Monday, November 01, 2004

The Ten Small Truths of Web Developers

The Ten Small Truths: lessons learned from time spent trying to make three languages compile in one application with five namespaces.

1) It isn't that one standards organization is better than another. In fact, that is precisely the point. They aren't. It comes down to politics and those choices are simple: what's in it for me.

2) One would think we would search for the best design. We don't; we search for the best selling author because he or she will provide the easiest read.

3) If the customer doesn't know, the vendor doesn't have to care.

4) Do the Right Thing: the right thing means the MBAs make their numbers. Certainty is a warm spreadsheet.

5) The web is too much like Canada: it needs a strong leader to offset the difficulty of managing a weak government.

6) The web isn't the easiest platform; it is the hardest by a factor of five. We've gotten used to slow strangulation by the accretion of hacks. Worse is better and we actually believe that.

7) To know that a better universe existed, you have to be old enough to remember it. For the web, that means you have to be at least 50 years old. That means you are in a distinct minority among active developers. Minorities don't matter even if they are right. Socialism works only when minorities don't matter. See Truth 1.

8) If the press says it, it must be wrong. If anyone else says it, the press must be right.

9) A day in the library is a waste of time that could be better spent updating a wiki.

10) A day spent updating a wiki is a better day because now one's opinions about things one knows not nearly enough about will really matter.

So we have come to the place predicted by the Federalists, where the great unwashed masses have inflicted the maximum damage they can inflict and now want the damaged to repair them. Unfortunately, that is exactly what will happen.

sigh.. whimper... whine...

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