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Beautiful JavaScript by Anton Kovalyov

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CHAPTER SIX

One World, One Language

There sure are a lot of languages.

Jenn Schiffer

It was September 2003 when I began my undergraduate studies in computer science. Having chosen a liberal arts school, I was required to select a number of general education course requirements that lived outside the realm of my major. One of those requirements was two foreign language courses. When I inquired about using Java to fulfill that sequence, my request was immediately shut down. “You have to pick a real foreign language, like Spanish or French,” my undergraduate advisor told me.

Perhaps I should have asked about JavaScript.

To be multilingual, or a polyglot, has always been presented as superior to being able to speak one’s native language only. I have never understood why people believe this. Living under one roof, having one job for an extended amount of time, and being in a long-term monogamous relationship: these are seen as qualities of a stable life. Being an expert in a single subject, as opposed to knowing a little bit about a lot, is championed. So should be the case with programming.

JavaScript is a single, stable language that is powerful enough to build the World Wide Web, make robots move, and convince publishers to print entire books about it. If we were required to pick a single “best” programming language, JavaScript seems like a no-brainer.

It is understandably controversial to say that a specific language is better than the rest and that it should, therefore, ...

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