The future of web development
June 4, 2007
Okay, I won’t try to explore that topic on my own, but I have a recommendation for you if html and beyond is your cup of tea.
I regularly listen to different podcasts. However, the only two on software development that I’ve found worth my time are .NET Rocks! and Hanselminutes, the former being my absolute favorite. If you’ve got any other suggestions, please contact me.
However, the past weekend I listened twice to the Hanselminutes episode #65, “Scott talks to Martin Fowler and David Heinemeier Hansson”, which was very interesting. There’s talk about the future of the web, Ruby on Rails and if ASP.NET is a dying technology. They’re pretty much agreeing that HTML and CSS is good enough tools to make web pages, and that a lot of the new and hyped technologies, such as AJAX and Silverlight, are giving the developers too much of a “blank canvas”. The restrictions of HTML and CSS are, in their opinion, positive and give us enough to do most of the tasks at hand. To quote Hansson:
“When you give people the tools to make something purple and in Comic Sans, they will put it in purple and Comic Sans. I think MySpace is the perfect example of what happens when you give people all the flexibility in the world. […] We’ve got to learn how to walk before we run and we are still crawling when it comes to HTML applications “
I must admit that I’m also caught up in the hype about the new and cool web technologies, and that’s why the show is really mindblowing.
Also, the interview was conducted at the RailsConf conference, a big Ruby on Rails (RoR) happening in the U.S. So Martin and David talk about how much they like how RoR enforces the MVC architectural pattern, and creates unit tests automatically and so on, only to further distance the developers from a blank canvas. Also, the company where Martin works, Thoughtworks, is seeing an sharp decrease in .NET interest. Java is still going strong, but 40 % of their new business this year is Ruby. Then again, Thoughtworks’ customers are probably a bit more cutting edge than the average.
Still, it was a very interesting podcast, and convinced me even more that learning Ruby on Rails is a good thing.