Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cloud9 is hitting limits with JavaScript

Cloud9 has a well-written call for adding classes to JavaScript:
Adding classes to JavaScript is technically not hard -- yet, its impact can be profound. It lowers the barrier to entry for new JavaScript developers and reduces the incompatibility between libraries. Classes in JavaScript do not betray JavaScript’s roots, but are a pragmatic solution for the developer to more clearly express his or her intent. And in the end, that’s what programming languages are all about.
Their argument about library compatibility seems strong to me. It is reasonable to write a Python or Java library that stands alone and has minimal external dependencies. With JavaScript, however, the temptation is strong to work within a framework like Dojo or JQuery just so that you get basic facilities like, well, classes. It's a good argument. If I were working on a large JavaScript code base, however, I'd be strongly tempted to switch over to Dart. It already has the basic language facilities they yearn for, and it's going to move forward much more quickly.

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