Chapter 1. The Rise of JavaScript Web Apps

Some have called it “universal” JavaScript, while others have called it “shared” or “portable” JavaScript. The name may very well still be under debate. However, one thing is clear: sharing JavaScript code between the browser and the application server is the next evolutionary step in JavaScript web apps. To get a sense of why we’ve arrived at this solution, first we’ll want to take a look at how JavaScript web apps have evolved in the last decade.

Ever since the term “Golden Age” originated with the early Greek and Roman poets, the phrase has been used to denote periods of time following certain technological advancements or innovations. Some might argue we are now in the Golden Age of JavaScript, although only time will tell. Beyond a doubt, JavaScript has paved the road towards a new age of desktop-like applications running in the browser.

In the past decade, we’ve seen the Web evolve as a platform for building rich and highly interactive applications. The web browser is no longer simply a document renderer, nor is the Web simply a bunch of documents linked together. Web sites have evolved to web apps. This means more and more of the web app logic is running in the browser instead of the server. Yet, in the past decade, we’ve equally seen user expectations evolve. Initial page load has become more critical than ever before. In 1999, the average user was willing to wait 8 seconds for a page to load. By 2010, 57% of online shoppers said ...

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