What is Vanilla JavaScript?

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Last updated: May 26, 2022.

So, you’re fairly new to the JavaScript game and you’ve heard the term ‘Vanilla JavaScript’ thrown around a lot.

Sounds like a fancy framework. So what does it mean exactly?

It’s actually not a framework at all. Or a library. Or anything you need to download.

It’s just plain JavaScript! So why the fancy-sounding name?

The term vanilla JavaScript is an ongoing gag that makes fun of bosses’, recruiters’ and even other developers’ obsession with using external libraries and frameworks when plain JavaScript would be most appropriate.

The term Vanilla JavaScript was invented to give plain JavaScript a name similarly catchy to jQuery, React, Angular, etc.

Some developers took the joke pretty far, creating an official website for this ‘framework’.

Somehow, the term stuck and the term is now often used non-ironically to refer to using JavaScript without any external libraries or frameworks.

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