15Dec 2017

State of JavaScript: TypeScript rises, Angular falls


JavaScript developers prefer ES6, React, and Express, while TypeScript, Vue.js, and GraphQL draw strong interest

While ECMAScript 6 remains the standard for JavaScript programming, TypeScript, Microsoft’s typed superset of JavaScript, might one day give ECMAScript 6 a run for its money, a newly released report suggests. The December 12 report, titled “The State of JavaScript 2017,” also finds increasing interest in Vue.js and GraphQL and waning interest in Google’s Angular.

“The State of JavaScript 2017” compiles the results of a survey of more than 28 thousand developers about their use of JavaScript technologies. The most popular flavor or variant of JavaScript proved to be ECMAScript 6, based on the number of developers who said they “have used it before and would use it again.”


Although ES6, also known as ECMAScript 2015, remains the standard, TypeScript is quickly becoming the leader in the typed JavaScript space, the report indicates. Another 8,796 respondents said they had heard of TypeScript and would like to learn it.

The report was compiled by JavaScript developers Raphael Benitte, Sacha Greif, and Michael Rambeau. In addition to JavaScript variants, they surveyed developers about front-end frameworks, back-end frameworks, and build and testing tools. Respondents were asked more than 100 questions.

Front-end JavaScript frameworks: React leads, Vue.js rises, Angular slips

In the front-end frameworks space, Facebook’s React UI library led the pack with 13,669 developers saying they had used it and would do so again. The runner up was “none,” with 9,493 developers saying they did not use any front-end framework.


An additional 12,175 developers reported they wanted to learn Vue.js, followed by 6,072 developers interested in learning Angular 2. But in a bad omen for Google’s front-end framework, 9,615 developers reported they had used Angular 1 and would not use it again while 10,657 developers had heard of Angular 2 and were not interested in using it. For Ember, 15,021 respondents had heard of it but were uninterested; 12,654 respondents felt this way about Backbone.

Back-end JavaScript frameworks: Express dominates

Among back-end frameworks, Express was far and away the leader with 14,541 respondents saying they had used it and would do so again.


Meteor, the report said, has generated a lot of awareness but has not capitalized on it. There were 11,226 respondents who said they had heard of Meteor but were not interested.

Mobile and desktop frameworks: PhoneGap/Cordova users dissatisfied

In the mobile and desktop realm, PhoneGap/Cordova had a high usage score but a low satisfaction ratio. While 3,381 developers reported being satisfied, another 4,685 developers had used it but would not use it again. An additional 9,192 developers had heard of it but were not interested in using it.

Large numbers of developers said they wanted to learn native development (9,113), Electron (11,221), and React Native (13,502).


JavaScript build tools: NPM, Webpack win

Among build tools, NPM led the way with 21,369 developers having used it and planning to continue.


JavaScript testing tools: Mocha, Jasmine are tops

In the testing tools category, Mocha had 10,717 respondents who used it and would continue with it.


Mocha and Jest appear poised for growth, with 6,591 respondents interested in learning Mocha and 6,470 persons wanting to learn Jest.

State management tools: REST, Redux rule

The report also asked about client-side and server-side state management tools. The REST API was favored by 20,615 developers who had used it and would keep doing so. Although GraphQL was a distant fourth, a whopping 14,233 respondents said they would like to learn it.