Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed


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zedzone (23)
Thursday, 05 April 2012, 11:29

Wow, javascript sux.

So I had to dirty myself and work on a bit of javascript myself. I needed to find out what communication protocols and techniques are available to me, and how the jax-rs implementation handles various things.

e.g. I needed to pass the parameters derived from a dynamically created user interface, plus some other structures such as an array of objects to the server.

I went with a form as then I don't need custom marshalling code on the browser end, but then I needed to manually encode/decode the array. It didn't take too many LOC to do it in the end, but it took a long time to find out what those LOCs were (albeit most of the time trying to work out how to access the app server jaxb context and how to use it to decode some json embedded in a form field).

But what surprises me about 'javascript' is just how un-script like it is. i.e. it only provides fairly low level of functionality and one has to code a lot of stuff directly. And that's before you get to some of the nasty per-browser differences. So because of both you end up with a pile of half-arsed helper api's which should really be part of the browser - and would be if the vendors could stop stabbing themselves in the back at every turn.

e.g. although you can submit a form, if you want to submit it silently you need to manually create the HTTP data packet yourself ... which is something you don't even get close to having to worry about at the server end anymore and haven't had to for years.

And the other problem is that clearly most people who author javascript just aren't coders, or aren't very good ones. So many of the solutions one finds on the net are full of bad advice, misinformation, or are just pretty much crap examples as a direct result of the blind leading the blind. So perhaps my previous issue is just a matter of finding the wrong blog post or stack overflow question ... but who can tell? (On stack overflow, it seems to be starting to suffer from the wiki-disease a bit, anal 'save the children' do-gooder watch-dogs who want to get thingy about asking precisely the right type of question in precisely the right location: I hope this attitude gets killed quickly as such crap can rapidly deteriorate).

The language itself is ok enough I guess - although anyone wedded to IDE auto-completion (like my work-mate) is lost due to it's dynamic nature, but the browser supplied run-time platform is a total joke. This is pretty much what I suspected and wrote about previously but to have it confirmed is no point of joy.

I'm still left convinced that Apple's embrace of 'HTML5 will save the world' for example is just a cynical part of their marketing campaign against Adobe, and additionally an avenue for people to buy their hardware, realise it just isn't up to the job, and force them to write custom applications then tied exclusively to their proprietary platform. The greedy pig-fuckers.

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