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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Eric Aarrestad, Greg O'Connor, Liz McMillan, Aleksei Gavrilenko, Elizabeth White

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The Cover and the Epilogue of the Upcoming Book

Our publisher sent us for approval the image of a cover of the upcoming book on Web development. We were told that the name of the bird is Roseate Spoonbill. Why they decided that Roseate Spoonbill should be associated Web development will remain a mystery. I guess, since the beak of this birdy is pointing at the word “Web”, the customer of the book store should think to himself, “Hmm, I have no idea what kind of bird this is and I don’t know how to develop for the Web. Let me buy this book!” In the unlikely event that you’re also not overly familiar with Roseate Spoonbill, please refer to THE SOURCE.

cover

But this cover pales in comparison with the book epilogue. This book is about HTML5, and one would expect some drum roll and fanfares praising HTML5. Here’s what the current version of the book epilogue reads:


Epilogue

Even though this book is about HTML5, the authors would rather work with compiled languages that produce applications to run in virtual machines. Such software platforms are more productive for development and more predictable for deployment. While writing this book we were often arguing about pros and cons of switching to HTML5, and so far we are concerned that the HTML/JavaScript/CSS platform is not ready for developing of the enterprise applications just yet. We live in the era when amateurs feel comfortable creating Web sites and that JavaScript provides flexibility and customization the Access and Excel provided in the old good PC times.

Till this day Microsoft Excel is the most popular application among business users in the enterprises. They start the application locally, it has a local storage that enables work in the occasionally-connected scenarios. Both the data and the code are physically located close to the user’s heart. Microsoft Excel allows the users to have her own little pieces of data and amateurish-but-working-code (a.k.a. formulas) very close and personal. Right on the desktop. No need to ask these IT prima donnas for favors. No dependencies on the connectivity or some mysterious servers being slow or down. The most advanced business users even learn how to operate MS Access database to further lessen the dependency from IT.

But there is only so much you can do with primitive tools. Visual Basic was “JavaScript” of the nineties – it had similar problems, but nevertheless had huge followings. Now the same people are doing JavaScript. If we don’t break this cycle by adopting a common to all browsers VM, we are doomed for going through the generation after generation of underpowered crap. We wrote this book to help people with understanding of what HTML5 applications are about. But make no mistakes – the world of HTML5 is not a peachy place in the future preached by educated and compassionate scientists, but rather a nasty past that is catching up bringing the mob with it.

Most likely the publisher won’t let this epilogue to finish the book, and this blog will remain the only place this text will be published. Amen, bro!


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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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