How time is spent on web development

Dear reader,

Ok, the image above is pretty… and pretty hilarious as well. I must say that some of these time lines are true though. No, I don’t hate 100% IE, I still think it was the first browser that introduced the XmlHttpRequest as part of JScript in a very early version (maybe IE4) during the Netscape vs IE war. Somehow IE prevailed and also enabled the Ajaxian websites we see today. If you remember how bad it was to make a site work in Netscape, you’ll understand why I’m glad it died in 2002 :-p

That being said, the time lines areĀ  somehow accurate. Unfortunately web development with HTML rendering on a browser has many places where things can go wrong, and prototyping is just a smaller time, even if the prototype looks real and very cool and I’m referring to either a pure HTML prototype or a set of images created with a prototyping tool)

If you inherit an existing CSS and a certain master page or left navigation, things can get complicated if you don’t keep your styles pruned out, and if you use pure CSS, introducing new elements in an existing page can be a nightmare, the existing elements can shift easily.

If you add to that, that FF and IE have a different box and a different way to represent positioning (margin and padding), things can get messy for cross browser compatibility.

JavaScript also requires extra effort and strings without escaping quotes, for example single quotes can break anything injected on the JavaScript when the DOM is created on the document create event in the browser.

In the past few years, the outcome of JavaScript libraries such as JQuery, Dojo and GWT have made the life of developers easier.

I wonder if in a few years the world will move away from HTML/JavaScript and go to web sites developed with alternate means, ie Silverlight/Flex…how would the pie chart above look like?


PS. The subject of this blog post might not necessarily align with my employer or coworker’s opinion and it is given only as a comment. Oh, and I never swear…

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