Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

The 10 hottest JavaScript framework projects

Dave Gruber | Oct. 9, 2013
Community strength is a huge factor is determining which JavaScript framework to adopt. Here's a close look at the activity swirling around AngularJS, Backbone.JS, Ember.js, and more

All-time contributors
Looking at total lifetime contributors for a project can help us understand a few different points. For one thing, it often reflects the governance style of a project. Many projects are tightly managed by a small group of people, while others open up contributions to a wide and diverse audience.

Project contributors over project lifetime: AngularJS and Ember show the largest overall communities, which mirror their recent monthly contributor growth.

The number of all-time contributors can also help us understand the relative momentum of a project at any given time. Large, well-established projects can often have significant numbers of contributors, helping fix bugs, contributing to documentation, and other related tasks. The total number of contributors can also often be associated with the overall size of the code base. This metric is typically most valuable when combined with other community metrics, such as lines of code, total commits, and monthly commits.

Ecosystem projects
Beyond immediate contributors, the strength of a project's community is evident from ecosystem projects that extend and are built upon them. This demonstrates that the core project community alone doesn't always tell the whole story of a project's momentum. Looking more broadly at the ecosystem can further describe the overall success of an individual project.

Number of related projects: The robustness of an open source project can in part be measured by the number of projects surrounding it. Here, Backbone.js and AngularJS are the clear winners.

Notably, Backbone has a substantial ecosystem, showing its overall momentum and usage in the industry. In an effort to further validate the Backbone ecosystem, I filtered my search to include only Backbone-related projects that have three or more stars on GitHub, which resulted in 1,627 projects. Compare this with 794 AngularJS projects with more than three stars, and Backbone's ecosystem is still two times the size of AngularJS's.

Full-stack solutions
Because the full-stack solutions have a different scope than many of the other projects, I wanted to take a separate look into their growth. Full-stack solutions include both a client framework and a server-side framework; hypothetically, the amount of code involved should be greater, as should be the number of contributors participating over time. The chart indicates each of these projects is in a relatively early stage with moderate participation.

Number of full-stack solutions: Meteor and Mojito appear to be attracting a stronger community, at least as measured by the number of contributors.

The rise of JavaScript
The number of developers who invest time and create structured approaches to using JavaScript is growing at a rapid rate. The chart below shows the increasing, cumulative number of developers contributing since the beginning of 2011. This reflects the mounting importance of UI frameworks in today's application development and the continuing need for different approaches supporting the needs of the many different use cases across companies of all sizes. There was a notable jump in contributions starting in January of this year, primarily driven by the growth in the AngularJS and Ember teams.


Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.