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Thoughts about Architecture – Java, C/C++, JS, Objective-C, Swift, Groovy, Grails, (RIP Flash)

December 7th, 2011

The brilliant choices of Steve Jobs, Adobe, multi-talented developers now force us to use Javascript – ECMAScript 1.0?

Uncategorized, by austin.

Anyone who has done RIA development, back-end development and worked with a myriad of languages that include strong typing and compile time checking knows that Adobe’s announcement of the non-existence of a mobile flash player has set the entire flash development community backwards into a realm of using javascript and shitty compilation standards. HTML5 is cool, but for real – it comes down to javascript.

Don’t get me wrong I love javascript, for little things here and there and working on a page. But a usual flash application can be up to a 100,000 lines of front-end code.

I sought out to prove to myself that javascript could be a force to be reckoned with so I set myself up with Aptana again and downloaded all of the latest libraries, jquery, mootools etc. I then decided to create classes using mootools. To my dismay creating a class is at run time only so guess what:

1. If using new frameworks to create classes instead of the usual prototype BS, you will thoroughly disappointed that you will have no compile time checking.

2. Thus if you have an error in your class you will never know until you run the app.

3. console.log doesnt work in IE 8.

Thus from my deduction the only logical approach to this is the fact that you must use prototype to create your classes and not rely on strong typing.

Even then, if you use prototype to create a class AND then use another class within that class all compile time checking goes out the window.

This slows development time down tremendously and is the primary reason I think developers like Google are going with alternate solutions like Dart.

I really think Adobe should have waited for the announcement. I think Adobe should have made the announcement WHEN they had a solution. It makes developers now flounder as a whole. You dont announce the big issue when you have no alternative.

So I hope adobe builds in something into dreamweaver or eclipse that does INCREDIBLE javascript parsing. The dreamweaver parsing in 5.5 is ok, but come on. Can we get LIVE compile time checking with JS? If you are making this the alternative to flash development.

Can you get the error detection as awesome as flex builder?

The amount of millions of dollars wasted in no compile time checking is at stake here and I think that managers need to know the alternatives to development.

ECMAScript:

Seriously, rather than come to any standard about proper web development in a language they drop the ECMAScript 4 specification which is something that could help make javascript more readable and strong typing – lots of things. Companies like Microsoft and Yahoo say its too complex.

Seriously, who thinks javascript is amazing at Microsoft? Can they see the issues here?

It appears javascript is more about shorthand than it is about writing clean, documented code:

Just look at this article about js 1.8 whereby instead of implementing ECMAScript 4 enhancements that include packages, namespaces, classes. They implement CLOSURES – shorthand code for methods that make code a lot more unreadable.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/New_in_JavaScript_1.8

I think it’s a backwards move and I think Google sees this too which is why Google Dart is being developed.

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Responses to “The brilliant choices of Steve Jobs, Adobe, multi-talented developers now force us to use Javascript – ECMAScript 1.0?”

  1. Amen Austin.

    I agree 100% with your perspective. Thank you very, very much for sharing.

    One word of caution … I agree where you write “You don’t announce the big issue when you have no alternative”, however forget about “I really think Adobe should have waited for the announcement. I think Adobe should have made the announcement WHEN they had a solution.” Let’s check back in 36 months, but in truth Adobe effectively has taken down it’s development technologies tent and gone home to it’s milk and honey land of image processing, video editing, graphic design and desktop publishing.

    Essentially Adobe’s announcement last month was a big “Oops!” on the whole Macromedia acquisition. From what we have heard they have laid off significant staff. So who on the Adobe payroll is going to build this fantasy of an evolved HTML5 development solution?

    I hate to be so pessimistic, but have you seen any road map from Adobe in the now month since their announcement of the deprecation of the entire Flash/ActionScript Platform? I have been watching, waiting, asking … but so far bupkis. And adding insult to injury, I was at Adobe’s MAX developer conference in October, where there was not even the slightest peep that this near total shutdown of Adobe’s commitment to the Flash Platform was in the offing. ARGHHH.

    And the hell with just RIA … we do heavy video too. HTML5 video? Are you kidding me? It is not just businesses and developers that are suffering with the reality of this “Tower-of-Babel” development environment, but end users suffer **EVEN MORE** !

    Virtually nobody is delivering video today to HTML5 players (except in cases for fallback/fallover where Flash Player is unavailable). Even in 36 months HTML5 video players are likely only to be a drop in the bucket … especially in the cases desiring the delivery of high quality user experiences.

    Following is a link for great work by Jan Ozer and the team at StreamingMedia.com highlighting the current inferior experiences of HTML-only vs Flash-enabled sites:

    HTML5 Is Taking Over the Web, Right? Not so Fast…
    http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/HTML5-Is-Taking-Over-the-Web-Right-Not-so-Fast-78992.aspx

    EXCERPTS:

    On the second point, none of the 20 sites sampled for this article used HTML5 for any purpose other than supporting the iPad. I realize that the intrusion of these hard numbers may offend the sensibilities of cognoscenti and pundits who prefer the weight of their own subjective opinion to actual objective findings. But to paraphrase Dick Cheney, they are what they are.

    Clearly, the iPad is a platform that web marketers know they must address, but you’d have to think that there would be mass applause in many IT shops if Apple relented and added Flash to the iPad (not that it will ever happen). …

    It’s hard to overstate the difference in the experience and the significance of that difference. Click Soccer in the Adidas store on the iPad, and you can shop for shoes and shirts. Click Soccer in the computer-based app (Figure 3), and you go to an immersive page that lets you edit video online in a Flash-based video editor or play a soccer skills game, and you can compare your scores with others around the world. One experience takes your money, and the other gets you involved and invites you to spend more time on the site, which is Brand Building 101.

  2. Until dart is ready for prime time, I recommend taking a look at haxe compiling to javascript. It gives you the compile time type checking of actionscript.

  3. Console.log does work in ie8. The developer tools has to be open for it to work.

    Ernest leitch at Reply

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