Rob Weychert:

But I can’t host your site or even my own site. I didn’t build the CMS. Other people made the hardware and software I use to generate and optimize images. Other people made the fonts. Other people standardized the digital formats for those images and fonts. I didn’t write the HTML and CSS specifications, nor the browsers that interpret them, nor the operating systems that run the browsers. I didn’t solder the circuit boards. And so on.

There is so much hardware and software behind a website to the extent that there is certainly no one person who understands it all. We build everything on each other’s shoulders. (Related: I, Website)

But we can exert some influence about what technology we choose to use. Rob has three major considerations:

  1. Complexity: How complex is it, who absorbs the cost of that complexity, and is that acceptable?
  2. Comprehensibility: Do I understand how it works, and if not, does that matter?
  3. Reliability: How consistently and for how long can I expect it to work?

I like that system. But even more, I like that he has a system at all. I bet most people don’t. That’s why “just npm install the problem away” is such a reliable conference joke.

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