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Assaf Arkin writes on

The Web thrives not because it uses a strict architectural style and a coherent technology stack. It thrives because so many sites pay little attention to REST and choose to focus on their users instead. It thrives because mal-formed HTML pages include GIFs and PNGs and Flash and badly written JavaScript that just works. It thrives because people go on the Web to send e-mail, IM, do VoIP and trade BitTorrent files.

It’s little wonder that TCP/IP and the web are the pragmatists favorite analogs for any architectural discussion. They work with both technical and non-technical people. Mark Pilgrim’s RSS client is a more contemporary example of one of the more important principles that the web has: “I want it work work no matter the validity.” It’s like that corny poster of the frog being eaten by the crane: “Never give up!”

Of course, both have had at least a decade — much more in TCP/IP’s case — to sort out the details. I recall how insanely difficult setting up WinSOCK (is that right?) was in Win95/Win 3.1 before a TCP/IP stack came bundled with Windows. Even after that, getting Windows on the web was a right click rabbit hole. Which was still much simpler than editing flat files on slackware installs.

Perhaps we should start a blog as well ;>

Categories: Programming.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow. less config indeed. That's an enormous, hairy, mind-eating can of worms there.

    Some questions:

    (1) is less config orthogonal to less code?

    (2) is less config a demonstrable, philosophical Good or just a frequent user request? (is there a difference between those two things?)

    (3) What are the best examples and counterexamples of less config around right now?

    (4) To what extent does "less config" actually mean "sensible defaults"?

  2. go get the url – i freaking love that idea- v nice. you know you’ll get ryans vote

  3. seems like Dan is right on the money. great questions dan.