Naturally, all of this sparked something of a stampede among developers to finally fully engage with the language’s potential, rather than treating it as something they occasionally have to deal with on the front end. Learning to love the widely used libraries is a major part of the process.
Let’s kick things off with a classic!
We’re living in an increasingly high-definition world these days. Sites of all stripes need to be able to handle retina devices gracefully, while not forcing unnecessarily large images on everyone else – Retina.js gives you an easily understandable way of doing just that.
Having gotten numbers firmly under control with Numeral.js, you’ll eventually be looking to do some fancy things with data generally. That’s where D3.js comes in. D3 enables you to create data-driven documents to your heart’s content in a way that’s truly compatible with web standards.
As even a quick look at the project’s list of examples shows, this has a huge range of practical uses across all manner of projects. Start diving into the impressive list of associated tutorials, and you’ll soon be confidently displaying data with just a few lines of code.
Incredibly comprehensive resources such as Addy Osmani’s, completely free, Developing Backbone.js Applications also make this an excellent library to cut your teeth on before deciding whether you really need that fancy framework all your colleagues are talking about.
As you start getting to grips with frameworks such as Jasmine, QUnit, and Mocha, take a bit of extra time to explore Chai.js – it’s a handy BDD/TDD assertion library that works with all of them. To get a flavor of how it can be used on practical projects, hit up the project’s own guide section, or check out Michael Herman’s in-depth guide to using Chai with Mocha.
We’ve deliberately left the newest library for last. With its groundbreaking approach to thinking about modern UIs, Facebook’s React library has caught the attention of developers worldwide, the team at Automattic being among them, but it’s not necessarily the easiest programming paradigm to get your head around.
Scotch.io’s intro to the library is an excellent starting point, and Andrew Farmer’s list of tutorial recommendations provides plenty of material for further exploration – Build With React is a particularly notable resource that he identifies.
In terms of integrating React with WordPress, we’ve scratched the surface here on Torque recently, and also recommend Delicious Brains’ tutorial on using React Native with WordPress. Chris Hutchinson’s revamping of Twenty Sixteen as a React app is also well worth a look in this regard, as is his background blog post on the subject.
Let’s recap them one more time:
- Master the DOM with jQuery.
- Take control of your figures with Numeral.js.
- Please your users with Retina.js.
- Dominate data with D3.js.
- Introduce structure to your projects with Backbone.
- Dive into testing with Chai.js.
- Reimagine your front ends with React.
Image credit: geralt.