In summary, React JS is better than Angular or Vue JS because of its superior Virtual DOM capabilities, its robust community support, rich documentation, its light-weight attributes, manageable learning curve, and its flexibility to allow mobile functionality with React Native’s.
The History of Web Technologies & Browsers
The first web browser was developed and released in December 1990 with Tim Berners-Lee serving as the lead developer. He simultaneously developed and released the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the application protocol for the World Wide Web for indexing and navigation of web sites.
One of the famous follow-ups to the Mosaic browser was the Netscape Navigator browser, released in 1994. In 1995, the developers of the then-popular Netscape, hired Brendan Elch, a programmer, to create a new dynamic scripting language for web pages and client-side manipulation of data.
In response to the market, Netscape saw the need to create dynamic websites instead of being limited to HTML. Unfortunately, most early websites employed only HTML, and thus were computationally inefficient. So, Netscape was compelled to devise a simple web scripting language targeted for DOM (document object model) manipulation. The project was consequently inspired by the functionality and syntax of Java – though they’re fundamentally different despite a minor syntactic resemblance.
The Emergence of XML, AJAX, and the Single Page Applications
Single Page Applications
Since we’ve set the foundation, we can now lay the bricks and delve into the reasons for our React.js inclination.
Frameworks Versus Libraries
Particularly, a library is a passive collection of non-volatile resources where developers are given control over how to use the resources. They are typically very simple and only perform one certain task, thus can be classified as tools.
While frameworks are designed to be less passive and force developers to do things in a certain way by availing a skeleton for development purposes and enforcing a control flow. For example, a developer is provided with a defined way to develop and set up a whole web application. While a web application library does not, instead providing simpler sub-domain operations, like network requests or styling operations.
Though Vue and Angular are technically considered frameworks, there is still some disagreement regarding whether React is a framework or a library. While the original developers of React refer to it as a library, it’s still more commonly used as a framework.
Why React is the Dominant Alternative!
All things considered, React has a narrower scope than its peers, only rendering the application user interface. However, it maintains the benefit of a lightweight structure, and hence is less costly to learn and use. That being said, it can still be considered a framework, as it is used for the same purpose as Vue and Angular.
Superior Virtual DOM Capabilities.
React was the first framework to optimize its functionality according to the DOM. This was a contributing factor to its success since DOM manipulation is quite costly in terms of computing resources used. Specifically, React was designed to perform as little DOM manipulation as possible by employing intuitive state management and the virtual DOM to control this manipulation.
This exploitation of the virtual DOM makes React update faster, at the expense of being more memory intensive. And in order to execute fast updates to the browser DOM, react maintains a copy of the virtual DOM tree in memory, which consumes additional memory. Consequently, React’s popularity gave birth to numerous spinoff libraries such as React Native for mobile development.
One-Way Data Flow
In React, the data is meant to flow downwards, and is referred to as one-way data flow. While Angular and Vue’s two-way data binding makes the code prettier and simpler, React compensates in superior manageability and performance. A notable advantage in our argument.
Why React Is Better Than Angular
However, in comparison to React, Angular has negative bloatedness, complexity and heavy style of development traits. It is recommended for smaller development projects and cited as having a steep learning curve. To exacerbate things, AngularJS is no longer under active development.
Angular is built entirely in TypeScript and requires lots of code which makes it a bit complicated. On the contrary, React is quite “simple” and its original orientation is focused on controlling and manipulating the view. Essentially, it allows the developer to select exactly what they need, but also it avails the ability to use a large number of third-party packages. So, consequently, React doesn’t include a lot of overhead in comparison to Angular.
Why React is Better than Vue
Vue.js was created by Google employee Evan You. Evan was inspired by AngularJS, but wanted to create a more streamlined, improved version of it. Despite its lightweight attributes, great performance and nice programming style, Vue’s negative aspect is its clumsiness.This where React’s superiority shows off.
For instance, there is no clear best practice in Vue.js in contrast to React, which may make it difficult for major applications to be maintained. However, the best practices for React are found in the community. For example, creating a viable workflow is enabled through the official create-react-app package. Due to the above points, React suitably provides the ability to write and maintain a lot of complex code.
Furthermore, developers can utilise ES6 syntax as well with Vue, however, React is more optimally-designed than Vue in this regard. While Vue currently offers TypeScript support, its support is not well polished like React using CRA (Create React App) with TS support in a single command. Additionally, with Vue, we still require some third-party packages with custom decorators and features to create a true, complete TypeScript application. And unfortunately, the official documentation does not provide all the information required to get started. Another React advantage!
As we cement our argument, let’s further breakdown the discussion using clearer certain benchmarks.
1. Framework Size
While the size of a framework’s minified package in the npm registry is unlikely to discourage or encourage any developer from selecting the framework, it can still help our argument. Angular is notably quite a bit larger than the rest (187.6 kB) while React is 6.4 kB and Vue falls somewhere in between, at 63.5 kB.
Generally, the package size comparison shows that Angular supports and contains a larger breadth of functionality, while React is designed for more streamlined development. React’s nature thus gives the developer fewer choices to improve efficiency, which is beneficial handy for smaller projects.
Furthermore, Angular’s complicated structure leads to a potential risk of poor performance in comparison to React or Vue, especially for memory allocation.
2. Development Experience, Learning Curve, And Availability
3. The Language-based Situation
In all honesty, the availability of documentation is satisfactory for all these frameworks. That said, it’s still noteworthy that the documentation of React is available in the largest number of languages (16). Vue falls behind, with documentation in 8 languages, while the Angular documentation is available in 4 languages. React documentation is coherent and has united theory in delivery for different developers.
Unfortunately, the framework situation of Angular may present some difficulties for a developer in that it is split between AngularJS and Angular 2. Furthermore, the term “Angular” can at times come off as ambiguous as to which framework it refers to in online contexts. Specially when browsing smaller sites and shorter answers.
5. Community Support
Svelte Framework (An Honorable Mention)
Though Vue has slightly more Github stars, React is still superior with no discernible weaknesses, and better performance strengths. In essence, better performance means lower loading times and increased user satisfaction. Furthermore, for commercial websites, this results in revenue increases as a loading time reduction of a couple of milliseconds can increase user interaction and retention.