JavaScript developers: Here are the top trends and tools

The 2022 State of JavaScript survey of nearly 40,000 developers has identified the most popular, emerging and waning technologies used by JavaScript developers.  

The annual JavaScript survey, whose sponsors include Google, highlights new frontend frameworks, such as Solid and Qwik, that are challenging stalwarts like React. It also looks at rendering frameworks, testing tools, mobile and desktop development, and various build tools.   

The survey assesses each technology based on their retention ratio and user count. High usage/high retention technologies (a measure of satisfaction based on whether a person would continue to use it or avoid it) are safe to adopt, low usage/low retention are considered 'harder to recommend', and high usage/low retention are worth reassessing if used.

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In mobile and desktop app development, the library with the highest retention was Tauri, a relatively new open-source toolkit for building cross-platform desktop apps using web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Tauri reached version 1.0 in July, its core libraries are written in Rust, and the project focusses on boosting security and reducing resource usage. Tauri apps feature a Rust binary that manages windows, the webview, and calls to the operating system. The project is working on iOS and Android support.

Electron, the most widely used tool for building cross-platform desktop apps, has seen its retention levels drop dramatically since 2020. It was the leader by retention between 2018 and 2020, but it fell to 75% in 2022, though it's still in the top five by retention, just ahead of React Native at 74%. 

Still, only 32% of respondents were aware of Tauri, and just 5% of them use it, although usage has doubled in the past year. Electron remains the most used toolkit at 35%, along with React Native, followed by Cordova. 

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