State of JavaScript: ECMAScript 6 rules

Developers are happy with JavaScript, have mixed feelings about Angular, and are very interested in GraphQL

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The year 2018 has been a calm one for JavaScript, with ECMAScript 6 remaining the top variant of the scripting language that anchors web development. React has again led the way in front-end frameworks. But 2019 could see some changes, with GraphQL expected to make waves in the data layer.

These and other findings are featured in the “State of JavaScript 2018” report, with feedback based on a survey of more than 20,000 JavaScript developers from 153 countries. They were asked what technologies they were using, what they were happy with and what they wanted to learn.

ECMAScript 6 is the preferred JavaScript version

When it comes to the preferred versions of JavaScript, ECMAScript 6, aka ECMAScript 2015, remains the most popular, followed by TypeScript. Here's how the rest fared, with percentages of respondents who had used a particular JavaScript variant and would do so again:

  • ECMAScript 6: 86.3 percent
  • TypeScript: 46.7 percent
  • Flow, which adds static typing to JavaScript: 10.2 percent
  • Reason: 5.6 percent
  • Elm: 4.3 percent
  • ClojureScript: 2.3 percent

In the 2017 report, plain JavaScript (that is, ECMAScript 5), outpaced TypeScript. But ECMAScript 5 was dropped from this year’s report because many ECMAScript 6 features are now supported natively in browsers and the report’s producers—developers Sacha Greif, Raphael Benitte, and Michael Rambeau—decided to not track both ECMAScript 5 and ECMAScript 6 in the 2018 report.

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