Future prediction: The so-called modern web will die soon

Published on 2021-01-24.

For many years I have been advocating passionately against the so-called "modern web" as it is really nothing more than a poor excuse for not using your brain and instead following the hype and trends of stuffing web applications with unneeded JavaScript and slow and crappy frameworks. But now the time has come when soon the "modern web" will finally die.

Most people don't like to feel outside, which is why the majority is always just following hype and trends. This is also why it is so easy for politicians and news media to fill people with lies.

If something is presented as "the right thing to do", most people want to do it. But what happens when the so-called right thing really doesn't make any sense, or the so-called right thing has obvious flaws? Truly independent thinking and responsible people gather information objectively and try to reach a conclusion without any consideration to social conformity, but most people are not truly independent thinking even though they like to believe they are.

Do you know how you can tell if you are really lying to yourself about why you do what you do? One crystal clear sign is if you are blindly following what the majority is doing without truly understanding the consequences of your actions. Another very clear sign is if you passionately and emotionally criticize the opposite opinion without any true personal experience or knowledge and then call what you do as being "modern", as if what you do is the right thing whereas what others are doing is hopelessly outdated.

The fact about the so-called modern web is that there has really never been any modern web. The hardware has become much faster, but that has nothing to do with the modern web. No, the truth is that the so-called modern web was invented as a term by people who like to feel important and smart. They did so by developing software and frameworks and then telling everyone else to stop "re-inventing the wheel" and instead use their clever solutions. And rather than evaluating the claims of these people objectively, the masses where swayed by all their impressive rhetoric's and their popularity.

The result has been absolutely mind bugling and ridicules because even though the real advance in technology has made the hardware many many times faster, both in processing power and data transfer speeds, the Internet has become absolutely stupidly slow. The main reason for that is all the webpages that gets stuffed with useless JavaScript and frameworks.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again: If you're pushing JavaScript as a dependency for your website to function, you'd better be serving some pretty amazing and special content, otherwise your website is just plain broken!

Today data centers around the world are using more electricity than ever. It takes more than 50 power plants, each capable of generating 500 megawatts of electricity, to power all the data centers in operation in the U.S. alone. And this number will increase dramatically over the years if the current development model doesn't improve drastically.

My prediction is that in only a couple of years from now, it will be socially and environmentally unacceptable for any kind of company to have a high carbon footprint! And this doesn't mean that a company can simply go all green and start using windmills e.g. The reason for that is that even the production of windmills leaves a pretty high carbon footprint. No, what companies need to do is to reduce power consumption as much as possible. And when it comes to the software industry, then there is only one sure way forward, and that is to improve application performance as much as possible. This is especially important with gaming, web applications and other Internet related services such as gaming server applications. Video providers such as YouTube will eventually have to disallow content that doesn't generate any revenue for them because storage servers requires huge amounts of power.

I believe that in the near future companies will actually begin to compete with each other about who has the most performant applications, web or otherwise.

Just like responsible and grown up people don't throw trash on the street, responsible and grown up people also take care when they develop software. This is actually nothing new at all, it has just been ignored by the staggering careless approach of just "throwing more hardware at the problem because hardware is cheap". The fact is that hardware has never been cheap! Hardware production has always had a huge negative impact on the environment, not only in the form of carbon footprint during production, but also pollution and the thoughtless behavior of simply throwing away fully working machines.

In 2018 electronic waste in America represented about 2% of the trash in landfills, but it equaled 70% of overall toxic waste.

In the near future public attention will drive government policy and carbon footprints will become a subject of worldwide scrutiny. Individuals, companies and countries will have to seek the fastest and most affordable ways to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint.

This will also mean that careless use of technology in web development, such as JavaScript and frameworks, needs to be a thing of the past and our current way of developing web applications will in the future look like the "dark ages".

For years I have worked as an independent contractor with a main focus on improving performance and security in web applications. My work has not been about throwing more hardware at the problems, but rather to remove hardware! This has been achieved in one very simple way each and every time: Remove all unnecessary JavaScript and re-build the application using a fast programming language without a framework and without stupid and slow design patterns. Absolutely no hype or trends allowed here!

I have argued for years against the irresponsible behavior of software developers who could care less about the future of a company by careless design choices, but for some strange reason many people believe that if you don't use a framework, then you have to reinvent the wheel each time you build something. But nobody does that! What you do instead is that you study and understand the technology you're using and then you put together small pieces of performant and reusable code and use that.

Other people argue against building web applications from the ground up because if you work in a team, then you need to read other peoples code, and without a framework, then nobody knows how to structure the code or understand what other people are doing. Well, guess what, that's what software development is about! Reading and understanding other peoples code, writing really good and quality documentation, commenting your code and following a clear and concise code style guide. If you cannot do that, then you shouldn't be a software developer. This is what we used to call "good programming".

It's time to take responsibility. Be a part of the solution, not the problem!

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