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Advantages of Java Script Animation

In this chapter, we compare JavaScript to CSS for the purposes of animation, and introduce the unique features and workflow advantages provided by JavaScript. In short, we provide the context needed to help you understand everything you’ll learn about JavaScript in this book.

JavaScript vs. CSS animation

There’s a false belief in the web development community that CSS animation is the only performant way to animate on the web. This misconception has led many developers to abandon JavaScript-based animation altogether, forcing them to Manage the entirety of user interface (UI) interaction within style sheets, which can quickly become difficult to maintain.

Sacrifice real-time animation timing control, which is achievable only within JavaScript. (Timing control is necessary for designing animation into UIs that respond to a user’s drag input, like those found in mobile apps.) Forgo physics-based motion design, which allows elements on a webpage to behave like objects in the real world. Lose support for older browser versions, which remain popular throughout the world.

Further, because jQuery’s code base serves many purposes beyond animation, its memory consumption triggers garbage collections within the browser, causing animations to stutter unpredictably. Lastly, due to decisions made by the jQuery team in the noble pursuit of helping novice users avoid sabotaging their UI with bad code, jQuery forgoes the recommended practice of using the request Animation Frame function, which browsers make available to drastically improve frame rates for web animation.

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Speed is, of course, not the only reason to use JavaScript—its abundance of features is equally as important. Let’s run through a few of the notable animation features that are exclusive to JavaScript.

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