Javascript can now power all-the-things

Everything you can do with Javascript

Brenn
Brenn
Nov 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Javascript is slowly conquering the world. It started as the language of the browser and then grew and mutated. It is now one of the most dominant programming languages on the planet.

Websites

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This is the obvious one. Node.js and React are some of the most popular systems for both backend and frontend development and they are 100% Javascript. There are even wrappers around these libraries in other languages which compile to Javascript. When it comes to web development, you get to use Javascript whether you like it or not.

Chatbots

Botpress is a framework for creating and managing chatbots using javascript. Plus, just about all the chatbot-as-a-service products use standard web protocols, which means javascript works perfectly.

System scripts

  • chalk — Allows you to colorize your terminal output. Also great for logging!
  • clui — Handy utility to draw command line graphs and tables.
  • inquirer — Helps build interactive Q/A prompts for user input.

There are plenty of others. The node ecosystem provides a powerful set of tools for command line utilities and a great package manager. It’s so nice to be able to say ‘npm install -g my-command-util’ and be done with it.

Video games

There isn’t just one video game engine in Javascript. There are TONS. And they aren’t playing around either, take a look at this:

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This is from Babylon.js, for writing gorgeous 3D interactive games. Check the link to watch the demo.

I recently finished playing CrossCode, written on top of the Impact.js engine. I loved it. And because it’s JS, it’s as cross-platform as you can possibly get.

Machine Learning

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With AI being all the rage, how could JS stay out of the ring? Google’s Tensorflow is now in javascript. But it’s far from alone. There are a number of other great frameworks as well:

  • BrainJS for building Neural Nets
  • Compromise for natural language processing
  • WebDNN for running neural nets in the browser using graphics cards.
  • Keras.js which can run pre-trained Keras models using javascript.

There are tons of other projects, more than I can list here. The key takeaway is that javascript gives you access to Machine Learning and AI from server to browser. This makes it easy to hook into an existing backend or app, all using JS.

Robots and IoT

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If it wasn’t clear by now, Javascript will power our future metal overlords. Once you’ve got your web api powering your machine learning app, it’s time to wire up that online brain to your metal clad destruct-o-bot.

Here are two good frameworks for your world-conquest pleasure:

  • Johnny-Five— Named after the friendly robot from Short Circuit. Has an official hardware kit and plugins for every major DIY electronics kit. Hard to go wrong, because if you do your creation will kill a grasshopper and get sad.
  • Cylon JS— Named after the evil robots from Battlestar Galactica. A robotics kit that thinks world domination is lame and that galactic domination is way cooler.

Conclusion

About Brenn

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Brenn

Written by

Brenn

World traveling entrepreneur, engineer, artist, and writer. Dedicated to helping people live their best life. Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/G2G1MT7K

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +732K people. Follow to join our community.

Brenn

Written by

Brenn

World traveling entrepreneur, engineer, artist, and writer. Dedicated to helping people live their best life. Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/G2G1MT7K

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +732K people. Follow to join our community.

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