What Will JavaScript Be Like In 2015?

Well, it is officially a new year! I feel like every year that I've been a JavaScript developer, there have been huge things that have happened on the library front. When it comes to a community largely driven by open-source developers, it's hard to predict what the JavaScript landscape will look like in 2015. There could be a new library or framework that gets released tomorrow that literally changes everything. However, judging by the 2014 landscape, I have put together a few predictions for 2015.

ES6 Will Get Better Support

The final spec for EcmaScript 6 has been released and now it is just a matter of time before browsers offer complete support for all of the hot new JavaScript features like classes, arrow functions, native dependency injection, generators, etc.

If you want to start using the next version of JavaScript now and not wait until all of the current browsers die off, you can already use a compiler like Google Traceur to write with the ES6 syntax.

Imperative Frameworks Will Continue To Dominate

Angular seemed to be a big point of discussion everywhere I went last year. Anyone who has experienced a framework like Angular, Ember or Knockout can attest to the joy of writing imperative code. It is so much cleaner to keep the view bindings in the templates instead of the code and it makes JavaScript applications much more testable.

There will be a continued emphasis on imperative MV* frameworks this year and I think there will be a lot of excitement about getting imperative frameworks to work well with ES6, especially as Angular 2.0 begins to get fleshed out.

React and Flux Will Become Bigger

I think we've just seen the beginnings React at this point. I still haven't written my first production-ready app in it, but just from what I've read and seen, the structure makes a lot of sense. In one sense, a one-way binding library might seem like a step back from the ease of developing an app in something like Angular, but in another sense, keeping away from the ambiguity of two-way binding and where the data actually lives seems like a good move. I think we will see more adoption of React in the coming year and more open-source effort to create things on top of it.

The Lines Between the Client and Server Will Get Blurry

With realtime frameworks like Meteor, I think we will be seeing more and more ability to share modules between the client and the server-side. I'm hopeful that we will keep things like server-side rendering for search engines and people with JavaScript disabled in mind, but it is definitely a difficult problem to solve. Fingers crossed for 2015.

Mobile Frameworks Will Get Better

There are already a lot of great mobile frameworks out there such as Sencha Touch, jQuery Mobile, Ionic and Famous, but I think 2015 will see us getting new frameworks and improvements on existing libraries to make a more native experience for mobile.

I am also really hopeful that we'll get some libraries that give us some less typical controls than what you might usually expect from a native experience. Currently, most of the frameworks provide pretty similar experiences and UIs. I would love to see a library or two that thinks outside of the box on the UI front.

Conclusion

Truth be told, there is no way to reliably predict what will happen in the JavaScript world this year. With probably the largest community of developers of any programming language out there, JavaScript is always an interesting community to watch. I for one am very excited to see where things go this year and how we as a group of developers can help and contribute to make working with the fantastic and quirky language of JavaScript the best experience possible.

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