What happened to the WEB?

I was always into low level C/C++ stuff and most of my career I wrote desktop and server applications but during my college years, I remember I made decent amount of money by doing websites/applications for different customers.

I remember that I really liked WEB development back in the days: you just needed to edit some files, refresh the browser and see the result. If you needed to style your app, you used CSS (with the corresponding workarounds for IE, back then IE was a big deal). If you wanted some logic, you wrote some JavaScript code. It was something magical about the simplicity of this approach. Working on a multi-page WEB application was nice, debugging was a breeze, because unlike in case of desktop applications, for WEB applications, you could simply enter the desired URL in the browser to quickly reach any state of your app . Also you had the refresh, back, forward, bookmark and other goodies for free.

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For more than a year I started again, to develop WEB applications and I’m in shock!

What happened to the WEB? I worked with Backbone, Angular 2-5 and React and frankly I feel that the development experience using these frameworks is shit 😡 . There is nothing simple or elegant about these SPA frameworks, I feel that you simply bypass the browser, ignore all the good things the WEB has to offer, poorly re-implement some things in JavaScript, add lots of complex build processes and the end result…  a bloated JavaScript file that runs poorly and is hard to maintain. I fail to understand the hype around these technologies, I wouldn’t argue about what framework is the beast, but rather how avoid them altogether. The WEB was a nice place and when I see complex applications like Jira, Basecamp or GitLab made using the traditional approach, relying on server side rendering, CSS styling + JavaScript when needed, I think that this is what WEB should look like. I agree that sometimes you need desktop like application in the browser, I happen to like Trello a lot, but that doesn’t mean that this should be the standard approach. I don’t understand all the hype around these frameworks, in my opinion, the old and boring WEB was way better than the JavaScript everywhere!, Let’s pretend we are not running in a browser! approach.

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