Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I just like that someone at npm would avoid something because it has lots of dependencies and overhead. The irony is strong with this one.



Not so ironic—just because a practice is common among the median engineer in an ecosystem, doesn’t mean it will be common among the most experienced engineers in that ecosystem.

Node gets a bad rap mostly for the fact that it has tons and tons of inexperienced engineers using it (probably as one of their first programming languages.) Same reason PHP got a bad rap back when. You can build solid software in both, by finding and absorbing engineering best-practices from people who have already had hard-fought battles to learn them; but an engineer will have to be burned at least once on building/scaling+SLAing something before they start looking for those. You might say that the Node ecosystem has a lot of programmers that are “engineering virgins”—they’ve never been forced to contend with the real problems of engineering software. But they’d be “engineering virgins” no matter what language they’re using; that’s not an indictment of the language, just a consequence of its popularity and approachability.


Do you have any advice for PHP best practices? I'm starting a job that will probably have me using PHP...


I think majority of the good practices are the same in PHp as in other languages like Java, many PHP issues were caused by creating SQL statements using user input(you can have same issues with beginner devs in most languages), so the best practice is to find a framework that does all the ugly part for you(the logins, session management, routing), there are large and small frameworks , I suggest use a popular one even is not perfect(to avoid the risk of hitting bugs if is not used that much or the risk of it getting abandoned or deprecated),

Don't get me wrong, if you need to do one small thing, like for example I had a desktop app and the user could submit feedback directly from the app, then a single PHP file was enough for this case(no dependencies, no frameworks), you get the submitted data, clean it and put it in the database or submit it to a third-party API that can handle it.


A fair amount of the pitfalls are already gone. Register_globals is off by default now, placeholders for sql queries are the default examples, etc.

You will probably hear that you should use Laravel or similar. I'd argue it's a pretty big hammer, so don't reach for it if you don't need it.

The biggest issue is probably still the breadth and inconsistency of the standard library. Too many ways to do the same thing. Also, the general issues of a dynamically typed language, sprinkled in with things like == vs ===.

I like the books this guy writes: https://github.com/codeguy



I find it funny that the "right way" link has HTTPS whereas the "wrong way" link doesn't.


We're not talking about average JS developers, we're talking about the NPM maintainers.

EDIT: I did miss that. Sorry for the noise.


You missed the joke. Let me quote the GP again:

> I just like that someone at npm would avoid something because it has lots of dependencies and overhead. The irony is strong with this one.

For this to be "ironic", having lots and lots of dependencies would actually have to be a Node.js "best practice." But it's not.

It seems like a best practice to outsiders, for the same reason that setting `register_globals` seemed like a "best practice" in PHP back in PHP3/4. Because it was extremely common, one might assume that it was endorsed as a canonical approach. And so you do it yourself, and write sophomoric tutorials suggesting others do the same, perpetuating the problem.

In reality, the "best practice" followed by experienced software engineers (for Node.js or any other language) is to carefully consider your dependencies, and to try to avoid dependencies that cause an explosion of sub-dependencies. The NPM maintainers are experienced engineers, and so they follow this best practice.

There is no irony here. It is not "the Node.js way" to use tons and tons of dependencies, such that the NPM maintainers are going against the grain somehow. It's just the way of programmers inexperienced in engineering to not care about dependency proliferation; and then, further, to make a large set of their own tiny libraries (with already-exploded deps trees) because they aren't yet at a stage of programming expertise where they see that code as trivial to bang out whenever they need it (see: the left-pad package) that then further encourages others to depend on them. It's the "copying and pasting a solution together from bad code in five StackOverflow posts" phase of one's programming career, except instead of having to copy-and-paste, all the snippets are symbolically linked together into a big tree and you refer to them by name. (Again, that's not an indictment of Node.js—there's nothing you can do to stop a bunch of inexperienced engineers from doing this to your package ecosystem as well, if they happen to be drawn into your community.)


I'm not convinced. I see stuff like this fairly often: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19290801 (Basically how it might be common to have 1000+ dependent files in a JS app)

From people that seem plenty intelligent and experienced.


That thread is about a module system. 1000 files != 1000 third-party dependencies.


On the other hand, NPM itself kind of paved the way for ecosystems with tons of dependencies, managed and versioned with a single tool. Installing system software like the JVM is more old school.


Npm doesn't seem to break any substantial new ground to me. Things like apt, CPAN, etc, have been around longer.


You don't have to install a JVM, you can bundle it with a distribution as well.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: