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Why JavaScript (perriault.net)
49 points by dirkk0 1487 days ago | hide | past | web | 85 comments | favorite



The biggest problem with JS for me is not its quirks, but the way that until you know--and I mean, really know--the language, you WILL make absolutely horrific errors, on every single level of development. It does not matter how good you are at writing C, Java, or Python.

Oh, what, you thought == was for comparison? Wrong. Oh, you didn't wrap your all your code in an anonymous, self-calling function? You lose. Oh, what you thought it was okay to leave off semicolons and var statements because they aren't required? Sorry. Hmm, you didn't know how to manage dependencies between scripts? Should have studied harder. You tried to iterate over an array? Ridiculous. Your brain exploded when trying to write a series of asynchronous functions in continuation style? A pity, really.

People who are good at JS like JS because it makes them special. They can lord their knowledge of the quirks over "lesser" developers who come to JS expecting it to act like a sane language. It took an entire industry about a decade just to learn how to tame it. Sure, JS turned out to be really extensible to new paradigms, but hey, so is the lambda calculus.

A good language makes good programming look natural. Like Python. JS is the opposite.


There are quirks in every languages - python obviously included. And please, don't forget that you're using a very old version of the Javascript language. It's a little bit like if I'm arguing about the errors and quirks of Python 1.5. Languages evolve and learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, old browsers are stuck with old javascript versions. Some people have to write code in java 1.4 or python 1.5, they aren't People who are good at [python or java] like [python or java] because it makes them special.

And that being said, most people coming from [name your favorite language] believe that Javascript works the same way as their language. It's a different language and require a different knowledge. In fact, javascript' similarity to algol might be one of the biggest problem of the language. Have you tried working with C++ without learning the language?

And here are some Python cool "features":

  def foo(x=[]):
    x.append(2)
    print x

  foo()
  foo()
Guess x? To take your term "You lose".

  print 3/2
What's the result? If you answered 1.5, sorry, you're wrong. We're using Python <2.2 here, and it gives 1.

Here's another one, what does it do:

  for i in range(10): print "*",
  print
Is it ""? Sorry, a comma at the end doesn't include a "\n" but automatically insert a space.

Anyhow, have fun here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/530530/python-2-x-gotchas...


No language is perfect, but if those are the worst examples you can come up with for Python, there really is no comparison with the insane JavaScript WTF's I've seen.

Default list/dictionary arguments are plain evil in Python, no disagreeing there. I've been bitten by something like the following before, which is similar to your snippet:

  x = y = []
  x.append(2)
  print x
  print y
As for your other examples: except for Pascal/Delphi, I have never used a language that has separate division operators for floats and integers, so at least for me it's only natural that 3/2 == 1, how else would I do integer division?

The print example is just very weak, I can hardly even call it a WTF. Yes it's a little odd, but you're not going to hit weird runtime bugs like when you are comparing things in JavaScript, for example.

I'm frankly very surprised by the almost complete absence of real Python WTF's in the Stack Overflow discussion you linked, I would have expected more. If anything, it actually shows how clean and predictable Python is.


Maybe I wasn't clear. The gotcha with 3/2 == 1 isn't that it's giving 1, it's that the behavior changes depending of the version of python.


The worst one for me with JavaScript lately is trying to build some form of object orientation into my code. There's no canonical way to even implement a constructor, for christ's sake. I haven't even dared to touch trying to use it for polymorphism. Or composition, for that matter. I'm staying the hell away from it for anything simpler than UI code.

If JavaScript was a nicer language I would be spending more time in Node.JS, but it's not, so I'm sticking with Rails.


I actually don't mind this problem much, although that might be my "functional programming" bias.

You only really need a "canonical" way to do things if you will be wanting to use features that depend on your classes being implemented in a predictable way. For example, class inheritance or implementing "super" method functionality.

> I haven't even dared to touch trying to use it for polymorphism.

Its not at hard as it sounds, since you have first class functions and closures. You can often handle functions directly instead of needing to create objects for everything.


