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LABS
Javascript thoughts of the day

Frankly, I used to disdain Javascript. I thought of it as a toy language (even though my friend Jim Davis implemented a huge nasty content management system in it and kept telling me that there was nothing toy about it). Proficiency in Javascript used to be a marker of low status in my eyes (well, except for Jim, who I just thought of as being perverse). Whenever I had to do anything with it, I swore about the constant errors, the lack of tools, and the general infernal twistedness.

Doing some more javascript and JSUnit stuff today, I’m quite impressed. Firebug allows you to console.debug any object and even to expand your command line to be a good usable size. I finally and reluctantly admit that Javascript is really worth knowing, and you can do serious TDD development with it using JSUnit. Sigh. If only I had listened to you, Jim.

Comments
  1. Jim Davis says:

    I don’t mind being called perverse, and I do like Javascript quite a bit, but the big content management system you’re thinking of was in perl (and perl 4 at that) — a language far nastier than Javascript.

    Language discussions so often deteriorate into flame wars, but just let me point out a few nice features of Javascript.
    1. object-oriented (although many people are put off by the fact that the object model is prototype-based, not class based.)
    2. It has closures. Given this, you can build all the rich and groovy control structures that modern Ruby hackers (or ancient perverse Lisp hackers) thrive on
    3. It’s small. You can actually remember this language.
    4. At present, it is without rival for constructing rich information applications on the Web, unless you count Flash.
    5. You can run it client side or server side.

    I, too, once held “Javascript” in disdain, but that was because of its name, clearly chosen (long, long ago) to make it seem like it had some connection to “Java” which was (way back then) the Next Cool Thing. That was then.

    And I also agree that JS got a whole lot more usable when Firebug showed up.

  2. Shifra Pride Raffel says:

    Yay, nice to see you here, Jim! When you get a chance, tell me how you like your job, and how the family is, and so forth.

    There was some company-wide thing you did entirely in Javascript, wasn’t there?

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