Another Javascript Library or Framework or Tool

Javascript is a programming language widely used by web developers and tester. Every day, every hour there is a new Javascript library, framework, tool or project being created and published.

As at the moment of writing this, there are about 4.4 million open source javascript repositories in GitHub. Probably before I finish publishing these, another library is written. So yeah, Javascript has took over the world …web.

Is it a library, framework or tool?

A lot of times developers confuse the above (library, framework, tool) terminologies. In practice, this terms can have different meaning depending on the context, when and how they are being is used.

The significant difference between Javascript framework and library is the scope and scale of its usage. Sometimes, developers argue that some javascript frameworks can be utilised like a library. That is topic for some other time.

The brief explanations given below are based on my personal understanding and it is subject to dissent.

JS Library

A javascript library allow developers to perform and complete specific task. It is some prewritten codes which can be appended, used severally in different aspects to finish a function. Let’s take an example; A construction of a building. The timbers and furnitures you would need is the Library. A Javascript library is more like battery and widget we use to improve our front-end application. Some examples of Javascript libraries are listed below:

  • JQuery: Fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library. It makes things like HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax much simpler with an easy-to-use API that works across a multitude of browsers
  • D3.js: JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework, combining powerful visualisation components and a data-driven approach to DOM manipulation.
  • Lodash: A modern JavaScript utility library delivering modularity, performance & extras.

JS Framework

On the other hand when compared to libraries, frameworks are more elaborate. It allows building a complete application at once. Following the construction building example, libraries are like furnitures whereas framework are the architecture in which the whole building is based on. We use framework as template to build our applications.

Below are some JS Frameworks, the list is based on my personal usage, popularity and community support:

  • Angular: A front-end framework that helps you create web application
  • Vue.js: The progress javascript framework
  • Ember.js: A framework for ambitious web developers

JS Tool

A tool simply assist in making development easier and simpler. Tools are separated into several categories some of which includes the following. Some JS tools based on different categories. Please note that there are several more out there, I just listed a few which I find interesting:

JS Testing and Debugging Tools

  • ESLint: ESLint is an open source JavaScript linting utility. Code linting is a type of static analysis that is frequently used to find problematic patterns or code that doesn’t adhere to certain style guidelines.
  • Protractor: An end-to-end test framework for Angular and AngularJS applications. Protractor runs tests against your application running in a real browser, interacting with it as a user would.
  • Yeoman: Helps you to kickstart new projects, prescribing best practices and tools to help you stay productive.

Build and Automation Tools

  • Webpack: At its core, webpack is a static module bundler for modern JavaScript applications.
  • Grunt: The JavaScript Task Runner. A tool used to automatically perform frequent tasks such as minification, compilation, unit testing, and linting.

Package Managers

Now that you have a descent understanding in distinguishing some basic the difference between a Javascript library, framework or tool, which new javascript (library, framework, tool)(s) are you currently using and why?



Software engineer, runner, hiker, fitness enthusiast.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store