Archive for February, 2007


Javascript – the Web 2.0 developer’s Babelfish

Monday, February 12th, 2007

In the post-demo schmooze at Toronto DemoCamp 12 last week, I was discussing Ajax-y things with a few people and I found myself articulating a notion that has been rolling around in my head unformed for a while – that of Javascript as Babelfish.

If you look some of the popular Javascript libraries and frameworks, an important aspect of their design is to make one’s Javascript code feel more like another environment that better suits the application or in which the designer (and ultimately user) is fluent.

To be precise, GWT is actually written in Java, so it doesn’t fit exactly but continues to demonstrate the trend of people wanting to stay in the environment they understand but have Javascript do the work.

Javascript is remarkable in its flexibility of expression that allows you to apply it to various idiomatic styles. I can’t think of another language that would be quite so accomodating.

Is this trend indicative of Javascript’s power, or the ingenuity of developers who are stuck with using Javascript in the browser when it differs from their environment of choice?