In 2020, Stackoverflow conducted their annual survey and React.js gained 35.9% of popularity among JS developers. It lost only 7.4% battle to jQuery and settled at the second stage of the list. And, the silver place it took sounds excellent! There are a couple of reasons why this JS library gains success in numerous aspects, and among the majority of JS developers.
React was created in 2011 by Facebook’s software engineer Jordan Walke. At first, it was called FaxJS and looked exactly like the HTML component XHP for PHP. The same year, this React prototype was implemented in Facebook’s News Feed and, the following year it has been used by Instagram developers. In May 2013 the JS Conference held in the U.S. resulted in React’s updated status of an open-source library. So, 2013 is the official date React was released. Then the interested public witnessed the release of React Native (2015) that allowed native app deployment on Android, iOS, and Windows platforms, and React Fiber (2017) – a library algorithm to develop UIs. Also, in 2017 React’s version 16.0 met the world, was slightly updated with React Hooks, and came out as version 16.8 in 2019. In 2020, it was announced that React version 17.0 was released without major changes to APIs.
Imagine a web page, it seems quite a consistent page, but it’s actually split into components like the search bar, footer, navigation bar, side-bar, which you can click on. That’s what React JS structure is all about – it helps build interactive components due to reusable code which allows plenty of opportunities and flexibility in changing UIs. With the help of React, the components of its code can be reused on various levels. Reusability decreases the time developers spend on coding, which has an influence on project delivery time in general and reduces some code-related errors.
To add, React possesses two key features developers like about it:
2. Virtual DOM
Simple and static websites require HTML to modify DOM in case of not using JSX. And the components on the screen will change without even refreshing the page. But, dynamic websites experience difficulties in supporting an abundance of user clicks and with excessive user interaction. And the reason’s simple: it becomes challenging to meet all the page refreshments after each click on a dynamic website.
In case JSX is used to update DOM, React can create a copy of the site’s DOM and it’s called a Virtual DOM. This Virtual DOM aims to visualize parts of the website’s DOM that need to be altered. Without React, the DOM will have to update entirely to reflect every change made by the user.
But, with the use of React, after a click has been made, the Virtual DOM takes action: when React understands what changes have been made through the Virtual DOM, it sends updates to the section of DOM waiting for them. So, the updates happen selectively. Virtual DOM saves time for loading responses and, this way, it makes the process of computing more optimized.
So, as React makes JS developers’ work easier, it is best for:
- Creating dynamic web apps
- Performing Virtual DOM rendering faster
- Increasing productivity
- Enhancing website maintenance
- Having a stable code
- Redux and Flux architecture
- Being SEO-friendly
- Being a helpful tool for developers
- Creating mobile apps with React Native
Numerous popular apps use React as means of their development and advancement. For example, Facebook (the whole webpage), Instagram (hashtag popups, geolocations, Google map APIs), Netflix (on its Gibbon platform), New York Times (UIs, request processing), Yahoo mail (mail client architecture), WhatsApp (for UIs deployment), Codecademy (UIs, scripts, SEO solutions), Dropbox (React resources), and others.
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Vue was created by a former Google employee Evan You in 2013 when he needed to prototype a huge UI. So, You decided to take Angular extracts to meet his expectations. In 2014 the world got acquainted with the freshly-released Vue.js.
Vue framework is also open-source compared to React library. It focuses on the view layer and aims at increasing the simplicity of web development. Navigating the pages can be carried out with Vue-router. Big frontend projects can easily integrate Vue. It is really easy to start with due to being lightweight and, thus, it is popular among developers.
The most prominent features of Vue are:
1. Virtual DOM
Both React and Vue.js use Virtual DOM. When the real DOM’s copy is created it is structured into JS data sets. Any changes that have to be made applicable to these JS data sets and then synchronize with the original data structures to update changes made in the real DOM. The changes made will be then visible to the user. It is a nice way to save time, money, and to meet the end-user speed expectations.
2. Data Binding
This feature assigns distinctive values to HTML attributes, changes the style, and assigns classes with a v-bind directive. Vue.js instance data can be bound to DOM with templates based on HTML. Vue can comply with these templates into Virtual DOM render functions. To use the template directly it should be replaced with the tender function.
Directives of Vue that are built-in are: v-if, v-else, v-show, v-on, v-bind, and v-model. These perform different actions on the frontend. For example, v-on is the DOM attribute with the help of which you handle events in Vue.
Components are features creating custom elements. These elements can be later reused in HTML.
The transition can be made to HTML elements in various ways. For example, Vue possesses a built-in animation component and the transition effect is achieved while wrapping the built-in component around the element. Interface interactivity can be easily enriched by third-party animation libraries or just adding more dynamic features to it.
6. Computed Properties
Changes made to the UI can be traced with the help of computed properties. And as a bonus, these will be calculated without additional coding to make this feature work.
The change of data from input elements is supplied with Watchers. All Watchers have to do here is to handle data changes and make the code function fast and simple.
Installation of Vue is performed at the command line. Here, using the Vue-CLI command line interface it is easier to build and compile Vue.js projects.
Vue.js has been vastly adopted and used by Xiaomi, Behance, Adobe, Alibaba, and Gitlab. Vue.js is the best choice of technology to
- deploy wise and high-performance apps
- make apps ready-to-market early
- create small and lightweight apps, e.g. Grammarly
Thus, startups may experience potential pluses using Vue for working decisions and solutions. To build a good number of web apps Vue uses Vue.js UI frameworks. For example, Bootstrap, Quasar, Vuetify, Bureau, CoreUI Vue, Vue material, Vuesax, iView, Prime Vue, and other Vue UI component libraries. With the help of these, your app will be produced faster and radiate more expertise.
React vs Vue
If we compare React and Vue, these technologies have numerous similarities and some differences. In terms of Virtual DOM, React vs Vue both belong to Virtual DOM, which allows faster updates to the real DOM about the changes made, e.g. clicks on an interactive webpage.
What concerns templates/JSX, React uses JSX, where HTML and CSS are parts of JS. But Vue sees them separately and uses HTML, JS, and CSS separately. This is an approach called a template.
Taking into account the means of installation, Vue uses Vue-CLI/CDN/NPM, while React uses the React app. Besides this difference, both are easy to learn and use. However, as the project requirements may vary, so may the usage of these technologies. React uses a web pack, while Vue doesn’t require it: you can start coding with Vue anywhere using only the CDN library.
- complex enterprise apps
- creation of SPA or cross-platform apps
- extension of the functionality of the existing apps
Vue might help startups and with simple working solutions more by
- wise and high-performance apps
- making apps ready-to-market early
- creating small and lightweight apps
Everything depends on the budget, team load, and your business, optimization needs as well as the size of the app.
Bringing forward human factors and the numbers, React vs Vue is more popular than today. Employers hire more people with knowledge of React than Vue.js.
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The Future of React and Vue in 2023
The future ahead and the “battle” of React vs Vue 2023 says that React.js is going to conquer developers’ hearts with the same functionality, speed, and applicability. React’s popularity will remain the same. React is a handy library for JS users that puts coding on another level. React allows simple solutions to interesting cases and makes itself #2 on the road to success.
What concerns Vue.js, it will not give in to the circumstances and will push itself forward as hard as possible. And, why not? Vue is as easy to learn or to code with as React. The only difference is that it’s a framework and its applicability has some distinctive features from React. But there are similarities. Besides, Vue can help fast with tech decisions needed. Having a 3d place among developers’ preferences isn’t that bad. Thus, the choice of technology that will suit your business needs best is up to you!