The JavaScript platform
Monday, January 18, 2016 by Dave Winer

This first appeared as a comment to the Sad State of Web Development on Medium. I edited it after re-posting here. 

Thanks for posting this. I was disappointed to see it disappear, but I can only imagine the kinds of abuse you had to put up with.

Collectively, we spend a huge amount of time working with frameworks, or trying to understand code written using a framework we’ve never used. Your post helped me put together how other people, not just me, are grappling with this.

But you only see this if you want to build more reliable and functional tools for users. If you look at an app and see a only a bunch of code, then the only kind of improvement you can see is to the code itself.

My software projects take years to complete. If the foundation changes radically while I’m working, I don’t even notice. I stay focused on the problem I’m working on, with the constraints I’ve accepted.

But at the other end of the pipe I have to deal with the possibility that the platform I’m using is no longer supported. I feel pretty comfortable about that with JavaScript on both sides.

In my JavaScript work, the only frameworks I use are jQuery and Bootstrap. I don’t update them. I leave them right where they are. I think of them as peripheral, I’m still basing my work on the machine presented to me by the browser and by Node. I also use Font-Awesome. Very useful.

On the server I work in Node, and use packages to parse XML files, to access Amazon web services, WebSockets, and to interface to the Twitter API. I don’t add many other packages to my apps, and only if I see they’ve been stable for quite a while, and if people seem to like them in Stack Exchange posts.

One of the packages I’ve bet on recently is medium-editor. I’m using it as the basic text editor in a chat/blogging system I’m working on. It’s not overwhelming but it adds features, borrowed from Medium, that should be part of basic web text editing, imho.

I’m in favor of things that make the platform better for users. My users are largely writers.

So I do use frameworks, but very carefully and never defining the machine I’m developing for. That’s basic JavaScript. Nothing fancy.

Please keep writing about this stuff. It’s really helpful!