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Choosing a JavaScript Library

Posted on Jan 30, 2020 in

JavaScript is a widely popular language that enables developers to write applications for web, mobile, and desktop applications. Whether you love it or hate it, JavaScript is unavoidable in most professional development environments.

A major reason for JavaScript’s popularity rose from it’s vast network of packages and libraries that allow developers to create beautiful interfaces with a few lines of code. There are many package repositories to choose from, namely NPM.

With so many packages and libraries out there, how do you choose which one is right for your project?

👀 What to look for

Fulfills Need

First and foremost, the library will fulfill a need for your project. Perhaps it’s to improve render performance of a large list, or maybe you want to add keyboard shortucts to your application. The library you inevitably choose will solve this problem for you and will ideally solve it without adding too extra much cruft.

Trusted Dependencies

Some libraries solve a good problem but are riddled with extraneous dependencies that add bloat to your application. When you’re developing for the web, you ideally are thinking about the bandwidth cost your app requires to be functional.

Second, look at the dependencies of the library.

Quality of Tests

Tests are incredibly important to ensure that the library you install today won’t break when it is patched or upgraded in the future.

Number of Open Issues

🚫 What NOT to look for

Stars on GitHub

Solves Everything

About

Tom is the founder of Astral TableTop. He's a homebrewer, hiker, and has an about page. Follow @tlackemann on Twitter for more discussions like this.

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