February 02, 2016
From nczonline.net, with love.

ES6 FUD

Hi everyone,

Change is hard, especially when it comes to something you know and love, like JavaScript. I've been writing about ECMAScript 6 for over two years and have spent a lot of time researching not just the implementation but the origin and rationale for new features. I haven't always been a fan of the everything, but I have come to a good understanding of why certain design decisions were made and the problems they are meant to address (these discussions are found in my book, which you can read online for free).

What's concerning to me is that we're already seeing a bit of a religious war going on with respect to ES6. People are making blanket statements that things like classes are bad and should be avoided at all costs, that arrow functions are horribly unreadable, and they don't understand why anyone would use template literals. The spread of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) around ES6 features is scaring off beginners for no good reason.

And what bothers me even more is that many of the articles (though not all) I've read proclaiming some part of ES6 as "bad" are written by people who obviously have never even used the features they're criticizing. They're read description and looked at some examples, but never tried to actually use the features themselves. They focus a lot on aesthetics or how it's going to be confusing, but without trying to use them, how can you possibly know whether or not something is a problem?

I know the Internet is the place where people go to complain, but we owe it to ourselves to at least be informed about the things we don't like. After years of writing about ES6, despite my early reservations, I've come to have a deep appreciation for this evolution of JavaScript and the immense amount of thought that the committee put into these features. Yes, I think ES6 was too big and some of the features aren't completely hatched, but I haven't seen anything that I'd caution people to avoid. There are always incorrect uses of language features, but that's how best practices eventually develop. Let's find the rough edges and sand them down rather than throwing everything away because it looks different than what we're used to.

My ask of you is that if you come across one of these FUD articles, don't share them unless they are clearly researched and articulate something more than, "ew, yuck." There are plenty of people who are still uninformed about ES6, and we need to ensure that those posts we share with friends and colleagues are the ones that will educate, not scare them.

And don't forget, if you don't like some feature, you don't have to use it!

Be well.

-N

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