You're forcing class based inheritance onto a language that specialises in prototypical inheritance... however, try http://tobyho.com/2010/11/22/javascript-constructors-and/


Define "natural". Firstly, == is indeed for comparison, just with an implicit cast beforehand. You don't need to wrap all your code in an anonymous self calling function, but to get the most out of it you need to - given the way it was designed, this makes sense.

You speak like C syntax is "natural" - I remember grappling with pointers and references, it took some time for me to get it fully. It's not like Python doesn't have it's quirks.

I find it ironic that those who use Python/Ruby/Clojure/etc want to often ridicule those who use JavaScript. They've got their own form of elitism. Get over it, seriously.


What the parent was saying regarding the == vs === is that unlike other languages it's very easy to get burned if you don't know the difference and when to properly use it. I'm hardly proficient at JS and not knowing that would've screwed me over.


Can you give me a concrete example?


  0 == false
or even better

  "0" == false
edit: I should note that I don't think JS is a horrible language or anything, but it does have more than its share of oddities.


I guess I'm still confused... Where abouts in your code will you be comparing a string or integer to a Boolean?

Incidentally, there are quirks - the worst is with having to define a "that" variable, I guess I just don't see these JavaScript issues as all that terrible. Unlike PHP's type coersion system, Javascript's is quite sensible.


The point is that comparisons between things of different types should be errors. Implicit coercion is never sensible.


4 / 2.5 should be an error?

Okay, then. Never mind that essentially no language in widespread use enforces that.


That case is also potentially problematic, but perhaps better solved by having float division / and integer division // as separate operators.

Perhaps my "never" was too strong.


If you have a function which returns an integer or false.


That, I would hazard to advance, is a very poorly written function.


The most common `==` problem is `0 == ""`, IMO


As if that wasn't bad enough on it's own.

"0" == false and "" == false but "0" != ""

Edit: Or maybe a less defendable example of my point:

"0" == 0 and "" == 0 but "0" != ""


>People who are good at JS like JS because it makes them special. They can lord their knowledge of the quirks over "lesser" developers who come to JS expecting it to act like a sane language. It took an entire industry about a decade just to learn how to tame it. Sure, JS turned out to be really extensible to new paradigms, but hey, so is the lambda calculus.

All those points are moot. It's like pointing C's many flaws (or PHP's myriads). Or Ruby's. Or Javas. All languages have several syntactic or semantic issues.

It didn't "took the industry a decade to learn Javascript". It took the industry a decade to have:

1) Mostly compatible implementation of JS and the DOM. 2) Powerful enough computers and JS VM so it can be used for fancy stuff. 3) A reason to use it (AJAX and involved web apps).

Nothing of which has anything to do with Javascript's "difficulty" or "quirkiness" as a language.


>Oh, what, you thought == was for comparison? Wrong.

Actually true. And truer to the dynamic spirit of Javascript than ===. Sometimes things don't have to be absolutely equal to be equal, "1" and 1 will do just fine. You can sanitise at another level.

>Oh, you didn't wrap your all your code in an anonymous, self-calling function? You lose.

You loose nothing. You merely expose some names to the global namespace. Which might just be just one name, anyway, sans the anonymous self-calling function. (e.g

window.ns = {}, ns.doSomething = function() ...

>Oh, what you thought it was okay to leave off semicolons and var statements because they aren't required? Sorry.

Sorry for nothing much. A lot of people leave them off with no problem at all. The few edge cases are not unlike any other language's edge cases.

>Hmm, you didn't know how to manage dependencies between scripts? Should have studied harder.

Or not. If you got the result you want.

>You tried to iterate over an array? Ridiculous.

You probably mean the "for i in" idiom. Which is perfectly fine over an array. The only problem arises if someone has extended the Array prototype, which you shouldn't do anyway. And even that can be bypassed with one extra hasOwnProperty check. Not to mention it's solved in ES6.

>Your brain exploded when trying to write a series of asynchronous functions in continuation style? A pity, really.

Well, that's just because Node async style is amateur hour BS, like trying to do closures in C or logic programming in PHP. Doable, but not supported by the language. Use Go or Dart or Haskell or C# or Scala or Tornado etc for your async needs.


