Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 1:26 PM

Why aren't the BigCo's converging on JavaScript?

Everywhere I look individual programmers are getting on board with JavaScript. It really is something. After a couple of decades of fragmentation in the development world, we now have what I called, in 1995, a consensus platform. Chances are pretty good if you and I are working on server code, we're both working in Node.js. And if you and I are writing code that runs in the browser, the chances are 100 percent that we are both working in JavaScript.

Yet almost all the big companies are trying to create their own languages, presumably with proprietary or patent secret sauces, that are not JavaScript.

If we were healthy as an industry in ways that we are clearly not, we would see this coming-together as an opportunity to become more efficient. We'd be looking for opportunities to factor redundancy from our platforms, for example reducing our reliance on CSS and HTML, and perhaps eliminating the need for server code. These are serious possibilities. There isn't much functionality left that must be on the server. If we concentrated real hard, we could make those go away.

But the BigCo's seem to want the chaos? And as a result they'll need lots more programmers to maintain all the incompatible stacks. I don't think this is driven by business needs, rather it's programmers trying to be sure they continue to have jobs. Re-inventing stuff that already works pretty well. Job security.

Reminds me of all the incompatible BigCo networking products that were swept off the table by the emergence of the web as the consensus platform in the early 90s. JavaScript is that strong a force in 2015.

Last built: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM

By Dave Winer, Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 1:26 PM. Don't slam the door on the way out.