JavaScript for People Who Hate JavaScript

Zach Holman:

I have a long history with JavaScript, dating back to the glory days of the most perfect technology ever to have graced computers: DHTML.

DHTML was totally rad, like how the Budweiser frogs were rad. In the late 90’s you really couldn’t do much of anything on the web except add 88×31 buttons and build with 1×1.gif spacer tricks. But then Dynamic HTML came out in IE4 and a whole world of hover animations, mouse pointer effects, and pretty much nothing else were possible. It was really cool.

Then I did a bunch of other JavaScript from time to time. Everything was pretty terrible until jQuery and Mootools and a slew of other frameworks finally came out in the mid-2000s. That make things almost tolerable for awhile.

Then I started working at GitHub, and my JavaScript experience basically degraded to slinging together some horrific string concatenation and then pushing a pull request, making sure to CC the @github/js team so they would fix everything for me.

Suffice to say, I’ve hated JavaScript for quite some time. But now I’m building a hip new calendar called During, it made a lot of sense to get back into this crappy frontend junk, since a calendar is one of them client-side-heavy apps your parents warned you about growing up.

You know what’s fucked up? I’m kind of loving JavaScript now. I think 2017 is finally the year of “JavaScript on the Desktop”, where “DESKTOP” is an acronym for Developers Enjoy javascript now even though they thought it Sucked compared To Other Programming languages before. (I’m really shit at abbreviations, sorry.)


Anyway, I’m pretty excited about all this stuff, which is a fun feeling. Hasn’t really been since Rails 0.10 since I’ve been this jazzed up about specific tools in programming. And that’s really cool. Being a novice again — even if it’s for a language I first tried, in some form, almost two decades ago — is a really eye-opening, frustrating, and exciting experience. A+ would learn JavaScript again in 2037.

I’ve been using JavaScript since 1998, I can relate to what Zach’s saying here.

I never left JavaScript though and continued using it throughout the years on both server and client side, especially use it heavily with Flybase, but with React and other technologies out now, it’s gotten to be so much more powerful.

When it comes to JavaScript, this is an exciting year for it.