> Well, that's just because Node async style is amateur hour BS, like trying to do closures in C or logic programming in PHP. Doable, but not supported by the language. Use Go or Dart or Haskell or C# or Scala or Tornado etc for your async needs.

If async programming in JavaScript "isn't supported by the language": what good is it, then?


The basic idea of having a framework full of nonblocking async calls for stuff and using simple cooperative threading is a reasonable design decision depending on what you want to do. The problem is that Node forces you to write code in continuation passing style and that is a very "low level" way to write things, missing many of the niceties languages tend to have right now.

* If you want an async value you need to give it a name and put it in a callback argument. Instead of `f() + g()` you end up doing `f(function(a){ g(function(b){ ballback(a+b) } ) })`

* You need to explicitly tell the order of execution of everything (as shown in the previous example)

* It can very laborious to refactor a non-CPS subroutine if part of it needs to become async, specially if you have many loops or call other subroutines. Ideally you shouldn't have to do large "boilerplate" rewrites of your code just because of a small local change.

If you are curious what the better alternative for to CPS style is, my opinion is that the way to have the language do the work of breaking the code into the callbacks for you, either via dialects that compile to JS or via features such as generators. While you can get away with many of the very nice async programming libraries out there, they still can't solve all the problems with CPS style (specially the refactoring one)


Who said Javascript is good for async programming?

It was designed to be easy to use with callbacks for website UI style events (which is not quite the same as async programming).

The Node async is just a half-thought implementation of async on top of a VM that doesn't really support it. The thing it has going for it is traction (and some people new to async are amused by the callback style and find it "challenging", whatever).

Scala/Dart/Go/Rust/Haskell/etc have a better async story.

ES6 will add some promising stuff in the future (no pun intended).


That doesn't change the fact that it has more flaws and idiosyncrasies than most other languages.

We use it because we must, not because we choose to.


This. JavaScript is in many ways a step forward if you're coming from C++, PHP 5.0 or Java (and a step backward in some other ways, but ok). People sometimes use that reasoning to call it a great language, or at least to call JavaScript's Good Parts a great language.

Problem is, compared with other modern commonplace languages such as C#, Python or Scala, JavaScript simply loses on nearly all fronts. These languages all have all the points that the OP lists about Javascript, plus a whole bunch more.

Only when compared to the hot languages of the nineties is JavaScript a serious improvement.

That said, the fact that it's not awesome surely is no reason to diss it. JavaScript does have those Good Parts, and it isn't bad at all. Just not great either.

Still, i can't wait until we can avoid it altogether and consider it some sort of bytecode that those old hackers with mustaches wrote by hand, back in the day. In text editors!


I suppose people using JavaScript instead of C++, PHP or Java is probably an improvement. It's still sad that the improvement is so terrible.


Note: I said PHP 5.0 for a reason. I wouldn't consider PHP 5.4 particularly worse than JavaScript. It has namespaces, a somewhat decent module system (at least compared to JS), closures, and an inconsistent standard library. With JS having virtually no standard library at all, I'm not convinced that PHP's is necessarily worse.

Ecosystem-wise, I guess PHP's is a bit larger, and JS's is a bit smarter, currently. The amount of absolutely horrible JQuery plugins is already paralleling the amount of horrible Joomla extensions; I'm curious to see whether the NodeJS'ers can keep that culture from creeping into their side of the wall.

All in all, pretty comparable.


So now elitism is occurring for C++ and Java, both used for totally different reasons, in largely different domains. What's with that?


This has nothing to do with elitism. I simply find them to be pretty poor languages that I wouldn't want to use, for different reasons.


I'm fairly interested in your reasons, what is your language of choice?


I tend to use Python for most things. It's quite expressive and it's quite simple to deal with, in particularly when things go wrong.

There is plenty of good criticism for C++ out there. I would never use it by choice, but it is almost the only reasonable language to use for game development at the moment.

Java is less insane than C++, but it's also extremely verbose, restrictive and inexpressive. The JVM is also annoying to deal with, in particular because of startup time, memory usage and debugging.

