GitHub's Top 10 JavaScript Projects

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GitHub's Top 10 JavaScript Projects

A discussion of ten great open source projects based on the JavaScript language that can be accessed on GitHub. Read on to find your next favorite framework!

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JavaScript was originally known only for developing the client side of web pages, and as new frameworks have been developed for server-side purposes, it is no surprise that JavaScript has become one of the most popular programming languages in the world today.

With the increase in the number of programmers learning to code in JavaScript, the development of great projects has been on the rise as well.

1. React.js

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JavaScript is known mainly for client-side projects and React.js is an example of a framework for developing great front-end designs and interactions. Created by Facebook, React is a library that is used for creating powerful reusable UI components.

One of the positives of using React is that it hides away complexity by using a virtual DOM which helps improve applications' performance. Features of React include the JavaScript syntax extension, unidirectional data flow, components, and much more.

Learning React is pretty easy if you have a good grasp of JavaScript. You can access the tutorial from the React.js website. Installation and setup of React is pretty easy.

 npm install -g create-react-app

create-react-app my-app

cd my-app

npm start 

2. Vue.js

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Just like React, Vue is another framework for building lovely user interfaces. This progressive framework is designed to be easily adaptable as time passes, this makes the library easy to integrate with other projects and use anytime.

Vue.js is known widely for its simplicity and, besides that, it is lightweight, well documented, and allows for flexibility during development. Vue encourages developers to write "simple JavaScript," therefore, it is easy for beginners to pick up.

Looking for a guide? Here is one from the developers themselves. Vue is pretty easy to install and setup.

npm install -g vue-cli

vue init webpack my-app

cd my-app

npm install

npm run dev

3. Node.js

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Here is one of the best ever frameworks for server-side development, and the which gave JavaScript its popularity with server-side scripting projects.

Node.js has brought about the package management tool NPM which has helped make life easier for lots of developers. Developers also love that it provides a non-blocking I/O model, can be used to develop real-time web applications, is easy to learn, and has a large community.

The installation process for Node is different on Windows and Linux. For Windows, a simple download and install of the Node.js executable application would suffice.

For Linux, the following Linux terminal command would get it installed:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install nodejs

After installation, the following command should be run to confirm a successful installation.

node -v

4. Atom

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Here is one of the best text editors you will ever find. It competes with the likes of Sublime Text and Visual Studio as it is feature-heavy and comes with a smart autocomplete, an integrated spell-check, and is quite easy to use.

It is, however, pretty difficult to get started with using Atom, this is because of the time it takes to setup the plugins that help make for a great experience.

Installing Atom on Linux is not so difficult, running the command below would do the job.

curl -L https://packagecloud.io/AtomEditor/atom/gpgkey | sudo apt-key add -

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://packagecloud.io/AtomEditor/atom/any/ any main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/atom.list'

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install atom

Installing this on Windows is not difficult either, the executable file can be downloaded from the GitHub page

5. HTML5 Boilerplate

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The development of web pages has become more complicated over time. With productivity at stake, reduction of routine tasks is of high importance.

With the HTML5 Boilerplate project, development becomes a more enjoyable process. This is the most popular frontend boilerplate framework you will find, as it helps build fast, robust and adaptable web applications.

It includes Normalize.css, jQuery, a custom build of the Modernizr face detection library, and provides high performance to top it all off.

The HTML5 Boilerplate framework can be downloaded from their GitHub page.

6. Three.js

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There are a few 3D computer graphics frameworks, and Three.js is one of them. Three.js is used to create beautiful 3D computer graphics in web browsers by utilizing the WebGL engine.

Three.js comes with a bunch of features. Features such as effects and scenes, camera, animations such as skinned mesh and morph blend mesh, lights, etc. have helped it gain popularity.

Its large community of developers and users is an immense positive, so you can expect stable improvements on this project.

Three.js is easy to install and can be downloaded from the GitHub page.

7. MeteorJS

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In terms of frameworks for building applications for all platforms, MeteorJS is one of the best you will ever find.

MeteorJS allows for real-time web development, makes for easy development of the client side, server side, and the database of applications much easier, it is easy to code in and pick up for beginners, and also has a huge developer community.

Looking for a guide? Here is one written by the developers of Meteor.

Meteor is easily installed, and running the terminal command below will do the job.

sudo curl https://install.meteor.com/ | sh

To check if the installation was successful, use the command below:

meteor --version

8. Express.js

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Earlier in the article, we talked about the Node.js framework. Express was actually built upon Node.js!

Express.js is a flexible Node.js-based web application framework used for developing quality web and mobile applications.

Used for building web applications and APIs, Express.js has become very popular in the JavaScript community. If you have been in the business for a while, you most likely would have heard of the MEAN stack - Express makes up the backend part of that stack.

Express makes the development process faster, it's easy to configure and customize, can be integrated with a ton of template engines, and doesn't make a connection to databases a hassle.

Since Express is built on Node.js, it can be installed using the NPM tool.

npm init

Then to install and add Express to the list of dependencies:

npm install express --save

Or to install without adding Express to the list of dependencies:

npm install express --no-save

9. Chart.js

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In this world of big data, the visualization of data has become of huge importance, not just for statisticians but for web developers as well.

With Chart.js, you can display beautiful charts on web pages ensuring that you do not have to experience a change in the environment before visualizing data.

Chart.js is lightweight and fast, makes for the creation of responsive charts, has a very clear documentation, and support as many as 8 chart types. If that isn't enough, Chart.js has a large user community so you can find solutions to problems pretty fast.

This charting library can be installed using the npm tool, simply by using the command below:

npm install chart.js --save

10. Yarn

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This is a JavaScript package management tool that helps make the development process easier.

Just like React, Yarn was developed by Facebook and could be considered an improvement on the NPM tool as it parallelizes operations which npm doesn't and makes more efficient use of the network.

Some of the reasons for Yarn's popularity is its speed in execution, robust working system, availability of license checks and its incredible compatibility with the NPM and Bower package management tools.

Yarn can be installed using the npm tool:

npm install yarn --global

On Linux, it can also be installed using the command below:

curl - sS https: //dl.yarnpkg.com/debian/pubkey.gpg | sudo apt-key add -  

echo "deb https://dl.yarnpkg.com/debian/ stable main" | sudo tee / etc / apt / sources.list.d / yarn.list


sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install yarn

It is important to note that the projects discussed in this article have gained a lot of popularity in the last year, however, this may not necessarily mean that they are the best solutions in all situations for the problems they are used to solve.

What project do you think should have made the list? What project do you use the most? Let us know your views. 

github, node, react, vue, web dev

Published at DZone with permission of Dmitry Budko . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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