CSS and JS are at war, here’s how to stop it
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There are a lot of people who love both JS and UX/CSS/etc. If we stop labeling people just as “JS developers” or “UX developers”, we can achieve a ceasefire in the current “JS vs. CSS” war and get closer to peace.
The war is real
On the other hand, we see simple static websites being over-engineered out of a sheer FOMO.
We see prominent figures in the frontend community passing the blame on each other every day and that is unfortunate, to say the least.
The warring factions are often labeled as:
But do we have to have this split? Maybe this dualism is based solely on our own bias?
In my opinion, this bias is largely caused by two things.
Second of all, social networks are good at polarizing society. We put ourselves in a bubble of likeminded individuals by subscribing to their feeds and make things even worse by reposting only the most aggressive opinions coming from the other side.
The modern web is incredibly complex. It is extremely hard to master all the technologies that power it and no one can really call oneself a 100% “full-stack” developer. But due to the fact that the JS and CSS/UX discourses have become so (artificially) separated, people with different, but not necessarily opposing passions are bing shoved into a black-and-white “JS vs. CSS” world view. React developers who are passionate about CSS animations and a11y are labeled simple as “JS folks”. And a CSS developer who loves Babel and zero-runtime CSS-in-JS will still be painted as a “CSS guy/gal”.
People who love them both
And I am not alone, there are so many people like me: the creator of an amazing React toolkit for animations, or the creator of a CSS a11y linter, to name a few.
To say the truth, each of us knows only a small subset of technologies that exist out there. And one’s passions not necessarily come from a single topic either. It is OK to love both React and CSS. Or use complex build systems to be sure about you got your a11y right. Or you can dive into distributed systems because you want to make great UX with a bad Internet connection.
Even technologies themselves cannot be seen in black and white.
ESLint configs, popular in React community (like AirBnB config), contain a lot of a11y rules.
I think the war is real. I think we can stop this war if we stop dividing developers into black and white categories.
- If you like technologies from both “sides”: say it out loud! Make it visible, so people can start a civilized discussion. Do you like modern JS frameworks, but also like creating static websites that don’t involve client-side rendering at all? Tell the world about it. Open source authors will create more frameworks for static websites, if they see the need.
- Let’s try technologies coming from “the other side”:
- If you are a CSS/UX developer, start with linters. Stylelint is a good CSS linter to start with. It will warn you about mistakes and allow you to share best practices across the team. And you can run it as a plugin for your favorite text editor, so you can start even without any bundlers.
Here is my article about the future of PostCSS, linters, and CSS-in-JS.