This past week John Gruber has been writing and talking about a hypothetical universe where JavaScript was not allowed to run in a web browser. It reminded me of Jeff Schmidt’s excellent talk that I posted about more than a year ago, in which he explains the reason why “JavaScript has a faster dynamic language runtime than Ruby, Python, and PHP.”1 The reason? Because JavaScript was allowed to run in the browser, which in turn created an arms race for each tech company to have the fastest JS compiler and thereby the fastest browser, and dominate the market.

In terms of popular languages, JavaScript is hands-down the fastest on the planet for the very reason that Gruber hates it. This is a classic example of someone criticizing something that they have no knowledge of. It’s uninformed propaganda. Just because you think someone is abusing something (in this context, JavaScript’s Ajax abilities) doesn’t make that something wrong; it just makes that someone wrong.2 Although I even disagree that this is an abuse of JavaScript.

Anyway, I make my living writing JavaScript. I’m triggered, which is why I’m having a hard time letting this one go.


  1. JavaScript also has a faster runtime than Gruber’s beloved Perl, too. ↩︎
  2. This also applies to the Second Amendment, which Gruber is also wrong about. At least he’s consistent. ↩︎