When did Javascript become a serious language?

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Tue Dec 10 10:20:03 MST 2013


On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 9:13 PM, Nicholas Leippe <nick at leippe.com> wrote:
> Don't forget Clojurescript--all the power of clojure compiled into es5
> javascript. Very interesting IMO.

At this point, there are few interesting languages that *don't* have a
compiler that targets javascript.  And even then, if they run via an
interpreter, you can compile the interpreter to javascript via
emscripten. I did a presentation on lua that had HTML slides with a
live lua REPL in them running in the browser via emscripten or
something like it. So, although Clojurescript is cool, it wasn't
anywhere near the first language to compile to javascript.

There are even a bunch of languages that started their life as
compilers targeting javascript, such as coffeescript, TypeScript, Roy,
Elm, etc. Here's a large but probably incomplete list:
https://github.com/jashkenas/coffee-script/wiki/List-of-languages-that-compile-to-JS

I would bet that Javascript is by far the language with the most
widely installed development system and runtime environment now.  It's
kind of insane, but the world works in funny ways sometimes.

       --Levi


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