Node.js and Coffeescript for Publishing

While many of these projects are obviously a few years old, it seems that everywhere one sees the emergence and increasing importance Node.js and Coffeescript-based tools for publishing. That is, front-end development tools and languages are starting to displace traditional "native" (C and its ilk, misbegotten java) and older scripting languages (python, ruby). That is, purely front-end tools, enhanced and extended (node.js), are being used to build the tools that are used to create... Kind of nice to see!

At first this looked to be an in-browser phenomenon, which is a bit limited, but the emergence of several projects signals a very different, and quite interesting, trend.

In-Browser Tools

First, let's look at some in-browser and mobile app tools:

We saw these before, but can they become robust enough to take on the desktop apps, or are we dealing with a fad, or perhaps a splintered mindshare? Who knows, but there is lots of stuff going on and it is interesting to see such development.

A New Generation of Tools based on Coffeescript and Node.JS

Some of these tools are squarely focused on disrupting current editors such as Dreamweaver and Sublime Text:

And there are more such tools, including the Github folks who appear to be leveraging what one can do with content inside of Github, namely create books:

And don't forget Docpad, a fresh approach to the CMS

Some other more-or-less proprietary 3rd party cloud-based tools will likely suffer when approached my more robust, extensible desktop apps (few developers are giving up a real operating system for something like Chrome).

The R Programming Environment

As an aside, R is getting quite interesting with R Studio, courtesy of JJ Allaire and company (though the tool is developed in Java). This (along with Shiny gives R and its ecosystem a nice boost, with integration for latex, sweave, and knitr.