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Top 10 JavaScript Libraries to Learn

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25th Nov, 2022
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Top 10 JavaScript Libraries to Learn

What are JavaScript Libraries?

JavaScript Libraries are a set of pre-written dynamic codes that enable the easy development of JavaScript applications, especially for web-centric technologies. Programmers reuse code to save time and effort. Thus, JavaScript Libraries are files containing a combination of functions that help us accomplish any practical task in any web application.

Identifying which function or library can achieve complex tasks can be done quickly by looking at the functions. Not all functions are compact and easy, so they are accompanied by simple documentation with real-world examples to make it easier for comprehension and utilization.

 JavaScript is one of the most commonly used programming languages, and its versatility enables both front-end and back-end development. Its popularity has given rise to very well-equipped libraries and frameworks serving various purposes like data visualization in maps and charts, data handling, DOM manipulation, animations, databases, image effects, forms, interface components, etc.

Furthermore, using JavaScript libraries has several advantages, including faster applications, backable documentation, room for expanding and learning, developer community support, seamless user experience, etc.

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Top 10 JavaScript libraries to learn in 2022

Here’s a list of the top 10 JavaScript libraries to learn:

1. jQuery: 

jQuery is one of those magical libraries that dramatically simplify programming. It is known for its ease of use and ability to wrap up several standard functions making the task simple. The best feature of this library is its ability to handle complex browser compatibility issues without the developer’s intervention.

Above all, its effortlessness in web pages makes this library one of the top JavaScript libraries.

Notable features of jQuery:

  • Simple syntax like CSS and ease of mastering.
  • Versatile with API.
  • Simple and expandable with plugins.
  • jQuery is a lightweight module.

2. D3.js: 

Data-Driven Documents or D3 can be applied to DOM objects for data manipulation. This library emphasizes web standards while providing modern browser capabilities. D3 is a powerful tool for dynamic and interactive data visualization. D3 encompasses various modules capable of mutating nodes like sorting, adding, or removing nodes, changing text, etc. It is one of the most popularly used JS toolkits today.

What are the significant features of D3.js?

  • D3 supports CSS, SVG, and HTML.
  • Adopts a data-driven approach for DOM manipulations
  • Quick response to dynamic behavior and datasets for interaction and animation
  • It has a wider graphical complexity due to reduced overhead.

3. React.js: 

React.js, also known as React, is an open-source JavaScript library used in front-end development. It helps build user interfaces with ease as it is efficient and holds a declarative approach. Interestingly, React is maintained by Facebook and Netflix, along with several other popular pages. Its fast scalability and flexibility allow coders to build more complex UIs using existing code or components.

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Prominent features of React.js:

  • Supports the combination of JavaScript and HTML called JavaScript XML (JSX).
  • Makes use of the lifecycle method enabling code execution at specific points during an entity’s lifetime
  • Uses a virtual DOM by creating an in-memory cache in a data structure.
  • Serves as a base while developing both mobile and web-page applications.

4. Google Polymer:

An open-source library created by Google allows you to reuse HTML elements to create customized elements using CSS and HTML with JavaScript to produce more interactive applications. Polymer allows you to use polyfills to build your custom elements. It is used by several leading sites and services, including YouTube, Play, Google Earth, etc.

Features offered by Google Polymer:

  • Provides cross-browser compatibility along with the web components
  • Supports both one-way and two-way data binding
  • Provides command-line interface enabling easy management of complex projects
  • Allows creation of reusable widgets.

5. Anime.js: 

Anime.js or anime is one of the best libraries that simplify staggering animations. It is equipped with a clean yet powerful API and is extremely lightweight, making it easier to use. Timing plays aa vital role with anime as you can set several CSS properties on the same element in different instances. Furthermore, it smoothly functions with SVG, CSS, HTML, DOM, and JavaScript objects.

Notable features of Anime.js:

  • It provides browser flexibility and works with a wide range of browsers like firefox, safari, opera, etc.
  • Effortless, easy to decipher source code 
  • Staggering follow-through, overlapping, and other complex animation methods are simplified.
  • Layered CSS transformations

6. Popper.js: 

The idea behind the creation of this library was to simplify dropdowns, popovers, and other contextual elements’ placement to make it more interactive. Popper provides an easy method to position, arrange, and place these to other site elements with seamless interaction. The library is robust and lightweight, enabling a smooth and effortless behavior.

Notable features of Popper.js:

  • Enables tooltip building from scratch
  • Seamless integration
  • High configurability
  • Allows the freezing of reference elements while scrolling through scrolling containers.

7. Voca: 

It is a well-known fact that strings are a hassle in JavaScript. The idea behind creating Voca was to address this string-handling problem in Javascript. It has several useful functions that enable easy manipulation of string functions like changing cases, truncate, trim, pads, etc.

What are the notable features of Voca?

  • The modular structure enables quick loading.
  • Zero dependencies.
  • Includes functions like query, manipulate, format, chop, escape strings, etc.
  • Used on multiple environments like Rollup, Webpack, Node.js, etc.

8. Underscore.js

It is a utility that gives different functions for typical or routine programming tasks. It provides several useful functions without expanding any built-in objects. You can use the library in both front-end as well as back-end applications. It allows one to map, filter, extend, operate with other functions, and so much more. It decreases the programmer’s routine tasks considerably.

Significant features offered by Underscore.js:

  • Uses a functional programming design as opposed to object prototype extensions
  • Can manipulate four different datatypes
  • Compatible with a variety of browsers
  • Contains over 100 functions

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9. Lodash: 

Lodash makes working with numbers, arrays, objects, strings, and other programming elements easier. Lodash comprises several modular methods that help iterate objects, arrays, and strings while crafting composite functions and manipulating values. Lodash is a super of Underscore.js. It helps the programmer save time by not coding generic functions.

Notable features of Lodash:

  • Helps with code maintainability
  • Includes operations on the collection, sequence, and object
  • Simplifies common yet time-consuming tasks
  • Helps in designing composite functions.

10. Animate On Scroll (AOS):

This javascript library works exemplarily on single-page parallax websites. This open-source software helps you add animations and interactive designs to the page. The idea behind this library is to enable the ease of adding interactive elements to web pages. Moreover, it enables you to add visual elements to your page by adding fade effects, static anchor positions, etc.

Noteworthy features of Animate On Scroll (AOS):

  • The ability of the library to detect element positions.
  • Flexibility to change animations on the viewport.
  • Seamless working on different devices.
  • Zero dependencies.
  • Ability to animate and modify based on-screen position of the element

JavaScript has several thousand libraries. However, these are the most popular and versatile libraries. Despite only mentioning 10 of these above, several other libraries are just as useful and effective in helping you reduce coding time and enhance the performance of your application.

Exploring as many libraries as possible can help you create user-friendly and effective projects with the most innovative features and elements. The list above is just a start!

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Pavan Vadapalli

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Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is the difference between frameworks and libraries?

Libraries are predefined functions that can incorporate into any project to reduce the programmer's burden. At the same time, frameworks are foundations upon which developers build applications for specific purposes. JQuery, React JS, etc., are some of the top JavaScript libraries, and Spring, NodeJS, AngularJS, Vue JS, etc., are some of the top JavaScript Frameworks.

2How are libraries and frameworks similar?

The point of commonality between libraries and frameworks is they both use reusable code written by a third person. They aim to help you solve common problems in simplified ways.

3Can JavaScript frameworks contain JavaScript libraries?

Yes, a framework can contain a single library or multiple libraries. A framework consists of these to make your work easier. A library performs specific and well-defined operations. It applies to any kind of framework and any kind of library.

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