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Re: Shrinking existing libraries as a goal

From: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 14:35:53 -0400
Message-ID: <CADC=+jegwzPjH+jWYE1KSNMTwMvOoiOEvtQJgLC3m5je0iORNA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com>
Cc: John J Barton <johnjbarton@johnjbarton.com>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Rick Waldron <waldron.rick@gmail.com>, Scott González <scott.gonzalez@gmail.com>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, ext Ojan Vafai <ojan@chromium.org>, public-webapps@w3.org, public-scriptlib@w3.org
So, out of curiosity - do you have a list of things?  I'm wondering
where some efforts fall in all of this - whether they are good or bad
on this scale, etc... For example:  querySelectorAll - it has a few
significant differences from jQuery both in terms of what it will
return (jquery uses getElementById in the case that someone does #,
for example, but querySelectorAll doesn't do that if there are
multiple instances of the same id in the tree) and performance (this
example illustrates both - since jQuery is doing the simpler thing in
all cases, it is actually able to be faster (though technically not
correct) in some very difficult ones. Previously, this was something
that the browser APIs just didn't offer at all -- now they offer them,
but jQuery has mitigation to do in order to use them effectively since
they do not have parity.

On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Yehuda Katz
> (ph) 718.877.1325
>
>
> On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM, John J Barton
> <johnjbarton@johnjbarton.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:56 AM, John J Barton
>> > <johnjbarton@johnjbarton.com> wrote:
>> >> On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:29 AM, Rick Waldron <waldron.rick@gmail.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>> Consider the cowpath metaphor - web developers have made highways out
>> >>> of
>> >>> sticks, grass and mud - what we need is someone to pour the concrete.
>> >>
>> >> I'm confused. Is the goal shorter load times (Yehuda) or better
>> >> developer ergonomics (Waldron)?
>> >>
>> >> Of course *some* choices may do both. Some may not.
>> >
>> > Libraries generally do three things: (1) patch over browser
>> > inconsistencies, (2) fix bad ergonomics in APIs, and (3) add new
>> > features*.
>> >
>> > #1 is just background noise; we can't do anything except write good
>> > specs, patch our browsers, and migrate users.
>> >
>> > #3 is the normal mode of operations here.  I'm sure there are plenty
>> > of features currently done purely in libraries that would benefit from
>> > being proposed here, like Promises, but I don't think we need to push
>> > too hard on this case.  It'll open itself up on its own, more or less.
>> >  Still, something to pay attention to.
>> >
>> > #2 is the kicker, and I believe what Yehuda is mostly talking about.
>> > There's a *lot* of code in libraries which offers no new features,
>> > only a vastly more convenient syntax for existing features.  This is a
>> > large part of the reason why jQuery got so popular.  Fixing this both
>> > makes the web easier to program for and reduces library weight.
>>
>> Yes! Fixing ergonomics of APIs has dramatically improved web
>> programming.  I'm convinced that concrete proposals vetted by major
>> library developers would be welcomed and have good traction. (Even
>> better would be a common shim library demonstrating the impact).
>>
>> Measuring these changes by the numbers of bytes removed from downloads
>> seems 'nice to have' but should not be the goal IMO.
>
>
> We can use "bytes removed from downloads" as a proxy of developer ergonomics
> because it means that useful, ergonomics-enhancing features from libraries
> are now in the platform.
>
> Further, shrinking the size of libraries provides more headroom for higher
> level abstractions on resource-constrained devices, instead of wasting the
> first 35k of downloading and executing on relatively low-level primitives
> provided by jQuery because the primitives provided by the platform itself
> are unwieldy.
>
>>
>>
>> jjb
>>
>> >
>> > * Yes, #3 is basically a subset of #2 since libraries aren't rewriting
>> > the JS engine, but there's a line you can draw between "here's an
>> > existing feature, but with better syntax" and "here's a fundamentally
>> > new idea, which you could do before but only with extreme
>> > contortions".
>> >
>> > ~TJ
>
>
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2012 18:36:25 GMT

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