[aida] [Pharo-project] A trend and an unfair comparison about js everywhere

Janko Mivšek janko.mivsek at eranova.si
Tue Oct 16 12:37:08 CEST 2012

Dne 16. 10. 2012 12:10, piše dimitris chloupis:
> I dont have the habbit of making general claims or expressing general
> opinion when it come to coding which is a practical field.
> My 2 areas of interest is sound synthesis and graphics. Apple has
> promised html5 as the replacement to flash technology. Flash is mainly a
> desktop technology masked as web technology . Html5 is still extremely
> slow, at least some comparison I have tried. Webgl is partially
> supported and very much slow still. Library wise for graphics I could
> find maybe 4, 5 libraries to work with Javascript. Javascript is a
> programming language like anything else but many of the technologies I
> need to learn like DOM , XML , hmtl etc look weird , ugly and not that
> useful compared to my experience with for example morphic or desktop gui
> and graphic libraries. I know a few web developers they do complain a
> lot about the state of web technology in general and the problems that
> have to deal with.
> Especially in graphics and audio field, library wise desktop and the web
> are like night and day.
> And all that for js , which is the good case as soon as we enter php and
> drupal territory the horror stories just explode. I had my share of bad
> experiences , C++ MFC was also a nightmare to manage but back then
> things coding wise were not as complex they are today. I brought
> facebook as an example because not talking about facebook while talking
> about web is like talking about OS and not talking about windows.
> I have not any doubts that a capable coder will be able to make an
> exceptional good web application. Afterall I use one , dropbox , and I
> just would not want to live without it because it safe guards all my
> work documents. So my point was not that web development is not good, or
> that is not that future. My point is that with the state of web
> libraries, we will see more and more desktop languages and libraries
> penetrating the web (python and webgl for example) to that extend that
> web will be nothing more than extension of desktop development. If some
> choose to state that as web development , thats great for them , its not
> for me.
> When I see for example smalltalk , I see a language that is pretty much
> unknown yet its the language that is the most copied from by any kind of
> technology. Innovative products don't become popular but they do drive
> the future behind the curtains. Popular products tend to take all the
> credit but contribute almost nothing.
> My only concern is if we try to make smalltalk fit the style of the web,
> wont that mean that we compromise the quality of smalltalk libraries ?
> If we try to make desktop comply with web standards wont that lower the
> bar ? Would not be much better if we just port well proven desktop
> technologies to the web as it is already hapenning ( see WebGL) ?
> I dont have a doubt that HMTL5 will have a long future .  I dont have a
> doubt that Web technology will improve , JS for example has come a long
> way. I do think already web development is overtaken by desktop
> development in many fields, mainly because its not prudent to just throw
> to the bin all those well proven desktop technologies. We just make sure
> they work in browser. 
> I continue learning JS (amber too) and web technologies and I hope for
> the best. I only wanted to present a point of view that is rarely seen
> when someone talks about the web and . I Feel I am not the only one
> frustrated with the direction web is taking, its not an infancy problem
> its a problem of very bad foundation and coding style. Its something I
> experienced a lot while coding in C++ and Java. It may be just me and I
> dont mind if someone will disagree with me.
> I am also happy that smalltalk creates its own web libraries that do
> follow closely the standards set by the language itself. I only hope
> that continues.

This is exactly what we should IMHO continue to do. That is, to
cultivate the wild web with Smalltalk elegance and beauty :)

