[GEEKY] JavaScript – Universal Language of the Future

JavaScript is the language of the future. Why do I say this?

I love Ruby, I respect Java, and I am jealous of Python. And of course I have a warm spot in my heart for C++. Think about it. JavaScript is unique among all those languages:

  • Any computer you can get your hands on nowadays has a working, and probably very fast JavaScript compiler/interpreter. Laptops, Desktops, Servers, Mac, Pc, Linux, Phone, Tablet. ALL OF THEM.  You can’t say that of any of the other languages.
  • Because of the browser wars, and probably spurred on by Google and Chrome, there has been enormous investment in JavaScript performance so that it is now respected as a viable high performance language for server side apps.
  • As a language, it’s not shabby. Most people don’t think about JavaScript as a full fledged programming language, but it does have some great characteristics.

If you don’t believe me, here’s another person who comes to the same conclusion by a slightly different route:

“Web servers, rich web client libraries, HTML5, databases, even JavaScript-based languages: I see JavaScript everywhere. If you have avoided JavaScript, this is the year to learn it. There’s no excuse — and if you don’t, you risk being left behind.” (from “Why a JavaScript Hater thinks everyone needs to learn JavaScript in the next year.”)

So, go learn JavaScript. You will need it for your next job.

0 thoughts on “[GEEKY] JavaScript – Universal Language of the Future

  1. I’ve been meaning to write a blog on this for a while — in fact, I just noticed that my notes that I’m working from here are from November of 2008. Two and a half years; Facebook seems to have made it so that I don’t have long-form thoughts anymore…I was originally inspired by this post about a JavaScript interpreter for Emacs (http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/11/ejacs-javascript-interpreter-for-emacs.html) to write a post about the ethical positions of programming languages, specifically deontology vs. utilitarianism. I never got around to it.When I first saw JavaScript (this would have been shortly after it was born), I was disgusted. Someone who didn’t know a thing about programming language design, had probably never even taken a class on the topic, had slapped together something that you couldn’t even shake a LALR(1) parser at! It was hideous, especially given so many better options that were available at the time. And they had convinced Sun to let them usurp the Java trademark for it, too! (LiveScript)I immediately swore off the language, and said that I would never do anything to encourage its use. I disabled it in my browser, and excoriated anyone I caught using it, subjecting them to a purist rant. Especially if it was used for client-side input validation or annoying pop-ups.A bunch of my rage was at the horrid thing that was the language. But I think a lot also had to do with destroying the transactional nature of the web. You used to be able to programmatically interact with a web application through a series of GETs and POSTs. You didn’t even need a web browser. Now, to interact with a web app you need a lot more weight behind you.Most of this wasn’t being put to good use. But now, with the maturation of the language and the pervasive AsyncXMLRequest, AJAX really has revolutionized the web. As much as I had the Web 2.0 moniker, today’s web is a very different beast than what I was playing with 13 years ago, and as beautiful (and pure) as CSS is, I don’t think it can take credit.So, I guess what I’m saying is this. JavaScript, when I first saw you, I thought you were boring… no, worse than that, ugly. When I saw you out in source bases, I would never even look your way. I would say nasty things about you behind your back. Oh, my friends would sometimes tell me that you really were a nice language, and that I ought to get to know you better, but I resisted. Now, I’ve seen the error of my ways. JavaScript, would you consider hanging out sometime? Just something simple, maybe a cup of coffee or a predictively updated form field, nothing serious. I’d really like to get to know you better.

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  2. Couldn't agree more, as a programmer I have traditionally stuck with low level native languages and the like, but after seeing what HTML5, and server-side Javascript, Three.JS, and so many other new technologies based on it are capable of, and the way the software industry is moving. I took it upon myself to learn at least most of the common Javascript techniques this Summer. Some stat I saw a long time ago said about 75% of the code on is *.js

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