2017 JavaScript Rising Stars


These are the hottest projects of the year, all categories included.

Vue.js strikes again

Once again, Vue.js is the trendiest project of the year, with more than 40,000 stars added on GitHub during the year.

It’s far more than in 2016 (26,000 stars), and the gap with the next contender (React) is even bigger.

So what makes Vue.js special?

  • First, it has a small learning curve, with a component approach similar to React but with a more familiar syntax.
  • The ecosystem is well defined, including a set of de-facto standards: router: vue-router, State management library: Vuex
  • The concept of single-file component that includes template, logic and styles in a single file .vue file is really nice.
  • It’s used by one of the most popular PHP frameworks, Laravel, as its default view engine.
  • It’s not backed by a big company of the Internet like Facebook or Google but maintained by Evan You as an open-source project sponsored through crowd-sourcing.

And this may be related with the last point, but Vue.js is very popular among developers from China. It’s used by the biggest e-commerce platform of China (Alibaba), but also by companies like GitLab or Adobe.

React, number 2, again!

Like in 2016, React is number 2, with more than 27,000 stars added on GitHub (note that we’re specifically talking about stars added over the year, not the total number of stars).

Create React App, the third project, is the recommended way to start a new project with React, and its success made a lot of React boilerplates less relevant than before.

Dan Abramov (the creator of Redux, now working for Facebook) did a great job, finding the right balance between simplicity and features. For example there is no fancy styling solution (just plain CSS), no server-side rendering, but everything is well packaged and the developer experience is really good.


The Axios library is the most used HTTP client.

It can work on both the client side (AJAX requests from the client) or on the server-side (HTTP requests in a Node.js environment)

Its success may be related to Vue.js too, because a lot of Vue.js tutorials use it to query a distant API through HTTP.


Puppeteer is one of the great stories of the year.
Made by the Google Chrome team, it’s a headless Chrome browser, that is to say a browser that runs in the background and that can be by piloted by code.

It can be used to do things like:

  • Automatically testing web application UIs in real browsers.
  • Taking snapshots of web pages to do server-side rendering.
  • Generating PDF files using Google Chrome ability to save pages as PDF files.

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