I’ve finally learned I don’t need to write all the code

February 11th, 2013

If there’s one thing it’s taken me forever to accept I should be using, it’s JavaScript frameworks. I’ve been working with Spine.js and I’ll admit, at first, I didn’t see the point of it. The basics of the app had already been written, I’d just taken over to finish up and add some new features. And for the first while, all I could think was, I could have written this without the framework and then things would be exactly how I wanted them. But after it took me a couple of minutes to add new features because the framework did all the heavy lifting, I finally realized just how great frameworks can be.

It’s not because I thought I was smarter or a better coder or something like that. I didn’t want to use them because I wanted to learn. Writing an app from scratch can be an amazing learning opportunity but unfortunately, clients don’t always have the time for you to learn. And, think about it, if you chose the right framework, is the code you write actually going to be better than the stuff that’s in the framework?

And that’s one of the problems, isn’t it? Which framework do you use? I used Spine because the app had already been started but I do like it. I’ve done a few AngularJS tutorials and I have to admit, I like that too. But I’m not too sure about all the extra markup you have to add to the HTML. But at the same time, does it really matter if you’re building an app? You might as well go all in. Plus, AngularJS is made by some guys at Google and they seem to know what they’re doing.

I’ve also noticed something over the last week or so, mainly on Twitter. A lot of the JavaScript developers, whose opinions I trust, have been commenting on all the new frameworks being released. The opinion seems to be most of the new frameworks are the result of people not understanding the existing ones and now the market is getting saturated. Will something rise to the top like jQuery? I’m not too sure because people seem to be a bit more attached to frameworks than to libraries like jQuery.

So what’s the point of my ramblings? Don’t be afraid to use a framework if you’re building something complicated or something that you need to get done quickly. But do some reading first and pick the one that works best for you. I’m partial to Spine because it’s light and if you’ve used jQuery, then you’ll be used to how Spine handles things like events. And like I said before, I’m interested in AngularJS. Watch some of the videos on the site and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to get some basic functionality set up in your app.

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