I was assigned a Test Lead role for a project that, among other goals, is investigating SPA. I thought I’d jargon-up my opening line because it looks all cool but it has a distinct “Emperor’s New Clothes” feel. Single Page Application (SPA) is all the rage as of this writing (I may be a few months behind – “all the rage” is hard to maintain in software development).
Plainly said, I ain’t impressed. In fact, I think we’re coming full circle from (former “all the rage”) desktop computing applications. You may recall the shrink-wrapped, shiny boxes containing the coolest new application, requiring twenty minutes of disk swapping to install. I grant you today’s installation is far simpler and faster but in the end, it’ll be a desktop application hosted in your browser. Yup – full circle.
What really frosts me is developers talking about new frameworks and utilities they are using. Not having familiarity with the names (which for my money are nowhere nearly as cool as Lotus 1-2-3, Wordstar, Paradox, or Sidekick), I did a bunch of research and experimenting. I was able to install < insert popular framework>, its recommended testing tool <insert popular testing tool for popular framework>, and run a few tests. As Biff exclaimed in “Back to the Future II”, there’s something very familiar about this.
If I have this straight, there is a “new” IDE for coding, a “new” utility for “compiling”, and a utility for bundling all to support SPA. Maybe it’s just me but I’m pretty sure I can do all that in Visual Studio today. With the Community version, I can even do it for the same price.
This journey started because we wanted to pursue SPA. Its shiny and new. As we experimented with it, we discovered the technology stack. It’s as if we were walking along in the woods, and found a neat stick we could use. When we picked it up, the other end disturbed a bee’s nest. When you pick up a stick, you always pick up both ends.