1. 4
  1. 12

    Points 1 to 4 in this article are almost entirely reasonable, and then the fifth one jumps off the deep end with no regard for its own safety.

    1. 6

      “Almost” is carrying a lot of weight here. The assertion that MSFT has “killed” JavaScript is still remarkably popular1, though if you’re inclined to worry about JavaScript being supplanted then I can see why the rapid popularity of TypeScript might alarm you.

      I don’t know enough about the TypeScript community + governance to say how alarming it is that MSFT controls it. As far as I know it’s all ASL 2.0, so if MSFT turns out to be a big evil baddie here, the larger community could fork it and move on.

      No. 4 is not “almost” reasonable. First, it makes several assertions about what “will” happen and claims “99 out of 100 times” people advise VSCode as the best editor on the planet. The claim is utter garbage and even if it were true, that’s not entirely on MSFT. People have free will - they can decide to use VSCode, Vim, Emacs, or TextEdit or whatever to edit TypeScript or JS or whatever.

      But the worst part here is the phrase “If a for-profit corporation, like Microsoft, gives you something free, be prepared to become raped at some point” (verbatim from the post) At this point, I’m done with the author before we even get to the capper of “Act 5” which is just drivel.

      “open source is about to be monetized” .. about to be? About to be?

      Also, the author ignores the fact that MSFT has actually done a lot of work to develop and popularize TypeScript.

      And that if there really is “a community of hundreds of thousands of active JavaScript developers,” again, they can fork TypeScript and route around a hostile npm if necessary.

      1. 5

        First, it makes several assertions about what “will” happen and claims “99 out of 100 times” people advise VSCode as the best editor on the planet.

        The last Rust community survey I looked at was roughly:

        • 40% VS Code
        • 40% vim
        • 20% everything else

        I wouldn’t be surprised if JavaScript developers are more likely to want a different kind of editor: I doubt that being able to ssh into a remote machine and run the same editor is a particularly important attribute for editor choice for a JavaScript developer.

        There’s a good reason that VS Code is popular with TypeScript developers: it’s mostly written in TypeScript and it’s easy for them to extend. That probably applies to JavaScript developers who know a bit of TypeScript as well. It’s about as surprising as EMACS being popular with Lisp developers.

        1. 2

          I’m sure it’s popular, but the assertion that “99 out of 100 times” is just nonsense. And, you know, the author is trying to ding MSFT for pushing “VSCode as the go-to (and only) Editor for TypeScript.” First, OK - that’s their job.

          MSFT tries to make VSCode the #1 editor/environment for TypeScript. OK, and? If they’re doing it by making a good editor that people want to use that’s … not horrible.

          But then the author cites as back-up for this that “people” advise using VSCode. If 40% of the developer population recommends VScode (or more) they’re doing so willingly, not at gunpoint. If you were forced to use VSCode in some way, that’d be a compelling argument against MSFT but it really seems like yet more FUD.

    2. 11

      Disclaimer: I don’t have nor ever had any connection to microsoft in any form and, apart from work mandated situations, haven’t use their products for almost 20 years. Except for vs-code.

      This anti-Microsoft tone borderlines fanboyism. This was common to see on online discussions back in the day when Mandrake and Red Hat were chewing on Windows dominance. But it quickly got old and, dare I say, a bit annoying. Even for linux users and free software enthusiasts such as myself.

      Javascript is perfectly usable and it is the one language natively supported by the browsers. The whole typescript take over is a total exaggeration. I have written a fair share of javascript over the years, not for once did I feel compelled to use Typescript for any purpose.

      I believe this comes from a culture of “this is how you do it, don’t ask why”. The author possibly belongs to the huge breed of frontend developers that set up a byzantine workflow in his local environment with north of a dozen dev tools and thousands of npm dependencies. There is life beyond that hype. You can write a fancy look web application with usage of modern browser apis with just a Manually edited HTML file or a script tag. You can be a productive javascript developer without ever touching npm, typescript, vs-code, etc.

      You don’t need to put your code on github either. There are dozens of alternatives. Some of them quite sizeable. Or you could publish your code on a website you build.

      The rethorics of this entry are such that anything that microsoft does, even if well intended, is demonised as “Embrace Extend Extinguish”.

      The whole idea of typescript being a superset of C# and not javascript is non sense. That is not a marketing claim but a very well mathematically defined one. What it means is that you can throw javascript at the typescript compiler and it will not fail. you obviously cant feed with with C#.

      1. 7

        This article makes a lot of salient points about JS and the danger of monopolies enclosing FOSS, but I feel like towards “acts” 4-5 it gets incredibly incendiary which really undermines the whole article by starting to pitch theoretical conspiracies as in progress without really providing much evidence they’re even likely to happen.

        Additionally the sexual assault comparison felt really unneccessary. I thought we were past such needless edginess in otherwise sober pieces by now.

        1. 5

          It’s paywalled.

