18 January 2014

The woes of describing a data model in Javascript

Is it just me, or is describing a complex data model in Javascript (or any non-statically-typed language) just… not as good?

I mean, my friend Aaron White and I used to be rather zealous about the beauty of type safety, and while we had our serious beefs with Java, at least it gave us a robust way of defining a data model.

Now, I am totally blown away by what’s happened to front-end web development since I’ve been gone these past 8 years. The ability to make complex client-side applications is powerful, super fun, and freeing.

But as thrilled as I am playing around with AngularJS and Node and dozens of brilliantly designed libraries, the one thing I still kinda hate is that I’m having to either remember or keep looking up my damn model. I long for the Java days when my IDE could complete my sentences (though Sublime Text fakes it alright at least for symbols defined within the current file), and more importantly, when I didn’t have to wait till run-time to find out that I’d misspelled a property name.

Am I just not getting the new paradigm or something?