22 June 2008

why html + javascript sucks

first, i'll start with one of the arguments that i've always disliked. well, not always, because i made it once upon a time ago.

As I look at apps like Gmail, Mobile Me, 280 Slides, Yahoo! Mail, etc etc…. I say screw it. People upgrade their computers when they want to run things faster, why can’t we ask them to upgrade their browsers.

If you have a simple content site, then it is fine to support everyone, but as you build rich apps, maybe it is time NOT to be a crutch and support these browsers.

i got better. i also got clobbered with the reality of this world that is missing in the idea above: there's no such thing as a free lunch. that and no one gives a rat's ass about your app if they can't use it on their machine, especially my grandmother, who has a dual-core Ford. just because you like to tinker on a computer doesn't mean everyone else does.

you'd think that after over 12 years of doing this web thing that i'd love html and javascript. we're tight, to be sure, but i still want to drown these guys in a tub and dump their bodies in the bay. if you haven't heard, i dislike xml and strings. while not quite xml all the time, html is still one big string, a string with all kinds of whiny, browser-specific needs.

some folks have done some pretty amazing things making browsers not suck as much, but that's just lipstick on a div. all of it is a balsawood crutch to make 'all' browsers into the same platform. well, as it turns out, some other crafty folks have done some decent work making browsers into the same platform. their work appears to me to be more like a VM inside a browser, letting me take advantage of simpler UI designs and letting the server concentrate on making non-UI things happen.

i'm pretty keen on trying Flex + Rails to get the best of both worlds, though as microsoft provides more and better support for ruby in .NET, silverlight starts to look better, especially in an internal, ms-centric environment: ruby in the client and on the server.

anyone hiring web developers? i know html and javascript and have a great can-do attitude!

1 comment:

  1. You are correct, javascript sucks and Flex/SL are the future