90 JavaScript Libraries That Do the Same Thing?

Last week I published a round-up, with descriptions, of various libraries that use HTML5’s LocalStorage API. I noticed two tweets in response:

Christian Heilmann says:

“…wow, that’s a lot of ‘does almost the same stuff’”.

Matt H. sarcastically comments:

“…only 9? Pretty lame, there should be 90 doing the same thing.”

Both statements have merit but I will point out that (as Christian indicates), each library in the post has something in its feature list that’s unique, and a few of them are quite different from the others. So I wouldn’t say they all fall under the category of “does the same stuff.”

But Matt’s comment (though not really accurate in its implication that they’re all the same) is fairly indicative of where we’re at in the industry. We seem to like reinventing the wheel. I think developers don’t care if something’s been done before. We want to learn, and sometimes creating something that already exists is just another way to familiarize ourselves with a new API (in this case, LocalStorage).

The open web has its benefits, but it also has these kinds of drawbacks, where we see lots of the same thing, with a few unique features in each example. As long as we’re building the web and its APIs in the open, this kind of thing is bound to happen quite often.

This editorial appears in this week’s issue of the SitePoint Front-end Newsletter.

1 Like

We are regular visitor of sitepoint and this is really nice update.

Some of that may also be coder preferences—someone makes their own libraries or framework, because they don’t know or don’t like what’s already available.

For example, I intentionally recode my site from the ground up every 18 months or so, to test & update my knowledge. I primarily use HTML & CSS. (I used WordPress once, and I HATED it. It kept editing my written-in-HTML pages, and it was harder to play with the FTP side of things.) I’ve looked at Bootstrap, to see about doing one of my site iterations using that, but I cringe within seconds and go back to my personal templates—which are waaay more efficient than Bootstrap, which also isn’t naturally compatible with the way I design sites.

As my fluency increases with JavaScript, I wouldn’t be surprised if I do something similar with or two those libraries. So why wouldn’t already-fluent folks already be doing that?

I love that. That’s something that every developer should do. Or just do a new side project at least once every two years that incorporates new stuff. There are a lot of ways to keep up to date.

Yes exactly … and then, if you’ve created something, you want to share it. It is a bit overwhelming how much is available and how much duplication there is, but we don’t have to consume it all. As long as each offering makes it clear what is does (and that often doesn’t happen, unfortunately), there’s nothing really to complain about.

This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.