Can Javascript Accomplish What Java Was Intended to Achieve?

My attitude towards languages that compile to JavaScript has been changing. For a long while I used to hate them. It felt like the abundance of choice was fragmenting the landscape and that hardly a month went by without the emergence of a new language designed to make JavaScript suck less. Sure, JavaScript is quirky and sure, it was famously designed in next to no time, but for my needs, it didn’t really suck that bad. In fact, it seemed that lots of other languages sucked worse.

Fast forward to 2015 and things are looking decidedly different. With the advent of server-side JavaScript and the slow, but certain approach of the Internet of Things, there is a growing sense that JavaScript can become ubiquitous throughout computing — in the words of Brendan Eich a “virtual machine, embedded everywhere that you can target code at”.

So is JavaScript’s destiny to accomplish what Java was intended to achieve? Do you know what? I think it just might be. And against that backdrop, the proliferation of compile-to-JavaScript languages (and there are many) suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.

Now it’s over to you. Is anyone actually using these languages? Which are the best? Which are the most exotic? Or, are we all doing it wrong and should be writing everything in ES6?

I’d love to hear your comments in our forum discussion.

P.S. Didn’t believe me when I said JavaScript is quirky? Well, try running this in your browser’s console (spoiler):


I’d also be glad to hear your favourite/most hated JavaScript quirks in our discussion thread.

This editorial will appear in this week’s issue of the SitePoint JavaScript Newsletter.

It appears to give…

The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything . :sunglasses:

[edit]I have just noticed that your post had my reply hidden in the spoiler. :mask:

Lol, it sure does : )
Have you got any favourite JavaScript quirks, coothead?

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