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Dec 13, 2023

about 6 min read

12 Frontend Programming Languages Every Developer Should Explore

Learn about 12 frontend programming languages that help you create amazing web apps. From HTML to Dart, discover the features and examples of each one.

 

Frontend developers use languages to create the user interface of web applications. In other words, they are responsible for designing how the web pages look and feel and interacting with users. 

 

Frontend programming languages can be broadly classified into three main categories: markup, style sheet, and scripting languages. Markup languages define the structure and content of the web pages. In contrast, style sheet languages describe the presentation and layout of the web pages. Scripting languages, on the other hand, add functionality and interactivity to the web pages. 

 

This article aims to introduce you to 12 frontend languages that every developer should know in 2023. Some are widely used and popular, while others are emerging and innovative. We will briefly discuss each language, highlighting its features and some examples of web applications that use it. 

 

Read more: What is Back-end and Front-end? Explain main differences

 

HTML

 

 

HyperText Markup Language—commonly known as HTML—is the essential markup language for creating web pages and web applications. Using HTML tags, you can define various web page elements, including headings, paragraphs, links, images, and forms. 

 

HTML is easy to learn and use and widely supported by all major browsers. As such, it is a must-know language for any frontend developer since it forms the foundation of the web. Some of the most popular web applications that use HTML include Google, Facebook, and Golden Owl.

 

CSS 

 

 

CSS—short for Cascading Style Sheets—is an essential style sheet language that web developers use to control the appearance of HTML elements on the screen. With CSS, you can customize various aspects of web pages, such as colors, fonts, backgrounds, borders, margins, and padding, to create an attractive and user-friendly interface. Moreover, CSS allows you to create responsive and adaptive web designs that can adapt to different screen sizes and devices. 

 

Undoubtedly, CSS is a powerful and flexible tool that can enhance the user experience and accessibility of web pages. Many popular websites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Netflix use CSS extensively to improve their visual appeal and usability.

 

JavaScript 

 

 

JavaScript is a scripting language that extends the functionality and interactivity of web pages. According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023, it is the most used programming language as of today.

 

JavaScript can enhance web pages’ content, style, and behavior by manipulating HTML and CSS elements. Additionally, JavaScript can communicate with the backend server to send and receive data, validate user input, perform calculations, and more. Its versatility and dynamism allow it to create rich and complex web applications. Some famous examples of web applications that utilize JavaScript are Gmail, YouTube, and Amazon.

 

TypeScript 

 

 

TypeScript is a frontend programming language that builds on JavaScript by incorporating static typing. This means variable, parameter, and function types are verified at compile time. As a result, it is easier to identify mistakes early on and create more dependable, maintainable code. 

 

TypeScript is compatible with JavaScript and can be transpiled into JavaScript code that works on any browser. It also supports object-oriented and functional programming styles and can use the most recent JavaScript features. Numerous web applications, such as Microsoft, Airbnb, and Slack, employ TypeScript.

 

SASS 

 

 

SASS—short for Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets—is a preprocessor that expands the possibilities of CSS. With it, you can leverage variables, mixins, functions, nesting, inheritance, and other advanced features unavailable in plain CSS. As a result, you can write CSS code that is more concise, modular, and reusable while reducing redundancy and repetition. Additionally, SASS can be compiled into standard CSS code, which can run on any browser.

 

SASS is widely used by popular web applications such as LinkedIn, Medium, and Spotify as it provides a streamlined way to manage and maintain CSS code.

 

LESS 

 

 

LESS (Leaner Style Sheet) is a preprocessor that empowers CSS with additional functionalities. Like SASS, LESS also allows you to use variables, mixins, functions, nesting, inheritance, and other features that plain CSS does not provide. 

 

Writing concise, modular, and reusable CSS code with LESS becomes easy. In addition, it is more manageable to avoid repetition and duplication. Additionally, LESS can be compiled into standard CSS code that can run on any browser. Some prominent web applications that utilize LESS include Facebook, WordPress, and Bootstrap.

 

Elm 

 

 

Elm—a functional frontend programming language—has the advantage of compiling to JavaScript. Its design enables the creation of reliable and high-performing web applications free of runtime errors, null or undefined values, and mutable states. 

 

Moreover, Elm boasts a built-in architecture that handles state management, data flow, and user interface. Therefore, it is a top choice for developing expressive and elegant web applications that run fast and smoothly. Notable examples of web applications that utilize Elm include NoRedInk, CircuitHub, and Pivotal Tracker.

 

ClojureScript 

 

 

ClojureScript is a Lisp-based functional frontend programming language that compiles to JavaScript. It is a dialect of Clojure imbued with the same features and advantages, including immutability, concurrency, macros, and interoperability with other languages. 

 

ClojureScript also integrates seamlessly with the JavaScript ecosystem, including many best frontend frameworks, libraries, and tools. Therefore, this concise and powerful language can be used to develop expressive and scalable web applications. Leading organizations using ClojureScript include Netflix, Walmart, and The New York Times.

 

Swift 

 

 

Swift is a versatile programming language primarily utilized for creating macOS and iOS applications. Additionally, it can be employed to develop web applications with the assistance of frameworks such as Vapor, Kitura, or Perfect. 

Swift is known for its speed, security, and expressiveness. Furthermore, it supports various programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and protocol-oriented. 

 

Swift is compatible with Objective-C, allowing it to take advantage of the existing libraries and frameworks within the Apple ecosystem. IBM Cloud, Vapor Cloud, and Swift Playgrounds are some examples of web applications that utilize Swift.

 

Kotlin

 

 

Kotlin is a flexible programming language primarily used to develop Android applications. However, it can also be used to create web applications using frameworks such as Ktor, Spring Boot, or Vert.x. 

 

Kotlin is known for its conciseness, safety, and interoperability. In addition, it supports various programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and declarative. Furthermore, Kotlin is compatible with Java, meaning that it can leverage the existing libraries and frameworks of the Java ecosystem.

 

Some well-known web applications that use Kotlin include Coursera, Pinterest, and Uber.

 

Read more: Front-End Developer vs. UX Designer: What Are The Differences?

 

Python

 

 

Python is a versatile, general-purpose programming language that has gained widespread popularity for its various applications, including data science, machine learning, and web development. With the aid of frameworks such as Django, Flask, or Pyramid, Python can be used to create robust, high-performance web applications. 

 

Python is a simple and easy-to-read language that supports a variety of programming paradigms, including imperative, functional, and object-oriented. In addition, Python offers a vast library of modules and libraries that can improve the functionality and performance of web applications.

 

Python has been used to develop some of the world’s most popular web-based applications, such as Google, Instagram, and Spotify.

 

Dart 

 

 

Dart is a flexible programming language that has gained popularity for its ability to develop web and mobile applications. With frameworks like AngularDart, Flutter, or Polymer, you can easily use Dart to create web applications. 

 

Dart is a modern and scalable language that supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and reactive. Additionally, Dart’s robust toolchain can compile to JavaScript, native code, and bytecode, making it a flexible choice for developers. Some notable examples of web applications that use Dart include Google Ads, Alibaba, and AppTree.

 

Frontend Programming Languages: The Future of the Web 

 

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial in the ever-evolving world of frontends. As the web becomes more intricate and demanding, so must our skills and knowledge. 

 

Frontend programming languages are not just mere tools but an art and craft that can expand horizons, enhance creativity, and enrich experiences. By exploring different frontend languages, you can broaden your understanding and develop a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of this discipline.

 

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