Thursday, December 20, 2012

"JavaScript: it’s not just for browsers anymore... One developer’s journey from C# to JavaScript"

Why JavaScript, why now?

Earlier this year I left the comfortable world of XAML and WPF behind and began developing almost exclusively in JavaScript. My daily focus has also switched from developing desktop applications to Single Page Applications (SPAs) using ASP.NET MVC and KnockoutJS: but, as we’ll see, JavaScript does not restrict me to web development.

I was discussing this change of direction with a good friend of mine and he asked whether that wasn’t a little extreme. I suppose it would certainly seem that way, especially for someone who has made a name for himself in the XAML community. I would not make such a drastic change lightly. I thought long and hard before making the move and, after twelve years in one place, I even changed jobs to facilitate the effort. I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of my reasoning behind this latest change of direction.

Not long after I had made the switch, I had the pleasure of hearing Douglas Crockford speak at a conference. Mr. Crockford, as most people insisted on calling him, is the author of “JavaScript the Good Parts” (by O’Reilly), JSLint, and JSON, and is a member of the ECMAScript Standards body. I’ll never forget the quote he made that “JavaScript is tragically important”. My one line take on this is that, for all its faults and foibles, JavaScript cannot be ignored.

JavaScript is ubiquitous. Every PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, slate, netbook, ultrabook, and smart phone that is out there in the wild today runs JavaScript. It’s already there, it’s already installed, and it’s amazingly consistent across the different operating systems and devices. It took a while for me to realize that JavaScript comes closer than either Java or .NET to fulfilling the old promise of “write once run anywhere”. If for no other reason than universal reach, JavaScript is a serious language.

The ubiquitous nature of JavaScript means that the pain of framework and platform deployment is a thing of the past. The browser is the platform, the Internet is the deployment model. Thanks to the browser manufacturers there are no frameworks to deploy, no installers to execute, no administrator permissions issues, and virtually no versioning issues. Regardless of your personal feelings about JavaScript it is undoubtedly the single most important computer language in the world today.

QR: Inline image 1

Posted via email from Jasper-Net