No answers, only opinions

A Rust Equivalent For Front End

One of the greatest things about rust is that it is self-hosted.

There's a lot of debate about whether people want “self-hosted” or not and let me tell you— they do.

As one example, the fact any Silicon Valley investors needs to know the names, let alone versions of front end javascript frameworks in use by their portfolio is a critical failure of the collective engineering leaders of FAANG.

Actually strike that— critical success, because that portfolio is actually great at self-hosting or at least knowing when to buy someone else's self-hosting.

For the rest of the valley though the pathway through jQuery, jQuery UI, Handlebars, Backbone, Backbone with Marionette, Angular, Angular 2, React with Classes, Functional React, React with Hooks, Vue, Vue 3, Svelte, SvelteKit and this is before exploding the burrito with a package manager like npm, yarn, pnpm, and a runtime like node, bun deno, and a version of TypeScript or not has been a rough ride.

The point is about stability and velocity.

The main benefit of self-hosting is never running into a breaking API change— ever.

Rust is self-hosted in that anything that can happen on your device does. The main value Rust provides is a smooth paved path to drive on top of for hardware. Bluetooth, wifi, gamepads— all streamlined.

While rust solves the hardware, or backend, problems incurred by self-hosting and owning computers, there is not a clear winner for what self-hosting the services that draw pixels to our screens via software, or frontend should be shaped like.

There's a reason larger teams decided to incur the complexity costs of offloading their frontend development infrastructure to the cloud: it was hard to organize the web.

Conway's law took place and now support is fractured across GitHub issues, Discord Channels for external communication, Slack Channels for internal communication, loose customer service emails, phone calls from our boss, and a website that'll be totally updated when they hire the right junior front ender.

In short, the easiest way to do something is to mimic the way that people that make money by doing something.

To be fair, React as a thought leader from Facebook did more to progress the science and the art of front end programming to date and brought salaries up along with it.

That said, early 20's hackers that move fast and break things that are funded by essentially infinite amount of money with little to no oversight or overhead for shipping might not realize exactly when they struck gold— which was right in between Functional React and React with Hooks.

As a result, everyone that wasn't self-hosting and choosing to maintain their own secure fork of Functional React now has a codebase littered with hooks that require manual dependency tracking and will bump the complexity of code from “some text files” to “needs an IDE”.

The website is now on pause as the budget now calls for a senior front ender.

Things do not have to be this way. I'm on it.