Thursday, January 22, 2015

A dying technology

Does anyone have VHS tapes? Laserdiscs? Very few people do. Main reason is there’s almost always something better that comes along. The DVD killed both. Bluray is marginally better than DVD, but you had to have better equipment to get the full advantage which made it a tough sell especially during a down economy. Plus it had to go through a couple of years of fighting with HD-DVD. It’s all about timing with consumers.

In a business, you would never bet your company on a dying technology. For example, very few companies are made entirely with Visual Basic 6, because that produce came way back in the late 1990s. And while very popular, no one wants to use an unsupported product. What if there are bugs? What it there are security holes? Who’d want to deal with those issues?

I’ve recently found out that Grails, a very powerful web framework built on top of Groovy, is looking for a new sponsor. Apparently, SpringSource decided that they wanted to fully support their own framework and not a competing one. I’ve been using Grails for my own projects and really like it because it doesn’t require a lot of boilerplate code to get going. Unlike the Spring framework. Plus the database ORM hides a lot of configuration files necessary to get Hibernate going. There’s a lot going for it. But only if there’s active development on it. Unlike desktop applications where the user is responsible for their own stuff, a web application and by extension, the web server is by definition reachable on the web. Therefore, security must be one of the most important criterion for all software running on a publicly accessible server. And if the product is no longer supported, security holes will show up.

That’s why I decided to rewrite some of the projects and move them off Grails. I’m still in the deciding phases of which to move them to. Node.js? Python? PHP? Whatever I choose, it will have to be a very active ecosystem. And fairly stable.

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