Developers Don’t Want Javascript{1}


During Microsoft’s Lang.Next conference held in Redmond, Washington, many prominent software developers were invited to discuss the state of programming and the future of the languages that they will be incorporating into their own creations. The panel that was held there included Microsoft’s Anders Hejisberg, the creator of Turbo Pascal and Microsofto’s C#, Martin Odersky, founder of Typesafe and creator of the Scala language, Gilad Bracha, creater of the Newspeak programming language and developer of Google’s soon to be released Dart programming langauge, and many more (Taft, 2012). There were many talks about how the developers felt about the current state of programming which was able to bring the subject of how dissatisfied most of the developers were with the current state of Javascript. While the developers agreed that Javascript is a great cross-platform language and that big programs are possible with Javascript, most of the panel felt that maintaining them were impossible. Gilad Bracha went on to state that once a developer creates a large program though Javascript, they will be punished after the program is completed and is in need of maintenance (Taft, 2012). Bracha went on to mention that this is the main reason why Google is pushing to develop Dart, a language that will implement libraries and abstractions and won’t have to deal with document formats. Dart will be a class-based, single inheritance, object-oriented language that uses C-style syntax. It will also support the uses of interfaces and abstract classes. The developers also went on to discuss another heated topic, benefits of functional programming versus imperative programming. Functional programming was praised by many of the developers on the discussion board for it’s “paradigm that treats computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions and avoids state and mutable data (Taft, 2012).” To top it off, the most ironic thing about this discussion board was that it took place at the same time as JSConf2012, a Javascript conference that was held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It was a huge surprise see how dissatisfied many of the leading developers are with the current state of Javascript, especially considering how popular the language is and how you really can’t browse the web without running into some form of it. With the nation’s top developers discussing the state of Javascript, it was interesting to see how developers from rival companies (Microsoft and Google) could come to agreement on that Javascript was lacking and that it was not a good platform to develop on due to it’s hard to modify nature. It is quite alarming that a programming language as prominent as Javascript is looked down upon the nation’s best. Hopefully with the rising popularity of C# and the release of Google Dart, the shortcomings of Javascript will be overcome and developers are able to create a higher quality end-product for consumers. One must also ask if these developers are actually this dissatisfied with Javascript, especially since many of the developers on the discussion panel were affiliated with different companies that are in the process of developing new languages that will rival Javascript in the near future.

I found that this article was very intriguing due to the fact that many of the top developers shared the same type of feelings towards Javascript. Though my programming skills are quite lacking, this article was able to spark my interest in the other types of programming languages that are available to developers in today’s development market. I also found that the discussion of functional programming versus imperative programming was interesting because the developers on the panel felt that a more mathematical style to programming was better than something that could abstract. To be quite honest, reading more about the two types of programming left me very confused and I wasn’t really sure what they were mentioning as they listed the benefits of functional programming. I’m also very interested in the new Google Dart programming language. As innovative as Google has been in the past decade, one can only expect great things to come out from them. Hopefully it isn’t a flop and developers around the world are able to embrace it.

 

 

Taft, D. K. (2012, April 03). eweek. Retrieved from http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Is-it-Time-for-JavaScript-to-Step-Aside-for-the-Next-Big-Web-Thing-109707/1/