Web News

What Can't JavaScript Do?

September 13, 2022
September 21, 2022
Episode Number:

Welcome back to the HTML All The Things Podcast your web development, web design, and small business headquarters. This week Mike and Matt discussed the many use cases for JavaScript. Over the past several years, JavaScript has been steadily exploding in popularity, with an appropriate number of frameworks and tooling being released alongside all the interest. With that though, is there anything that JavaScript can't do? What about what it excels at?


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Show Notes


What is JavaScript good at?

  • Creating interactive web apps
  • Creating interactive User experiences
  • Single-threaded server handling
  • Cross-platform compiling
  • Simple app creation that can be written in JavaScript and run across desktop and mobile applications
  • 95% of apps for Frontend, backend, and mobile
  • Other reason to use/learn javascript
  • One of the most popular languages
  • Fun to learn because of the visual indicators that web apps provide

What doesn’t JavaScript do well?

  • Structure
  • Because JavaScript is flexible it doesn’t have a straightforward structure to follow (like MVC) when developing apps
  • Frameworks complicate this as they add their own paradigms
  • High availability/reliability
  • Because JavaScript is a runtime scripting language it does not compile down to machine code. This can cause unexpected issues with things like garbage collection and memory usage
  • Consistency
  • Because JavaScript relies on many different engines (V8, webkit, etc) it has inconsistencies across them
  • One app can perform differently and unexpectedly across different browsers and platforms
  • Speed
  • If performance and speed is a serious concerns then JavaScript might not be the right language for you
  • As it is a higher-level language it does not perform as well as something like C or Rust (lower-level languages)
  • Realtime systems that need to be fast, 24/7 operation and consistent are exactly where you should lean towards a lower level language
  • High availability backend services also place you might want to lean towards a more native backend languages

Alternatives to JavaScript

Web - No real alternatives for frontend logic yet. You can do some stuff with php, python, flutter-web (dart)

Backend - PHP, Python, GO

Mobile - Flutter, Swift, Kotlin

Desktop - C#, Swift

Gaming - C++

Embedded Systems - C, Rust

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