New Javascript and no-code packages are setting new standards for Toronto web design.

Which came first: the computer or the program? If you bought a personal computer in the 1970s, this chicken-and-egg question was answered as soon as you unwrapped it. What you got was a computer and perhaps a programming language, but definitely no apps. All end users were therefore programmers; you had to write what you needed. If you were lucky, a friend might even compile it.

In a way, that was a good thing. There was enormous scope for creativity, which spurred enthusiasm. Enthusiasts like sharing, and that spurred even more creativity. But at a certain point, the inevitable happened: there was no sense reinventing the wheel, so you begged, stole or even paid for it. Software became a product.

The World Wide Web arrived just in time to save computers from the banality of dishwashers. It reinjected creativity into ordinary computer users. You didn’t have to be a programmer to write a website, but many were inspired anyway.

Then, the cycle began all over again. Content management systems like WordPress brought a new kind of commodification. Although the number of Web users exploded, they avoided the porridge of code beneath website façades like the plague. In our millions, we have been settling for banal templates, third-party plug-ins, or just space on Amazon or Facebook.

Is a new revolution coming?

No-code application development is the idea of writing functional software by describing what you want rather than writing the code to do it. It is not a new idea; there was at least one program for the 64k Apple IIe that tried, although it usually crashed. The idea faded because of the lack of standard platforms and libraries, but over the years, standards have made a comeback.

Nowhere is that clearer than in web development. Big software houses like Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla and Google fought tooth and nail to promote their own operating systems and libraries but eventually agreed on Web standards. 2015 was a turning point, marked by HTML5, DOM4 and ECMAScript ES6 (Javascript).

The DOM allows webpages to change dynamically instead of loading a succession of static pages. Those principles were absorbed into HTML5, which added more support for dynamic content and for low-powered devices like smartphones. ES6 was the first release of Javascript whose features were not contested by big software companies.

Together, these events created a broadly standardized platform at last and made it possible for webpages to behave like applications. Javascript frameworks and libraries like Vue, React, Next and Angular packaged code into reusable modules, allowing quick development of powerful applications for websites, smart devices or even desktop use with little coding.

Standards gave momentum to low-code, and now low-code is driving future standards. Everyone agrees that backend complexity should be abstracted from frontend design. Even traditional server-client infrastructures are becoming less concerning to developers. Capacity planning, configuration and maintenance can all be handled in the Cloud, freeing developers to focus on developing. Amazon Web Services already provides a free serverless framework built on Node.js.

Toronto web design

The Cloud has also removed the distinction between a website and a desktop application. Websites can now achieve new levels of functionality for visitors, or businesses can specify bespoke enterprise applications and make them rapidly available to their workforce in a browser. Toronto web design specialists familiar with the new Javascript packages can provide rapid low-code application development for websites, smartphones and even desktop purposes.

Inevitably, businesses quick to realize the new opportunities will gain an edge over competitors. Fortunately, Toronto is at the forefront of web technology and the new packages take Toronto web design to a whole new level.

A no-code future?

Beyond low-code lies the no-code dream. Packages are already available that let enterprise designers simply outline the schematic of the software they need, with no further input required. Enterprises that frequently reconfigure their operational processes will soon be able to accomplish it simply by altering a schematic of their checks and data flows. No-code isn’t quite there yet, however, so small businesses will benefit sooner by using them to quickly write new desktop and website tools.

Promising no-code packages include Parabola, Bubble, NoCodeAPI, NoCode.tech, Voiceflow and Thunkable, while leading low-code platforms include Amazon Honeycode, Google Appsheets and Microsoft’s Power Platform. Many solutions are also leveraging AI modules, like TensorFlow, IBM’s Watson or the Azure Machine Learning Studio.

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