The thing is, most of this stuff is garbage.

Comically, developers of some of these frameworks sometimes even agree and have gone on to abandon and re-invent them, multiple times.

It’s not inexperience or fatigue that’s the problem. It’s the ecosystem itself and the culture that enables it.

Different people are trying to solve different problems and will need different solutions at different times (template engines, SPA frameworks, general purpose utility libraries etc.) but the level of complexity that is often suggested with a straight face has become ludicrous.

Citing things like hypothetical performance metrics — especially from blog posts written by a developer who is of course totally objective — has become something of an epidemic; as has code that fails to run on older browsers and that actually runs worse on current ones, because it turns out building a solution with dozens of dependancies and multiple levels of abstraction has really slowed down real world performance, who could have foreseen that?

Things of value include being able to build and test in one step, how quick and easy is it to jump in and fix stuff, compatibility and real world performance metrics (against the actual app in question).

Things not of value include an infite number of favourable, selective metrics and entirely hypothetical benefits that support the case to indulge in a fetish to learn new frameworks that will look great on a CV.

There are significant shortcomings in many of the frameworks we like to use in JS and that means we are stuck with some of the garbage but we can call out things for being hideous complex and tell people it’s not okay, and not make out like the current situation is an inevitable consequence of progress or that people are mistaken for thinking it’s ludicrous, because it is.

Written by

Software for news and media and civic tech. Cat herder. Director at Glitch Digital.

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