Google Traceur

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Google Traceur is a new JavaScript library by Google that implements proposed next generation JavaScript language features, like classes, inheritance, and composition, and makes them available to developers today. It does so by converting code written for Traceur into JavaScript code that runs in today’s browsers.

I’ve been reading up on CoffeeScript a lot lately, and it seems like CoffeeScript handles quite a few of the same language problems, but with a new syntax rather than just extending JavaScript.

Both languages are really exciting to me because of the prospects for having a little more language flexibility in the browser. I can’t wait to see where this trend takes us.

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2 comments on “Google Traceur

  1. It feels like we’re at a fork in the road here, at least for the immediate future. Considering the (modifiable) default of CoffeeScript in Rails 3.1, it sounds like using that makes more sense for a Rails developer, augmenting their app with client side logic. Trying out Traceur may have some longer term benefits, being based (primarily?) around proposed official JavaScript extensions that will eventually make it into a future official release.

    Still, even if Traceur’s format becomes official at some stage, we’d still be a couple of years off until there’s wide enough browser support to be able to use it. From a cursory look, it seems like CoffeeScript is a better bet right now, for a developer without the luxury of spending more time learning both. Does that sound like a fair assessment?

    • Absolutely. I didn’t see anything about Traceur having a command line compiler, and until it does I don’t think it’s safe to use it in an app – compiling every bit of code on the client side just isn’t ideal, especially for mobile browsers.