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The Why of the Web Debacle

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Unless you were asleep yesterday or tending your dental floss crop, you probably saw this blog post, Why Mobile Webapps Are Slow went thermonuclear. And rightfully so. It is not only loaded with information, but rhetorically speaking, it's one of the best blog posts I've seen in ages. So much bloggery just screams two things: the 'author' couldn't be bothered to compose any arguments, given no arguments and no time, he also couldn't be bothered to supply any supporting evidence, hence you are asked to just be impressed with an anecdotal impression. But even this amount of praise sells this piece short. There is also historical perspective here, and a measured attempt to, given the data presented, look forward and see if present case reasoning is at all plausible given what‘s in the windshield (the Javascript wall). Totally brilliant.

Of course, I would also like to gloat a bit, given the fact that I have been saying these same things, if perhaps in a more negative way, for some time. What‘s disarming about Drew‘s approach is that it‘s kind of socratic: it disarms its would-be attackers by just making them look in a mirror. It doesn‘t openly attack them. My prior posts not only attack the denier-doppled mob of web denizens, it impugns their motives and accuses them of fraud. Now, here is the joke on this front: Drew‘s piece does that too. It just does it by inference and implication. That makes it, like the Socratic Method, a Trojan Horse of sorts. He does explicitly say what I have said a million times on here: that the world ended up upside down because programmer ease in writing code became the most highly-prized value (he has Herb Sutter say it).

I doubt there are many business people reading this, but my advice to them goes as follows:

  1. no matter how you slice it, this orientation favors the developer, who is going to get paid and will be gone long before the investment has finished producing its return
  2. business people think that by hiring full times they are making people commit to actually making what they made work.. I laugh so hard when I encounter this logic, unless you are also running a detention pen, the tiniest amount of research shows this not to be the case
  3. most of the nefarious nonsense that these strategies will usher in do two things: produce more work for the programmers, and our messed up industry has decided to go along with the insane delusion that they are actually different things (bugs)

Wait philosophical interlude: Drew‘s piece talks about IE8 in several places, including the ill-fated Google Wave project. Is something a bug if a tiny bit of advance consideration would have concluded that it was not going to work? Answer: of course not. I‘m pretty sure that if an architect orders a building to be built and then on the 10th floor a collapse occurs, he doesn‘t get to come in and say ‘the concrete sucks, we will have to rebuild.‘

He does talk about the waiting, which I have brought up a lot of times. We are closing in on two decades. Even if everything went great from here out, we‘re looking at maybe another one. Complete and utter madness…

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Published at DZone with permission of Rob Williams, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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