React Is Taking Over Front-End Development
React is undoubtedly one of the most popular development frameworks out right now. In this article, we take a look at why that is.
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Why don’t we dig deeper into the vast world of React and find out all the possible reasons behind it?
An Introduction to the React Framework
Let’s start with the basic intro: what is React?
React is often coined as ‘the V in the MVC structure.’ In simple words, it rules the V(iew) section by augmenting your views and providing you with unlimited ways to enhance your UI components. This, in turn, helps develop interactive web apps for a seamless customer experience.
The data compiled by Builtwith clearly demonstrates our point. We can see the huge leap in the number of React users over time.
React’s creation is touted as one of the milestones in the front-end arena, especially on the CSR front. Sure, we had dynamic front-end flows and interactive user-interface components before React. But there was a distinctive complexity to it which kind of killed the main purpose of implementing such components. And, don't forget, we had to deal with loading screens and other performance lags even before entering the main work domain.
With React came the added advantage to SSR, the Virtual DOM - we will learn more about it in the next section. Anyway, React has helped developers skip the necessary (but lengthy) step of loading the entire web page every single time a user makes a small change to the User Interface/View. This way developers are able to extract the best out of the inherent performance advantages of SSR, without having to load the page time and again.
But there is a lot more to React than just the Virtual DOM.
Why React Is Favored by Front-End Specialists
In this section, we will discuss some of the features that make React a superior choice for front-end developers. Have a look:
- The Virtual DOM: As discussed above, React.js brought in the helpful Virtual DOM - a virtual browser infinite times friendlier than the real browser. You may take it as the middleman sitting between the developer and the real browser.
The Virtual DOM assists React by modeling two versions of the DOM: the original and the updated one which reflects the changes made on the view. The framework then notes the differences and updates only the parts of the UI that differ from the original. Hence, easing the previous SSR version where they had to recreate the entire updated view.
- Reusable Components: The world is slowly moving towards interactive components, and the React team seems to understand that. React encourages the use of components, which can be anything under the sun - from simple buttons to complex lists - as long as the application requires it. These components are specifically built to use over and over again, in singular form or as a mix of separate, smaller components coming together to serve a different purpose altogether.
- One-Way Data Flow: Last but not the least, React utilizes unidirectional data flow, ensuring a clean data flow architecture throughout your application. This focused flow allows developers to have a better control over the functions.
Of course, React has its own share of downsides. But if we go solely by the numbers, its many advantages most definitely outweigh its flaws. The Virtual DOM promotes ease of use, reusable components fast-track the development process, JSX makes coding workable, unidirectional flow helps provide optimal control, React Native makes react familiar in mobile apps.
It all goes to show only one thing: React is popular and for all the right reasons.
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