State of the Web 2015 (IMO)

Published 21st April 2015

For posterity’s sake I thought it would be an interesting experiment to record my opinions on the state of the web as it currently exists. The plan being in a few years time I can look back and reflect on how things have developed.

The Most Powerful Rendering Engine

At the moment I don’t know of any other rendering engine that can match the power and flexibility of HTML + CSS. Admittedly I’ve never tried creating a UI for a native app (although I’ve done a wee bit of custom UI for a game) but I can’t imagine how anything would come close. I assume this is part of the reason why many native apps are now moving to HTML rendering (e.g. Facebook, Spotify etc.).

CSS Preprocessor’s FTW

CSS is awesome but can be extended. In my opinion a preprocessor, such as SASS, is the right way to go with this. It makes developers lives much easier without making the base language super complex. Now we just need browser vendors to agree on CSS standards much quicker.

Javascript Still Sucks

There has been a meteoric rise in the use of Javascript in recent years. While much of this development has been good, I still hate Javascript as a base language. It’s messy and complicated. People will probably throw hate at me for this, but as a relatively experienced developer and Software Engineer I just don’t like writing Javascript.

PHP is Improving

There has been a slow but steady improvement in PHP development recently. The introduction of HHVM and Hack are pushing things in the right direction, and the introduction of a package manager (composer) and PSR standards is helping no end. The League of Extraordinary Packages is a good example of the progression of modern PHP.

Node is Gaining Ground

Despite some quibbling about how the Nodejs project is being run, in general it seems to be steadily gaining ground, with larger projects (e.g. Ghost) using it to power bigger and bigger projects. It’s got a long way to go to catch up with PHP, but progress is being made.