React.js feels like it was designed by AI

The popular web framework can be used to solve the problem of how to put text on a screen, but it’s almost like someone fed a machine the JavaScript specification and it iterated on a random sequence of code that parses until it hit on a result that creates an acceptable web page.

React’s syntax is bizarre, heavily uses obscure, little used language features that nobody knows about, and in fact only exist because the JavaScript spec is so loose.

There also appears to be no deliberate design or regard for conventions, readability, or structure. Even it’s English terminology looks like something generated by a machine that was fed a dictionary.

componentDidUpdate ???

With a little further reflection, I don’t think the AI accusation is that far off.

Really smart developers just out of college who are tasked with bizarre misguided questions like

How can we write PHP — in JavaScript?

Then, with no real world experience, and being hyperfocused on generating code come up with a solution that satisfies business who care nothing about code.

And then more really intelligent people learn to code by looking at that code and so on… and nobody stops to think about what should be done or how it can be done better. And code is never really maintained anymore — it’s easier to scrap it and just get funding to build a new company.

So a randomized algorithm that generates a solution optimized for a single task is created by a large group of people who think like computers comes up with an answer the same way it would answer the question —

Is this a picture of a cat?

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