Illusion

Warnings and apologies: 6am introspection ahead!

In Dan Hon’s latest newsletter he briefly mentions the academic theory of some of the work at ETech in the past (compared to some of the advertorial at O’Reilly Solid).

I have a grudging acceptance that being older, and having two kids, but still being interested in Things as well as games, and, y’know occassionally going outside means I have to pick and choose what I spend my time on. I used to spend a lot of time, pre-kid, on taking some new or interesting piece of technology and making a thing. There used to be an XUL interface to this blog, for example.

But the edges are less clear to me now. Or at least the bits-only edges are unclear. There’s obviously a load of really interesting stuff going on with sensors and arduinos and the Raspberry Pi, and, one small step up from that, plenty of programmable toy robots.

I suppose that areas like Web Components are where the current excitement is – an area with a dense spec and, when I last looked, a dearth of examples.

Because I sit in a world which straddles Java and PHP and has a toe in Ruby I see things like Grunt and Gulp, and think “hurray, a replacement for those Ant scripts!” but it turns out they’re barely that. Vagrant appears, and is great for packaging and distributing customised images of virtual machines, but again the bits I care about are just a wrapper around other tools. Where’s the meat? There’s a lot of work going on in front-end JavaScript application development, but, like Joe Gregorio, I have a whole other rant about that.

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