Best Javascript Libraries

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Javascript Libraries

What is the purpose of a library? Well, a library is a place where information is stored, and that information can be easily retrieved by an individual when needed. In the same manner, JavaScript libraries work. They consist of code that is already written to perform a particular task, and it can be implemented in any project once the JavaScript library is downloaded correctly. When a user is deploying different JavaScript libraries like jQuery, Dojo, and Leaflet, the code for the common JavaScript task can be accessed quickly and used in a project. There is no doubt that the use of JavaScript libraries is quite beneficial, but sometimes it does come at the cost of the size, security, and complexity of code.

But that’s not the case with the JavaScript libraries that we have handpicked here for you. The JavaScript libraries which we are going to talk about today are some of the most commonly used libraries of all time, and they can assist you in projects if you find their proper usage. Here in this article, we are going to discuss the top 10 best JavaScript libraries which you can use in your web development project to make the development process less tiresome and fast. While at the same time making the project look and perform better, and making it user-friendly with less resource-hungry applications.

Why Do You Need JavaScript for Web Development?

JavaScript, as of now, is the most commonly used programming language, with more than 67.7% of the developers using it in their projects (source). But why are developers so determined to use JavaScript? Well, the answer lies in its versatility which favors both the front end and the back end development. Given below are some of the reasons why you should choose JavaScript for your next web development project.

  • First, with the use of JavaScript, the application can run much faster on a client-side browser. JavaScript is entirely unhindered by the network calls which are coming from the backend server.
  • The implementation and the syntax used to write the code are pretty simple and easy to learn.
  • JavaScript is the one language that is used everywhere on the web.
  • Moreover, this language can be used with other programming languages to provide support to a wide variety of applications.
  • Lastly, with the help of JavaScript, one can easily create complex user interfaces, which might not be possible with front-end programming languages like HTML and CSS.

What are JavaScript Libraries?

Let’s take a simple example to show you the importance of JavaScript libraries. Building a website or a web application is like building a home. When you are making plans to build your own house, you have the freedom to start from scratch and create your building material without having to follow any schematics. But this approach is not practical at all, and it will take a lot of time to get even one thing finished. Therefore, the more sensible option would be to purchase pre-manufactured building materials like wood, iron, bricks, cement, and other basic materials, and then use them as per the blueprint to meet your requirements.

Coding is pretty similar to the above example; when you start writing the code for your website, you are free to code from scratch and design whatever you want. But certain features are already present in the form of templates. That’s how JavaScript libraries and frameworks work in the creation of a website.

In the list given below, you will find how different libraries come with their own set of codes and elements, which you can easily add to your website to make it look and perform better. For these elements, you won’t be spending hours writing code for them, it’s a basic installation, and the libraries are developed in such a way that one can use them for any of their projects.

JavaScript Libraries Vs. Frameworks

First things first, both the framework and the library are codes that you use in your project. Both these codes are written by someone else. The technical difference between these two codes lies in the term ‘Inversion of Control’. This means that when you are using a library, you are in complete control of the flow which the application uses. It’s you who can choose when and where to call the library. On the other hand, when you deploy a framework, the framework that you use becomes in charge of the flow. You can still plug in the code which you want, but in the end, the framework has the freedom to call your code when required.

Top 10 JavaScript Libraries

Given below is the list of some of the best JavaScript libraries which will help you make a better web-based application or a web page.

1. Leaflet

A Leaflet is an open-source JavaScript library that is used to make the code more mobile-friendly and to provide interactive maps to the application. The size of the Leaflet is pretty small, only 39 KB. As a result, it is considered to be an excellent alternative for other map libraries. It comes with a cross-platform efficiency. Thus, one can use it for multiple applications without having to worry about its interface being an issue.

Moreover, it lets the user decide the tile layer since the library doesn’t select it by default. This gives users a significant advantage as they can choose a layer from a wide range of selections, both for free or by making payment.

2. Dojo Toolkit

The Dojo is said to be a lightweight and independent open-source JavaScript library that is used in the development of cross-platform and Ajax-based websites. The use of Dojo helps developers create websites in a much shorter time as the library contains many pre-constructed codes that can be used as it is without any changes. The Dojo toolkit consists of several parts:

  • Dojo: It contains the core modules, which have all the files of UI components, language utilities, etc.
  • Dijit: This is a user interface module that is used to set up the layout and widgets that will be present in the application.
  • Util: This part of Dojo consists of files that are used for testing, styling, and interface checking. Everything that has to do with the visuals of the applications is stored here.
  • Dojox: Lastly, this part of Dojo adds anything which is excluded from the above three subparts. The Dojox consists of charting, grits, and DTL tools, and code files.

The different modules of the Dojo can be implemented separately depending on the requirement of the application. As a result, its implementation and running on the application become smooth. Also, Dojo is simple to use, and its tutorial can be found on its official website.

3. jQuery

jQuery is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries that is still useful for developers. It was released in 2006 by John Resig at BarCamp NYC. The library is free to use, and its implementation makes it easier for a developer to manipulate HTML documents along with traversal and animation handling. According to the latest research done by W3T, around 77.6% of all the websites that are live on the Internet use jQuery in one way or the other (source).

