Saturday, 13 August 2011


This is an old post pulled from another site (for preservation)

JavaScript has always been an important programming language for me, I use the term programming language rather than scripting language deliberately. Now I am taking the time to rationalise the technologies that I use and develop in (develop my skills in), I have to say that JavaScript is part of the core. JavaScript has often been associated with the web-browser and treated there as something to add a little bit of visual whiz-bang or tie together a few things that you might want to do in the browser that are not covered in standard HTML. bandwidth, performance, the danger of JavaScript being turned off, the single execution thread ("a script on this page appears to be busy") and other factors have contributed to a general feeling of "not wanting to do too much in JavaScript". These days performance appears to be much less of a problem, Linux on a PC emulator running in your browser for example. The single execution thread blocking problem is solved with HTML5 web workers. Various libraries from JQuery to Extjs allow you to create an interface entirely in JavaScript. You can build sophisticated mobile applications using Phonegap and Titanium. I feel that as more people develop for HTML5 factors like the scriptable video and SVG and going to drive a lot more development in JavaScript and of-course applications like node.js are continue to raise the profile of JavaScript in other areas. Something that has me really excited though and something I will definitely want to play with when I get a nice stretch of time is Quake2 in JavaScript. This project is based on Jake2 which was a Java port of the open sourced Quake2 code that did leave me with mixed feelings (the code very much looked like a conversion from C to Java mostly via implementing a bunch of static classes), however a long time ago I had some fun writing a mod and experimenting with the original Quake source code. The project looks like it needs a bit of effort to build but I am looking forward to enjoying that at some point.

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