A quick introduction to CoffeeScript
As we near the end of our high-level summaries of the basic software tools used by modern-day web developers, here in our Intro to web and mobile app development series we'll introduce you to a magnificent, fun-to-write, meta-level, and transcompiling language (i.e. converts to one language from another) called CoffeeScript.
[Author's note: I wrote the first couple dozen tutorials in this series a few years ago and I'm in the process of updating the content to reflect the evolution of best practices in the industry. Please comment if you see anything I missed that should be updated. Thanks!]
As described succinctly on their website, CoffeeScript is:
What does CoffeeScript look like?
Here's a great example from their website:
# Assignment: number = 42 opposite = true # Conditions: number = -42 if opposite # Functions: square = (x) -> x * x # Arrays: list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] # Objects: math = root: Math.sqrt square: square cube: (x) -> x * square x # Splats: race = (winner, runners...) -> print winner, runners # Existence: alert "I knew it!" if elvis? # Array comprehensions: cubes = (math.cube num for num in list)
Having written a ton of web apps using Ruby on Rails with CoffeeScript now, I can confirm that it's worth learning. Visit the CoffeeScript website to see what the above code translates into (and how many lines of code you save!).
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