The web as a platform
After teaching myself iOS development in 2008, and Android development a few years later, I quickly learned the value in a well-supported development platform. One that’s curated and carefully maintained by a single entity; Apple and Google, in my case. These platforms allow me to be very productive.
The issue I see when delving into the world of the web is that a central web platform doesn’t really exist. I can’t ask the question, “I want to build a mind-blowing web application today, what framework should I use?”, and expect to get a straight answer. In some respects, the plethora of choice this problem represents is the power of the web, but overall I think it does the web a disservice because there isn’t enough weight put behind a single platform.
I might choose today to get involved with backbone.js, only to find out that tomorrow, it’s the Play framework, or Angular.js, which is getting the most developer attention. I love that computing is ever-evolving, but I also want to use tools that mature and improve over time rather than work in an environment that has me spending more time ‘keeping up’ than I do actually building a deep and meaningful solution for my customers. I think the web needs a secure, robust and well-supported (well funded?) framework for all to use.
In a perfect world, I’d like to see great web companies like Google and Twitter throw their weight behind a single web framework, much like Apple did with its open source Webkit project. This would lend credibility and engineering effort to a single framework and push it along faster than new frameworks pop up and distract us. Although early, I do think that Google is trying to make strides in this area as they have put a lot of weight behind Dart - and they are spending a lot of time talking about the web as a platform.
Let’s spend our time making great products, and less time learning the cool new framework du jour. Learning is fun, but building is both fun && productive.