Writing a Gnome app? Do it in JavaScript, say developers

JavaScript should be prioritised as the default language for developing Gnome applications, say its development team.
Written by Sam Shead, Contributor

JavaScript should be used as the main development language for writing Gnome applications, according to Gnome's development team.

Gnome is a popular desktop environment and graphical user interface that runs on top of Linux-based operating systems.

At the Gnome Developer Experience Hackfest in Brussels last week there were calls for a single "first-class" language that developers could recommend to new developers aspiring to create Gnome applications. 

The team are often asked by new developers what tools should be used when writing an application for the platform but up until now there has been no definitive answer, according to a blog post written by engineer Travis Reitter.

Reitter said that if a developer asks which language should be used to create an application, there are about eight different answers that can be given, depending on personal preference. 

There was a "broad consensus" among those at the conference that a single language for Gnome application development should be adopted, according to Reitter. 

The team decided to support JavaScript as the first-class language for Gnome application development because it already has momentum behind it and Reitter says there is a lot of work going into making it "fast, embeddable, and framework agnostic".

JavaScript is also being used in Windows 8, mobile platforms, and for local web applications.

Reitter claims that a default language will enable developers to more easily prepare documentation and share knowledge with newcomers to the development community, who will be able to copy and paste code from other applications. 

Despite the fact that JavaScript will be recommended as the default language to write Gnome applications, the team stressed that other languages will still be supported. 

"It's critical that everyone understands this decision as a plan to elevate the language, bindings, tools, and documentation to a level of quality we have not yet achieved. It is not a decision to abandon any other language bindings," said Reitter.

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