Awesome analysis on JavaScript back-end frameworks [2018]

This is the part 3 of the great post: ‘The State of JavaScript Frameworks‘ on npm’s website. This part is an awesome analysis of JS back-end frameworks. A few days ago, they analysed front-end frameworks using some criteria like popularity/growth and so many other considerations. From the analysis, it was found that React has the highest growth rate compared to others. The part 2 of the post looked at the React Ecosystem. Then the part 3 of the post, which we are looking into now, shows that Express is the leading back-end framework written in Javascript. “The story on the back end is simple: Express is the overwhelmingly dominant solution for back-end services written in JavaScript. The next four biggest frameworks are so small relative to Express that it’s hard to even see them.”

It almost looks like it’s just Express. There are other frameworks but they are so small relative to Express. The other four frameworks include:

  • Koa
  • Next
  • Hapi
  • Sails

Those are JavaScript back-end frameworks but since Express is the dominant one, they are not so popular.

Front-end vs Back-end

From the analysis, npm finds that the number of front-end developers now outnumber back-end developers in surveys of npm users. “Right now, about 83% of npm developers are writing JavaScript that runs in the front end, while only 41% are writing code for the back end (these numbers overlap, as 28% write for both). This 2 to 1 ratio of front-end to back-end development strongly suggests that the future of the npm community lies in front-end development and tooling.”

The comparison is not taken to be 100% accurate. “It’s hard to classify many packages as being ‘front-end’ or ‘back-end’ packages since many work in both contexts and are used enthusiastically in both. It’s impossible to programmatically classify a package as being front end or back end, and with over 600,000 packages in the npm registry, it’s not practical to survey them all manually.”

npm did an awesome analysis by looking at a bunch of libraries used to deliver front-end code. Libraries like:

  • Babel
  • Webpack
  • Browserify
  • Bower
  • RequireJS
  • SystemJS

These libraries are analysed in the post. The part of the post I like so much is the conclusion >>

This is all great news for JavaScript

All of the growth in the npm ecosystem, whether front end or back end, is excellent news for the health of JavaScript overall. The flexibility and ease of use of JavaScript as a language are proving to be an asset. Its small core library, often derided as a flaw, may in fact be its strength.

Much like React’s strong adoption is the result of having a constrained use case, JavaScript’s widespread adoption may be driven by having few built-in features that give the language “opinions” about the context in which it should be used.

npm’s vast library of user-contributed functionality makes it possible to create dozens of overlapping communities, working on front end code, back end code, desktop applications, mobile applications, command line clients, Internet of Things devices, and more. They all use different combinations of libraries but stay inside the JavaScript language, cross-pollinating and learning from each other.

It’s a great growth indeed. You may wish to read the full article. Visit JS back-end frameworks and take a look at it yourself.

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Thanks for reading


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