Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Great "Blue Sky" platforms

The hairball

Our current platform is a mess:

  1. CSS.

  2. HTML.

  3. JavaScript.

  4. A server.

Think of how much you have to learn to become "full stack" in this world.

At least four different syntaxes, and a CSS preprocessor.

HTML is XML. JavaScript is like C or Pascal. The server could be written in any number of different languages. And JSON. None of them are going away.

I've been working in this world for many years, and right now would be at a loss to write a canonical "hello world" app.

What a Tower of Babel. What an opportunity to topple it, esp given all the people these days who want to program.

It grows when it's simple

The big strides in tech happen when the platform gets reduced to simplicity. Examples include:

  1. Unix with C.

  2. Apple II with UCSD P-System.

  3. MS-DOS with Turbo Pascal.

  4. The Web with a plain text editor.

I call these blue sky platforms

In all these systems, lifting the hood is child's play.

Typing and modifying "Hello World" is easy. From there, there are no huge cliffs in the way of becoming a master.

1995: "A platform must have potential, or open space. I call this blue sky."

Digging out of the mess

We can get back to blue sky any time we want.

I would start from Node.js and build out.

The web browser, as currently configured would have to be replaced by something that's thoughtfully designed. Or maybe a platform built on top of CSS+HTML+JavaScript, hiding it behind a factored interface? Not sure. But we'll never have great growth until we factor out the huge hairball sitting between ideas and implementation.

Last built: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:06 AM

By Dave Winer, Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 11:49 AM. When in doubt, blog.