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Alternatives to JavaScript

TypeScript, Node.js, Dart, CoffeeScript, and Java are the most popular alternatives and competitors to JavaScript.
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What is JavaScript and what are its top alternatives?

JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
JavaScript is a tool in the Languages category of a tech stack.

Top Alternatives of JavaScript

JavaScript alternatives & related posts

related TypeScript posts

Yshay Yaacobi
Yshay Yaacobi
Software Engineer · | 31 upvotes · 1.2M views

Our first experience with .NET core was when we developed our OSS feature management platform - Tweek (https://github.com/soluto/tweek). We wanted to create a solution that is able to run anywhere (super important for OSS), has excellent performance characteristics and can fit in a multi-container architecture. We decided to implement our rule engine processor in F# , our main service was implemented in C# and other components were built using JavaScript / TypeScript and Go.

Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.

After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...

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Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 25 upvotes · 1M views

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

See more
Node.js logo

Node.js

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A platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications
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Nick Rockwell
Nick Rockwell
CTO at NY Times · | 37 upvotes · 1M views

When I joined NYT there was already broad dissatisfaction with the LAMP (Linux Apache HTTP Server MySQL PHP) Stack and the front end framework, in particular. So, I wasn't passing judgment on it. I mean, LAMP's fine, you can do good work in LAMP. It's a little dated at this point, but it's not ... I didn't want to rip it out for its own sake, but everyone else was like, "We don't like this, it's really inflexible." And I remember from being outside the company when that was called MIT FIVE when it had launched. And been observing it from the outside, and I was like, you guys took so long to do that and you did it so carefully, and yet you're not happy with your decisions. Why is that? That was more the impetus. If we're going to do this again, how are we going to do it in a way that we're gonna get a better result?

So we're moving quickly away from LAMP, I would say. So, right now, the new front end is React based and using Apollo. And we've been in a long, protracted, gradual rollout of the core experiences.

React is now talking to GraphQL as a primary API. There's a Node.js back end, to the front end, which is mainly for server-side rendering, as well.

Behind there, the main repository for the GraphQL server is a big table repository, that we call Bodega because it's a convenience store. And that reads off of a Kafka pipeline.

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Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
Director of Developer Marketing at Stream · | 35 upvotes · 828.7K views

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

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related Dart posts

Gustavo Muñoz
Gustavo Muñoz
Web UI Developer at Globant · | 8 upvotes · 288.2K views

In my modest opinion, Flutter is the future of mobile development. The framework is as important to mobile as React is to the web. And seeing that React Native does not finish taking off, I am focusing all my efforts on learning Flutter and Dart. The ecosystem is amazing. The community is crazy about Flutter. There are enough resources to learn and enjoy the framework, and the tools developed to work with it are amazing. Android Studio or Visual Studio Code has incredible plugins and Dart is a pretty straight forward and easy-to-learn language, even more, if you came from JavaScript. I admit it. I'm in love with Flutter. When you are not a designer, having a framework focused on design an pretty things is a must. And counting with tools like #flare for animations makes everything easier. It is so amazing that I wish I had a big mobile project right now at work just to use Flutter.

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Michael Pfaff
Michael Pfaff
CEO & Developer at Pfaff Development · | 3 upvotes · 20.1K views
Shared insights
on
DartDartJavaJava

I use Dart because it is a fast, modern language with an intuitive package manager and syntax similar to Java, while less verbose (i.e. public by default, _ in front of a variable, class, etc. to be private). Dart has an excellent asynchronous syntax making asynchronous calls such as filesystem interaction or HTTP requests simple and concise.

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related CoffeeScript posts

Jake Stein
Jake Stein

Stitch’s frontend is used to configure data sources and destinations and monitor the status of each. Although we have been using AngularJS since its early days, we recently introduced React components into our front end, which many of our developers find easier to work with. We started using CoffeeScript when it was one of the few options for a more expressive alternative to vanilla JavaScript, but today we opt to instead write new code in ES6, which we feel is a more mature alternative.

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Eli Hooten
Eli Hooten
CTO at Codecov · | 13 upvotes · 84.3K views

We chose TypeScript at Codecov when undergoing a recent rewrite of a legacy front end. Our previous front end was a mishmash of vanilla JavaScript and CoffeeScript , and was expanded upon haphazardly as the need arose. Without a unifying set of paradigms and patterns, the CoffeeScript and JavaScript setup was proving hard to maintain and expand upon by an engineering team. During a move to Vue.js , we decided to also make the move to TypeScript. Integrating TypeScript and Vue.js is fairly well understood at this point, so the setup wasn't all that difficult, and we felt that the benefits of incorporating TypeScript would outweigh the required time to set it up and get our engineering team up to speed.

Choosing to add TypeScript has given us one more layer to rely on to help enforce code quality, good standards, and best practices within our engineering organization. One of the biggest benefits for us as an engineering team has been how well our IDEs and editors (e.g., Visual Studio Code ) integrate with and understand TypeScript . This allows developers to catch many more errors at development time instead of relying on run time. The end result is safer (from a type perspective) code and a more efficient coding experience that helps to catch and remove errors with less developer effort.

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Java logo

Java

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Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 28 upvotes · 2.4M views

How Uber developed the open source, end-to-end distributed tracing Jaeger , now a CNCF project:

Distributed tracing is quickly becoming a must-have component in the tools that organizations use to monitor their complex, microservice-based architectures. At Uber, our open source distributed tracing system Jaeger saw large-scale internal adoption throughout 2016, integrated into hundreds of microservices and now recording thousands of traces every second.

