Jeff Perrin on Obscuring HTTP

I was reading an article by Jeff Perrin about how ASP.NET attempts to abstract web development and came across this phrase:

Now the first problem with Webforms is not that it’s an abstraction, or even that it’s a leaky one (they all are). The problem is that what Webforms attempts to abstract away is actually simpler than the abstraction!

The second “problem” with Webforms is that not very many people know the first problem. I know I didn’t, until I saw how Rails, Monorail, and other frameworks are able to work with the underlying model of the Web, while still being terribly simple to understand and develop on top of. Making it easier to program for the Web is a laudable goal, I’m just not so sure that abstracting the technology that it’s built on top of to the point where it’s unrecognizable is the way to go about doing it.

To me this rings very true. I have been following the progress of the Microsoft MVC framework a lot lately and I can’t tell you how excited about it I am. It will be a giant relief to finally be rid of postbacks and viewstates!

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