What web tech things had a period of massive hype?

We only just recently lived through the blockchain and crypto hype. We’re currently living through the AI hype.

There is some (anonymous?) person who writes at Bite code! in the first person who remembered a hype cycle I’m too young to remember:

When I started programming, XML was going to replace everything. HTML with XHTML, validation with DTD, transformation and presentation with XSLT, communication with SOAP. […]

Turns out, XML was not the future. It was mostly technical debt.

XML is the future

That’s fun. People were like, you know what’s going to make things better? Angle brackets.

If we keep limiting it to web tech, what are some of the big hype cycles? “Single Page Apps” gotta be worthy of being on the list, if not several more stops on the Big JavaScript Train that got us there. We’re just still in that cycle so it isn’t entirely funny yet.

The good news is that whatever the hype is tends not to go away entirely but settle into just solving the problems that it’s actually good at solving.

The best lesson comes early in the article:

I was lucky to learn this lesson very early in my career: there is no silver bullet, any single tool, no matter how good it is, must be evaluated from the engineering point of view of pros and cons. Everything has a cost, and implies compromises. […]

geeks think they are rational beings, while they are completely influenced by buzz, marketing, and their emotions. Even more so than the average person, because they believe they are less susceptible to it than normies, so they have a blind spot.



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