JS Libraries Have A Reinvention Problem

Arnav Gosain

Arnav Gosain

Published on

Popular JS libraries have a reinvention problem.

It feels like every time I blink, a UI framework/state management solution/build tool I’m using has completely changed how it does things. Usually justified by “how much better it is”.

And sure, there’s a deprecation period and a migration path, but that doesn’t make the constant changing feel any less like we’re chasing our tails.

It’s not just me that feels this way. I frequently see people asking how to do things that were perfectly simple to do before, but have now been needlessly changed.

And the community responds with platitudes like “it’s not that bad”, “you’ll get used to it”, or the more agressive “RTFM!!”. But that doesn’t help when the docs are a work in progress. Or when the changes are so fundamental that your existing codebase is now effectively legacy.

Maybe I’m just bad at this. Maybe I’m not keeping up. Maybe I’m not using the tools “the right way”. But I don’t think that’s it.

As a collective, JS developers need to get over this never-ending desire to change for the sake of changing, to chase the next shiny thing.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about stability and backwards compatibility.

Just a thought.