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Programming The Internet

Famo.us: Do We Really Need Another JavaScript Framework? 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-create-a-javascript-framework-to-find-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes Front-end developer Jaroen Janssen has a post about Famo.us, "a custom built JavaScript 3D rendering and physics engine meant as a replacement for the standard layout engine of the browser." The engine effectively replaces a big chunk of HTML5 in order to render more efficiently by using technology based on WebGL. Janssen questions whether the world really needs another JavaScript framework: "Is it a bad thing that Famo.us replaces major parts of HTML5? To be honest, I'm not sure. As a Front-end developer I have to admit it makes me slightly uneasy to have to use a custom API instead of 'standard' HTML5. On the other hand, like almost everyone that makes web apps for a living, I have been terribly frustrated by some of HTML5 limitations, like slowness and browser incompatibilities. Either way, it might be a good thing to try a fundamentally different approach so I'm keeping an open mind for now.

Famo.us chases another holy grail, namely the 'write once, run anywhere' dream. Instead of having to write different code for different platforms, like iOS and Android, developers can write one application that works and looks as good on all platforms, in theory anyway. This of course saves a huge amount of time and resources. Unfortunately, this idea is not without its problems and has never really worked very well with earlier attempts like Java-applets, Flash and Silverlight. In the end native applications have so far always been faster and slicker and I'm pretty skeptical Famo.us will be able to change this."
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Famo.us: Do We Really Need Another JavaScript Framework?

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  • by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Friday July 04, 2014 @03:21PM (#47384985) Homepage Journal

    The web developers and users will quickly decide if people want this technology. The more options the better I say; the inferior ones will fade on their own.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @03:40PM (#47385073)

    Do we really need more than 5 computers?

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday July 04, 2014 @03:44PM (#47385109)

    If you want fast 2D or 3D graphics you DON'T code them in an interpreted script language welded onto a markup language pushed well beyond its sell by date running in a bloated client which in turns runs on the OS. If web devs want to climb out of the web playpen and do grown up programming then learn a grown up language such as Java or C++.

  • Re:VRML (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:25PM (#47385253)
    A lot of the goals of famo.us seem to overlap with another technology. Fla.sh!

    Ducks, but it's true.
  • by scamper_22 (1073470) on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:57PM (#47385391)

    It's not what we need. We've always had what we need.
    It's about getting everyone to use the same thing.

    Basically we have debates on screen layout, networking... other APIs. We've been building such APIs for decades.

    It is just hard to get everyone to use the same API.

    We need HTML+javascript, because for whatever reason that worked to get the world moving. Maybe it would have better if the web just ran off perl scripts or python scripts or QT application or TCL or whatever, but it didn't.

    It began as a markup language (more to display documents like Word). Then it moved to become dynamic pages. Again like adding VBScripting to Word. Now we keep hacking and putting stuff on top of it to make it a full fledged programming environment.

    We can hope for niceness, but this seems to be repeated over and over and our field. Yet, somehow, things get made.

  • by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Friday July 04, 2014 @05:10PM (#47385421)
    You aren't right in a technical sense on this at all. It scary what Javascript and WebGL can do and the speed of it, but what is really scary is what a mess Javascript is in 2014 --- makes Perl look like BASIC. No need to obfuscate Javascript in 2014. Also I'm not sure if technologies like NaCL and WebGL should be in the future --- I guess, but it will be coming.

    But more to the question, what kind of web is this leading to ...

    I used Adblock and Flashblock right now just to have a half-way decent experience on the internet to avoid a ghastly internet flash ads from downloading untold GBs of data/video/audio to annoy me without a way to mute it.

    The internet is a train to nowhere and no one is driving it, big corporations will turn it into a minefield of advertising (which is FINE, by the way) but rip apart everything good (involuntary flash ads, bandwidth, speed, shitty cross-domain javascript, DRM, turn web standards into circuses) to get there.

    Steve Jobs back 3 years did a rant again Flash, which at the time and still now embodies the villanous nature of plug-ins.

    And with WebGL and video streaming and DRM in HTML5 --- your internet may get turned into a turdball --- just to waste everyone's bandwidth to show ads you will never click.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @06:04PM (#47385659)

    Yay, more options. Since the DOM is so slow and sucks so much, I'm going to make a Javascript library that parses HTML and CSS and converts them into canvas drawings. This portable HTML implementation will solve all our cross-platform issues because it will render everything the same in every browser. Will can finally simplify HTML and drop every tag except canvas and maybe the audio tag. My library will ensure a lush and consistent user experience across all devices. Everyone knows Javascript has been getting faster and faster while HTML hasn't been sped up in years. My library will draw faster than the browser can parse HTML because Javascript is so fast.

    For marketing and business users, my library will help ensure your safety. Since any text is drawn in pixels and not included as character data, your users will no longer be able to illegally take text from your website and reuse them elsewhere as their own work. If you need to make a sudden change to your site to prevent a consumer lawsuit, have no fear. No one will have an archive of your site as attempting to store every viewable section as a video would take up far too much space. Everyone knows images can be photo-shopped. No one will trust a screenshot of your site.

    For tech-savvy users, fear not. You'll still have your freedom. There already exists a Chrome addon that uses OCR to extract text from images. I'll expand on that extension and create one for each browser. If you really want to copy those lyrics or news articles you can.

    It'll take me a couple years to build the library, but that's ok. It'll need the next-gen power of future computers and cell phones. There's no reason to design for the current gen as that'll be all old and outdated and stuff. My library will be free so don't worry about ads. I'm funding development through my new invention. Instead of throwing away water bottles and filling landfills with toxic batteries, I've developed a hand-held gas generator with a micro-USB output. Simple fill up your old water bottle with gasoline, screw on the generator, plug-in your next gen smart phone, and now you can spend all afternoon browsing the web. With my library, it'll look the same as if you were on a desktop, but better!

    Sadly, I actually expect such a library to be created and used if it hasn't been made already. I truly hate web development and how software engineering and computers in general seem to be progressing backwards.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

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