The good news is that many new technologies are starting to cut back on that complexity by rethinking best practices.
Utility-First CSS Becomes the Standard
Conventional web applications have CSS stylesheets governing their appearance. While they might use a baseline set of styles (e.g., Bootstrap), development teams must handcraft additional styles to create a unique design. And keeping these CSS files organized can be a challenge for even the most disciplined teams.
TailwindCSS and other utility-first frameworks take a different approach. Rather than extending baseline styles, these frameworks break down styles into the smallest possible components, such as rounded corners or drop shadows. As a result, developers can layer together these "utility classes" to build full-fledged designs without additional stylesheets.
According to BuiltWith, TailwindCSS has gone from zero in 2018 to power more than 1,100 of the top one million websites. A growing ecosystem of TailwindCSS libraries stitches together these utility classes into fuller components and designs. For example, TailwindUI provides prebuilt templates that make it easier to get started.
While Phoenix LiveView is relatively niche, several other frameworks are pursuing similar goals. For example, Ruby on Rails recently launched Turbo to decompose web pages into independent contexts while delivering changes over WebSocket, SSE, or in response to form submissions using regular HTML and CRUD actions.
Monoliths Become a Bit More Modern
Building and maintaining APIs to communicate with front-end single-page applications is a headache for many development teams. You have to figure out authentication, manage state of the client, and implement version control and other safeguards. In some ways, it's like building and maintaining a third application in the stack.
Blockchains Become More Accessible
Blockchain technologies are quickly bringing Web3 to reality, opening the door for everything from token economies to decentralized finance. However, the complexities of blockchains and Dapp development have kept many would-be developers on the sidelines, particularly given the high costs of making a mistake.
In addition, a growing number of blockchain companies are releasing easy-to-use APIs that further simplify development. For instance, Chainstack makes it easy for businesses of any size to build and deploy their own blockchain solutions using APIs. These capabilities could further open the door to new blockchain use cases.
The Bottom Line
The tech world is constantly evolving with new paradigms and approaches to building web applications (as well as mobile, IoT, and other applications). While many trends come and go, there are some that stick and ultimately pave the way for the next generation of applications.
If you need help building software, or just a roadmap to help your team navigate these trends, Sharkbyte can help with everything from road mapping to team augmentation to full custom development. Contact us for a free consultation today!