Of course Web development is broken

Because Web was never meant to be developed for.

Originally, Web was intended as a collection of resources – actually, a filesystem of sorts. But it grew out of proportions as it became popular since it allowed users to see color and pictures and animations on the Internet, which was up to that point either limited to plain text, or required some heavy-weight, non-standard applications to be installed on the client. Actually, the name used for the application used to access the Web – a browser – tells a lot about how it was intended to use: to “browse” the resources, not to execute them. Could you imagine what desktop development would look like if you were limited to using just some sort of file viewer to program for it?

Each Web application is, actually, two completely unrelated Web applications. One is executed on the host and is preparing the data for the Web server to serve; but there is another, which is running in each of the users’ browsers, only connected to the former one by asymmetric pairs of requests and responses. Even if it consists only of HTML (and CSS), it still has code being interpreted and evaluated on the client; ajax apps only emphasize this.

So it’s not Web development that is broken; in fact, it is a miracle what has been created by the developers to work around the fundamental limitations of the platform, which was never meant to be one.

(This was originally a comment on a posting on Hacker News, linking to an article titled Web development is just broken.)

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