Here is the story of how we got here, from investigating off-the-shelf solutions like Zipkin, to why we switched from pull to push architecture, and how distributed tracing will continue to evolve:

https://eng.uber.com/distributed-tracing/

(GitHub Pages : https://www.jaegertracing.io/, GitHub: https://github.com/jaegertracing/jaeger)

Bindings/Operator: Python Java Node.js Go C++ Kubernetes JavaScript OpenShift C# Apache Spark

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Kamil Kowalski
Kamil Kowalski
Engineering Manager at Fresha · | 27 upvotes · 467.2K views

When you think about test automation, it’s crucial to make it everyone’s responsibility (not just QA Engineers'). We started with Selenium and Java, but with our platform revolving around Ruby, Elixir and JavaScript, QA Engineers were left alone to automate tests. Cypress was the answer, as we could switch to JS and simply involve more people from day one. There's a downside too, as it meant testing on Chrome only, but that was "good enough" for us + if really needed we can always cover some specific cases in a different way.

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Python logo

Python

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A clear and powerful object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java.
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Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
Director of Developer Marketing at Stream · | 35 upvotes · 828.7K views

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

See more
Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 28 upvotes · 2.4M views

How Uber developed the open source, end-to-end distributed tracing Jaeger , now a CNCF project:

Distributed tracing is quickly becoming a must-have component in the tools that organizations use to monitor their complex, microservice-based architectures. At Uber, our open source distributed tracing system Jaeger saw large-scale internal adoption throughout 2016, integrated into hundreds of microservices and now recording thousands of traces every second.

Here is the story of how we got here, from investigating off-the-shelf solutions like Zipkin, to why we switched from pull to push architecture, and how distributed tracing will continue to evolve:

https://eng.uber.com/distributed-tracing/

(GitHub Pages : https://www.jaegertracing.io/, GitHub: https://github.com/jaegertracing/jaeger)

Bindings/Operator: Python Java Node.js Go C++ Kubernetes JavaScript OpenShift C# Apache Spark

See more
jQuery logo

jQuery

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The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library.
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Kir Shatrov
Kir Shatrov
Production Engineer at Shopify · | 18 upvotes · 286.9K views

The client-side stack of Shopify Admin has been a long journey. It started with HTML templates, jQuery and Prototype. We moved to Batman.js, our in-house Single-Page-Application framework (SPA), in 2013. Then, we re-evaluated our approach and moved back to statically rendered HTML and vanilla JavaScript. As the front-end ecosystem matured, we felt that it was time to rethink our approach again. Last year, we started working on moving Shopify Admin to React and TypeScript.

Many things have changed since the days of jQuery and Batman. JavaScript execution is much faster. We can easily render our apps on the server to do less work on the client, and the resources and tooling for developers are substantially better with React than we ever had with Batman.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

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Dan Robinson
Dan Robinson

The front end for Heap begun to grow unwieldy. The original jQuery pieces became difficult to maintain and scale, and a decision was made to introduce Backbone.js, Marionette, and TypeScript. Ultimately this ended up being a “detour” in the search for a scalable and maintainable front-end solution. The system did allow for developers to reuse components efficiently, but adding features was a difficult process, and it eventually became a bottleneck in advancing the product.

Today, the Heap product consists primarily of a customer-facing dashboard powered by React, MobX, and TypeScript on the front end. We wrote our migration to React and MobX in detail last year here.

#JavascriptUiLibraries #Libraries #JavascriptMvcFrameworks #TemplatingLanguagesExtensions

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HTML5 logo

HTML5

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5th major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web
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Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 25 upvotes · 1M views

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

See more
Jeyabalaji Subramanian
Jeyabalaji Subramanian
CTO at FundsCorner · | 22 upvotes · 377.5K views

At FundsCorner, when we set out to pick up the front-end tech stack (around Dec 2017), we drove our decision based on the following considerations:

(1) We were clear that we will NOT have a hybrid app. We will start with Responsive Web & once there is traction, we will rollout our Android App. However, we wanted to ensure that the users have a consistent experience on both the Web & the App. So, the front-end framework must also have a material design component library which we can choose from.

(2) Before joining FundsCorner as a CTO, I had already worked with Angular. I enjoyed working with Angular, but I felt that I must choose something that will provide us with the fastest time from Concept to Reality.

(3) I am strong proponent of segregating HTML & JavaScript. I.e. I was not for writing or generating HTML through JavaScript. Because, this will mean that the Front-end developers I have to hire will always be very strong on JavaScript alongside HTML5 & CSS. I was looking for a Framework that was on JavaScript but not HEAVY on JavaScript.

(3) The first iteration of the web app was to be done by myself. But I was clear that when someone takes up the mantle, they will be able to come up the curve fast.

In the end, Vue.js and Vuetify satisfied all the above criteria with aplomb! When I did our first POC on Vue.js I could not believe that front-end development could be this fast. The documentation was par excellence and all the required essentials that come along with the Framework (viz. Routing, Store, Validations) etc. were available from the same community! It was also a breeze to integrate with other JavaScript libraries (such as Amazon Cognito).

By picking Vuetify, we were able to provide a consistent UI experience between our Web App and Native App, besides making the UI development ultra blazing fast!

In the end, we were able to rollout our Web App in record 6 weeks (that included the end to end Loan Origination flow, Loans management system & Customer engagement module). www.jeyabalaji.com

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