Monday, March 26, 2012

Willpower Drives The Most Successful Technologies

They say that a full 10% of the sites on the internet are powered by WordPress, a shareware blogging application that is hugely cumbersome.

And how many websites are powered by Microsoft and .Net ? Fewer and fewer I perceive.

Common wisdom always believed that compiled code was more efficient than parsed code, but the success of LAMP (LINUX, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and frameworks such as Ruby seem to have trashed the worlds of Java and .Net. Facebook basically used LAMP for its half a billion users, but they've had to jump through hoops.

I've had to live in all three worlds (and perhaps many more besides) and it's interesting to note the differences:

LAMP is easy to develop, but difficult to scale; Jave is just horrible, sorry, just really horrible in every sense and takes geniuses to fix; .Net is an amazing framework, but development is slower than LAMP and scalability is expensive thanks to Microsoft licensing.

WordPress is, frankly,  hilarious. It's basically like taking a bike and all the bits that make it a bike and trying to use it to build a supercar. It has to be twisted and tortured to become even a basic content management system (trying to get rid of 'comments' from pages, which should never have comments, is nearly impossible).

But Microsoft, as ever, has been lazy, complacent and expensive and have totally lost the web platform that Bill Gates so cleverly orchestrated from near defeat - .Net. Fewer and fewer websites are developed on it and its reply to WordPress (the Orchard Project) is lamentable in many ways.

It's pretty amazing how most video is now delivered over a protocol totally unsuited to deliver video (http) and most websites are built with technologies that should have died out in the nineties. But somehow, they work better due to a sheer force of will.