It’s just data

Frameworks as Stepping Stones

Joe Gregorio: But something else has happened over the past ten years; browsers got better. Their support for standards improved, and now there are evergreen browsers: automatically updating browsers, each version more capable and standards compliant than the last. With newer standards like HTML Imports, Object.observe, Promises, and HTML Templates I think it’s time to rethink the model of JS frameworks. There’s no need to invent yet another way to do something, just use HTML+CSS+JS.

I’m curious as to where Joe believes that these features came from.  For example, promises were first proposed in the 1970s, made their way into a number of frameworks, were extracted into a common implementation and then standardized.

The true story is that Joe’s “gradient” picture is incomplete:

There’s actually a gradient of code that starts with a simple snippet of code, such as a Gist, and that moves to larger and larger collections of code, moving up to libraries, and finally frameworks:

  gist -> library -> framework

A more complete picture:

  gist -> library -> framework -> standard

And even that isn’t complete.  Standards are backported using polyfills, and frameworks are updated to use feature detection to make use of standard implementations as they become available.

I’ll also mention a few libraries/frameworks I’m fond of, and how they fit:

In each of these cases, I’m confident that the best ideas of these libraries and frameworks will make their way into the web platform.  Meanwhile:

The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.