12 Popular JavaScript Libraries to Know

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JavaScript Libraries

It can be argued that JavaScript is the most popular programming language out there, it is definitely the most commonly used. One would be hard pressed to find an application that does not incorporate some JavaScript in it, whether directly or using a module that is built on JavaScript. Not to mention that the almost the entire World Wide Web is built on JavaScript, well in addition to HTML and CSS. But the point stays JavaScript is useful and handy to know as it is likely that you’d end up needing to know or even use JavaScript libraries at least once in your professional career, most likely more.

However, it is not easy to learn a whole programming language from scratch or master it. This is where libraries come in handy. There are numerous JavaScript libraries out there that can help you build an application. After all, why waste time writing code to develop something, if someone has already done it. Why not just use theirs and modify it to fit your own needs. Smart work, not hard work is a great motto to live by.

In that regard, here are some popular JavaScript libraries which can help you in whichever way necessary:

1. D3: Data-Driven Documents

Visualizing data becomes much easier in JavaScript thanks to the D3.js, or Data-Driven Documents. D3.js is a popular JavaScript library for building dynamic, interactive data visualizations in web browsers. It uses widely accepted standards such as CSS, SVG and HTML. The best part about D3 is that it allows developers to have greater control over the final result and is popularly used for creating interactive graphics, information dashboards, producing GIS map making data, and so much more. It’s a handy library to have if you love data and visual graphics.

2. jQuery
The jQuery library makes DOM manipulation much easier and makes JavaScript friendlier to code. It is one of the most popularly used JavaScript libraries that has a simpler learning curve and makes the JavaScript syntax much easier for newbie developers. The jQuery syntax is designed to make it easier to navigate a document, create animations, handle events, select DOM elements and much more. It also offers cross-browser support for building robust websites.

3. Ramda
If you like functional programming, then Ramda is the perfect JavaScript library for you! Ramda has been designed to make JavaScript more functional by allowing developers to create functional piplines, one that does not mutate data. The main objective is to be able to write immutable and side-effect free JavaScript functions using simple and clean code. According to its website, Ramda was also designed to build “functions as sequences of simpler functions, each of which transforms the data and passes it along to the next. Ramda is designed to support this style of coding.”

4. ChanceJS
Chance is an open source JavaScript library for generating random data such as numbers, strings, Boolean, etc. The library is used to reduce the monotony that arises when writing automated tests. It can also be used in any other place where you would require generation of anything random. In addition to being able to generate common data types such as character, bool, integer, and strings, it can also generate random text such as paragraphs, lines, words, and syllables.

5. Glimmer.js
Glimmer is a fairly new library and was built in 2017 by the creative minds behind Ember.js. It was designed for “fast and light-weight UI components for the web.” It was created to serve as a lighter and smaller Ember.js and can also be used with Ember.js as a component as well as run standalone. In order to make it run faster, Glimmer compiles your templates into low level code without sacrificing the ease of use.

6. Micron.js
Micron.js is a microInteraction library for JavaScript that allows you to add interactions such as shake, fade, jelly, and bounce to your project. It makes it simple to add interactions to the code and also gives a greater control over the interaction behaviors like speed and effect.

7. Bideo.js
Bideo.js is a JavaScript library that allows developers to add fullscreen video backgrounds to their websites or apps. It has been designed to look good on every screen size and is extremely scalable. The videos can also directly autoplay when the webpage loads.

8. Underscore.js
Underscore, first created in 2009, is a utility library which is primarily useful for manipulating arrays, objects and other functions.It has over 100 different functions for that effect. One of the most powerful features of Underscore is its functional programming helpers.Functional programminghas become increasingly popular in the last few years as it is a programming paradigm that avoids changing state and mutating data, which can be quite useful. The most popular Underscore functions are map, filter and reduce.

9. Lodash
Lodash is another JavaScript library that is quite helpful. It builds up on Underscore.js, and tries to improve on it. In fact, it has now become more popular than Underscore. Lodash can be broken down into several different segments, such as utilities, function, string, array, collection, object, and seq. Lodash is quite popular because it really simplifies common programming tasks.

10. JsPHP
JsPHP is a handy JavaScript library, primary because it reads PHP code and converts it into JavaScript code. This means that you no longer have to manually rewrite something that you have already written in PHP, just import it. This library is really useful for PHP developers as it means that they can continue to work with PHP and then just run that code in a JS environment, rather than having to learn and work with JavaScript.

11. Socket.IO
Socket.IO is a JavaScript library that helps create real-time and bi-directional communication between the server and the browser. It supports all platforms, browsers, and devices and focuses on providing speed and reliability. It uses Node.js for the server and a JavaScript client library for the browser to build communication. It is used by popular companies such as Microsoft, Zendesk Trello, etc. Socket.IO offers amazing features such as auto-reconnection support, disconnection detection, binary support, multiplexing support and room support.

12. Anime.js
Animation and microinteractions are really quite popular these days, which is where Anime.js comes into play. It features a number of functions that can really help you add some motion and animation to your project. Anime.js works really well with CSS, Individual Transforms, SVG, DOM attributes, and JavaScript Objects, making it really versatile and easy to use.

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