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Canned web development

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As the web has matured, we’ve adopted a mindset that prioritizes velocity over thoughtfulness. The default behavior of the web is something I like to call “the document web”, where each navigation is synchronously driven by the server. Everything we’ve been trying to do since Web 2.0 has been one long effort in escaping this inextricable part of how the web behaves. The result is a parade of escape hatches from the web’s default behavior.

There’s a lot of concern voiced over how much work the browser has to do in modern web engineering. I like the term “the document web” a lot becasue my main online activity is reading stuff. But it does suggest the web is naturally passive. However, as Jeremy notes, ecommerce sites were able to make tons of money before React, and we’ve been able to converse in below the line comments for decades.

I’m not sure of a better term, but perhaps it could be something based on what browsers do, rather than the web itself. Or maybe on accessibility and even good manners; it is in a way rude to foist so much work on the website visitor and their browser without even knowing how capable that browser is.

Original article by Jeremy Wagner. Published 14/09/20.

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