Mini-Languages That Make JavaScript Easier to Use | TechWell

Mini-Languages That Make JavaScript Easier to Use

JavaScript has entrenched itself in the IT industry as essential, especially if your work involves web programming. Although JavaScript has won the hearts of many developers, it has also received its fair share of criticism due to its dynamic nature—a nature that lends itself to the fallibility of human programmers.

Luckily, programmers are an innovative bunch and have created several mini-languages that aim to make JavaScript easier to use by adding features, lessening limitations, offering amiable debug and maintaining options, and dodging the design ditches seen in its parent programming language.

I touted the merits of Dart last week, but there are several other mini-languages that deserve your attention and consideration. Check out these five programming languages that make JavaScript easier to use.

CoffeeScript borrows from Python and Ruby in an attempt to make JavaScript’s syntax more straightforward. Although not as direct as CoffeeScript, IcedCoffeeScript, also known as ICS, offers more features and abilities to save time when coding. Where CoffeeScript has always been an attempt to expose the good parts of JavaScript, ICS aims to take it all a level deeper by streamlining asynchronous control flow. That means less time spent with callbacks and code rewrites and more time producing viable code.

TypeScript was born from Microsoft and Danish superprogrammer Anders Hejlsberg, author of Turbo Pascal and chief architect of Delphi. Hejlsberg invented TypeScript with the goal of providing features that JavaScript lacked. TypesScript offers classes, interfaces, modules, and an optional static typing system.

Without any static types, it’s hard to provide a meaningful tooling experience, and it’s almost impossible to do refactorings that are safe, and gradually these large JavaScript code bases end up being sort of read only. You dare not touch anything once they get to a certain size… Wouldn’t it be great if we could strengthen JavaScript with these things that are missing… But do so in a manner that does not actually compromise the key value proposition of JavaScript.

Kaffeine is more an add-on than an attempt at re-imagining JavaScript. Kaffeine offers JavaScript to users as-is but also extends the option of using mini-language extensions and modular features. Kaffeine is perfect for those who want to remain close to JavaScript but still dip their toes into the various JS options out there.

Sweet.js is Mozilla’s mixture of its brain child, Rust, and JavaScript. Sweet.js merges JavaScript with the macro functionality of their Rust language. That makes it appealing due to the level of customizable aspects, as well as the fact that even with all its added benefits, it still keeps the code clean.

Maybe you’ve found a substitute to JS that is more fitting to your liking. If so, share it with us in the comments section. And if you haven’t found a remedy to some of the pains that JavaScript can offer, then consider some of the compilers above.

Up Next

About the Author

TechWell Insights To Go

(* Required fields)

Get the latest stories delivered to your inbox every week.