The Emperor’s New Tools?: pragmatism and the idolatry of the web

Cole Henley makes some very astute observations on the value and purpose of web development tools:

At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I do worry that the adoption of tools for producing websites often lacks focus and a clear reason for “why.” As a largely self-taught profession, we have often lent on our peers for guidance and direction. But how often is the context of this guidance comparable to our own? As I said earlier, can the efforts to produce code for enterprise website applications across large, distributed teams share some equivalence with the work many of us produce in creating small, brochure sites for small to medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits? Does one shoe fit all? And are we in danger of focusing too much on the “Pencils rather than the drawing”? The Process over the Product?

I found this question particularly hard to grapple with:

But one of the ways CSS Zen Garden was used to persuade people about the merits of a web standards approach was to suggest that we can retain the markup and replace the CSS. However in reality how many projects has this ever happened on? What is the realistic lifespan of a thing we produce? And do we tend to underestimate how disposable our code truly is?