Frameworks and Libraries and Leaky Abstractions

Published on June 30, 2023 (↻ July 26, 2023), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

Code generation tools [including frameworks and libraries] which pretend to abstract out something, like all abstractions, leak, and the only way to deal with the leaks competently is to learn about how the abstractions work and what they are abstracting. So the abstractions save us time working, but they don’t save us time learning.

Joel Spolsky in his famous article, The Law of Leaky Abstractions (2002). Emphasis mine.

This feeds the frameworks paradox (but not the CSS art one), and it is what contributes to the cost of frameworks. But I’m not Joel Spolsky, and this is just a brief post with a quote wondering about shortcuts.

This said, two much longer “posts” are coming up next month: I’m going to release an AI-supported philosophical experiment with The Problems With All the Good Things, as well as the next edition of The Web Development Glossary—The Web Development Glossary 3K. Stay tuned!

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!