The API of jQuery is pretty simple and easy to navigate. Also, it uses CSS3 selectors, which help in manipulating the properties of visuals and graphics. Moreover, the syntax of jQuery is easy to understand as it is a lot similar to CSS. Moreover, the plugins which are present in this library are extendable, and lastly, versatility with multiple browser API is a great bonus. A user can have a jQuery library used for element selection in DOM using an open-source selector engine like Sizzle. On the other hand, it can also be used for JSON parsing, Ajax application development, and feature detection.

4. FullPage.js

FullPage.js is a complete functional library that can be deployed on most of the latest browsers. It comes with touch support as well for mobile phones, tablets, and touch screen laptops. This library is the one that you are looking for if you are interested in building scrollable websites. A scrollable website will make the user interface more eye-catching and smooth. As a result, the content which the user wants to see will be easily found on the web page.

The FullPage.js can be used with multiple frameworks like react-full-page, vue-full-page, and angular-full-page. Once you start using it for your web development projects, there is no going back. In addition to this, some libraries and elements present in FullPage.js can be used in almost every single project which you will develop. As a result, it is pretty handy for providing an excellent user interface for both mobile and computer applications. We are sure that if you use it for once, you will be coming back to it again and again.

5. AOS (Animate On Scroll)

If you are working on a one-page parallax site, then using this library will add some sweet animations. You can also see how the different scrolling animations will look on your website. This is one of the best methods to showcase the working of the library in a live environment. It’s a great CSS manipulator which can animate your scroll action and give it a new depth of movement. Try it for yourself, and you will see how it enhances the scrolling experience on your website.

6. Webix

We know how tiresome it is to create different UI components separately for your web application. But what if the code for the creation of UI components is already at your disposal, and with just a single line code, you can insert a whole component in your code? That’s precisely what Webix does. Webix has five different components, which are separated as data table files, navigation files (menu, hints, etc.), layouts (for creating the accordion, dashboard, etc.), and lastly, visualization for creating charts and pop-ups.

Furthermore, Webix separates the visual and the data layers that help in the creation of modular development and testing. One thing you need to keep in mind is that it doesn’t come for free. You need to pay $449 to get its license, and the license can be used only for one project by a single developer. On the other hand, if you want to get more complex widgets like pivots, kanban boards, and spreadsheets, then you will have to pay extra.

7. D3.js

D3 stands for Data-Driven Documents, and this is one of the very few libraries that helps developers to manipulate a data-based document. The library was released under the license of BSD in 2011. It provides developers with modern browsing capabilities without restricting them to a single framework usage. With D3, one can unlock powerful data visualization, which might be necessary for blogs that maintain a constant chart of stock exchanges. The data-driven approach is used to manipulate the DOM. Likewise, with its implementation, the overhead burden is reduced, thus allowing a much more comprehensive and graphical complexity within high frame rates.

The functional code of D3 is written in such a way that it can be used again and again with a vast collection of modules. Lastly, it can be used for creating animated transitions, and for sequencing complex transitions by using events and other types of CSS3 transitions.

8. Google Polymer

Google Polymer was developed to help individuals reuse the already created HTML elements to create custom elements with CSS and JS. With the use of Google Polymer, one gets to create more interactive applications, which allows more user interaction and retention if appropriately deployed. All you have to do is install the Polymer using the command line interface or the Bower method. After that, you can reuse the already developed elements without worrying about how they were created in the first place.

Moreover, using polyfills, you can create your custom elements as well. Once the creation of the custom element is completed, you can quickly transfer and deploy it by importing the required HTML. Lastly, to be able to install and work on Polymer, one needs to have prior knowledge of node.js, npm, Bower, Git, and Polymer CLI.

9. LiteElement

LiteElement is developed by Google to make it easier for developers to create simple websites. It used to be a part of the Polymer library which we have mentioned just above it. But with time, it has grown into a complete project of its own. The objective of making a LiteElement is to give developers the power to quickly create fast, lightweight, and reusable web development components. Likewise, the components which you will be creating using LiteElement will follow all the guidelines of Web Component Standards (WCS). As a result, integrating your element with other web development projects is a lot quicker. Lastly, the components created in the LiteElement are compatible with modern-day web browsers.

10. Algolia Places

Last on our list is a great library that can be used for almost any website, which has an address form for users to fill. Algolia Places is a library that helps in creating an autofill form for websites. A user only needs to fill in the details once, and it will be saved in their system. As a result, whenever they try to write the address again, the blank field will be auto-filled. In addition to this, with its deployment on your website, you can even add a map to the search display, and the address will be fetched directly from the map.

This is incredibly useful for users who move into their new homes and don’t know the complete address of their location. Algolia will make the user experience even better, and its implementation is pretty simple. The code is present on their website, and from there, you can copy it. Along with this, each code has its example of running live, which a user can see to understand the implementation of the code in a live environment.

Conclusion

These are some of the best JavaScript libraries which you can find on the Internet and use in your projects. Some of them are completely free while for others you need to pay some amount, but in the end, all of them will make it easier for you to finish the project. And that’s what JavaScript libraries were made for in the first place. There are several other libraries that we have not listed here, but these are the best of the best, and you might already be using some of them in your projects. Moreover, if you are not using them, it’s a great time to try some of them and see how they elevate your web application to an unknown extent.

Our favorite from these ten JavaScript libraries is jQuery, as it’s been used in the development of most of the websites which you saw on the Internet. If you are new to JavaScript programming, then learning to use jQuery needs to be your priority as it will give you the power of HTML manipulation straight from the JavaScript code, Happy Coding!

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