The DOM may be imperfect, but it’s nonetheless crucial to what frontend engineers do when they write web applications. In this talk, Douglas provides an overview, situated historically, of where the DOM came from, how it achieved ascendance with Ajax, and what the future might hold. In Douglas’s inimitable fashion, this history starts with Sir John Harrington and takes us up to the present day. A few choice words for CSS are among the many applause lines for veteran developers:
I find within the community of people who use CSS great affection for it. They’re totally invested in CSS, they love it. They can’t imagine any other way of doing formatting in a document. It’s it. It’s sort of like watching an episode of Cops where the cops come in and break up the family dispute, and there’s this “CSS ain’t bad, you just don’t understand it like I do. I know it hurts me, but I make mistakes, I’m wrong.” CSS is awful, and it amazes me the way people get invested in it. It’s like once you figure it out, kind of go “oh, OK, I see how I might be able to make it work,” then you flip from hating it to loving it, and despising anybody who hasn’t gone through what you’ve gone through. It doesn’t make sense to me.
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