the golden age of javascript

Recently I’ve been excited about JavaScript. As a community the last few years have been those of crazy, with big frameworks competing to prove how they would solve all our problems and build tools that seem to complicate some of the simplest tasks (such as concatinating files). In the last year however vast improvements have been made, frameworks have realised that they can’t solve everyones problems, developers have realised that they don’t want a one size fit’s all solution and as a community the best stuff has been sifted to the surface.

At MetaBroadcast we’ve tried out a few build tools and frameworks for various projects and we’re currently going through the process of making some big decisions for how we develop in the future. Below is a list of projects and spec improvements I think are making, or will make, the JavaScript ecosystem a better place.

typescript

If you read my last post or one of Phil’s posts, you won’t be surprised by this. At MetaBroadcast we recently had a discussion during Happy Hourâ„¢ about TypeScript in which a Java Engineer coughThomascough stated:

If we start using TypeScript I’d like to be the first to offer doing a JavaScript project.

Quite the statement coming from an IDE Operator.

react & angular 2

React is a big deal, everyone knows it is, everyone who uses it loves it’s simplicity and that it doesn’t try to do everything for everyone. The Angular team seem to have noticed that everyone loves it, so in Angular 2 they’re basically (not that basic) providing a React-like view management with loads of extra features that make a complete framework. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these two.

rollup.js

Again my previous blog post was all about Rollup.js and TypeScript, so this isn’t a surprise. Rollup.js simplifies preprocessing JavaScript to a few lines and removes redundant code, creating much smaller packaged files, wins all round.

promises

Promises have come a long way in the last few years and they solve a lot of problems. Time and time again I find myself turning to them for sanity. 90% of the JavaScript we write at MetaBroadcast is either making or reacting to API calls, so having a nicer way to deal with events without callbacks can save a lot of headaches and heartache. With them being a fully fledged part of the spec now we can start using them in anger.

url api

For a web language, this is a massive hole in JavaScripts core, but there seems to be steps in the right direction. Thank’s to Steve for pointing this out to me.

es6 classes and imports

It’s about time JavaScript got some sensible features like these. Some people believe that ES6 Classes make JavaScript too much like ‘traditional’ languages but I disagree. I believe the more consistency there is between languages, the easier it is for everyone to get along and understand each other sings Kumbaya by a camp fire.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, these are just things I’ve been thinking about recently in the shower or cycling. I find it strange to get excited about these kinds of thing (especially when I try to explain them to my wife and she just stares blankly at me) but I’m excited to see how much less of a ball ache JavaScript will be in the future.

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