I subscribe to many developer focused email newsletters.  I really need to in order to attempt to stay up on the latest advancements in web site development.  Of course unless you have absolutely nothing else to do with your time, keeping pace with all the latest advancements is just not possible.

It was one of these many newsletters that contained a link to a Speckyboy blog post titled Our 50 Favorite CSS Libraries, Frameworks and Tools from 2019.  Please don’t misunderstand, this is not at all a slam on Speckyboy.  I read their posts frequently.  This whole thought was simply inspired by that title.

    The Problem

That title really sums up the problem with modern day web development.  There are really 50 CSS Libraries, Frameworks and Tools?  Actually over 50 since this is a list of their favorites.  That number doesn’t consider Javascript Libraries and Frameworks.  It’s reaching the point where depending on which developer you ask, you could today almost expect to get a different answer regarding which framework is their favorite.  Has anyone considered this is broaching insanity?

Of course many will disagree and that’s fine.  Sure all of those frameworks allow you to get a web site finished and launched in just a few hours.  And oh boy is it loaded with bells and whistles and eye candy galore.  Now I like a nice looking web site as much as the next browser.  But at what cost?

How many developers today can build a site without a framework or library?  Take them all away and now build that site!  Seriously.  If you can’t, you need to go back to the beginning and relearn your job.  Because those frameworks and libraries have made you a lazy developer.  Sorry if you don’t like that.  Sorry that flies in the face of rapid development.  But it’s true.

Another problem is the cost on the internet infrastructure, the user’s computer and their time.  For example.  I use Firefox primarily and you should too.  Firefox allows me to use certain extensions to add some extra functionality to my browsing experience.  One of the few extensions I use is NoScript.  It will block running Javascripts unless you approve them.  Not only does this allow you to not be tracked and possibly have your privacy compromised, but it gives you a list of all the scripts your browser is being forced to download to display a web site.  In some cases the number of required scripts is out of control, dozens.  And this isn’t tracking the CSS side of things.  No wonder some pages are taking a very long time to display.  Too bad if one of those scripts resides on a server that is experiencing network issues.  In that case that site just might not load.  It’s not the site’s server, but one of the many other servers that are required to server files just to view a single web page.  Now have several tabs open in your browser and without 8 GB in RAM in your computer you might just see your browser crash.  Not the browser’s fault.  Or your computer.  There’s no RAM left from all of the web sites loading insane amounts of scripts and libraries and frameworks.  Okay, yes, that won’t happen a lot with a mere 4GB of RAM but it sure could with 2 GB.

    A Solution

The solution is don’t use them.  Those libraries and frameworks are jammed with code to perform all sorts of different things, many, if not most, you aren’t using on a web site.  So why use that library or framework?  Don’t force the user to load all that code that will never be used.  Like it or not, this is lazy folks.

If you can understand the code, find the section you really want to use and develop your own code that is similar that will accomplish the same task.  In other words, build your own mini framework.  Now it’s possible you’ll need to do this for each site you build.  No problem.  Maintain your own library of various functions in code for the various things you want that site to offer.  Pick and choose from your vast library of code only what is needed for the site you’re developing and bam!  A mini framework specially built by you for the site you’re working on.  I do it all the time.  Even in the case of a Word Press site, I will develop my own themes from a basic theme I have, and only has what is necessary.  Those sites always load faster.  This in return makes the search engines like your site better too, because it’s fast.

It takes a little longer, but everyone will be better off for putting a little more effort into your sites.

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