At ReactiveConf 2019 in Prague, Richard Feldman drew on his 12 years of professional Web development experience, and history of being an early adopter of technologies like React in 2013 and Elm in 2014, to make and justify some concrete predictions about the future of the Web in both 2020 and 2025.
Feldman started with positing that predicting the evolution of current technologies is a safer bet than blindly following the pack. This formed the base for presenting in the rest of the talk his concrete predictions for what is the future of web development, which he examined through four specific lenses: TypeScript, WebAssembly, Packages, and Compile-to-JS languages.
TypeScript is currently taking off, with the key front-end frameworks either having first-class support or working to add it. However, not everybody is getting on board. TypeScript opponents complain about its verbosity, and how that impacts source code readability. Feldman gave the following example of a convoluted type:
ComponentClass < Pick < RouteComponentProps < any, StaticContext, any >, never >, any > & WithRouterStatics < (props:PropsWithChildren < RouteComponentProps < any, StaticContext, any >> ) => Element >
Feldman joked that Java programmers may gleefully quip that some programmers used to make fun at them with long naming patterns such as
Feldman continued by explaining that, while providing some degree of type safety, the TypeScript type system is by design unsound and may provide a false sense of security in some instances.
On the package management side, Feldman predicted that npm should continue to remain relevant, in spite of its current financial problems, because it benefits from strong network effects. However, Feldman foresaw that by the end of 2020, there will be one new npm security incident making headlines, and by the end of 2025 at least one malicious npm package will have infected many developers’ machines.
ReactiveConf is a yearly conference targeted at developers with talks addressing the latest technologies and trends in software development. ReactiveConf 2019 took place Oct. 30 - Nov. 1, 2019, and is the fifth installment of ReactiveConf.