From these two sources, we’ve uncovered some insights about the makeup of the npm community, as well as information about what the community considers to be best practices. This will help you make your technical choices in 2019.
npm is used to build every kind of application
This is a significant change for those of us who work at npm, Inc. and maintain the npm command-line tool. npm was invented to serve the needs of server-side app developers, and the needs of web developers are different. Becoming a majority-web platform has meant changing our priorities, which has ledto new features like package locking by default.
npm is essential to web development
This is a huge success story for code reuse, for the strength of the npm community, and for open source in general. The time saved by not re-inventing the code in thousands of modules is saving millions of developers hundreds of millions of coding-hours.
npm has focused on security in 2018
In April, we announced that we acquired ^Lift Security and their product, the Node Security Platform. Today, the NSP is integrated directly into npm, and every install of npm includes security audits that notify users if they are installing insecure modules. We also furnish tools to easily correct these vulnerabilities by automatically installing secure versions of their modules. In addition, users of npm Enterprise and paid npm Organizations users receive notifications of embargoed vulnerabilities not yet publicly disclosed.
The demographics of npm users
The basic demographics of our survey respondents are covered in our methodology post, but there are several important facts worth highlighting:
4. We don’t just work at “tech” companies. 55% of npm users describe themselves as working at a company that wouldn’t be considered a “tech” company.
Everybody would like less tooling
As a reminder, it’s important to understand the “share of registry” metric we are using here: a “flat” graph in this case means strong growth, just not growth relative to the growth of the registry, which is always growing quickly.
React’s growth has slowed
React continues to dominate the web scene. Over 60% of npm’s survey respondents say they are using React, and it has grown further since then. However, that growth in 2018 has been slower than in 2017.
Angular downloads have stayed flat
The two major flavors of Angular combined have stayed roughly flat in terms of market share.
Ember’s popularity has rebounded
In a very unusual phenomenon, Ember’s popularity, which appeared to be declining, has continued a strong rebound. By September, more than twice as many developers were using Ember as at the beginning of the year. We’re going to keep a close eye on this story, but we think Ember’s resurgence is part of the explanation for the slowdown in React.
Vue’s strong growth has continued
Vue was already growing quickly and that continued in 2018. Many Vue users report that they picked it over React because in their opinion it’s easier to get started while maintaining extensibility. Our current theory is that React’s growth has been slowed by many newer users picking Vue.
GraphQL continues hyper-growth
GraphQL, tracked by its most popular client library Apollo, continues to explode in popularity. We think it’s going to be a technical force to reckon with in 2019.
Transpilers rule, led by Babel — and a surprise: TypeScript
npm’s predictions for 2019
- Despite a slowdown in growth, React will be the dominant framework in 2019. 60% market share for a web framework is unheard-of, and that’s partly because React isn’t a full framework, just part of one. This allows it to flexibly cover more use-cases. But for building a web app in 2019, more people will use React than anything else, and that will result in a big advantage in terms of tutorials, advice, and bug fixes.
- You’ll need to learn GraphQL. It might be too early to put GraphQL into production, especially if your API is already done, but 2019 is the year you should get your mind around the concepts of GraphQL. There’s a good chance you’ll be using them in new projects later in the year and in 2020.
- Somebody on your team will bring in TypeScript. 46% adoption implies that TypeScript is more than just a tool for enthusiasts. Real people are getting real value out of the extra safety provided by type-checking. Especially if you’re a member of a larger team, consider adopting TypeScript into your 2019 projects.