Is Javascript the new Perl?

I saw a Javascript/JQuery presentation, The JQuery Divide, by Rebecca Murphey on Hacker News that struck me as remarkably similar to complaints I’ve heard about Perl development.

Look at this graphic from p. 34 – rewind the clock to the late 1990’s and replace Javascript with Perl and JQuery with CGI:

Here’s are some telling quotes:

  • people who don’t know JS write non-trivial JS apps whether we like it or not (p. 11)
  • [ignorant developers writing bad JS] has actual effects on perceptions of Javascript and on our ability to do interesting things with it. (p.32)

And consider this humorous fake quote from p.4:

“We need you to help us organize our JQuery-based application. It’s a steaming pile of unmaintainable crap…”

Sound familiar?

By now, the active core of the Perl community seems to have figured out the need to promote better practices and the Modern Perl movement actively seeks to both to teach how to write good code and change perceptions of Perl that still linger from the dot.com 90’s.

I hope that the Javascript community can learn similar lessons without taking a whole decade to get around to it.