středa 12. října 2011

Ilmari Heikkinen: "JavaScript is ubiquitous on the web"

I’ve heard, that we’re near the situation, when JavaScript becomes modern assembler. What do you think about it?

It is interesting. On the other hand there are projects like CoffeeScript and GWT that compile other languages to JavaScript. And then there is a LLVM->JavaScript compiler that creates a JavaScript code that looks like assembler. It runs well but is a pain to debug. Having JavaScript equivalents to machine code ops JITted to something very close to the intended machine code would be nice from the web assembler point of view. Typed Arrays help in making the data unboxed and knowing which machine ops can be used on the values.

JavaScript is ubiquitous on the web, that's why web language developers are targeting it. To run your language, you need to turn it into something the browser understands. And what the browser understands tends to be JavaScript.

Do you think JavaScript will replace traditional server-side languages?

It helps to have the same language on both the server and the client. But sometimes you want something less verbose, sometimes something with a more expressive type system. Sometimes you want C or C++.

You can meet Ilmari Heikkinen on HTML5 hackaton 19th of October.

Are you satisfied with actual situation about implementation of HTML5 features in nowaday desktop and mobile browsers?

Yes, pretty much. All the important bits are getting there. Web Storage APIs are supported on most desktop & mobile browsers, as is the canvas element.

For backwards compatibility, using JavaScript both on the server and the client could help.

The JavaScript is everywhere nowadays, there’re even some webapps, which won’t run without JavaScript. What about backwards compatibility?

It is difficult to run a JavaScript application without JavaScript capability, to say the least. For backwards compatibility, using JavaScript both on the server and the client could help. Implement client-side logic on the server when the client has no JavaScript. Implementing your application logic purely on the server and having an enhanced versions of the site for modern browsers and mobiles is one way to do it.

Do you think there’s some difference between website and webapp (if we’re talking about amount of JavaScript code and the way of usage)?

In my mind, web apps have a larger amount of code on the client. They use the server as a data store and do their main processing on the client. Web sites, on the other hand, run mostly on the server and use client-side code to enhance the experience.

Have you ever been on a hackaton? What do you mostly like on hackatons?

Yes, a few times. I like being able to work on new things and build things from scratch. Creating stuff.

Radek Simko was interviewing Ilmari Heikkinen.

Ilmari Heikkinen will be available for you as a mentor on our HTML5 hackaton on 19th of October in Prague.
Come and build something cool from scratch with HTML5!

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