As a longtime and hardcore ASP.NET webforms developer, I’m finding the new client-side development world a bit of a grind. I love learning new technologies, but I can’t help feeling we’ve regressed and lost our old RAD advantage as we move heavy lifting to the client.
I find myself today lost in nests of curly braces that Ctrl+K, Ctrl+D doesn’t seem to understand that well either. IntelliSense, my old syntax saviour, doesn’t seem to have kept up with this cobweb of code either. Code completion? Not seeing it.
As I fumbled about this evening, I thought about how web development rocketed forward when Microsoft introduced Visual InterDev. Its Design-Time Controls (DTCs) changed the way we created sites. All the iterations of Visual Studio have enhanced that server-side experience where you let a tool write the bulk of the code and manually finesse it from there.
What happened? Why am I typing properties and values (especially default values!) into VS 2012 to get a client-side grid on a page? Where are the drag and drop objects that traditionally provided 70 percent of the mark-up and configuration? Did we forget how to write Property Pages where you enter a value and the correct syntax appears magically in the source code?
To me, the tooling was looking the other way as the scene shifted from server-side code to nimble client-side script. It’ll have to catch up.