          1. 9

            Not for me. Having said that I really dislike medium. A post that talks about the dangers of monopolisation of crowd work could do a lot better than a for profit walled garden blogging platform.

            1. 4

              FWIW, reading through the “cached” link underneath the submission’s title is I believe the workaround for a number of paywalls.

              1. 1

                Does not work on iOS unfortunately, the archive.md website displays a captcha page which is impossible to solve (the page doesn’t have a mobile version, and the modal window to solve the captcha goes outside the browser’s viewport).

              2. 3

                I think opening the link in a private window does the trick as a workaround. It’s actually quite an illustration for the article point.

                1. 2

                  Sure there are workarounds, but the sooner people who use Medium for publishing realize they’re cutting into their prospective audience, the better.

              3. 5

                Act 4: Microsoft pushes VSCode as the go-to (and only) Editor for TypeScript

                Microsoft VSCode’s LSP makes writing Vim integration for TypeScript (and a lot of other languages) easier than ever, significantly so. The claim that “Microsoft is making VSCode the only editor for TypeScript” is laughably wrong. VSCode (through LSP) significantly improved the entire Vim ecosystem.

                Vim in general is declining in popularity, and even as a huge Vim fan it’s not hard to see why. It’s idiosyncratic, doesn’t follow modern UX paradigms, and actually quite limited in some ways (such as graphic capabilities). I don’t think it’s as hard to get started with as sometimes claimed, but it’s also not something I would recommend to a new programmer if they ask me “what editor or IDE should I use?”

                1. 9

                  Can we get a ‘marxist’ tag so we know when an article is about profit being evil?

                  There is no such thing as free in capitalism. If a for-profit corporation, like Microsoft, gives you something free, be prepared to become raped at some point.

                  jesus christ

                  1. 8

                    Just because something is anti-capitalist doesn’t make it Marxist. Marxism is a specific set of analysis and critiques of capitalist economics that goes beyond “capitalism bad big companies evil”.

                    1. 3

                      Change it to anti-capitalist then, i’m not picky.

                      1. 1

                        Is open source anti-capitalist, in your opinion?

                        1. 4

                          No, not at all.

                    2. 4

                      The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe, You have to make it fall, comrade.

                      1. 4

                        I found the post to be utter garbage, but (to be fair) the real complaint seems to be monopolization, rent-seeking and putting a community commons behind paywalls are evil. If you read the entire screed, the article is not just about MSFT making a profit but the author’s claim that MSFT is trying to assert full control over the TypeScript/JavaScript open source community/project/whatever for maximum profit. I’d hope we could agree, if that were true, that it would be bad and that all pursuit of profits are not equal.

                        1. 2

                          sure, i just wonder how they would do that, and the article doesn’t give a hint. For now, they support the free software community with free code hosting, a free high-quality editor, free js package hosting and created a free (as in beer) javascript-like language. That’s a lot of good things. If they switched to ‘let’s be evil’ mode, people could move away from them rather easily (although admittedly not trivially). The biggest JS client runner is still Google Chrome, so MS doesn’t control the front- and backend.

                          1. 2

                            The article doesn’t give a hint because there’s no hint to be given. While I’m no fanboy for MSFT, what they’re doing with TypeScript and VSCode, etc. seems fairly benign. Yeah, they want to “own” that developer profile in the sense that they want developers to use their stuff / target their platforms. So they’re doing the work to make that happen.

                            Would the world be better off if it were Google or Apple or Oracle or whomever bought NPM, GitHub and invested in a superset language for JS? I really doubt it. I also doubt that MSFT bought GitHub just to dominate the JS/TypeScript developer community… the whole post is just a rant that isn’t even well supported.

                            1. 1

                              Would the world be better off if it were Google or Apple or Oracle or whomever bought NPM, GitHub and invested in a superset language for JS?

                              It’s kind of sad that the only alternative to Microsoft that comes to mind is “well, another giant multinational corporation could have bought it.”

                        2. 3

                          That’s the part of the quote you find objectionable? Not the comparison have having to pay for software to being a victim of sexual violence?

                          1. 7

                            I quoted it in full because it’s one thought and I did find this exact thing objectionable.

                        3. 3

                          There’s a lot of silliness in here, but I want to call one thing out in particular:

                          The message is clear, open source is about to be monetized by corporations and Venture Capitalist driven companies.

                          This is remarkably ignorant of history. Open-source software was coined in large part to court corporate users and sponsors–differentiating it from truly libre/free software. This has been the case for at least two and a half decades.

                          IBM, Red Hat (but I repeat myself :P ), Canonical, and a lot of other companies makes plenty of money taking over open source and doing what benefits them. Acting like Microsoft is somewhere the only (or even a notably bad) actor in the space is really just fundamentally wrong.

                          (Further, the article kinda ignores that npm wasn’t exactly a great actor–being not profitable isn’t the same as being a non-profit.)

                          1. 2

                            JavaScript itself was made by a for-profit company, what’s the fuzz here?