Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Revisiting Javascript

Javascript was the first programming language I learnt, back in 2001, about to leave high school. In college I somehow 'learnt' that these were not real programming languages. The real languages were C, C++, Java and the like. I gradually drifted towards C++, and then worked in C and C++ for a decade in the industry.

Now I am stumbling upon one thing after the other about Javascript which makes me think - god why didn't any of the tutorials tell me all this back in 2001! Specially about the bits of functional programming possible in Javascript - and how you can quickly built complex programs with it.

I just want to list down the nice things I've encountered in the past few days:
1. A blog about how to write a programming language in Javascript
2. Marijn Haverbeke's book 'Eloquent Javascript'
3. A talk from EmpireJS on Knitting in Javascript
4. A 30-line implementation of a simple spreadsheet in Javascript
5. A blog post about variable scoping in Javascript

The language is confused and allows multiple paradigms - but so is C++. The best thing about Javascript is that it is much easier to use functional programming techniques in it. And the even better thing is that most devices/platforms seem to be supporting it. I am tending to believe that the bigger things of the future will be built upon powerful programming languages or systems. I am gradually moving away from the importance of building faster low-level programming systems.