When did the trend of saying VanillaJS to refer to pure JavaScript come into widespread. Is the website Vanilla-js the discoverer of the term VanillaJS or was this term used even before the launch of this website?


1 Answer 1


I created the Vanilla JS site.

I didn't coin the term "Vanilla JS" - it's like asking someone if they invented the term "Blue Chair". Blueness and Chairness have been things for thousands of years, and similarly, "Vanilla" in the software world usually means "plain" - Plain JS. I remember seeing it used before I created the site.


The Google Trends data for the term "Vanilla JS", which indicates that the term came into widespread use in August 2012, coincides with the registration date of the vanilla-js.com domain name. So, while I didn't invent the term, I probably popularized it. This is funny, since I really don't like the term "vanilla" meaning "plain" - but, it's what the software community uses, so in the interest of clarity (and comedy), it's what I chose to use.

  • 1
    I think people gravitate towards libraries, at least in part, for the promise of browser independence. I believe that browser incompatibilities are much less of a problem than they used to be, but the belief in browser quirks (and the faith that people have in jQuery to fix them) still strongly persists. Sep 26, 2015 at 3:52
  • 1
    If you have to support IE3 and Netscape Navigator, having a framework smooth over differences can help. If the actual browsers that actually hit your site are latest-Chrome, latest-Firefox, and sufficiently recent IE, in practice, I find the differences are easily managed. I suspect many developers use frameworks as a way to avoid learning DOM and similar, but end up instead constantly keeping up with briefly-valuable skillsets rather than just learning the underlying API.
    – Eric Wastl
    Sep 26, 2015 at 6:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.