First, let’s look at the positive signs:
- The recent performance improvements of Google’s V8 engine and Mozilla’s TraceMonkey
- Initiatives to bring Canvas support to Internet Explorer, such as Chrome Frame, js canvas, etc.
- HMTL5′s canvas element
- Microsoft’s recent investments in the language
However, looking about the web, how many examples of visualizations are there? Well, I’ve found some interesting ones like Matt Ryall’s visualizations of wiki data and Social Collider. There are more in the InfoVis research community.
But there aren’t many. So what is preventing it becoming more widespread?
One factor is the stubborness of Microsoft in its reluctance to support standards like Canvas. For commercial purposes IE is impossible to ignore.
Another factor is the language itself:
For me one of the biggest barriers is the development environment. I’ve tried a few, the best I’ve found being JSEclipse (now part of Flex). I must be missing something
So how is this going to develop? My guess is that we are still a couple of years away from more mainstream adoption. But there is no doubt that it is coming.