JavaScript Has an Expiration Date

JavaScript is both a blessing and a curse. Written in a mere ten days, it sat mostly untouched until the year 2008, until JavaScript: The Good Parts was published. I think this is partly because the book is a much shorter version of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide — humans are lazy and a 172 page book is much more approachable and digestible than 1098 pages. (Disclaimer: I wouldn’t have read the 1100 page version either.)

Is this joke old yet?

Gary Bernhardt gives a sarcastic and comedic talk about the possible path of the language, namely, that it will be dead by 2035. This isn’t to say that JS isn’t important or even revolutionary — it will have laid the path to faster and higher-level equivalents for developers to work with.

Personally, having only working with JavaScript for one afternoon, it’s not my favorite language. I miss the error messages and flowing syntax of Ruby, but to be fair, I would definitely not have told you the same thing seven weeks ago. The overall idea of JavaScript is appealing: make cool looking things and get easier access to functionality than I would with Ruby. I did a group project with front end students this weekend and was actually kind of impressed by how much they could do without me. I would never give up on Ruby for its focus on programer happiness, but I’m intent on figuring out JavaScript at least enough that I can poke fun at it, or reminisce if and when it does die out as a language.

The future always holds the unknown, but so far, Gary has been pretty spot on in his predictions — there have been so many attempts to make writing JavaScript easier that it’s not too far of a stretch to say that it may be replaced with something less buggy and easier to understand someday soon. More and more people are learning to code, and it makes me think that some brilliant soul out there is going to get fed up with things being difficult or strange to learn and write a brand new language that’s going to take over the internet — and it’s going to be better. Until that day, let’s all suffer through JavaScript together!

me @javascript
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