Using Javascript Frameworks

JavaScript frameworks could be very helpful for developing applications. They help to organize your code or allow you to easily interact with the DOM instead of the long cumbersome DOM api. These can be valid reasons to use one of those frameworks. Keep in mind that the frameworks almost always are for convenience. i.e. to make the life of a developer a little bit easier. This is especially true for the web where there are tons of browsers with all their idiosyncrasies.

Unfortunately frameworks are not created to optimize performance. In contrast using them could drastically decrease performance. The other disadvantage of a framework is that performance issues are hard to find. If you still think you need a framework try to keep the following in mind:

organizing (mvc/mvvc/mdv)

Use tiny (functional) libraries that fill your needs such as requirejs for module loading or at least use a lightweight framework such as backbone.js where you can add different modules. This way you only have the functionality you really need. Frameworks like polymer (http://www.polymer-project.org) look promising but are relatively large and shouldn't be used for production code.

preprocessors

Code generated by preprocessors can be very helpful, e.g. if you are used to a coding convention or language. Use preprocessors that translate your code to readable (hintified) JavaScript or CSS. Great examples are sass or coffescript. cappuccino is an example that doesn't work well because it adds a lot of additional code after objectve-j is translated to JavaScript which you have to include.

animation

Frameworks that allow you to animate are quite common. Choose a framework that uses CSS animations (i.e. element.style.prop) such as move.js or newer versions of jquery and make sure you apply the CloudTV animation performance guidelines. For example if you have move.js, use element.x instead of element.add to use CSS transforms. In jquery it is a little bit harder but you could use the query.animate-enhance plugin to force translate animations.

  • Wednesday, 07 August 2013

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