How to avoid JavaScript

Despite the JavaScript revolution, people still resist it

A month ago I attended Django Conference Europe. I was surprised to see how many talks dealt with the issue of how to avoid JavaScript. One of these talks, for example, had the title “How to create a full-stack, reactive website in Django with absolutely no JavaScript”. Solutions vary from small JavaScript libraries like HTMX, which are clever and help in simple cases (and might be all you need), to the impressive Anvil platform, in which you program the full stack in Python, and it compiles some of the Python to JavaScript for the front-end part.

I couldn’t help but ask myself “why don’t these people just learn JavaScript?” The answer is easy. I’ve been slowly learning JavaScript for years and I’m still not there—because I don’t have much time to spend. And the other question is “why don’t we hire a JavaScript person to write the JavaScript part?” There are many possible answers to this. One is that we like to be able to do everything ourselves, something valuable in small and hobby projects. Another possibility is that good JavaScript programmers are hard to find. And going from a team of one to a team of two people is no small step.