Libscore Aims to Measure Popularity of JavaScript Libraries

Libscore, a brand new tool that explores the popularity of third-party JavaScript libraries, was just announced by the project's sponsors Stripe and DigitalOcean. Libscore is a project created by developers Julian Shapiro and Thomas Davis and was built to both help open source developers choose a JavaScript library for their projects as well as to provide a means of measuring the popularity of specific scripts.


Libscore trending data shows jQuery as the most popular JavaScript library at the time of this writing.

Libscore scans the top million sites as specified by the “Alexa Top Sites” web service and then runs heuristics to determine whether variables are the result of using a third-party JavaScript library. Julian Shapiro has written a detailed overview of how the Libscore process works. The heuristics process enables Libscore to provide approximate adoption rates for third-party JavaScript libraries — as well as the usage rates for scripts like Google Analytics, AddThis, etc. The Libscore website features a search box that can be used to:

  • Find the popularity of a specific case-sensitive JavaScript variable
  • Search for sites that contain a specific external script
  • Find out which libraries are being used on a specific site

The website provides monthly statistics on such categories as top libraries, top scripts, and top sites as well as dynamic charts displaying various adoption percentages. Libscore will also be showcasing trends so that developers will be able to see new libraries that are on the rise. There is also a Libscore API available that provides programmatic access to Libscore data that can be used by developers to create dynamic infographics, charts, lists, etc.

Libscore is a very new project and does have some shortcomings, which may be addressed in the future. Two suggestions made by Bruno Skvorc, SitePoint Managing PHP Editor, are to have the option to group $ (most often being jQuery) into a single entry, or to have a plugins option besides libs and scripts. It should be noted that Libscore does not take into account converted mobile apps or JavaScript library usage on the back end.

Despite a few shortcomings, Libscore has the potential to be a very useful tool for developers, especially developers of JavaScript libraries and scripts. For more information about Libscore, visit the official website or read the "Introducing Libscore" article  by Julian Shapiro.

Janet Wagner is a freelance technical writer and contributor to ProgrammableWeb covering breaking news, in-depth analysis, and product reviews. She specializes in creating well-researched, in-depth content about APIs, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, analytics, GIS/maps, and other advanced technologies.