Web frameworks, lead by the rise of Ruby on Rails, have been a hot topic in development for the past few years. Is it possible for them to be on the way to extinction already? A post on the blog of web development company Recursivity asks whether serverside web frameworks are becoming irrelevant. It’s probably premature to ask whether it’s already happening. But I think it’s reasonable to ask whether they could be irrelevant and what it would take to make that happen.

The author suggests that front-ends written entirely in HTML, CSS and JavaScript could talk directly to a REST back-end, eliminating the need for serverside web frameworks. The author points to Mustache.js, Sammy.js and JQuery as a possible future-stack for front-end development. What do you think about the idea, and what problems would need to be solved for something like this to work?

One drawback mentioned at Recursivity is search engine indexing. But one commenter points out that Google already has a guide for making AJAX applications crawlable.

There’s some discussion at Hacker News on how to handle authentication and sessions, and it seems that though JavaScript and REST might not be the best way to deal with authentication, it doesn’t pose any insurmountable issues.

J Chris Anderson of CouchOne of CouchDB sponsor company CouchOne points out that CouchDB can be used to power portable, JavaScript based applications called CouchApps. We covered this concept briefly here. At the risk of sounding like a NoSQL fanbois, this sounds like a pretty neat option.

What other issues might there be with such a paradigm? Are you already creating web applications this way? If so, what issues have you faced and what benefits have you reaped?

klint finley