Holy crap. Has it really been a year or so since I last hacked in earnest on Parsec Patrol? I've been meaning to get back to it, and it's always felt like just last week when I was poking at it.
Well, a week or so ago, I read Blake Williams' "Replace CoffeeScript with ES6" and thought, "Hmm, on what project did I last use CoffeeScript? Oh yeah: Parsec patrol!" So, I decided to take a swing through the code and see what I was last up to.
After a good look, I started an empty new branch in my repo and started from scratch.
See, I started Parsec Patrol as an excuse to force myself to learn a bunch of new things I'd been putting off for awhile. Near the top of the list were Yeoman, Grunt, Bower, RequireJS, and CoffeeScript. Those were all cool things, so I figured I'd just stir them all up in a big mess and see what happened.
The process was fun - these were things that slotted into empty spots in my webdev process, both expected and unexpected. Of course, RequireJS was a little awkward in comparison to modules in Node.js. But hey, modules in the browser! And, I never really quite grokked what was going on in those tangly Grunt configuration files and just kind of copypasta'd what others were doing. But hey, build automation for all my weird webdev needs!
Then, after a nice & relaxing holiday vacation to wrap up 2013, I read "And just like that Grunt and RequireJS are out, it’s all about Gulp and Browserify now".
Well that, along with things that followed, just drained my enthusiasm for Grunt, Bower, and RequireJS in an hurry. But, it didn't leave me wanting to dive into the next big thing right away. So, I took a step back and played with other things for a few seasons. Web components and developer tools are kind of fun to hack on. Polymer was kind of a crazy rabbit hole.
But, over the past year, Gulp and Browserify started sneaking into my work despite my fatigue - and they were helping me get things done. Gulp made sense to me: writing glue code to process file streams fit into my head a whole lot better than trying to figure out how to shoehorn my intentions into declarative-ish config files. And Browserify gave me some Node.js-style happiness on the client-side, pushing most of the awkwardness into the build system.
So, now I've got Gulp, NPM, Browserify, and 6to5 as a new pile of fun that seems like it might have a little bit of staying power. Of course, all this io.js business could throw some monkeywrenches around. But, it feels like the patterns I've got in play here are more stable than the previous regime.
Maybe I'll even recover enough enthusiasm for chasing webdev mayflies by this spring to take a deeper dive at things like React and Angular and Ember. Then again, maybe I'll bang together a framework of my own just to be cool.