destroyed how most of the websites are displayed by the 2 devices I own. Sites like Hacker News or Wikipedia, which still work perfectly fine, are very far and few between. I sincerely deplore this.
The web started that way because static documents are relatively easy to represent, but the future (and present, for that matter) is rich experiences that can be distributed in the same way.
But there are many steps left to get there, so either buckle up and help build that future, or get used to an ever-shrinking ecosystem of the purely textual Web.
I'm personally very excited by the convergence of mobile and web development, PWAs, improved functionality for layouts, self-hosted app architectures (like Tent and Sandstorm, language-agnostic runtime via Web Assembly, better serving performance via HTTP/2, low level multimedia APIs, encapsulation of rich UX via Web Components, and so on and so on.
Sure, it's bewildering right now, but in the future, this will all be knit together in a cohesive way.
Why? Because language is a hell of an abstraction. More, it is approachable and can often be bounded. Consider, I am not even remotely skilled in art. However, I can adequately describe, for me, a picture by saying who is in it and the event. Try doing the same without language. Often "quaint and uninspiring textual" language.
Do I opine for the what we had in the 90s? Not necessarily. But I do grow weary of folks reinventing frameworks that merely further complicate the very abstractions that they created and now require these frameworks.
Could have said those same words literally a decade ago when we were all struggling to figure out all this Rails and MVC stuff and how automated ORMs worked above MySQL. Seven or eight paradigm shifts later, we're all still confused and I see no cohesive knitting.
You'll get over that optimism when 20 years passes and it's a worse mess than it is now; that's what going to happen.
The truth is that "rich experiences" are mostly made by enhancing the basic experience of reading rich documents. If you want an inspiring vision of a document-centered future, look at IndieWeb.org. And/or roca-style.org. It's a vision of how the web can be knit together into a cohesive whole based on URLs, rather than segmented into a bunch of unaddressable silos.
I'm not sure why you'd expect the web to be a. Mostly text and b. able to render easily on obsolete devices.
The web is becoming a robust application delivery platform. That is so, so awesome. Most people do not want to be stuck with shitty looking, text only websites. Moving the platform forwards necessitates that it will use more resources. Increased resources availability and consumption over time is fairly consistent across most aspects consumer computing.
I'm all for the web as an application delivery platform, but not every website, or application, needs so much bulk.
Don't run two ad blockers, they will just use more resources for no benefit.
4.5 GHz 4670k, 16Gb of tight timings ram.
Worth remembering this is the case for people interested in tech. The local library still runs Vista on a 10yo system. My parents will use Android 2.x until the phone does not turn on anymore. Bandwidth updates don't apply to many people living outside of towns. Etc. It's been a long time since we've reached a point where an average person shouldn't need more bandwidth and power to look for information online.
And BTW, you can have beautiful text-only websites. These 2 properties are not related.
This was our mistake. I don't want garbage shoved in my face. I want to read. And that's it.
Bundling the entire website inside a single js file, that needs to be re-downloaded everytime you add a div or change a single css class is stupid, sorry.
Your website doesn't need to be pure text. It can be beautiful, modern and responsive. And it doesn't need much js for that.
The world has become mobile first, not js-centric. Pushing spa everywhere is just wrong.
Citing only one side of any architectural trade-offs isn't particularly interesting either. The other side is that we can now easily build sites using Universal JS (serverside-rendered combined with SPA).
Delivering a website with seemingly instantaneous repaints even on flaky internet connections is just a superior end-user experience.
Just click through the primary nav of a Universal JS site vs an old-school one, and it feels like we've been putting up with the equivalent of the old 300 ms tap delay, but for all websites and website links.
Not engineering away that latency penalty will tend towards foolish for website properties that want to remain competitive.
Users will become increasingly accustomed to very responsive sites and the latency penalty that is currently normalised will become more glaring and unacceptable.
SEO shouldn't be a problem, especially as the initial page is serverside rendered.
The only slight complexity is in returning sitemap.xml I believe, which requires a little bit more configuration currently. If you search the Github repo for 'SEO' you should find some tickets (open and / or closed) that discuss this.
Because business models are composed on the web, it's just harder to settle on unified design standards. It takes time for everyone to agree on a separation of responsibilities on the page. This is compounded by the sheer newness of the business models. My webcomic about fancy cheeses has a segment marketing a line of tractors now to industrial buyers at a conference in Wisconsin this week? OK. That's an opportunity I probably wouldn't have had selling Java apps.
meanwhile, I don't know how FB or Twitter are nice user experiences when you operate on a "paginate 20 tweets at a time" philosophy.
It's not unreasonable to expect that the ecosystem doesn't operate under an ever-expanding set of wrappers, frameworks, layers, and models, and it's certainly not unreasonable to expect that our tools don't suck.
The open standards you talk about ARE already a part of the ecosystem, and well-established: HTML, HTTP, DOM, and ECMAScript. The new JS library of the week is not a part of that.
But the point of the web already having these standards is exactly the point - these frameworks are built on top of and contribute to the underlying universal standards, so what's the problem?
It's basically the same instinct as complaining about code written from a previous dev that you didn't write--because you didn't write it, you weren't there to think about the very real tradeoffs that always have to be made when actually implementing something, rather than just complaining about the previous person's implementation.
