Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Learn the f**king JavaScript

I briefly mentioned before that JavaScript is the king, not Weasley, but why? One reader asked the question with audacity. It's simple, JavaScript is the language of the web, Ryan, co-founder of Codecademy said so when asked why Js was the first track on the interactive learning website.

The first time I heard Ryan's interview, it did not sink in. The first time I saw that a multi-million dollar project is entirely built of SQL database, JavaScript and transaction-based JavaScript and SQL procs... but then there is all the modern concepts of web development: box model rather than table cells. But what really changed is the way people handle all the interactions of users.

Pick Google Map, users don't give a damn about the back-end. For them, it is just binary, it is good or bad, e.g. iOS iPhone Map = bad, iOS Google Map  = good! When it comes to accuracy, users often only see black and white. After all there are n't many to compare and contrast in terms of options of apps.

But many discussions and talks have been said about interactivity, user interface, user experience, graphics...

On the web part, JavaScript handles all the interactivity. Imagine that HTML is a muffin, a dark chocolate muffin, CSS is the icing on the cake that makes a lame looking muffin a glossy cupcake. But JavaScript is like the thing that makes those effing muffins dance.... well we don't care about dancing muffins, or cupcakes, but surprisingly, we like our web to jiggle, to shake, flash, and flip and somersault. We want modals, lightbox, carousel, slides, HTML flipping presentations.

That's when JavaScript comes in handy for all front-end developers, or all front-end designers that want to be more of an engineer. And did I mention JavaScript really is the default language of browsers? Pretty sure browsers cannot just C without aim. And JavaScript already has enough cross-browser issues, cough IE. Can we take more?

jQuery is like Rails in the sense that beginners love it, and super advanced programmers love it. When you agree on the second level, you have reached enlightenment. If you think jQuery is just easy, then you have not unleashed its power.

So you can use JavaScript to manipulate the HTML DOM, and twig the CSS, but it didn't use to be case that you can do much damage to the database or the data that is being displayed. Spaghetti codes are required for lines and lines to manipulate some simple data. Not any more, Node.js renders javascript backend ready, and many frameworks including those backed by Google are emerging to take over the world. Heard of Angular.js or Ember.js? How about that Backbone.

Did I mention that JavaScript is not easy to learn? It's also simple to get started, but the possibilities are endless. It's almost more relieving to use Rails, because there's the Rails way of doing things and the Ruby way of doing things. When it comes to JavaScript, just the best parts, then you are on your own. Makes it the most flexible yet entangled language to learn on your own. Start small but time to get started on Js for sure.

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