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> So where I would normally tell people who boo php to use whatever language they prefer, and get over it, that's not possible with js.

Maybe 5 years ago. For nowadays, I beg to differ: https://github.com/jashkenas/coffeescript/wiki/list-of-langu...

A significant amount of the choices there produce generally better-performing code than the hand-written JS, there's also the WebAssembly.

While technically true, don't you still have to debug and diagnose issues from the generated JavaScript? I'd love to write front-end code in anything else, but if I have to know exactly how it gets converted to JavaScript it kind of defeats the point.

Elm stands out in this regard, as it gives fairly robust guarantees of no runtime errors, so the debugging you'll do when working with Elm will almost always be limited to its compiler or Elm Debugger. The price to pay for this is limited interoperability with JS, but it may be acceptable to trade interop for type safety, depending on the use case.

Generally, the alt-js languages provide 'source maps' so that developer tools know to map errors in the 'transpiled' code to their source, and it's possible to avoid JS to a practical degree.

Usually you get source maps, so you can debug in the source language, right from the DevTools.

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