One that I've been particularly keen on over the last year is GraphQL. If you're interested in simplifying frontend development while giving it more power and control to dictate the data that it needs for each component / view, you should check out GraphQL. I know what you're thinking... "Ugh, another dev tool to learn etc etc". But it's definitely one that's here the stay and a bigger idea than even REST itself. The OPEN STANDARD of it is KEY.
The idea is that you have a type system on the API level and one endpoint. And querying works using a standard GraphQL language, so it's cross-API compatible and you don't need to go learn a whole new API convention at each new place or project you're working on since with REST, they're probably all built in different ways. And GraphQL works across all platforms (i.e. no more proprietary SDKs). All you need are things like Relay and Apollo and that's it.
I've actually been working on a platform called Scaphold.io (https://scaphold.io) to help people learn more about GraphQL and give them a cleanly packaged server and help you manage your data so you don't have to in order to feel the benefits of GraphQL right off the bat. Because of the use of GraphQL, it comes with the best of both worlds of Parse and Firebase with awesome data modeling tools, real-time capabilities, and of course it's built on an open standard.
Truly is the future of APIs that works perfectly with React, and any other framework that comes out down the road for that matter. Facebook's tooling is really neat cause it's built from first principles as well as from their experience running one of the largest distributed systems in the world. So they definitely know a thing or two about building developer tools that are cross-platform compatible and developer-friendly.
- OData never got wider adoption outside (and even inside) MS. GraphQL is already adopted on every major platform.
- OData had shitton of documentation and format changes with every version. Backward compatibility not included. GraphQL has clear specification which is pretty stable since its first publication.
- OData queries had no validation. You could send almost every query just to get runtime response that your framework/library doesn't support that functionality - even if it was developed by Microsoft itself. On the contrary all major GraphQL server implementations have full feature support.
- Thanks to Introspection API GraphQL has self-descriptive metadata model, which is great for tooling and compile time query verification. Also versioning, schema and documentation are all included into GraphQL from start.
- And finally GraphQL focuses on exposing capabilities of your service into well defined format understood by frontend, not on exposing subset of your database to the user - like OData did.
The web's no longer an open platform. Yeah you can put up a blog on your own server using only FOSS. But if you want to drive traffic to it, you're using a huge corporate ad network or some SEO company. If you want to scale it, you're using a huge corporate cloud. If you want to make money on it, you're using a huge corporate ad network.
It looks like to get such a thing working we would need an OS running on top of JS. But maybe I'm missing something.
- operating systems
- hardware drivers
- a networking stack
- trading algorithms
- fighter jet firmware
- ultra low latency DSP
- processing data from LHC collisions or imaging satellites.
just because webgl enables fast gpu processing (by basically writing a small subset of C that is shader code) doesnt now mean the web platform can be used for evetything.
Ironically Linux was one of the first things to ever be compiled to run in the browser using empscripten.
Linux doesn't run without hardware drivers. In this case, the hardware drivers were wrapping JS FFIs.
Yes you can.
It's not a fighter jet, but the SpaceX Dragon 2 space capsule's UI is built using Chromium.
Trading algorithms, ultra low latency DSP, "processing data from LHC collisions or imaging satellites" are I think references to performance limitations. WebAssembly requires a fair bit of runtime checks (though some can be pawned off to the hardware if you're clever), and has a number of other quirks that hurt performance, like the fact that most languages end up needing two stacks when compiled for wasm.
The issue is even clearer when you move to processing large data sets because WebAssembly only allows a 32-bit address space at the moment. Add to that the lack of concurrency or native SIMD, and it's pretty clear it is way too early to dance on the graves of native executables.
Also, unless you definition of "can run a game" includes "can run a game at 3fps" I'm pretty skeptical that the entire repitoire of games for those engines can make the jump to WebAssembly today.
any language (high or low level) that allows you to write and execute deterministic assembly or machine code can be used to implement whatever you want. whether WASM ever reaches this type of broad security-sensitive wild-west remains to be seen, but my money is on "never".
wasm will certainly expand into additional areas, but they will all be security-gated and will not have unfettered, raw access to all hardware (even with some additional user-grokkable permission model), because it has to run on the web: "W"asm
Nobody was trying to make a claim about web assembly drivers. Just applications.
If you're looking for an intro, I wrote a series of posts on WebAssembly (there are 5 links at the bottom of this intro): https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/02/a-cartoon-intro-to-webasse...
You're not missing anything, that's exactly what's happening. WebGL/VR, WebCL, WebRTC, Filesystem API... the browser is becoming a simple feature-rich client OS for the cloud, and WebAssembly is the machine language.
Arguing grammar and references to adoption rates just illustrates the rest.
Except, it's already a monoculture of one language (JS) and one display algorithm (DOM) and everything is just compensating for that.
The "runtime" is not general enough.
Old people also get tired by all these "apps" wining for your attention; they want "just a phone". Young people grew up with it. Note to self: I'm getting old.
Old people were used to buying development toolset (compiler+tools+IDE), usually including a physical book, with which they can create software. Young people are used to assessing open source projects, and piecing a project together on top of many freely available libraries/frameworks.