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Sean Walker

The static web

You know it’s funny, I’ve been programming web “applications” for a decade now and just this year I’ve given up on them. Some of the ideas behind web apps were revolutionary at the time, stateless user interfaces, where the state isn’t stored in the application in memory, but on the server and in the database. There’s a lot to love about web applications, and a lot to hate.

Regardless about how I feel about them, the truth is that I’ve been holding on to a dying technology for way too long. Desktop PCs and laptops stopped being the primary way people interact with software for quite a few years now. The primary device of 2020 is the smart phone and the primary software is the app. Even when I look toward the future I don’t see a resurgence in web applications with all of their idiosyncrasies or even using web technology in mobile applications (like react native). No, I see a future where we use apps less and less and voice assistants and possibly AR glasses more and more. Airpods + Apple sunglasses are potentially the final frontier in human computer interaction, there isn’t a lot of room for web apps in that world.

The good news though is that there is still a lot of room for what the web was originally built for: documents. There really is no better way to get words on a page and distribute them then by using the open web with a static site. It is the primary way to distribute written documents along with images/gifs and all the fun stuff that comes with html.

This is a message to myself: stop writing web apps and start writing more web pages.