There needs to be a way to package up code for deployment and distribution and further to install packages. Linux people will correctly point out that they can just type “apt get” (or yum, or whatever) and their work is done. But there are a lot of people using Macs and Windows who need a convenient way to get their development environments set up and to package up the code they write for deployment and for other people to use.
Part of the distribution and installation problem is a package repository. I don’t know if JSAN is the answer there, but I do know that an easy way to install a package and its dependencies makes a huge difference in how many libraries people will likely pull together in their apps.
And, on top of all of this goodness, we’d get template engines, object relational mappers, middleware, packaged apps, etc. In fact, many of those things already exist. But, the problem is that they have no common basis to sit on. And that’s what prevents an ecosystem from growing.
What I’m describing here is not a technical problem. It’s a matter of people getting together and making a decision to step forward and start building up something bigger and cooler together.
(Before someone says “why not just use Ruby/Python/Java/C#?” let me just say that that is an entirely different question and I won’t address that in this post.)
Update: The group is now called CommonJS.