Wordslinger • Dissident • Webwright

An argument for frameworks

Published 21 December 2006

In Six things that suck about the Web in 2006, Roger Johansson of 456 Berea Street complains about

Overuse of JavaScript frameworks/libraries. Back to the 90’s, baby, except they were called DHTML libraries that time around. What is it with people learning a JavaScript library instead of learning to write JavaScript? It’s like learning Frontpage instead of HTML. Yes, script libraries can be great. But not when people use them because they can instead of because they should.

I have one good argument for using frameworks.

Last week in 1911, Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the south pole. At the time, however, two expeditions were racing for the pole: Amundsen and famed explorer Robert F. Scott. Like Johansson, Scott eschewed frameworks–in this case sled dogs. He said,

No journey ever made with dogs can approach the height of that fine conception which is realized when men go forth to face hardships, dangers, and difficulties with their own unaided efforts.

Sound similar?

Scott not only reached the South Pole after Amundsen, he perished before leaving the continent.

With the help of frameworks, humans can do amazing things–everything from building skyscrapers to commuting. The question shouldn’t be why use a framework, but be how trustworthily developed it is.

Anecdote care of the Writer’s Almanac for 14 December 2006.