Apps, Code, Tech

Why JavaScript Applications Are Taking Over the World

What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript (JS) is a popular programming language that began as a simple mechanism for adding logic and interactive functionality to static Netscape browsers. Since JavaScript’s introduction, it has become the browser-based programming standard, superseding other competing technologies and languages. Today, it extends beyond the client-side, making it the leading server-side language. 

Why Are JavaScript Applications so Popular?

What is the MEAN stack? JavaScript web applications

The JavaScript programming language has many features contributing to its popularity, including:

  • User input management—JavaScript is useful for working with electronic forms. It helps save time by checking the user-supplied input for errors. If a user leaves a field blank or enters incorrect information, JavaScript continues to check the data before sending it to the server. JavaScript can easily support file upload mechanisms that enable user generated content.
  • Easy client-side computing—JavaScript is originally a client-side technology useful for basic computations in the browser. Browsers no longer need to make requests to the server, which is especially useful for performing calculations repeatedly. It often takes longer to connect to the server than to perform the calculation.
  • Control—JavaScript is somewhat independent of the server, providing greater control over the browser. It provides several additional features to the browser, reducing the server’s load and traffic.
  • Platform independence—all browsers can read JS, making it easy to address compatibility and compilation issues. JavaScript can run on systems that support Windows, Mac, or other operating systems. Including JS in another programming script such as HTML is also possible.
  • Control statements—JavaScript has control statements such as “switch-case” and “if-else-if” and loops such as “for,” “while,” and “do-while” loops. These control statements allow users to write complex logic.

Another factor making JavaScript a powerful language is the MEAN stack, a JS-based architecture for developing web applications. MEAN comprises these four technologies:

  • MongoDB—a popular cross-platform database written in C++.
  • Express.js—a well-developed, lightweight server network primarily for creating single- and multi-page web apps. It offers template support using the Pug engine.
  • Angular—an open source mobile and web application framework created by Google. It is especially useful for developing and testing applications.
  • Node.js—a top-performing platform offering many features.
The Healing Power of JavaScript

A common alternative to the MEAN stack is the MERN stack, which is the same except that React is used as the web framework instead of Angular.

Is JavaScript Secure?

JavaScript has some well-known security vulnerabilities. A major cyberattack that exploits JavaScript vulnerabilities is cross-site scripting (XSS). Malicious actors use XSS to access and steal confidential information.

Testing and reviewing code throughout the development process is critical to minimizing exploits. Test methodologies such as static application security testing (SAST) and dynamic application security testing (DAST) help identify JS vulnerabilities at various stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). 

SAST inspects code to identify violations of security rules and compares the detected vulnerabilities between the target and source branches. It notifies the security team when a newly disclosed vulnerability affects a project dependency.

Another common JavaScript vulnerability is cross-site request forgery (CSRF), which exploits weaknesses in authentication mechanisms. CSRF exploits a trust relationship between an application and its authenticated users. Attackers can use the information in session cookies to access legitimate user accounts and act on behalf of the users without their participation or knowledge. CSRF attacks are also known as one-click or session riding or attacks. If an application’s user authentication is cookie-based, malicious attackers could access the session cookies and impersonate authenticated users.

One way to prevent this security vulnerability in JavaScript is to send an extra token with every HTTP request. These CSRF tokens are stored separately from cookies and are inaccessible to attackers. Developers may add CSRF tokens to various places, including forms, HTTP headers, AJAX calls, and hidden fields.

Latest JavaScript Trends

Here are some ways organizations use JavaScript to build modern web applications.

Micro-front Ends

A micro-front end architecture uses a similar concept to microservice-based architectures. It segments the front end monolith into smaller, manageable elements. While not exclusive to JavaScript, this trend is popular among JavaScript frameworks. 

This architecture works by isolating front end components to enable fast responses and making changes on the fly. The separate components allow independent upgrades. Like microservices, a micro-front end is an entity that teams can deploy, upgrade, and monitor separately, making the overall application more resilient. 

Component-based Architectures

A component-based architecture divides applications into separate logical elements representing familiar interfaces (i.e., methods, events, properties). It makes components easier to reuse. Each component is a binary unit encapsulating functionality. Deployment is easier because teams can change specific components without overhauling the application.

Component-based architectures also help reduce costs by supporting third-party component integration. They also allow organizations to test JavaScript technologies. 

Framework-agnostic Components

You Don’t Need A UI Framework

Predicting the future popularity of a JavaScript framework is challenging, but all popular frameworks support web components. Therefore, many organizations use framework-agnostic components as building blocks for their web applications. Web components make development faster, cheaper, and easier. 

This trend is popular because:

  • Developers can use custom components to create independent HTML tags.
  • Shadow DOM can encapsulate DOM subtrees to the web components.
  • It is easy to include and reuse JavaScript modules.
  • HTML templates allow developers to create markup fragments that don’t affect the page load at runtime.

Web components are flexible and interoperable, relying solely on CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. They have wide support from major browsers and JS libraries, are reusable across all JavaScript applications, and support mobile app enhancement. The fast runtime and small bundle size of components improve the mobile experience. 

Parallax Websites

Top 10 Stunning Parallax Websites Examples

A parallax website helps add depth and create customized user experiences. The background of a parallax website moves slower than the front content when scrolling down the page. The site identifies the positions of different elements and classifies them appropriately. 

JavaScript libraries such as Animate on Scroll (AOS) help developers build parallax websites. AOS has no dependencies, enabling teams to create websites with seamless performance on multiple device types.


In this article, I explained why JavaScript is so popular in modern applications, covered some of the security concerns around JavaScript, and described a few trends that are driving JavaScript development forward:

  • Micro-front ends—breaks down front end applications into smaller, more manageable components in line with the microservices architecture.
  • Component-based architectures—divides the application into logical elements that are easy to reuse.
  • Framework-agnostic components—web components that can be migrated and reused between applications built with different JavaScript frameworks.
  • Parallax websites—building websites with a dynamic effect where the background moves slower than the content when scrolling down the page.

It will be exciting to see what new innovations will continue the evolution of JavaScript technology in the years to come.

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