Javascript For Haters: Developers can Hate it But Can’t Ignore it

Developers find the syntax of JavaScript to be confusing or difficult to work with but it remains popular still.
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In April 1995, Brendan Eich created ‘Javascript’, when he was still at Netscape. It was initially developed to make websites more dynamic. Written in merely ten days, Javascript has—over the years—emerged as the most widely used programming language in the world. 

However, to much dismay, Javascript is also one of the most hated languages among developers. The internet is filled with hilarious memes on Javascript, much like this one.

Yet, even after inspiring this blend of love-hate reactions from the community, nearly 95% of the websites are built on this scripting language developed at Eich. Brands such as Amazon, eBay, Netflix, and Paypal have written their web applications in JavaScript.

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In 27 years since its inception, Javascript has weathered all attempts by Google, Microsoft, and Adobe to replace it with their own programming languages. 

Why do developers hate Javascript?

Developers hate JavaScript because it is dynamic in nature which makes it hard for them to catch errors at compile-time. When we asked the same question to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, it said, “Some people might find the syntax of JavaScript to be confusing or difficult to work with.” And it’s not wrong!

“The thing that bothers me about JS is the language syntax and semantics. Together they provide an ugly and verbose language that’s generally painful to read,” a software developer said on Quora. “When using JS, programmers must write workarounds to overcome problems in the language itself, and the workarounds are immensely complex and often cumbersome to understand.”

Burnout is also another reason why JS is disliked by many developers. In fact, JavaScript burnout is often talked about by members of the frontend developers community. Most of the complaints revolve around the new Javascript frameworks, features, and libraries that come out almost everyday. 

This means that the developers have to keep them updated with the recent developments related to Javascript. Such constant change makes it difficult for developers to keep up.

Further, another reason many developers dislike Javascript is that it does not perform the same way on all browsers. 

Douglas Crockford, an American computer programmer who is involved in the development of the JavaScript language, said, “No programming language is perfect. JavaScript has its share of design errors, such as the overloading of + to mean both addition and concatenation with type coercion, and the error-prone with statement should be avoided. The reserved word policies are much too strict.” 

“Semicolon insertion was a huge mistake, as was the notation for literal regular expressions. These mistakes have led to programming errors and called the design of the language as a whole into question. Fortunately, many of these problems can be mitigated with a good lint programme,” Crockford added.

Further, developers complain that Javascript is too slow or inefficient. However, these are subjective perspectives. While there are several voices on the internet complaining about the programming language, there are many who argue that Javascript does the work it was developed for.

But Javascript is here to stay

Despite its many flaws, it is undeniable that it is one of the most popular programming languages. It’s the only programming language that can be used across the whole stack (frontend/backend). You can run it on any divide and on any browser. It is also the only language native to web browsers. 

One of the reasons why Javascript is hated is also the reason why Javascript is here to stay. The Javascript frameworks and libraries out there are why numerous developers hate this programming language but also why it is so popular. 

The NPM repository for Javascript is vast and probably has more packages than all the other languages combined. Even if someone is new to Javascript, they will easily find help for anything related to the programming language on the web. Irrespective of the issue at hand, you can be sure that there will be a JavaScript library or tool to help solve your problems.

Further, JavaScript also has a very large community supporting it, consisting of millions of developers across the globe. The other language that comes close in terms of community support is ‘Python’.

Javascript is also flexible and no other programming language so far comes close to it in that aspect. The use cases of Javascript are also massive. Full-stack development and the modern frontend framework continue to establish Javascript as one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

Pritam Bordoloi
I have a keen interest in creative writing and artificial intelligence. As a journalist, I deep dive into the world of technology and analyse how it’s restructuring business models and reshaping society.

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