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Stephen Belovarich
Stephen Belovarich

Posted on • Updated on

So what’s controversial this week?

The past couple years I’ve been noticing a trend: more articles where the author starts complaining why they don’t use a library anymore. One day it could be the creator of a UI component library posting about their displeasure with Web Components spec. Another day it’s an engineer at a startup crying foul about TypeScript. I don’t know how many articles I read making false comparisons between frameworks to justify somebody’s choice adopting one over the other. Any library, framework, tool, browser is susceptible to their attacks.

Indeed the JavaScript ecosystem is fraught with choice. So many choices an engineer can discard one tool and pick up another in no time at all. That is fine, however sometimes when engineers write posts arguing why you too should drop a tool, they should consider the potential harm they could be causing.

Maybe they didn’t have a parent drill that ole saying their heads at an early age:

“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Go figure. There isn’t a gif for that.

Some of us are perfectly happy with the tool that is suddenly made controversial by somebody’s flippant post. Others are stuck with the tool at work for years to come. The result of such posts is really negative, they are vile and not welcome in my feed.

We need a whole lot more empathy in web engineering. I have no idea who these characters are in real life but on the web they share something in common with egomaniacs and narcissistic personalities. You know, the nefarious types who have a complete lack of empathy. If you stand up to them they will always try to blame you. After all it’s not their fault you feel this way.

People are certainly entitled to their opinion, however when there is no data, analytics or concrete examples to backup their assertions I sit and wonder

“Is this just for attention?”

A kid crying for the umpire to throw him a ball at a baseball game

“Did I just succumb to nothing more than clickbait?”

Man being swallowed by enormous fish while swinging on a rope

You could choose to ignore their post however even without your support, copy cats write a similar post about their displeasure with whatever JavaScript library is on the chopping block that week. They copy and paste the same talking points. Bots retweet them. People like and bookmark their posts when they feel validated. The engineers in the community that has formed around the tool scoff at all the uneducated engineers bashing their JavaScript library. The comedy that is life continues.

So just sit back and relax in that Herman Miller chair. Confirmation bias will bite you in the end.

Top comments (3)

trusktr profile image
Joe Pea

Also the JavaScript developer community is so huge, that it is simply inevitable for there to be more libraries than in other languages. Plus inherently-official tooling (f.e. npm) is a lot better than, for example, working with C libs or Maven in Java, etc, so it has become so simple to publish libraries in the JS ecosystem. Plus, no matter how well some library achieves something, someone else will want to make their own just for the heck of it, just for fun.

steveblue profile image
Stephen Belovarich

Yep, it happened. This time on a Friday.

People started tweeting their salaries on Twitter like it could provide conclusive evidence of anything. Now it’s Saturday and people are mocking that decision, leaders in tech are calling others delusional. The comedy ensues.

deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

Well said 👏