Software in 2014: a client-side Cambrian Explosion

Tim Bray attempts a high-level survey of the development landscape in 2014. Server-side development is solid and improving. But the client-side is a mess — a ‘Cambrian explosion’ of different tools appearing, mutating and vanishing month by month. We’re dealing with the weaknesses of JS and CSS, the annoyances of the DOM, and the need to develop in triplicate for Android, iOS and the web. Eventually we’ll converge on some streamlined solution(s) for client-side development, but it’s anybody’s guess what that will be:

Historical periods featuring rococo engineering outbursts of colorful duplicative complexity usually end up converging on something simpler that hits the right 80/20 points. But if that’s what’s coming, it’s not coming from any direction I’m looking, so color me baffled. Maybe we’re stuck with clients-in-triplicate for the long haul.

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