WDRL 232

The Cult of Complex, Why JavaScript Is Not Worse, Using Variable Fonts, Dark Mode CSS And Moral Implications.

Hi, I’m Anselm Hannemann. Freelance webdesigner, frontend engineer, advisor. Curating WDRL, growing vegetables on a market garden farm.

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We see complexity in every corner of a web project these days. We’ve read quite a bunch of articles about how complex a specific technology has become and we discuss this over and over again. Coming from a time where we uploaded our websites via FTP, had no git or similar, now living in a time where we have a build system, transpilers, frameworks, tests and a CI for the smalles projects this is easy to understand. But on the other hand, web development has grown so much in the past 15 years that we cannot really compare this anymore objectively. And while some things ‘seem’ to have been easier in the past, we neglect the advantages and countless possibilities we have today. When we didn’t write tests back then, he simply also had no test — meaning no reliable way to test for success. When we had no deployment process, it was easy to upload a new version but as easy to break something — and it happened a lot more than today when a Continuous Integration system is in place.

Jeffrey Zeldman’s “The Cult of Complex” still outlines how we lose ourselves in unnecessary details and too often try to over-think problems. I like the challenge of building systems that are not too complex but show a decent amount of responsibility (ethics, privacy, security and a great user experience and performance) and are working reliably (tests, deployments, availability and performance again). I guess this problem isn’t going away any time soon and we will talk about this soon again. If you look at it, you can see complexity everywhere — we just need to decide if it’s useful complexity or added because it was easier or because we were over-engineering the original problem.




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