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Top 5 Javascript Frameworks

Top 5 Javascript Frameworks

Quality Javascript Libraries are a web developers best friend. These are the top 5 Javascript frameworks every web developer should be familiar with to make amazing web apps in minimal time!

Anything code based requires repetition and there's usually no need to rewrite code that already exists. Javascript libraries are an especially useful proof of this concept, since they can often be very time consuming to start from scratch. In practice, the problem is usually not knowing what code you can really rely on. Luckily a little know-how can let you sort through the riff-raff and get right to the heart of the code that'll help your project and still be around and well maintained if any updates need to be done. With that goal in mind, we've compiled the five most notable Javascript libraries online today. They may not fit every exact situation, but they're certainly the frameworks that should be bookmarked by any serious web developer and looked to as a first option.

Like any search, we should start by defining exactly what we're looking for. The most important faucets that we've kept in mind are that it must be a Javascript based MVC, needs to function reliably, must be easy to learn (or at least logical / intuitive), and should either come with lots of features or allow them to be folded in w/o too much hassle. Additional details worth considering would be how the popularity of the Javascript framework is trending and the reliability of the team of developers working on the project. Keeping all these factors in mind along with the usual code concerns (available, open-source, well tested, etc) - We've compiled the five most important JavaScript frameworks for professional web developers. We hope you find this compilation very useful and if you think efficiency is important, you certainly should!

Top Javascript Frameworks List



Put plainly, Angular is the current standout in the javascript framework world. It utilizes two way data binding between the Model & View to synchronize info, then allows you to use basic HTML to present it. Angular allows Async callbacks, HTML5 pushState, inversion control, and tons of other perks. When you combine all the complex options, general stability, and the absolutely sick team of developers Google has on the project - This is a framework you just can't ignore. It currently shines in the world of news providers, but the built in flexibility should make it a contender for any large scale web app project. Highly Recommended.

Notable Deployments

  • Google
  • Huffington Post
  • Nike

via CDN
via command line w/ Bower
$ bower install angular --save
AngularJS - Logo



Backbone is a sturdy Javascript framework that provides models based on key-value binding. It's RESTful JSON interface allows a variety of functions through it's API, while also pushing views with declarative event handling. It's tiny footprint belies it's actual value and a quick look at it's famous users should solidify that fact. The core development team stands out since it's more of a community then group of hired assassins - That truth should give it serious staying power. If you're looking for something media based it's important to notice that both Pandora and Soundcloud have chosen to run with Backbone. Whatever their rationale, that's a huge chunk of the music app market and makes it a serious player in the field. I think it's also worth mentioning that Backbone is the origin of several of the ideas that is Angular built off of. That certainly has no bearing on future growth, but that should tell you that there are some deeply intuitive concepts built in.

Notable Deployments

  • Twitter
  • Pandora
  • Foursquare

via CDN
via command line w/ Bower
$ bower install backbone --save
Backbone - Logo



Emberjs is another popular javascript framework and personally the one I find most interesting. The learning curve is steep and it takes a little practice to get a full grasp on the "Handlebars" concept - but once you do, the possibilities are endless. The documentation in the latest release has become much more comprehensive and the build team keeps updates flying out at a feverish pace. If you're looking for a Javascript framework with the advanced options of Angular, but a slightly more compartmentalized methodology - Ember should be your best bet.

Notable Deployments

  • Square
  • Groupon
  • Living Social

via CDN
via command line w/ Bower
$ bower install ember --save
Ember - Logo



Stapes pitches itself as "just enough" and that's exactly what it offers. Topping out at a measly 600 lines of code and weighing an anemic 2kb, Stapes shots towards the mobile market, but also offers a solid foundation for basic web apps. It's certainly not the best option if you're looking to get complex, but it is designed very intuitively. Stapes uses class creating, data method, and throws in some custom events to build off of.

via command line w/ Node
$ npm install stapes
Stapes - Logo



Meteor is a simple MVC environment with a tiny footprint and a lot of promise. Although relatively new, with features like live page updates, latency compensation, hot code pushes, and a neat little addition called "Smart Packages" - they've got a lot of developers paying attention. At this point it's a great starting place to build from (it's technically still in "preview" release), but with the committed team behind it - I think this is one Javascript framework you should be keeping your eye on.

via command line w/ Node
$ npm install meteor
Meteor - Logo

Current Javascript Library Details

  • Angular
  • 1.2.14
  • 36kb
  • MIT
  • Backbone
  • 1.1.2
  • 6.5kb
  • MIT
  • Ember JS
  • 1.7.0
  • 95kb
  • MIT
  • Stapes
  • 0.8.1
  • 2kb
  • MIT
  • Meteor
  • 1.8kb
  • MIT
Sizes based on Minimized / GZipped single file size.

Hopefully this gives you some guidance on which Javascript frameworks you should be honing in on or considering for your next project. We will be releasing basic walk through for each of these libraries in the coming months and the links for those will be included with the corresponding block above. If you have any general questions or think another Javascript library is being overlooked, please feel free to include it in the comments below and we'll take those into consideration before delving deeper into each subject.

As always - thanks for dropping by and if you've found this post useful be sure to share it with the social buttons below.

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Written By:
Matthew Haeck

Greetings, I'm the lead designer and resident full stack web developer at Haeck Design. A majority of my time is spent creating beautiful logos, websites, print design, & staying up to date on all the tricks of the web development trade. (Matthew Haeck Bio Page)

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