I’ve been getting more and more into web development lately. It didn’t interest me too much in the past because I could never wrap my head around JavaScript despite having finished multiple Udemy courses on JavaScript and React. I feel like my personality is just at odds with how the JavaScript web development ecosystem is structured – it’s just too complex and chaotic, and it doesn’t have to be.

Anyway, I do most of my software development (if you can call it that) in Python. Until recently, most of the stuff I was developing was backend only – APIs, trading bots, etc. At some point, I heard about HTMX and hyperscript on a podcast, where it was being pitched as a way to do modern frontend development without having to write a single line of JavaScript.

As a chronic avoider of JavaScript, HTMX and hyperscript instantly caught my attention. In a nutshell, HTMX lets you send swappable HTML fragements from a backend server to a frontend, while hyperscript lets you create client-side interactivity with a natural language syntax.

To get a sense of what HTMX can do, check out this ICON blockchain tracker I’ve been working on. It’s still in active development, so some pages may look funny or break completely. The stack I’m using for the tracker is FastAPI, HTMX, TailwindCSS, and a little bit of hyperscript here and there. It’s pretty amazing to me that in 2022, it’s possible to develop something like this without writing any JavaScript. I know this way of doing things is fringe and contrarian, but it really brings me joy.

Before you go, click the hyperscript-enabled button below. It makes a request to a blockchain API and fetches a few block hashes – no JS required. Open up your web inspector if you’re curious as to how it works.