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@cjd no worries, we can get it fixed with JS.

Oh... wait.

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@rysiek @wolf480pl
IMO JS is a Promethian language, i.e. a language designed to empower people to do things smarter than its creators could have imagined. Contrast with Java or Go which seem mostly designed to limit the ability of people to do anything too dumb.

@rysiek @wolf480pl
But any Promethian technology: Printing, computers (software), internet, web, cryptography, blockchain... will inherently have thousands of bad uses before one really good use emerges, but these one-in-a-million breakthroughs are the only things which have ever really moved humanity forward.

@wolf480pl @rysiek
Totally, I would imagine that lot of people got burned and burned each-other before someone finally had the bright idea of cooking food.

@cjd @wolf480pl this is an interesting way of looking at it! I can see the value of a Promethean language. I can also see the harm in how it has been implemented in the form of JS.

@rysiek @wolf480pl
I doubt it could have gone any better, remember Netscape was punching up at the time.

IMO languages like JS and PHP are in fact less harmful than languages like Java and Python because - when one is reminded that what one's doing is a hack, one is less likely to limit one's thinking about what is possible.

We don't have languages which are truly expressive. Haskell, Rust reach for the stars but much we don't know still. Pays to remind one's self that All Languages Are PHP.

@cjd @rysiek
If all JS devs are aware that what they're doing is a hack, then why do they build stacks of frameworks?

@wolf480pl well, as @cjd said, that's because they don't limit their "thinking about what is possible".

@rysiek @cjd
well ok, but if you're making a hack, you want to do it in the quickest possible way, paying no attention to maintainability, code reuse, and abstraction layers, right?

@wolf480pl @rysiek
Web developers are under pressure to produce good quality user interface as fast/cheap as possible. When a framework gives them an advantage it gains a foothold. But the framework business is a primordial soup, evolving programming techniques faster than anywhere else in the industry.

@cjd @rysiek
dunno, it feels to me like rabbit island - too forgiving environment, not enough validation, which allows genetic diseases to appear and perpetuate

@wolf480pl @rysiek
There is a lot of validation, but not in the way you might think. If a framework isn't dirt easy to learn, it goes nowhere. If you can't make a website in a weekend, it goes nowhere. Maintainability is not an interesting property for websites, development cost has gotten so low that customers typically prefer demolish and rebuild.

@cjd @rysiek
performance is also not an interesting property for websites.. sigh...

So the mess we're dealing with is a result of an environment which only rewards based on single property: development speed.

@wolf480pl @rysiek
Performance is worth something, you can see svelte.dev/ is pushing in that direction. But yes, performance is not worth enough to incur significant development overhead.

@cjd @rysiek
And wasn't this environment created by the very act of embedding a programming language into a web browser?

@wolf480pl @rysiek
The performance/work trade-off is older than the web. I seem to recall that when a CS student proposed the idea of an assembler, his professor denounced him for suggesting that compute resources be wasted on the "secretarial task" of converting neumonic instructions to hex codes.

@wolf480pl @rysiek
What about it ? If you're arguing that the professor was wrong, then I agree. But I bring it up to illustrate that it is not always better to trade human effort for performance.

@cjd @rysiek
I'm not talking about performance anymore.

What I'm saying is, I think it is undesirable to trade maintainability for human effort, especially to the extent in which modern web development demands it.

You've also mentioned quality: did we already have an argument whether the user interfaces made by JS devs are actually good quality, or is it just my deja vu?

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@cjd It (JS) could have been Scheme *twice*, for starters.

First time it didn't become it because of business decision to make it similar to Java syntax-wise, to capitalize on Java's popularity.

Second time it didn't become Scheme because by the time when they were ready to replace JS, IE had JScript, and Netscape had to keep competing.

@rysiek @wolf480pl

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