Continually Improving Browser Technology

Update May 2018 This change of pace for browser/JavaScript technology is still on-going, 6 years later, and is why, of all things, I’m actually bullish about TypeScript/Node development, which would have been heretical to me in 2012. Being on the positive side of momentum is a lot of fun.

Just a quick note, I follow Peter Beverloo’s blog and he posts approximately weekly about the latest development/committing activity in WebKit.

E.g. the latest one: Limiting -khtml- and -apple- prefixes, and location.ancestorOrigins.

I don’t necessarily follow everything he says, but what astounds me is that WebKit+Chromium continually have 1500+ commits per week.

This rate of change is incredible to me. Especially in what I would otherwise consider a very mature platform. (It’s not like you start Chrome every week and notice, “hey, new UI this, or new feature that”).

It also makes me think about the supposed technology cycle of thin/tick client, e.g. AJAX applications these days are just like the desktop fat-clients of the mid-90s.

Which, in an architectural diagram with 3 little circles on it, sure, they look a lot alike.

But in the 90s, there were not multiple corporations (Google, Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft) poring thousands of commits per week into improving their thick-client technology platforms. And actively, if not begrudgingly, working together on standards and even test suites for their behavior.

So, yeah, we’re doing the “same thing”, but the client-side platforms of today are so much more powerful (and still rapidly evolving and improving in a semi-coherent fashion) that it’s really not at all the same thing.

Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but it was just on my mind.

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