Jeff Prosise knocks HTML and JavaScript. Makes my blood boil!

Knocking HTML and JavaScript seems to be as much a favoured pastime of bloggers as knocking the IE Team.  This morning I was listening to a DNR podcast (my first for the year) because they had Jeff Prosise on talking about Silverlight.  I was hoping that such a high profile community member might have some enlightening insights about Silverlight and how we might use it to extend the web experiences that we can already create today.

The first 10 minutes of the interview really got my blood boiling; particularly comments such as these:

  1. "We are way beyond the time where we should be munging HTML and JavaScript."
  2. "HTML is a problem."
  3. "JavaScript is a problem."

With all respect for the people who deliver DNR and Jeff Prosise… c’mon.  Why do people insist on putting HTML and JavaScript down?  I think that people knock these things because they believe that it makes them sound a little more knowledgeable.

I’d like to remind those people that HTML and JavaScript are the UI technologies that gave us applications such as:

  • Flickr
  • Amazon
  • YouTube
  • Wikipedia

The people that knock HTML and JavaScript invariably tell us about how much ‘richer’ the UI was "back in the day".  Well you know what?  I remember "back in the day" and it sucked!  In fact it totally sucked.

When these people finally did make it to the web they brought their entire bodgy ActiveX toolkit with them… blech!

These people talk about how maintaining 10,000 lines of JavaScript is wrong.  Well I think that worse still would be having to maintain 10,000 lines of VB.NET.

I happen to enjoy writing JavaScript and, for certain things, the HTML DOM works just fine.  I’m looking forward to adding a bit of Silverlight to my toolkit to make my website’s even more interactive.  I’m also very glad that Microsoft have delivered better tooling for writing and managing JavaScript with VS 2008.

So next time you plan on starting your talk with the words "we all know that HTML and JavaScript are broken"… just think again – it’s not a binary choice.

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~ by D on December 29, 2007.

25 Responses to “Jeff Prosise knocks HTML and JavaScript. Makes my blood boil!”

  1. Hmm… I haven\’t listened to that particular DNR show yet but I can\’t see any flaw in the three statements that you\’ve listed. I think you may be looking at some sort of personality preference or bias here. For example I believe that Flickr is itself a ridiculous idea. Why would anyone want to use a browser application to view images – the idea is perposterous – and as expected the UI sucks. Every attempt (admittedly few) I\’ve made to use Amazon has been excruciating. Their UX is dreadful – they may as well litter the screen with animated GIFs – and for heavens sake get a search engine that works!
     
    I\’m guessing you have different views on those two applications – and I can understand you getting irate over comments that slam what has been a very succesful programming technology base. I can also understand why other developers might consider them ungainly and inefficient and be clawing for something, anything that sees their demise. Guess I should listen to that episode sooner rather than later 🙂
     
    PS. Sorry my first ever comment on your blog was a flame – guess that just goes to show what a negatively minded person I am 😦

  2. LOL, thanks for your views Nige.  Look, maybe you are right about the UX behind those apps… I must admit that I do enjoy the Software+Services model of things such as LiveWriter and LivePhotoGallery.
     
    The thing that really gets my back up though is that people will not bat an eyelid at managing 50K lines of VB.NET, yet ask them to manage a few hundred lines of JavaScript and they run, screaming.  I\’m hoping to give a talk at ADNUG in February about running unit tests for JavaScript, just to show that, properly managed, it\’s not really any different to managing a C# or VB codebase.
     
    I also find it amusing that Prosise can, on the one hand say that JavaScript is broken and then just a few sentences later mention that dynamic languages are a good thing!  Go figure that one 🙂

  3. I just listened to this yesterday and I think you might be being a bit precious. Listening to those statements in the context of the show they make sense, pulling them out on your blog out of context isn\’t really fair.

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