First post on my new home page: a musing about the sanity of modern internet technology
After years without internet presence, I finally made an effort and created my new personal webpage. It's been a long time since I started my first webpage about 25 years ago. So let me explain why it did take me several years to set-up a new page in Oldenburg (disregarding for a moment the rather harsh time constraints when combining life as a university professor with having a family).
These last two or three decades have seen quite some changes in internet technology. Back then, in the good old pioneer days of the internet (when I did my first page), construction of a web page was easy. I only needed to know basic html, throw in some inline styling and enrich the code with pieces of cgi-scripts here and there (if I wanted something fancy), and that was all about it - a piece of cake.
And what is worse, this whole list of web tools probably is just scratching the surface. For example, I didn't even go into issues of client side vs. server side components, browser based visualization technologies (e.g., D3), or web frameworks (e.g., Django, Ruby on Rails, etc.).
What went wrong in the evolution of web technologies?
So what does all of this say about the state of modern web technology? Obviously web technology has gone crazy in the last years, having reached a situation of staggering complexity. What is more, this situation shows no signs of stabilizing. If anything, the market of new web technologies seems to be advancing at an accelerated rate, with new frameworks and web-stacks emerging on a yearly, or even monthly, base. With this complexity it is quite easy to get lost and confused when having to choose the right tools, making me wonder how web developers can stay sane and keep-up with these constant changes of the ecosystem.
Thinking about it, this is really strange. How possibly can we have such a mess and confusion in today's most used information technology. All my intuition is telling me that this can not be the optimal solution and it is hard to believe that we would come-up with a similar mess of libraries if we would have to re-design the internet from scratch.