Both have stupid, useless type systems that only get in the way. There is almost no value at all in the kind of static checking either of them does.

While I see the value of a good type system (like Haskell, Scala, Rust and to a small extent Go), I have yet to be comfortable enough with either to replace Python to any extent. I've done "evil" things in Python in a pinch that I'm not sure I could easily reproduce in a non-dynamic language.


  There is almost no value at all in the kind of static checking either of them does.
OK that's just ridiculous. If nothing else (and there really is a lot else), they catch undefined variable usage and such.


That sort of lint is easily done in Python, in fact I have it integrated in my editor.

More interesting static checking is not, however, doable in either C++ or Java. Hence why I find that the current checks are not worth having a stupid and annoying type system.


Where I work, we chose it. Could have carried on using PHP, could have moved to $otherLanguage. We chose NodeJS.


When the alternative is something as stupid as PHP, sure. But there are much better languages out there that would entirely eclipse JavaScript, if it wasn't the only thing that can reasonably be used in browser.


And yet, nodejs is a perfectly reasonable choice for web development for many.


Exactly. The claim was "We use it because we must, not because we choose to." This is not true because even in environments where we need not, some of us still choose JS.


i'm sure he is talking about browser programming , what you do server side is 100% your business, nobody cares. And PHP is definetly not a good exemple as it is even worse than JS.


The biggest problem I have with JS is the multitude of libraries you need in order to make it usable.

These libraries all seem to use and encourage different patterns and trying to use 2 together often leads to confusion.

Switching to a project that uses something different, say prototype instead of jQuery feels like learning from scratch again.


To be fair, I've found many, many projects use underscore for their go-to 'utility' library and it's pretty decent and readable. What other libraries have you seen as dependencies that cause clashes?


Not so much clashes, just documentation and examples tend to use often radically different coding styles.


Devs: you should make JS your primary language. It's a complete wild west right now -- still lacking so much as a package manager for the browser -- but meanwhile, the entire internet is moving into a rich client architecture. Tools like Backbone, while useful, are very clearly not the platform we'll be using in a few years. It's a phenomenal opportunity to do meaningful work and be in very high demand.

Self promotion: I believe the above so firmly I went out and started a school for JS devs, Hack Reactor (formerly Catalyst). http://hackreactor.com


I totally agree with you except that I still stay with the combination Python and JS (actually like the author). But there's no way to avoid JS so why not better embrace it.

@hackreactor: nice! @packagemanager Yeoman (http://yeoman.io/) does something like this and a couple of other solutions, too.


> you should make JS your primary language

Could you tell at least one compelling objective reason to do so? Especially for non-web-frontend developers out there?


I personally believe that in a couple years, most programmers on the web stack will use traditional languages (PHP, Ruby, Java, etc) to serve up REST services. And, that is it. The client will handle the rest via JavaScript and client-side bindings (Backbone, etc).


There are only two kinds of programming languages: those people always bitch about and those nobody uses. - Bjarne Stroustrup

On the other hand, this was said by the creator of C++ and correlation doesn't imply causality; maybe some of the factors that contribute to a language becoming mainstream also cause irritation.


It's funny because C++ is used a lot and everyone bitches about it.


Great post, it's just annoying to hear people ranting about JS over and over again. The most annoying fact is, most of these people don't know how to write anything useful in JS besides copy&pasting a few lines a jQuery code. (I have doubts whether it's possible with this knowledge to understand how modern webapps are working.)

In the recent time I've often read posts about people suggesting: learn language X to a reasonable proficiency before you criticize.


In my experience, those who criticize JavaScript the most have often used it for many years, and know it extremely well.

These people also usually have many years of experience with other, far more sensible programming languages, too. I'm not talking about PHP or Ruby, either. Rather, these people know one or more of languages like C, C++, Objective-C, Java, C#, Haskell, Erlang, OCaml, Standard ML or Python inside and out.

