This Week in JavaScript - 9 March, 2015

A while ago, Paul Wilkins and myself used to put out a weekly round-up of what was new and exciting in the world of JavaScript (aptly titled “This Week In JavaScript”).

We then moved to SitePoint’s main site and the title changed to On Our Radar. This move was only ever meant to be temporary and with the appointment of our lovely new community manager (@Jasmine ), On Our Radar passes to her capable hands (here’s the latest edition).

All of which means … you guessed it … This Week in JavaScript is making a comeback. (The complete list is tagged jsweekly. Don’t forget to check out our weekly .Net roundup too!)

So, without further ado, here’s what we’ve seen of interest this week.


AngularJS 2.0 has been making headlines this week as ng-conf 2015 took place. The core team addressed some of the concerns that 2.0 will introduce breaking changes, whilst it was announced that AtScript will be removed in favour of Typescript. On SitePoint we also had a good overview of What’s New in AngularJS 2.0.

This is a look at how AngularJS stacks up against Ember (in case you were wondering) and here’ an overview of how respective frameworks detect changes in the Dom.

Has anyone heard much about Aurelia? Aurelia is new on the scene and is the creation of Rob EIsenberg who recently joined and then left the Angular team. Rob was on the Changelog podcast recently talking about his next generation JavaScript client framework .

Finally, I read an interesting opinion piece on the proliferation of JavaScript frameworks and the rapidly changing nature of their ecosystems and the browser. This is a quote from that article that had me nodding my head:

Most programming languages support a small number of popular, stable application frameworks. Objective-C and Swift apps use Apple’s excellent Cocoa framework. Ruby apps more often than not use Rails. Java has a handful of established web app frameworks, and they come and go relatively slowly.

In the meantime, the latest and greatest JavaScript framework comes around every sixteen minutes.

So who’s got it right? Angular, Ember, Aurelia, <insert-framework-here>, or no framework. What do you think?

React All the Things

SitePoint is Reacting all the things. Here’s a video of a talk given by @orodio on building async apps with React and Flux.

Here we have an introduction to Facebook’s Flux architecture (in case you’re wondering what that was), as well as a great piece by @AurelioDeRosa entitled an Introduction to the React JavaScript Library.

The JavaScript Jabber guys interviewed two of the React core team on a recent podcast where they discussed (amongst other things) React Native (which replaces the DOM manipulation with UIKit manipulation or Android view manipulation allowing you to build native applications on iOS and Android that feel native and authentic to the platform).


Some cool libraries which caught my attention this week:

  • Hacker News reader built in Ember (yay for frameworks)
  • Overscroll.js: displays small Easter eggs when the screen is scrolled beyond the height of the window (demo)
  • Alton: a jQuery-powered scroll jacking plugin with a bunch of options (demo)
  • RJImageLoader: an image loading animation which shows a circular progress indicator, and then reveals the image in an expanding circular ring.
  • highlight.js: syntax highlighting for the Web (demo)

That’s All Folks

So, I hope some of these links proved interesting or useful. I’d be particularly glad to hear your thoughts on the framework debate. Before I leave you, here are a couple of random links that didn’t fit in any of the categories above — Flexbox in 5 minutes (a great interactive tour of flexbox) and why the following is true in JavaScript:

1 + {} // => "1[object Object]"
{} + 1 // => 1

Please PM us if you have anything of interest for the next issue, and happy reading! - Paul and Pullo.


Nice demo :smile: Still complicated though.

That’s quite amusing and works on chrome mac (not just ios devices).

Yeah, flexbox is one of those things I want to look at some time in the future (as browser support is not there yet). I’ve kind of filed it away for myself under reference. It’s interesting to see what’s coming, though.

I basically consider it ready to use now, as all the major browsers support it:

For personal clients sure - government workers will not be allowed to use it for years though. Kinda restricting but whatever.

We need IE8 support still.

Me, too. Or at least I need my sites not to fall apart in IE8/9
I didn’t realise (read hadn’t looked) that browser support for flexbox was so good, though.
Maybe it’s worth providing a very minimalist default for IE8 / IE9 (so that people can access the content, but not much more).

I mean I would go for that.

Clients/bosses wouldn’t :slight_smile: .

Is IE8 the oldest browser you have to support?

Yeah. We have to at minimum make sure that the content can be accessed. However IE9 is a must and flexbox has 0 support so I highly doubt we will be able to use it anytime soon.

Our thought process is that many people get hand-me-down computers of Windows XP and the highest IE on that is 8. That can’t be upgraded.

I tell my clients support is IE8+ but if they need older support then that can be arranged at extra cost Of course the support for IE8 is basic (no round corners, no animation etc). The numbers are pretty low for ie7 now that they are really insignificant. Indeed even IE10 has little usage at all and would suggest that IE8,9 and 11 are the IE browsers to really cater for at the moment. Some of my clients are happy with ie9+ support but does depend on their userbase.

Of course I generally try to make the site viewable in older browsers but will not go out of my way to fix minor details.

The bank where I do my online banking has upgraded their systems and state that they only support the last two versions on any browser which I think is a good step especially where security is concerned.

I’m only building sites for myself now, so I don’t have to support any version of IE. It’s wonderful. :stuck_out_tongue:

Admittedly, though, I do prefer to keep layouts very simple, so I haven’t run into many browser bugs for a good while anyhow. Simplicity ftw. :slight_smile:

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