Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking into client side frameworks for the web. Almost everyone I know laments the proliferation of frameworks and “noun.js” modules in existence and yet we can’t help ourselves. The snowball keeps rolling forward with new layers of granularity and complexity - language transpilers, package managers, browser adoption…
Then I ran into the following paragraph which explained it all: why frameworks grow like mushrooms and why most of the complex web based software I use runs on what is considered boring (asp.net, php, etc):
Little programs are delightful to write in isolation, but the process of maintaining large-scale software is always miserable. Because of this, digital technology tempts the programmer’s psyche into a kind of schizophrenia. There is constant confusion between real and ideal computers. Technologists wish every program behaved like a brand-new, playful little program, and will use any available psychological strategy to avoid thinking about computers realistically.
– Jaron Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget1
1Excerpting like this goes specifically against some broader themes of the book but this was too good. I highly recommend the entire book for any thoughtful technologist.