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{Browsers Are The Worst}

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Half (mostly) kidding, but: JavaScript shouldn’t be a language, web browsers suck, and are all of those MOOCs making money hand over fist really adding value to our community?

Mobile » Browser

A TechCrunch article highlighting the importance of software entrepreneurs having mobile development chops was shared in our Labs email forum the other day, and it was consistent with some thoughts I’ve been having.

I recently mentioned in the office that web browsers should vanish into obscurity, JavaScript shouldn’t exist as a viable option for real programming, and the internet should be reduced to only shuttling data back and forth between servers and clients or clients and clients—as long as the clients aren’t web browsers.

Mobile web is what drove my point even more. As much as I don’t want it to be true, as I mature as a programmer I continually see JavaScript as a pretty awful language for real programming. Yes, obviously it is of monumental importance due to the status quo of how we ingest things on the internet, not to mention that 80% of my job is writing JavaScript—but maybe Apple is right. Maybe an ecosystem of sandboxed apps that run natively on your device and serve one or two specific purposes is a good way of doing things.

That’s not to say we should all have Apple computers and Apple apps. On the contrary, Geoff brought up the potential disaster of a commercial entity having veto power over any and all apps that try to surface. But if we as technologists decided to go down that avenue, maybe something like a W3 or an IETF could oversee which apps get to live and which deserve to die.

Now, contrary to my argument, I think there would be a pretty big blow to technology education (for-profit MOOCs would be FUBAR in the short term); and I have learned a metric ton about the Internet from right click > view source.

That said, how much value is the community getting from for-profit MOOCs and view source anyway? This is, to say the least, tangential to the original point, but why are we so worried about everyone in the world becoming competent coders? Not everyone in the world is a competent lawyer or physician. Judging from the data we get from companies like Coursera, I think the result of these websites is that a handful of people become really good programmers (like Alex Krupp), and a lot of people sign up for courses and never finish them. The Alex Krupps of the world would have learned either way, given enough book-learnin’ time.

Disagree? See the response post In Defense of Browsers.

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