Javascript is slowly becoming the next big language (NBL)

Over time the perception of Javascript has changed from a language suitable for small bits of coding on a web page, to one where serious applications can be developed. With the language having an EMCA standard and with Douglas Crockford's excellent book JavaScript: The Good Parts showing you how to make the most of the language while avoiding the unfortunate historical yuckky bits, it has the underlying capabilities of a serious language.

With the AJAX movement and serious clients (GMail & Google Calender to name two) demonstrating what's possible in the wild. We also have new Javascript engines coming up in several browsers (Chrome, Firefox & Safari) that are an order of magnitude faster in performance. These will allow for a major jump in the functionality of applications running in the browser.

 Below I've listed just some technologies that are programmed with Javascript. 

Client Side

Server Side

  • Over 35 different options for running JavaScript on the server. Take a look at the list on wikipedia

Just a couple of highlights from the list are;


What other language allows you to target so many platforms, from a web browser to a mobile phone to a web server. Also with services like the Yahoo YQL, you can now run fragments of Javascript on their servers rather than developing whole applications.

With application and srvices created as mash-ups of other services, in the future Javascript is going to be the glue on the server as well as the client that will tie it all together. Yahoo YQL hints at where this might go in the future, where your 'application' is just Javascript code located across many servers coordinating other services, rather than a whole application installed on a server.

This is why Javascript will be the NBL. Not because it's the 'best' language, has the most features, is the only language developers want to use. But because one language will allow you to target so many platforms. As the javascript engines performance increases it will move into more and more development areas, it is only a matter of time...