I agree with many people on here that Front-End web development/design isn't what it used to be.

Things used to be simple: a static page. Then we decoupled design from description and we introduced CSS; nice, clean separation, more manageable - everything looks nice up to this point.

Introduce dynamic pages, introduce JavaScript. We can now change the DOM and we can make interactive, neat little webpages; cool, the web is still fun.

Years later, we start throwing backend concepts into the web and bloating it with logic because we want so much for the web to be portable and emulate the backend. This is where it starts to get ugly: come ASP, come single pages, partial pages, templates,.. The front-end now talks to a backend, okay. We start decoupling things and we let the logic be handled by the backend - fair enough.

Even later, we start decoupling the edge processes (website setup, file management, etc.) and then we introduce ugly JavaScript tools to do it. Then we introduce convoluted frameworks (Angular,..). Sometimes we find ourselves debugging the tools themselves (grunt, gulp, mapping tools,..) rather than focusing on the development itself (as per ITIL guidelines; focus on value), no matter how promising today's frameworks claim to be ("You get to focus on your business code"; yeah right, in practice it has turned out differently for me. More like "I get to focus on wasting copious amounts of time trying to figure out your tangled web").

Everything has now turned into an unfriendly, tangled web (no pun intended).

I miss the old days when creating things for the Web used to be fun, exciting and simple and it would invigorate passion, not hate.

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  • 2
    Preaching to the choir. I'm currently working on internationalization of this react app and I've had to resort to traversing folders and discovering json translation files by regex via require.context().

    I put the blame on an expectation for websites to do more than they should. The tools may be adhoc but I can see why they exist considering the ecosystem which "just ended up that way".
  • 3
    It's also a history of bloating up both the toolchains and the end product with ever more stupid shit. We're now at the point where 500 bytes of text "need" 3MB over the wire and drain the batteries of mobile devices.

    On the upside, 90% of that shit is superfluous anyway. It's only there because retarded frontend shitheads behaved like toddlers in a candy store.

    Making lean and fast products increasingly gives you an edge because users just bounce off of slow websites. Therefore, the bloat costs real money.
  • 2
    Microsoft has made the next step of this in "Blazor." Full steam ahead on web assembly, applications running on top of mono.wasm, then loading an aspnet application on top of it. All so a bunch of children don't have to learn anything new.

    It's like someone woke up one day and thought, "you know what'd be cool? Making my users download a 3mb runtime before they even glance at my application."
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