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April 22, 2020


I’ve addressed my frustration with the general dependence on dependencies that most people have, and I will do so again here, since for the millionth time, I was working through a book that I thought would help me understand my problem better and instead went the route of working with dependencies. I am all at once amazed, amused, and annoyed that whole books and articles on particular topics are written chock-full of dependencies. Those of you writing these books and articles, can you do nothing without the use of dependencies whatsoever? I understand that dependencies make things easier, but the whole purpose of reading for comprehension is to understand the base technologies.

I WAS reading a book on web development with Node and Express, because I wanted to learn about Node and Express, not Bootstrap and Mongoose. If I wanted to learn about Bootstrap and Mongoose, I’d have looked up books and articles on Bootstrap and Mongoose. The struggles I’m currently working through revolve around my understanding of routing in Express. I feel much of the trouble I’m running into would be mitigated if I had a better handle on how Express and its various routing functions work. But NOPE. There’s a whole chapter on routing in the book, and it’s useless.

Listen, the concept is really fucking simple: if you do not have the knowledge or expertise to do a thing without using a million other things, don’t fucking write about it. Instead, write about those million other things and how they can help you do that one thing. Don’t write about Mongodb if your entire discourse will focus on Mongoose. Instead, write about Mongoose. Don’t write about Express if much of your content will revolve around Handlebars. Instead, write about Handlebars. STOP BEING MISLEADING WITH YOUR TITLES. Why is this so fucking difficult to understand?

I get it: plenty of people want to just get up and running as quickly as possible and give zero fucks how the underlying systems work. Unfortunately, it seems to me that these kinds of people are the majority, and they must be the ones writing these books and articles, because holy fuck, I can hardly get through a paragraph or two in most tutorials before I’ve already been told to npm install 40 fucking dependencies.

I am not one of those people who are willing to sacrifice a deep knowledge of my language of choice for ease of use. That’s fucking stupid, honestly. Without knowing what you’re doing without using all these extraneous tools, you’ll not know how to fix it when an update breaks your app. Or how to scale, even. But nope, what resources are there that focus on the deep knowledge? Few, by my estimation, because I’m constantly looking, and I’m not finding much.

Anyway, today was only a little bit of a bust in terms of coding. I managed to figure out the routing for my authentication flow to the extent where I am no longer getting a “Cannot GET /auth” error to one that simply says “Forbidden.” It’s progress, though without logging absolutely everything, I know not how much progress.

Which leads me to see that logging everything is what I’ll pursue tomorrow.

Comments? Follow me on twitter and drop me a line in response to this tweet:

Day 009: another day, battling it out with this auth flow. And seriously overly frustrated with everyone’s dependence on dependencies. The only way to truly learn something is to live in the documentation, I guess. https://t.co/phpdgjgdJk#nonsensemod365 #thatCodingLife pic.twitter.com/U78ESDxwyu

— Joshua Alexander (@nonsensecodes) April 23, 2020