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Shifting perceptions of vanilla JS

Every few days, I check out the “vanilla JS” search term on Twitter. I share interesting articles and projects that I come across, and answer questions for people who are stuck or need help.

Something I’ve noticed recently—something that gives me hope—is how perceptions of vanilla JS have shifted over the last year.

Back in January, most of the tweets I would see for this search term were derisive.

“Vanilla JS doesn’t scale.”
Real engineers use frameworks.”
“Vanilla JS is just a homegrown framework with no documentation.”
“Vanilla JS: idiots who think they know more about web performance, accessibility, and security than the experts who build frameworks.”

Today, not even a full year later, the whole tone of that feed has changed.

Sure, you still get the occasional nasty tweet. But it’s mostly people posting how-to articles, asking questions, and sharing cool stuff they’re building.

That last genre—cool stuff people are making—is my personal favorite. I’m blown away by what people are building using just the JavaScript methods and APIs that come baked into the browser.

This shift gives me hope.

It gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the pendulum is swinging back towards a simpler, leaner world-wide web.