Yesterday, Jeremy Ashkenas gave all of us a little Christmas present and released CoffeeScript 1.0, precisely one year after its first release, 0.1.
But it’s not really about the language. Not entirely, anyway.
CoffeeScript is exciting because of what the language means for web development.
But a one-language stack is not what’s so exciting either. More than that, the CoffeeScript/Node combo is an opportunity for our generation to create a programming language ecosystem that’s exactly the way we want it to be. As Alex Payne acutely observed this summer, a software project can be exciting for more than just technical reasons. Technically, Node is asynchronous to the bone. And that’s neat, but really, synchronous programming was working out just fine for most of us most of the time. Projects like CoffeeScript and node.js speak to our imagination because
People in the Node community are having a good time reinventing the familiar wheels of web frameworks, package management, testing libraries, etc., and I don’t begrudge them that. Every programming community reinvents those things to their norms. (Alex Payne)
Because sometimes, reinventing stuff actually does make sense. And it’s fun, even for those of us only participating on the sidelines. It’s a hype, but it’s a good kind of hype.
So, if you find yourself with some idle time in between end-of-year festivities, read through the docs at http://jashkenas.github.com/coffee-script/ , get cracking on a
<script type="text/coffeescript"> script in the browser, an express.js app in node.js, or a CoffeeApp.
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Stijn Debrouwere writes about statistics, computer code and the future of journalism. Used to work at the Guardian, Fusion and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, now a data scientist for hire. Stijn is @stdbrouw on Twitter.