actually, i will show you this video if you havent found it already: https://youtu.be/v9Xse_PDmH0
i think “coding with chrome” has some great ideas. im going to talk about where i think its major limitations are.
first of all, there are lots of projects like this. i think (based on the video) theyve done a remarkable job packaging some of them up, but i dont think theyre worth relying on. so why not?
first of all, i do not think chrome is an ethical piece of software. you have your criteria, i have mine. chrome doesnt even let you look at the code it uses, but lots of browsers do.
the best environment for learning code in my opinion, is one that lets you see the code it is itself written in. you may never look at it, but just knowing its there means that someone can take over and improve/maintain/update that environment. and that has a major practical implication:
no one is giving any evidence that “coding with chrome” isnt just another project that google will drop, and google has dropped many. while old versions of google phone flop and flounder without proper support, google keeps churning out projects. and with a reputation for “open source,” google keeps giving you more and more that is “hands off.”
someone can build 90% or more of what “coding with chrome” has right now, and keep it going past the time that google abandons it. when i was learning to code, there were not many environments that would last (in a practical, maintainable way) beyond the direct involvement of the company. today, there are too many truly free/libre/open projects and platforms to waste time with this sort-of-but-not-really-yours stuff that google (or anyone) offers.
but i also wont be surprised when google does drop coding with chrome. and then what? look for the next thing? well heck, i can do that right now. good luck “coding with chrome,” we couldve done cool stuff together.
but im not going to spend time on a platform that makes all the rules for me. one of the best things about learning to code and free (as in freedom) software is: its not up to a giant corporation how long you spend making full use of the tool that is offered. because when a company like google abandons (or through mergers or companies closing loses) the opportunity to maintain an interesting project like “coding with chrome,” new stewards can step in to maintain it.
and since i think that is ideal, does “coding with chrome” offer anything not already available that is worth losing that feature?
not at all! there are too many alternatives to worry what proprietary, feature-softlocked toys google makes without offering the opportunity to someone who can maintain them on their behalf.
its still worth looking at, because sometimes a tool is influential enough to take note of how it is put together. also worth noting is how much google borrowed to make “coding with chrome” possible:
but nearly as much as this, i simply dont like google. and i dont like chrome, which theyve tied in. “coding with chrome” ought to sweeten the deal a little; but i look at it as browser advertising, and chromebook promotion. i think google has taught people enough bad lessons about computing already, to make me think twice before entrusting them with any sort of curriculum.
my opinion, obviously.
- license: creative commons cc0 1.0 (public domain)