With such knowledge, it becomes very obvious just how bad JavaScript is. The utter stupidity of many of its flaws becomes so apparent. These people also can see how it lacks the language features necessary for large-scale, multi-developer, distributed development, and then the subsequent maintenance of such projects. They've felt the pain of its numerous other problems time and time again.

I'd say the reality is much the opposite to what you describe. The ones who advocate JavaScript most often have never used anything else. They don't realize how many of JavaScript's inherent problems, or "quirks" as they like to call them, just don't exist in most other programming languages. If they have used another language, it's usually PHP, which is arguably worse than JavaScript in many ways. While living in this bubble of ignorance, they don't see JavaScript's flaws for what they truly are.


You should perhaps focus on adding value to the discussion, than going on about people you hardly know anything about.

JS and Python offer comparable expressiveness for most programming tasks: basic imperative language features, first class functions, closures etc. If you miss list comprehensions, a better syntax for lambdas or classes, go ahead and use the favorite JS shorthand - coffeescript. It _really_ is JS. Even if you don't use coffee, having first class functions would let you write some of those missing features in a library (albeit with a slightly clunkier syntax).

Sure there are nuances, like scoping rules. On the plus side, having a single programming language on the server and client saves some time. Also, most of the libraries being async in nature helps in typical I/O heavy apps.

I draw these inferences from a medium sized JS project I have going on at http://www.poe3.com (source: https://github.com/jeswin/poetry-source). I am fairly convinced that JS did save me a lot of time. Interested in seeing how you came to your conclusions.


I notice you said all that without explicitly naming a single flaw.


Are JavaScript's many flaws truly not glaringly obvious to you?


No.


I'm truly sorry to hear that. Have you ever used any other programming language?


You're using C as an example of an "unflawed" language?

Wow.

Don't get me wrong, C is outstanding in its problem domain, but it certainly has no shortage of rope with which to hang yourself.

"These people also can see how it lacks the language features necessary for large-scale, multi-developer, distributed development, and then the subsequent maintenance of such projects."

The Gmail team might disagree.


I said "far more sensible", not "unflawed". Please don't misquote me.

And, yes, C is a far more sensible programming language than JavaScript is. C may not be perfectly defined, but at least it isn't full of stupid gotchas like JavaScript is. C doesn't bungle such basic things as equality checks, for instance. C also doesn't include idiocy like semicolon insertion.

C can be risky to use in some cases because it offers an extremely high degree of power and flexibility to the programmer.

JavaScript is risky to use in all cases because it is rife with design mistakes and other inherent flaws that make it much too difficult to write reliable, maintainable code.


You were comparing Javascript with the "utter stupidity of its many flaws" to "far more sensible" languages.

"C doesn't bungle such basic things as equality checks, for instance."

2.0 == 2?

False.

Most people would consider that a flaw. As programmers we understand that integers and floats are different in the computer, but that's not how it works in math.

"C also doesn't include idiocy like semicolon insertion."

You must really hate the languages that don't use semicolons at all. :-)



"==" implies that one can be substituted for the other at will without changing the result. In C, that's not the case for 2 and 2.0.

Compilers have gotten a lot better about warning about these situations, but they're far from perfect. In any case, "produces a compiler warning" and "doesn't produce a compiler warning" isn't "==" behavior.

We won't even go into why having a logical comparison return an integer result is questionable. Yes, it's very convenient sometimes, but it's still an example of the type of "flaw" that he doesn't like in Javascript.


Here's an example of it causing problems with no warning of any kind:

http://codepad.org/vnYtqRBM

Note that this is precisely why Javascript has ===, widely regarded as one of its "flaws".


>> In the recent time I've often read posts about people suggesting: learn language X to a reasonable proficiency before you criticize.

Hard to disagree with this. That said, I think even JavaScript guru's generally agree that the language itself is actually pretty awful unless you know all of the legacy quirks and WTFs it is dragging along.

When discussing the merits of programming languages, the observation that "JavaScript is the best we have for browser-based development" or "it's possible to write really awesome things with JavaScript" just doesn't cut it for me. Either you acknowledge and accept JavaScript's deficiences and don't try to sugar-coat them, or you refrain from trying to objectively rank it against other languages at all.

