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Is a "fast moving ecosystem" good or bad?

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JavaScript is one of the segments of software development tends to evolve very quickly. It means progress at the cost of stability.

Is this something that should be mitigated or avoided, or is it just the cost of progress? Is there a particular part of the ecosystem offering stability and fast progress?

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Both good and bad. I think the fast-moving ecosystem does bring fresh ideas and progress, which is good. I think this could be bad because it doesn't always seem to build on previous parts of the ecosystem. The progress isn't always moving things forward, but creating adjacent progress. Instead of enhancing or creating the next iteration of an existing tool, new tools are created from scratch. Angular/React/Vue/Svelte all serve the same purpose at the end of the day, they are just different ways to do it. Same for Express/Koa/Hapi/Fastify/etc.

The large leaps forward for me were:

  • jQuery -> React-like frameworks.
  • Browser JavaScript -> being able to run it server-side with Node.js.
  • Disparate REST endpoints -> GraphQL.

I think those things are innovative and worth the disruption to stability/comfort. Switching from Framework A to Framework B is harder to justify as worthwhile when they do the same things but are more preference-based.

 

There are ends of the spectrum.

"Move fast and break things" is a great motto for trying new things, but trading stability for velocity often has terminal side-effects, like killing longevity or product maturity.

Think of all the potential Devs that Google alienated with the use of this philosophy with Angular 2-6.

Production and enterprise systems need to work with products that have that maturity and stability, otherwise they get passed over with little thought.

 

I think general it is a good thing, it means new ideas are being tested and implemented consistently instead of stagnating. However, after a few years it can get really exhausting.

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