Growing number of free JS libraries in market it is tough to choose the right one to your project. Some JS forked into projects, few discarded and few will radically achieve and spread across.
Node is more widely popular than any library. But it really is the fastest growing JS library and it offers so much more than a dev environment. With NPM you can manage local packages for all your projects right from the command line.
This makes Node a full development toolkit that works well with other tools like Gulp. Plus dozens of related open source projects have been built on Node so you can work with unit testing in Mocha.js or build a front end interface with the Sails.js framework.
If you haven’t tried Node yet then you might be surprised just how much you’re missing.
Big data is a growing industry and data visualization is quickly becoming just as important. There are tons of charting & mapping libraries but few stand out as much as D3.js. This JS library works with SVG and canvas elements to render graphs, charts, and dynamic visualizations on the web.
Aurelia.js is an official product from Durandal Inc. and shall be the next generation version of their Single Page Application framework Durandal. It’s being advertised as “the next generation UI Framework” and “the most advanced and developer friendly front-end framework today”
One of Aurelia’s principles is “Convention over Configuration”. You have to write less boilerplate code, saving time and making your code more easily understandable and less error-prone. As always you should know what you are doing, know the conventions and understand why it “just works”..
It’s crazy to see how much 3D animation has grown dating back to the 1980s up to today. We’re all familiar with 3D animated movies but web animation is still a new frontier. And thankfully we have libraries like Three.js blazing a path for 3D animation on the web.
On the main site you’ll find dozens of live examples of Three.js in action. You can build motion-sensitive backgrounds, custom 3D web graphics, and dynamic interface elements that use 3D animation effects. If you have enough patience and drive you can build any 3D effect with this library. It is the best resource for 3D motion on the web, and it comes with lots of examples to get you started.
Cycle.js is a framework where your app is described as a simple function taking an event stream as input and outputting an event stream.
This is one of the few libraries I recommend for data graphs because it’s easy to setup, easy to customize, and it comes with some of the best documentation of any open source project.
You can integrate any platform into the Meteor framework with fantastic results. This open source project helps developers build JS-powered applications whether they’re real-time chat apps or social communities or custom dashboards.
There’s even a social news framework called Telescope built on top of Meteor. This lets you create a social news/social voting website from scratch running on Meteor and React.
Meteor is a beast of a library with lots of features, but it’s not easy to learn. However it is fun and skilled JS developers can build almost anything with this platform.
Virtual DOM rendering and custom elements litter the React library. It has quickly become the choice of all professionals who want a powerful digital interface library for front end development.
But Riot.js is putting up a solid fight offering a nice alternative to React. By using the Riot framework you still have access to a virtual DOM but it’s much easier to control with simpler syntax requirements. Unfortunately this library isn’t as big as React and it’s not powered by Facebook, so you won’t have the huge community. But it’s a healthy alternative and it’s a decent competitor in the front end space.
From web animation to digital media you can work with everything in CreateJS. This isn’t one single library, but rather a suite of libraries built for different purposes. For example Easel.js works with HTML5 canvas elements while Tweet.js helps you build custom tweening & animations for the web.
Every library in this collection serves a different purpose and offers modern features for all major browsers. But most of these libraries help with specialized features so they’re best used on specialty websites. If you’re curious, then take a look at the Create JS website to see what it offers.