Javascript Evolution - 2015 Preview

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The upcoming year will be a milestone in history of Javascript evolution. In mid of 2015 the ECMA 6 "Harmony" is going to be released, which brings a bunch of new features, like a native Promise API, Arrow Functions, Generator Functions, Maps and Sets, and a lot of more. Nowadays, some features are already supported by the more elaborated major browsers. To have a better idea what is currently supported take a look at this page. The excellent documentation of MDN covers at least the features implemented already available in FF.

Rhino Evo

But it's not all about the new ECMA262 Spec. While Google announced a new version of their "Superheroic JavaScript MVW Framework" the community seems to be split apart. AngularJS 2.0 is a complete rewrite and therefore who learned AngularJS more or less painfully needs to re-learn its successor. Worse, applications done with AngularJS V1 are rusty already and become old-iron more rapidly as anyone expected. It is expected that the maintenance for V1 will be continued for about two years after V2 launch.

Hence, the community reacts with mixed emotions and asks itself whether it's wise to build upon complete frameworks, or not. There are a lot of mature libraries out there, just like RequireJS, Browserify, Backbone, Underscore, Ember, HandlebarsKris Kowal's Q (obsolete with the upcoming native Promise), and still the veteran jQuery, pp etc. and some newcomers like Twitters Flight.js, or Facebooks ReactJS (which will surely gain more attention in 2015), Mithril, or the more future-oriented Polymer. Many people (including me) tend to use several libraries (with steep learning curves) and mount them conforming the app's requirements instead of using fat frameworks which tries to solve everything. That movement gets some acceleration since Angular V2 was announced. IMHO starting a web app using Angular V1 nowadays is kind of a stillbirth. By the way, looking at the mentioned newcomers it seems to me that there's a trend towards component oriented development.

For sure, "The Rhino" is going to get another boost in the upcoming year. Having a look on Thoughtworks Technology Radar one might see the importance of Javascript - 1/3rd of hot technologies is related to Javascript. There's no doubt: with frameworks like AngularJS it was proven, that nowadays Javascript is capable to manage large scale projects - I can confirm this, because I am working with my colleagues on an enterprise level SPA using AngularJS. The fact, that Javascript can be used on server side (NodeJS) and even databases like MongoDB, underlines the importance and power of this language. If you, the serious programmer, not have learned Javascript yet, I exhort you to begin NOW, or don't call yourself a (contemporary) programmer! Javascript is important and should be part of your skill portfolio. My personal favorite for learning Javascript is Codewars.

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