Best regards

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Janko Mivšek <janko.mivsek na eranova.si>
> *To:* Pharo-project na lists.gforge.inria.fr
> *Cc:* Aida/Web general discussion list <aida na aidaweb.si>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 12:29
> *Subject:* Re: [Pharo-project] A trend and an unfair comparison about js
> everywhere
> Hi Dimitris,
> I wont judge the success of the web approach just by few failed
> attempts, (and by Facebook :). Web technologies certainly have a
> potential to replace GUI ones on the desktop and became an universal UI
> technology. Universal in the sense that it run everywhere, on all
> platforms, you don't need to care about native look&feel, no need to
> program for Android, then for iOS, then for Win mobile, etc. Universal
> also in sense that it covers 99% of apps, while for remaining 1% we will
> still develop in native environments.
> And this replacing is actually happening with faster and faster speed.
> Even Microsoft finally gave up and announce to support web trio (HTML5,
> CSS, JS) in Windows 8. Two years ago they even announced that web trio
> will remain their only technology for the client.
> We are yet at the beginning of that process, web app development is
> still in its infancy comparing to GUI ones. Adequate dev.tools are
> lacking. And there are always a risk that some technology goes the wrong
> way, as went for instance SOA (Service Oriented Arcitecture), XML also,
> Java, etc. HTML5 is currently such a fast growing thing that it can goes
> the same path and end up just too complex to use. As in case of SOA or XML.
> But on the other hand web browser vendors are incredible cooperative
> this time, they usually don't just agree on some bad and complex
> compromise (as it was case on SOA and XML) but are successful to find
> the best and specially, the simplest API at the end. This gives us a big
> hope that HTML5 will have a long future and to actually become an
> universal UI. Well, JavaScript, here the story is more complex...
> Best regards
> Janko
> Dne 16. 10. 2012 09:55, piše dimitris chloupis:
>> Frankly , I don't find web development that much useful and certainly
>> don't believe that web is the future. My money is on the desktop.
>> The very fact that the most popular web app, by far nowdays is facebook
>> and the very fact that if you took facebook out today people would lose
>> nothing in practicality tells so much about what web is all about. Web
>> is not all bad of course, its still without any doubt the library of
>> Alexandria but most of it , its just pointless way of killing your free
>> time.
>> The trend is to push web to the desktop and I think that has been proven
>> a very bad idea. Web technology is based on some very bad design
>> decisions and it makes me laugh when technologies like node.js take the
>> web world by storm when desktop has similar technologies for far too long.
>> If you looks carefully you will also see that Desktop is more and more
>> pushing to the web, so for me it looks like web development is not going
>> to have much of a chance. Many existing programming languages are
>> already compiling to js, but even in that case why even bother ? IT
>> makes sense for mobile devices , but what will happen if for example
>> pharo and squeak start making ports for those mobile devices . Why
>> bother with JS at all ?
>> I try to make a visual coding project and I did consider amber and some
>> js libraries and to my surprise the only dynamic graphic library I found
>> of some serious usefulness was processing.js and its just too slow for
>> what I want to achieve. And if you think about all those so called web
>> technologies are really sandboxed , limited and slow desktop technologies.
>> I still find the fact that a browser can run anywhere extremely tempting
>> but in the end I dont think its really worth it. And yes I disagree with
>> the video of trying to say that web is like electricity. When
>> electricity came out there was nothing like it, with the web its very
>> diffirent because not only desktop can do many of the things that web
>> can , all web technologies are practically desktop technologies. Also
>> even if you take a look at how much Desktop has progressed 10 years and
>> how much the web , even though the web is super hyped those past 10
>> years you will get a very clear picture of how things really are.
>> I dont think squeak or pharo should turn their backs to the web
>> technologies , js and all others (and I love the fact that projects like
>> amber do exist) but I would prefer if more effort is spent on making
>> sure that they work on all platforms equally good.
>> From where I am standing there is no competitiveness in usefulness when
>> it comes to JS and web technology there is just competitiveness in
>> popularity and hype. And I would rather prefer if pharo and squeak dont
>> play that game and continue being actually useful , innovative , easy to
>> use , technologies. Web is certainly tempting but in the end its an
>> empty promise. 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *From:* "sebastian na flowingconcept.com
> <mailto:sebastian na flowingconcept.com>" <sebastian na flowingconcept.com
> <mailto:sebastian na flowingconcept.com>>
>> *To:* Pharo-project na lists.gforge.inria.fr
> <mailto:Pharo-project na lists.gforge.inria.fr>
>> *Sent:* Monday, 15 October 2012, 23:02
>> *Subject:* [Pharo-project] A trend and an unfair comparison about js
>> everywhere
>> Hi guys,
>> all comparisons are unfair I know but this is only to make you guy aware
>> of this (please ignore if you're already).
>> Here is the thing:
>> The Jeff Bezos' Electricity Metaphor:
>> http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_bezos_on_the_next_web_innovation.html
>> Makes (probably) any smalltalker remember the Alan Kay's talk about
>> having in the internet an IP for every object and spectacular computer
>> science ideas like that.
>> The js everywhere trend makes a lot of sense. Once it achieves critical
>> mass it might tempt intel and friends to do some hardware accelerator
>> for js VM's. Who knows. We have a long way to go but, in the meantime,
>> all js staked frameworks make a lot of sense and WILL get traction
>> because of that. Example:
>> http://www.wakanda.org/
>> A talk here:
>> https://vimeo.com/31603156
>> So.. the unfair question here would be:
>> What we'll have to match that competitiveness?
>> sebastian
>> o/
>> PS: Pharo + WebSockets + Amber sounds in that line doesn't?
> -- 
> Janko Mivšek
> Aida/Web
> Smalltalk Web Application Server
> http://www.aidaweb.si <http://www.aidaweb.si/>

Janko Mivšek
Smalltalk Web Application Server

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