This advice works both ways:
This advice works both ways:
CSS is better now. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than its ever been, and it’s better than tailwind. Give it another try. Don’t reach for big globs of libraries to paper over the issues you think it has.
This is why it’s so important to re-evaluate technology decisions.
I’ve seen people, lead and principal engineers, who refuse to learn modern JS, insisting that since it was bad in 2006 its bad today. Worse still is some of these people have used their leadership positions to prevent the use of modern JS.
Years before becoming Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak wrote this report, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure.
I don’t think most people using React on a regular basis realize quite how much it’s fallen behind.
Following on from Josh’s earlier post where he said “React isn’t great at anything except being popular”, here are the details.
Every decision React’s made since its inception circa 2013 is another layer of tech debt—one that its newer contemporaries aren’t constrained by.
This is particularly damning:
No other modern frontend framework is as stubbornly incompatible with the platform as React is.
The good news:
React is a bit like a git branch that’s fallen well behind
main. You might not realize it, if React is the star your galaxy orbits around, but…well, frontend has moved on. The ecosystem has taken those ideas and run with them to make things that are even better.
Today’s AI promoters are trying to have it both ways: They insist that AI is crossing a profound boundary into untrodden territory with unfathomable risks. But they also define AI so broadly as to include almost any large-scale, statistically-driven computer program.
Under this definition, everything from the Google search engine to the iPhone’s face-recognition unlocking tool to the Facebook newsfeed algorithm is already “AI-driven” — and has been for years.
CSS is now the most powerful design tool for the Web.
I think this is now true. It’ll be interesting to see how this will affect tools and processes:
What I expect to see overall is that the perception and thus the role of CSS in the design process will change from being mainly a presentational styling tool at the end of the waterfall to a tool that is being used at the heart of making design decisions early on.
Coming soon—Ethan’s next book is exactly what the tech industry needs right now.
Tech workers—designers, engineers, writers, and many others—have learned that when they stand together, they’re poised to build a better version of the tech industry.
Let’s be rational here. If I were to imagine a job that was a perfect candidate for replacement by AI, it would be one that consists of measurable tasks that can be learned—allocation of capital, creation and execution of market strategy, selection of candidates for top roles—and one that costs the company a shitload of money. In other words: executives.
The logic is sound. However…
The CEOs will be spared from automation not because they should be, but because they are making the decisions about who is spared from automation.
This is a terrific talk by Jack on how to deal with the tooling involved in modern front-end development:
- Maintaining control,
- Dependency awareness,
- Lean on browser primitives,
- Have an exit strategy.
AI is great anything quantity-related and bad and anything quality-related.
Sensible thinking from Dan here, that mirrors what we’re thinking at Clearleft.
In other words, it leans heavily on averages; the closer the training data matches an average, the higher degree of confidence that the result is more “correct,” or at least desirable.
The problem is that this is the polar opposite of what we consider creativity to be. Creativity isn’t about averages. It’s about the outliers, sometimes the one thing that’s different than all the rest.
Even without specialized syntax, you can do a lot of what the usual frontend framework does—with similar conciseness—just by using
LLMs have never experienced anything. They are just programs that have ingested unimaginable amounts of text. LLMs might do a great job at describing the sensation of being drunk, but this is only because they have read a lot of descriptions of being drunk. They have not, and cannot, experience it themselves. They have no purpose other than to produce the best response to the prompt you give them.
This doesn’t mean they aren’t impressive (they are) or that they can’t be useful (they are). And I truly believe we are at a watershed moment in technology. But let’s not confuse these genuine achievements with “true AI.”
Bosses have certain goals, but don’t want to be blamed for doing what’s necessary to achieve those goals; by hiring consultants, management can say that they were just following independent, expert advice. Even in its current rudimentary form, A.I. has become a way for a company to evade responsibility by saying that it’s just doing what “the algorithm” says, even though it was the company that commissioned the algorithm in the first place.
I’m not very convinced by claims that A.I. poses a danger to humanity because it might develop goals of its own and prevent us from turning it off. However, I do think that A.I. is dangerous inasmuch as it increases the power of capitalism. The doomsday scenario is not a manufacturing A.I. transforming the entire planet into paper clips, as one famous thought experiment has imagined. It’s A.I.-supercharged corporations destroying the environment and the working class in their pursuit of shareholder value. Capitalism is the machine that will do whatever it takes to prevent us from turning it off, and the most successful weapon in its arsenal has been its campaign to prevent us from considering any alternatives.
After nearly two decades of fighting for this vision of the internet, the people who believed in federation feel like they’re finally going to win. The change they imagine still requires a lot of user education — and a lot of work to make this stuff work for users. But the fundamental shift, from platforms to protocols, appears to have momentum in a way it never has before.
I don’t agree with all of these takes-of-varying-spiciness, but Rich Harris is always worth paying attention to.
Spot the difference? Me neither.
This isn’t an opinion piece. This is documentation.
Artificial Intelligence sounds much more impressive than Artificial Guessing in a slide deck.
Robin picks up on my framing.
Instead of brainstorming, discussing, iterating, closely inspecting a product to understand it and figure out what to show on a page, well, we can just let the machines figure it out for us! This big guessing machine can do our homework and we can all pack up and go to the beach.