6 under-the-radar JavaScript tools you should know

Cloud provisioning, the internet of things (IoT), payments, and Node.js programming are just some of the use cases for these open source tools

6 under-the-radar JavaScript tools you should know
Thinkstock

The JS Foundation is the home of prominent open source JavaScript projects, most notably the popular jQuery JavaScript library. But it also has lower-profile efforts that developers might benefit from, for a variety of uses such as cloud provisioning, the internet of things (IoT), payments, and Node.js programming.

Here are six you should know.

Architect (.arc)

The Architect project, aka .arc provides a plaintext manifest for defining cloud infrastructure, letting developers focus on business logic on Amazon Web Services. Developers can use it to set up an application to run on the AWS Lambda cloud service. Architect is intended to get developers up to speed with serverless computing in a few minutes, enabling quick provisioning. With Architect, the NPX package runner for NPM is used to generate local code and configure and provision cloud infrastructure from the Architect manifest.

It currently works with JavaScript programs, but Architect may one day work with Python and Go programs as well. The technology also may be expanded to work on other clouds, such as Microsoft Azure.

Where to download Architect

You can download Architect via NPM: npm I @architect/workflows.

Interledger.js

Interledger.js is a JavaScript reference implementation of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Interledger protocol stack, for sending payments across ledgers of all types, ranging from digital wallets and national payment systems to blockchains. The intent is to make it easy to transact business regardless of location or currency.

With Interledger, connectors are used to route payments across ledgers. Conditional transfers, using Hash-Time-Locked Contracts (HTLCs), secure multihop payments so funds will not be lost or stolen.

Where to download Interledger.js

You can download Interledger.js from its GitHub repository.

Intern

This test stack lets you write test cases for JavaScript and TypeScript libraries and applications. Described as minimally prescriptive, Intern enforces a basic set of best practices designed to ensure tests remain maintainable over time.

Intern has an architecture that lets developers write custom test interfaces, executors, and reporters to influence how tests run and integrate with an existing coding environment.

Tests can be run on platforms including BrowserStack, Sauce Labs, and Selenium, with tests run from the browser, in Node.js, or against other browsers and platforms with the Intern test runner. Intern also integrates with CI/CD systems such as Jenkins and TravisCI, and it comes with Grunt tasks, so it can be added to Grunt workflows.

Where to download Intern

You can download Intern from GitHub.

JerryScript

JerryScript is a lightweight JavaScript engine for IoT devices. Developed by Samsung, it runs on microcontrollers with limited RAM and ROM capacity. The engine supports on-device compilation and execution, and it enables access to peripherals. Other capabilities include:

  • ECMAScript 5.1 compliance.
  • A 160K binary size when compiled for the ARM Thumb-2 instruction set.
  • Optimization for low memory consumption.
  • A C API that is intended to be easy to embed in applications.

Components of JerryScript include a parser and a VM. The parser converts JavaScript source code into bytecode without building and abstract syntax tree. The VM executes bytecode instructions.

Where to download JerryScript

You can download JerryScript from GitHub.

Node-Red

Founded by IBM, the Node-Red project provides a flow-based programming environment built on Node.js and mostly used in IoT applications. It provides a tool to wire together devices, APIs, and online services. Also featured in Node.Red are:

  • A browser-based editor for wiring flows.
  • A capability for building JavaScript functions in the editor.
  • Functions, templates, and flows can be saved for reuse, via a built-in library.
  • Flows that can be stored using JSON, which can be imported and exported for sharing.

Node-Red supports devices such as the Raspberry Pi and BealgleBone Black, and it can be run under Docker. It also is available on the Amazon Web Services cloud and as a boilerplate application on IBM Cloud.

Where to download Node-Red

You can download Node-Red via NPM. For Linux, use sudo npm install -g –-unsafe-perm node-red. For Windows, after installing Node.js, use npm install -g –unsafe-perm node-red.

Webhint

This linting tool for the web helps with a site’s accessibility, speed, and security by checking code for best practices and common errors.

Initially developed by Microsoft’s Edge browser team, Webhint currently is limited to supporting the Chrome and Edge browsers. Support for Firefox is planned. Developers can develop connectors for Webhint, to add browser support.

It also supports the JDSDOM implementation of WHATWG DOM and HTML standards, for use with Node.js.

Where to download Webhint

You can download Webhint via NPM: npm install -g –-engine-strict hint.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform