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INSIGHTS

More Evidence of JavaScript Growth

Node Weekly had a reference to an interesting infographic regarding NPM usage.  

It's a bit loud and noisy, but the key data points are that is has surpassed 100,000 NPM modules and was accessed by over 1.7 million unique IP addresses in a single week recently.  

(image source: http://blog.modulus.io/growth-of-npm-infographic)

module-counts-infographic-light

Why so much activity?  Well, part of it is that Javascript npm modules are relatively easy to create with a big assist from GitHub to host the code.  And part of it is that Not Invented Here syndrome is rampant in the Javascript community, probably in part because the standard Javascript library is minimal (both a good and bad thing).

But the key point is that Javascript development is exploding in growth.  Check out this graph from http://www.modulecounts.com/:

module-counts-diagram

Notice that Javascript has surpassed all of the other language repositories, including the also massive Java Maven repository and Ruby Gems repositories.  And it's done so in only a little over 2 years, with a growth rate that makes the other repositories look like they are standing still.

Does this mean that all projects will be moving to Node.js?  Not at all.  Javascript is a land of chaos.  There are 10 (20? 30? 100?) ways to do everything in it.  But the reason that Javascript is growing is because it's the only language that is really everywhere.  It's used by both .NET and Java projects.  It's used in mobile projects.  It's used in Ruby projects.  Oh yeah, and it runs in your browser.  (smile)

With new Javascript libraries coming from all of these sources, it's somewhat of a Cambrian explosion of development ideas.

And ES6 is right around the corner, bringing standard approaches for modules and classes to Javascript, with numerous features already supported in existing browsers and Javascript engines.

Overall, it really means that there are going to be a lot of opportunities out there to help companies tame the entropic beast that is Javascript.  And there are a ton of really interesting new frameworks being created.  .  Basically, if you've been curmudgeonly resisting Javascript as just a fad, it's probably time to reconsider.  And when you do check it out, be sure to get your deep wading boots on and expect to have to do a lot of heavy lifting to pull things together.  Javascript does not spoon feed you a solution.  It taunts you to try new things.  It's fun.  And it's getting harder and harder to avoid. 

Topics: Javascript, Software Development

Written by Jim LoVerde

Jim is an NVISIA Fellow with 20 years of experience.

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