Meta Refresh 2012

Web design could use some new ideas. We have the tech now.



Is coffeescript worth it?

Submitted Mar 23, 2012

The disadvantages of CoffeeScript are fairly well known:
There’s an additional compilation step.
You can’t run a debugger on it directly (yet).
There are fewer resources to learn the language, and fewer people who already know it.
The language is changing, while JavaScript remains practically inert.

But this is really only half a question. What’s important is: Are the benefits worth it? Does CoffeeScript have a future?


CoffeeScript is a little language that compiles into JavaScript. Underneath all those awkward braces and semicolons, JavaScript has always had a gorgeous object model at its heart. CoffeeScript is an attempt to expose the good parts of JavaScript in a simple way.

The golden rule of CoffeeScript is: “It’s just JavaScript”. The code compiles one-to-one into the equivalent JS, and there is no interpretation at runtime. You can use any existing JavaScript library seamlessly from CoffeeScript (and vice-versa). The compiled output is readable and pretty-printed, passes through JavaScript Lint without warnings, will work in every JavaScript implementation, and tends to run as fast or faster than the equivalent handwritten JavaScript.

Speaker bio

UI Developer at Cleartrip, Previously worked DiscountPandit, Vavia Technologes.


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