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    Contempt Culture (2016) philosophy blog.aurynn.com
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    I’m really curious about how those that flagged this off-topic would argue for their decision.

    Regarding the article itself, I recognize a good part of that in myself. It’s hard to be “appropriately critical” of something, much easier to just file it as entirely worthless. But it’s also hard to give up on being openly critical of PHP or the state of frontend development if you perceive the poor design to be spreading – I believe the programming world would be better if there were less NodeJS around, so shouldn’t I advocate for that? Perhaps just by writing positively about technologies I appreciate? Is it ok (or even possible) to be critical of a technology or ecosystem without attacking its users personally?

    I will at least try to stop saying “node barista”. :)

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      I think the problem is the common and easy step of moving from “I think NodeJS brings the worst of both worlds into backend” to “I think people who use NodeJS are worse than people who use X”.

      One thing to remember is that there was a day when NodeJS, PHP or whatever were actually pretty cool and you can’t blame someone for still using it if that works for them.

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        I think there is at least a slightly different situation between PHP and NodeJS. If I understand correctly, PHP was written as a sort of wrapper around CGI to make it easier for the original developer to update his website. It had a purpose, and although it has many flaws in its design, implementation, and so on, suited well enough what it was needed for.

        NodeJS on the other hand has taken a language for front-end work and stuck it in the backend. This wouldn’t be bad in itself (for example, I like using sexps to write HTML), but Javascript really isn’t designed for backend work. Also, the kind of paradigms that make sense in frontend work often don’t work as well in backend. This isn’t to say that front end developers are stupid, can’t program, or anything similar, but that the skillsets are not identical, and in selling Node as “Javascript but on the server” those programmers who could have expanded their skills and become good backend programmers have instead stuck with what they know and done it more poorly than it could have been done.

        That’s just how I see it. Maybe I’m just bitter as someone who could never get a Node environment properly set up and working :P

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          I think this is well put.

          You can find (correctly or not) a tool to be of lower quality than another but that shouldn’t make whoever (has to) work with that a lesser developer.

          There have been several times when I “inherited” a system written in NodeJS and I couldn’t simply rewrite all in rust/go/whatever is cool, so I believe me sucking up all the annoying little quirks didn’t necessarily make me a worse developer; I’d say that actually made me a slightly better one but that’s a conversation for another day :)

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        I agree that “node barista” is a bad habit. :)

        I believe that reasonable critique of tools and ecosystems has a place in our discourse. Without it, you risk having people unknowingly repeat design mistakes rather than learn from them. Communities should be able to tolerate critiques without being personally offended. At the same time, the onus is on the author of the critique to focus on deliverables, not people.

        I’m not going to pretend that the previous paragraph is at all easy. But we need to be able to recognize and grow from critique. We are not our code.

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        Contempt doesn’t help. Taking out ones venom on PHP when it really should’ve been directed at the suits who forced that choice is a big problem. PHP may be a rotten language but reminding people of it doesn’t really solve the pain point - if you want them to move off of PHP, they have to have something to move into.

        If you leave them in the cold, don’t be surprised if they continue to do what they’ve always done. If you help them, if you lead by example, you do more than help yourself - you help train for the people after you.

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