Home Are Modules, Rather Than Frameworks, the Future of JavaScript Development?

Are Modules, Rather Than Frameworks, the Future of JavaScript Development?

I’m at JSConf in Portland, OR today. I just watched a presentation by John Hann from unscriptable making the case for modules instead of frameworks and libraries. Frameworks and libraries add a lot of weight to your applications. Also, they are difficult to migrate away from – creating some lock-in for a developer. Modules are meant to alleviate these problems, while still providing developers with a set of tools to speed-up development.

Hann talked about the Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) module format, a CommonJS proposed standard that can be used today.You can find a previous presentation by Hann on the subject here.

Hann built a module loader called Curl.js. RequireJS is more established module loader.

CommonJS is an initiative to create JavaScript standards such a standard library JavaScript, a module system and other universal tools. The hope is that “The CommonJS API will fill that gap by defining APIs that handle many common application needs, ultimately providing a standard library as rich as those of Python, Ruby and Java.”

The reaction to Hann’s presentation from developers here might be described as optimistic skepticism. “It sounds good, but it seems utopian,” says Keith Norman, a developer for GroupOn. “It seems like a little much to shoot for. I’d still like to take advantage of the benefits that frameworks provide.”

What do you think? Is AMD over-reaching, or is it the future of building JavaScript applications?

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