Hacks on hacks

September 13th 2016

Put these three stooges together and you get where we are today. Rewriting the same damn app every year in another framework in what can only be described as some sort of high paying purgatory.

I still love the web. It's what I grew up learning, and I've had fun over the last few years digging into new frameworks, building understanding in Javascript, and trying to wrap my mind around new concepts like CSS modules and JS-powered stylesheets.

But the key thing is that most of my web dev knowledge has been acquired through solo projects, or in the worst-case scenario, with two to three collaborators. The comments in this HN thread revolve around this same situation (albeit more cynically): web development isn't inherently broken. However, as a system for collaboration, things become incredibly messy in no time at all.

For the past few months I've turned to the web as a prototyping tool, and one that's incredibly fast to ramp up and demonstrate proofs-of-concept. Want to declaratively build a UI from a JSON tree? Maps to the rescue. Need to build a dozen components and understand how they function under the constraints of different operating systems and screen sizes? A quick CSS class, or dynamic inline-styles, takes only a few minutes to wire up.

React has been a massive level up as well, and with all the tools the community has built in the last year, it feels like we're on the right track.

Of course, this strays from the original point of the HN thread, which is mostly about building full-scale web apps. But I still encourage everyone to learn HTML/CSS/JS – I've found this knowledge to be incredibly rewarding, and has now become one of my best friends in prototyping.

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