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The Good and the Bad of JavaScript

4. January 2019

JavaScript is a client-side programming language. Server-side code can also be written using cross-platform runtime engines like Node.js. Developers can create web pages which work smoothly across various platforms, browsers, and devices by combining JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. JavaScript has many frameworks available(AngularJS, ReactJS, NodeJS etc) which reduce the time and efforts required for developing JS based sites and apps. Some of its major benefits are listed here.

  • Cross Browser Compatibility

Javascript is supported by multiple web browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera etc. So the users access the web applications on any web browser of their choice easily.

  • Speed

Client-side JavaScript is very fast since it can be run immediately within the client-side browser and has no need to be compiled. JavaScript is not bothered by network calls to a backend server unless there is a need for outside resources.

  • No Specific Tool required

You can write the JavaScript code easily without using any particular type of program or tool. You can just open a notepad and write your JavaScript code. You can use many editors to find out the mistakes in the JavaScript code. The editor reformats the JavaScript code and allows you to discover the bugs and error quickly and easily.

  • Simplicity

JavaScript is relatively simple to learn and implement. It simplifies the development of complex web applications by allowing the developers to simplify the application’s composition. The developers can use JavaScript libraries to create DOM boundaries. This shadow DOM further makes web browsers deliver documents with widely used HTML tags like select, div and input.

  • Learning Resources and Help available

JavaScript is used everywhere and has gained a lot of traction in the industry in recent years especially. The resources to learn JavaScript are numerous. StackOverflow and GitHub have many projects that are using Javascript.

  • No Server Load

Being client-side reduces the demand on the website server.

  • Responsive Web Design

Responsive web designs are made to work well across multiple browsers and devices like smartphones and desktops. Responsive web design enables the developers to optimize the site for both computers and mobile devices using the same code. The developers have to combine the CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript to make the web pages responsive. The developers can use JavaScript to optimize web pages for mobile devices. Drag and drop components or slider give a rich interface to websites.

  • Extended Functionality

Third party add-ons like Greasemonkey enable JavaScript developers to write snippets of JavaScript which can execute on desired web pages to extend its functionality.

  • Versatility

Nowadays, there are many ways to use JavaScript through Node.js servers. If you were to bootstrap node.js with Express, use a document database like MongoDB, and use JavaScript on the front-end for clients, it is possible to develop an entire JavaScript app from front to back using only JavaScript.

  • Updates

EcmaScript5 is the scripting specification which Javascript relies on, and Ecma International has dedicated it to updating JavaScript annually.

  • Many Frameworks and libraries

JavaScript Frameworks and libraries make it easy for web developers to build large, JavaScript-based web applications. There are many dynamic JS frameworks like AngularJS, ReactJS, EmberJS etc. Using these frameworks, developers can easily, quickly, and efficiently develop highly interactive and professional looking web applications. JavaScript also has lots of libraries which you can use as per your requirements. For example, you can do GUI development using widgets like Bootstrap, jQuery or AngularJS.

  • WordPress themes and plugins

Many of the WordPress themes and plugins have been created with extensive use of JavaScript. JavaScript also comes bundled with WordPress in the form of various JavaScript libraries, such as jQuery, JSON, Backbone.js, and Underscore.js. Hence if you know JavaScript then you can understand, customize and use them better in your WordPress website development.

  • Google AMP Project

Google has started the Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP) project to create websites which deliver richer user experience across various mobile devices. Google has implemented many optimization techniques to increase the loading speed of the mobile web pages and it requires developers to integrate AMP technology into the web pages by using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Means the developers have to use JavaScript for optimizing websites for mobile devices for AMP.

With all these reasons to use javascript, there are also some things which are compromised and are the limitations of javascript.

  • Client-Side Security. Because the code executes on the users’ computer, in some cases it can be exploited for malicious purposes. This is one reason some people choose to disable Javascript.
  • Browser Support Problem. JavaScript is sometimes interpreted differently by different browsers. Whereas server-side scripts will always produce the same output, client-side scripts can be a little unpredictable. To avoid this, the script is tested in all the major browsers for an update to make sure all browsers support your code.

At PureLogics, we have expert developers who use JavaScript to build highly interactive web apps and help our clients enhance the speed, performance, functionality, usability, and features of the application without any hassle. We deliver the best and optimal user experience across various devices, browsers, and operating systems.