OK, I’ll admit that HTML 5, when it becomes a true standard and the common browsers implement it and all of CSS 3 that we won’t need as many browser plug-ins for doing rich interactive applications anymore. We could ditch Microsoft’s Silverlight and Adobe’s Flash and not look back.
But, to do that, we need to move the web to a better programming language!
Reading this rant from MG Siegler on Tech Crunch made me want to come clean about my true feelings.
I don’t want to need Flash or Silverlight.
- Dynamic typing – great, I can’t know until runtime what a type should be, and even then it could change. Makes for a great time.
- Run-time code discovery – it’s great to be able to load things dynamically, but it’s completely a mess at design time trying to sort everything out and make sense of a large application.
- Debugging – terrible IDE and debugging support across the browsers. Too many “alert” style debugging workflows in this day and age.
- Interpreted – still making the browser do extra work and a bonus feature: you don’t know about coding errors until you try to execute the code!
- Poor internationalization support – to do it right, you need to build functions or get a library to parse and format properly
Major Web applications would have taken off long ago if the entire development experience/environment would have modeled after something like Visual Basic 3, 4, 5, or 6. Web applications are still held back by an awful development experience.
Updated to reflect a bit of ranting inconsistency.