My personal opinion is that you simply cannot reasonably maintain that JavaScript is a 'good programming language', for the simple fact that before can say you are proficient with it, you likely have had to deal with multiple WTF's you'll never run into with (most) other languages. Other dynamic VM-based language exist that are much better than JavaScript, but just like the QWERTY keyboard layout, we're stuck with it.


> I think even JavaScript guru's generally agree that the language itself is actually pretty awful unless you know all of the legacy quirks and WTFs it is dragging along.

Are you confusing pure JS with DOM APIs and xbrowser quirks? Pure ES5 (or 6) is actually a very lovely language to work in, and now thanks to Node, we can.

Maybe I'm just so used to the quirks that I don't see them as a problem any more.


> Maybe I'm just so used to the quirks that I don't see them as a problem any more.

To jog your memory, here's a list of questionable design decisions I can think of off the top of my head:

Automatic semicolon insertion and a broken == operator

A language shouldn't try to guess the programmer's intention, but rather fail cleanly on ambiguous cases.

Function scope and global by default

Frankly, I'm appalled by how many dynamic languages get it wrong. Lexical block scoping with mandatory declarations are by far the most sane approach I've come accross, and the only P-language (Perl, Python, PHP with Ruby and Javascript as honorary members) that gets it right is (strict-mode) Perl.

Weird object system

While actually protypal, the constructor-with-prototype-property semantics add a pseudo-class based overlay without an obvious mechanism for object extension and code reuse.


- Add semicolons, if that's what you prefer. - If you needed type checking, use ===. - Function scope and object system, what's wrong with it?

These things don't matter in practice, although we could go on arguing about them. If a language has basic hygiene like first class functions I can build apps with it.


- Add semicolons, if that's what you prefer

I do, but others disagree. My point is that when parsing fails, insert a semicolon and try again doesn't look very appealing from my personal criteria of language design.

- If you needed type checking, use ===

Which was added to the language after it was realized that the original semantics of == might not have been that well thought out.

- Function scope and object system, what's wrong with it?

Block scoping provides a finer level of encapsulation than function scope. Do you think `let` was added to the language (JS1.7, ECMA6) just for the heck of it?

As for the object system: Instead of using one of the well-known approaches (protoypal with cloning or class-based with inheritance), JS comes with a weird hybrid system inferior to both. Of course JS allows both approaches, but does not provide syntactic support for either, which makes them clumsy to use and open to fragmentation.


It's very easy to brush all of these as "don't matter in practice" or "just use <insert sane equivalent of ...>", but if we go that route, almost any language can be considers 'good enough' to write code in.

I see 2 problems with this point of view:

1) Ever programmer sometimes makes mistakes, such as forgetting a semicolon, or writing '==' instead of '===' 2) This assumes that anyone writing JavaScript knows about all these gotcha's

We can sit here all day arguing about 'how bad' some of the things JavaScript does or does not, but that's not the point. Most other languages have none of these issues, and if tomorrow somehow all browsers on earth would magically be able to run some kind of clean alternative to JavaScript, I'm pretty sure everyone would immediately jump on it.


> Hard to disagree with this. That said, I think even JavaScript guru's generally agree that the language itself is actually pretty awful unless you know all of the legacy quirks and WTFs it is dragging along.

Sure, Crockford is probably the best example. But the same is true from many languages that became popular before 2000. C is notorious for its pointer magic and buffer overflows. C++ is notorious for being an "expert language" that takes years to master. Java is hated for being very verbose. I know someone, long term (Ex-)Rubyist, hating the language for not scaling well and being hard to debug.

Maybe I'm too pragmatic but I think in every language there is something to hate. (Haven't seriously tried C# though ;)

I think at the end of the day the libraries make up at least 50% of the overall language experience. In the recent years JS has got a number of high quality libraries like jQuery or underscore.js that transparently circumvent many behated JS features. Like awkward checks for undefined or consistent and easy DOM manipulation.

IMHO C++ is a good example for a language in which libraries can hardly make up for the deficiencies because the language is so complex. JS on the contrary does not have so many rules.


