DEV Community

Kaleb McKinney
Kaleb McKinney

Posted on

Maybe transpiled(to JS) languages are good?

This may not be the most sensational topic these days, as front end webdev has largely moved to JS frameworks and/or TypeScript, but I think it's an interesting topic to explore. Why so? The heyday of these kinds of projects seemed to be about a decade ago. I think of this kind of like the same as what Node is, but in reverse.

Why is Node so popular?
Node gets a lot of support because it's JavaScript. It makes sense; front end devs who need to write a backend are familiar with JS, so if they can write their backend in JS too, there's no need to familiarize with another programming language. Similar to projects like Flutter, why write native code for every platform, when you could use one codebase (or programming language in this analogy)?

Now, I can write JavaScript reasonably well, but I'm more of a backend dev who also does front end stuff. So, I'm basically the ideal Node user, but in reverse. Wouldn't it be great, then, if I could use another programming language I already use and enjoy for front end projects? This is possible, of course, however support isn't great for most languages (including my beloved Dart since there's no framework to use anymore :/).

The advent of WebAssembly brought this concept back in a way. The idea that you could use any language for client-side projects is very appealing, but wasm isn't necessary for it to work. Transpiled languages are just as good (maybe better for most applications) since the outputted JS is almost always faster than if you had written the code in JavaScript yourself, and it just requires less work.

A future where it's just as easy or normal to use a programming language like Dart, Kotlin, Scala, .NET, etc., (and of course JS as well) isn't that hard to accomplish, or far away if it gets support. It would be fantastic for front end development to be as diverse as the backend (and the rest of the software sphere for the matter), not just because choice-which is great in itself-, but also it could bring in more people who are at the moment hesitant to try out the webdev world because they don't want to have to learn JavaScript.

So, there's my thoughts on the matter, it'd be nice to hear you have to say as well down in the discussion. See you there!

Discussion (0)