The Most Dazzling JS Libraries to Rock Your World
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The Most Dazzling JS Libraries to Rock Your World

by Mary Marnell

Published on October 18, 2021

We all know that a library is where you go to check out books, but JavaScript has its own libraries that do some pretty amazing tricks. If you think about a library as a place where information is stored and widely available to the general public, then you’ll appreciate why JS libraries have risen to prominence in the web development community.

JS libraries are where lines of code are stored, lines of code that web developers have come to depend on to create all the wonder that is the world wide web. JS libraries seek to eliminate unneeded redundancy: there is no reason for a web developer to write code for a task that someone else has already written.

Therein lies the rub. What task needs to be done? What library will have the best set of options to help solve the problem? Here is a rundown of some of the most dazzling JavaScript libraries and what they do.

Anime.js

Animations are all the rage these days in web design, and this library offers a lightweight solution that is also very powerful. Basically, anime.js can animate any CSS element on a website, and in any direction and at different speeds and timing. You can synchronize several animations to move in unison and it also works with SVG path elements.

If you want to add motion to your website, this is the easiest way to do it. If you need convincing, go to Github and check ou examples.

D3.js

This is one of the most widely used toolkits because of how many lines of code this library saves developers. The gist of D3.js is that it takes any data in any format and then binds it to a document. Hence, the name—3D stands for data-driven documents.

In practical terms, this means that D3 can make animations or any interactions on your website run faster and more smoothly as it supports dynamic behavior (the data drives the DOM). So inserting an HTML table or an SVG chart is a piece of cake, whereas without this library, developers would be loading tons of code to do the same thing.

Parsley

Forms are the lifeblood of any online marketing effort. You need users to provide information that you can follow up on in some manner. But on the frontend, forms require validation, so that the data input is correct before it goes to the server. The last thing you want is for a user to submit an error-filled form that you don’t catch and then try to get the same user to fill out another form after a delay.

But Parsley makes validation simple and easy. It adjusts the validation dynamically by reacting to changes in the data and then giving out results immediately. So if a required field is missed, the user will know it and can correct the mistake. You just have to set the requirements into HTML and let Parsley do the rest.

React.js

Is it a library or a framework? Some people use these terms interchangeably, but they are different. A library is like the furniture you’d put inside a house, while a framework will be the blueprint of the house itself.

By that measure, React.js is a library that is really centered on the user interface, and while it was developed by Facebook and is used by enterprise-level companies, it is scalable and would benefit any website looking to make pages load faster. The key to React.js is that the UI is based on a virtual DOM and hence pages don’t need to reload after changes have been made to them. For example, Live Chat features don’t cause pages to reload after every message–that’s the magic of React.js.

Slick

Photo carousels are everywhere. People can load them on Instagram and Facebook, and companies use them on websites to promote products or offers on a homepage. Swiping left or right seems like a birthright for users these days, and this library makes providing one very easy.

Slick offers tons of options for how to display a carousel, from one image to multiple, images with varying widths and heights, sliders, autoplay, filters–you name it, and Slick can really bring some real snap to the visual elements of your website. Slick also works incredibly well with mobile devices.

Premonish

What if you could predict what element a user will interact with next on your website? Premonish is a library that gives developers a Nostradamus-like ability to see into the future, based on patterns of mouse movements. Fueled with this insight, developers can then seed the ground with all kinds of innovative CTAs that will delight and amaze users. Premonish will elicit a chorus of oohs and ahhs with breathtaking feats of imagination.

Tween.js

Tween is short for “in-between,” and we’re not talking about that awkward phase of adolescence. Tween in the JavaScript universe is a library that can help developers do some amazing things visually on a website. Strictly speaking, tween refers to the frames of animation that are between keyframes—the start and stopping of an object in motion, for example. What Tween.js does is allow for some very eye-catching elements to emerge on what could otherwise be a plain page: balls can roll, lightning can strike, the movement of the mouse can create waves of intensity. Tween is part of a suite of libraries called Create.js, and future versions will allow for 3D graphics. So stay tuned.

Need help deciding which JS libraries are right for your project? We’d love to help you narrow it down — reach out to Reliable today.

This post was last updated on December 18, 2021

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