I have written multiple large JS apps as part of my day job (and I still have to) and I think while JS has some cool features, and I even enjoy using it sometimes, it is mostly a dirty hack.


When you consider the circumstances under which Javascript was created and grew up, it's nothing short of a miracle that we have a language with the functional power of JS. Sure it's warty as all hell, but prototypal inheritance plus closures give you architectural flexibility that would be the envy of many "better" languages.


In practice, we've seen its prototype-based OO functionality be a burden, rather than a benefit. In any sizable JavaScript code base, there is usually a lot of code and effort put into faking a far more sensible and practical class-based approach to OO. This often obfuscates the code significantly.

This is part of the reason why languages like CoffeeScript and TypeScript have become popular. They offer the tools that developers actually need, rather than just telling them, "you should be using prototype-based OO because it's good".


Arguably that's just because people aren't used to prototype-based OO, but in any case, it supports these custom pseudo-class-based OO constructs just fine doesn't it?


No, it's because JS doesn't expose (or at least didn't used to before ES5) it's prototype system, but instead provides a pseudo class-based overlay.

The proper way to do inheritance in JS is

    // Foo extends Bar
    Foo.prototype = Object.create(Bar.prototype);
    function Foo() {
        Bar.call(this);
    }
Before the introduction of Object.create, you either had to roll your own version, assigned a dummy instance of Bar to Foo.prototype (which is horribly wrong) or transferred methods manually from Bar.prototype to Foo.prototype, which is arguably more 'in the spirit' of JS1.0.

That's not how it's done in 'real' prototypal languages like Self or Io.


No, it does an absolutely horrible job supporting anything that resembles class-based OO. That's why so much JavaScript code is utterly unmaintainable. It doesn't offer the functionality that developers want and need, so they have to fake it, and this can only be done very poorly.


I don't know if I've ever seen prototype-based OO used to produce something that dynamically-typed, class-based OO couldn't accomplish in a much more comprehensible manner.


Well devs are ranting about JS because devs dont have the choice to use javascript or not period. Programmers dont like to be forced into something yet they cant avoid javascript as it is the only language that will work in most of the browsers.

It doesnt make javascript a good language , in fact it is not. It is a poorly designed language that should not have survived the 90's, and if it would have been invented today it would have been different beast. Is there some good stuff in it ? sure, but the irony is it is used to code against the DOM which is strictly typed and made of classes and interfaces( that's the why of DHTML , because it made no sense to use that language against that API ).

Now People can rant about it all they want it wont make a difference , browser scripting = doing some javascript , wether one likes it or not.


In my experience, people who don't have any complaints about Javascript don't know many other languages very well.


I think the biggest problem is that there are many many bad tutorials/book about javascript and only a few good once.

Often people wane code javascript like language X but javascript isen't language X! You must learn it like every other language! But if often see people doing javascript "when they need it". Nobody writes C just cause they need it... Normally people just sit down and read a book about C.


The "best" JavaScript-related book, as chosen by the community at large, is generally considered to be "JavaScript: The Good Parts", by Crockford.

While the most widely respected books for other programming languages teach one how to use such languages' features effectively, "JavaScript: The Good Parts" basically says not to use large parts of JavaScript.

That alone should show just how poor of a language it is. You don't have to ignore, or actively not use, so much core functionality when using a good programming language.


Also there is this resource, and the first sentence says it all: http://bonsaiden.github.com/JavaScript-Garden/


This sounds awfully familiar, if you replace JavaScript with Fortran and Web with number crunching. And I didn't buy it back then.


The reason people use JavaScript for scripting in the browser is because there is no other option. The biggest reason I see to use it outside the browser is because you're already using it inside the browser. There are plenty of things to dislike about JS, but the ability to use it both in and out of the browser is a pretty big upside.


Nothing is deeply wrong with it as long as it stays inside a browser.)


Too late.


"The first time, to hate it. The second time, to start appreciating it. The third time, to understand it and get shit actually done."

Not unlike the process of becoming addicted to heroin.




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