From the “Be Careful What You Wish For” Department
Can it really have been only a year or so ago that commentators, both in this blog and the mobile development community at large, were complaining about how hard it was to write cross-platform mobile apps, and wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way—any way!—to generate fully native apps for each mobile operating system from a single code base?
Now, it seems, there are so many frameworks for cross-platform mobile development that we have to beat them off with a stick. The latest (for the moment) of these is something called Vue Native.
What Is Vue Native?
Vue Native’s developers, the GeekyAnts team, describe it as a side project or experiment. It’s a fork of the earlier open-source React-vue framework, taking much of the original code from that project and enhancing it with functionality of its own.
Vue Native vs. Other Cross-Platform Frameworks
A Bold Prediction
The current cross-platform development landscape can be compared to the state of traffic laws in the early part of the 20th century. Back then, each U.S. state had different rules for road signage, signaling, and driver behavior that made it difficult for drivers in one state to safely operate a motor vehicle in another state. Even the colors of traffic lights meant different things in different states. It took many years to standardize most of the rules nationwide, thus facilitating interstate travel and commerce.
- Fewer frameworks means more developers with expertise in each, so it will be easier for companies and development shops to find developers with the right skill sets.
- On the flip side of that coin, developers won’t need to learn lots of different frameworks in order to stay relevant in the market.
- Apps developed with one of the mainstream frameworks will be easier to maintain, and less likely to “wither on the vine” for want of expertise than those developed with obscure, niche frameworks.
It’s too soon to tell where the development community will go with this, but when we finally get there, cross-platform development may become the rule rather than the exception, and we will wonder at all the fuss that has been raised on the topic so far.
Meanwhile, at AndPlus, we will continue to evaluate each framework that comes along and decide which ones are best for our clients. With any luck, our evaluations will match up with those of other developers and shops to move the community towards the framework consolidation that is increasingly needed.