Javascript frameworks
February 19, 2020

Software Development

Specific Nature of Popular JavaScript Frameworks

By Pavel Kukhnavets

If you are aiming to choose the best JavaScript framework right for your purposes, it’s worth considering one of the following: React, Angular, Vue, Ember, and Backbone.

You can be sure that such tools as React and Angular will not lose their popularity in the near future, as they get significant support from Facebook and Google. Other frameworks sometimes are very underrated; however, some of them may become the best solutions for modern application development.

In this post, we briefly describe powerful web tools, because they seem to be the best examples of JavaScript frameworks enough for building outstanding client-side apps.

Most Popular JavaScript Frameworks List

Popular JS frameworks, Cuspy review

React

This JavaScript framework truly takes the leading place on this list. React is a popular tool that was originally created by Facebook. It is maintained now by this social network, providing a huge weight when selecting it for a project. This framework inspires users to apply a reactive approach and a functional programming paradigm. 

React itself also tried to popularize its concepts to define the unique way to frontend web development. If you want to work with the framework, you need to master a component-based architecture, JSX, and unidirectional data flow (that is implemented by Flux). You will need to be aware of numerous additional tools to get real flexibility in front-end development to utilize React.

The applications based on React are divided into multiple components, where every single component file contains HTML markup and business logic. React also represents special objects – state and props, which help you to pass data from a component to the layout or from a parent component to a child component.

React became the initiator for developing multiple additional tools to reach high flexibility (you may choose MobX, Fluxy, Fluxible, Redux or RefluxJS instead of Flux). The same goes for HTTP libraries — you can apply jQuery AJAX, fetch API, Superagent, and Axios.

However, be ready that sometimes React may have some challenges with flexibility; for example, when choosing from the variety of additional libraries, you will have a dilemma of what you should use with React. In fact, React requires building your workflow that is more difficult than just using what other JavaScript frameworks propose.

Angular.js 2

Angular is one of the most efficient and powerful JavaScript frameworks. It is used by Google and for developing SPAs (Single Page Applications).

Perhaps, it’s not a good idea to compare Angular2 with React, because Angular2 is a complete framework with all the tools required by modern JavaScript developers.

It’s expected that Angular2 will get more support from Google in the future. If you do not want to permanently choose among additional libraries (as with React), then Angular is what you really need.

When you create an Angular-based app, you break it up into numerous components with nested or child components. Every single component is broken into three files. One is for noting the business logic of a component, the other two are for the layout and styles related to this component. You will also have to get used to services, the dependency injection framework, and directives (special HTML attributes). By the way, React does not have dependency injection.

Vue

Vue has no extremely fundamental differences from other frameworks. You may definitely choose Vue as this JS framework is less complicated than React and Angular 2.  

The concept of Vue has been taken from Angular and React. For many professionals, it looks even better than its predecessors. However, from the other point of view — having a solid framework, such as Angular, or powerful libraries that React proposes may outweigh simplicity when developing apps.

Vue was developed in 2016. The dual integration mode of this framework is one of the most interesting features for creating high-end SPAs.

The other benefit of Vue is that its learning curve is less steep than it is with Angular or React. There is no need to learn JavaScript once more. This framework will not force you to learn another superset of JavaScript like TypeScript for Angular or JSX for React. The only drawback of Vue is that it’s still much less popular than React and Angular.

Ember

This JS framework is considered a direct Angular competitor. It may even be interpreted as the equivalent of Ruby on Rails for the browser. Perhaps, Ember is really underrated. In fact, it looks like the best choice in case you need a modern framework to develop complex client-side applications. 

Ember.js was introduced to the software market in 2015. Its application area is really wide. The framework supports two-way data binding and establishes a reliable platform for handling complicated UI. Among the popular examples of companies that use Ember, you may find Netflix, LinkedIn, or Nordstrom.

Actually, Ember is one of the oldest JavaScript frameworks but its new update, 3.13, contains new bug fixes, performance improvements, and deprecation. 

Many think that Ember is one of the most difficult JavaScript frameworks for front-end web development. The framework proposes quite a relatively intricate architecture, which allows a quick building of huge client-side applications. The command-line interface tool can be called as one of Ember’s best features.

Backbone 

Backbone has existed for a long time, but it is still widely popular in legacy apps and in new projects that need a less prescriptive framework or library. The framework is rather easy to implement; however, to use it properly, you will need to apply some additional tools, such as Marionette, Chaplin or Thorax, Handlebars or Mustache, etc. 

Backbone proposes a minimalistic approach to application structure. It is lightweight and provides the base opportunities of a framework, letting developers create what they need.

The framework forces no templating engine; it leaves that up to the individual developer. The only strong dependency related to this JS framework is the Underscore library, which provides many assisting functions for handy cross-browser work with JS. 

Backbone strives to decrease complexity to avoid performance issues (unlike many other JS frameworks).

Applying Backbone usually requires additional JavaScript libraries. And the reason is that the Backbone’s view layer can not render itself to the DOM. It’s not a problem as Marionette and Thorax let us render Backbone views to the DOM.

What are Javascript frameworks?

Five More JS Frameworks Worth Considering

Meteor

Meteor or Meteor.js serves its name because it covers a significant portion of software development. While applying this framework, be ready to deal with back-end development, business logic, management of the database, and rendering of the front-end.

Node.js

Node.js is also a well-known server-side JS environment for cross-platform development. Node.js can drive asynchronous I/O with its event-driven architecture. The framework works in the JavaScript Runtime environment and demonstrates the similar properties of Java-like threading, packages, and forming loops.

Mithril

This client-side JavaScript framework is used mainly for the development of Single Page Applications. There are no derived features from a base class, so the framework’s implementation seems more straightforward. It’s quite small and fast and provides routing and XHR utilities out of the box. In fact, Mithril provides some features similar to React.

Polymer

This open-source JS library developed by Google and can create the website elements without going into a complex level. The framework supports one-way/two-way data binding that creates a more extensive application area.

Aurelia

The latest version of JavaScript is Aurelia the new generation of frameworks for developing far more powerful websites. This solution can be used for implementing any interface. Aurelia is able to extend the HTML for different aims, including data binding. Its reliable architecture ensures that the goal of toll is for interpretation client-side and server-side at a time.

Wrapping up

To sum it up, let’s highlight once again, why we use React, Angular, Vue, Ember, and Backbone JS frameworks.

Contemporary JavaScript frameworks must respect the Web Components specification. According to modern client-side development, you should build custom HTML elements, so it is good that all the frameworks you are reviewing support Web Components.

Besides, powerful JS frameworks should have their ecosystems.  They aim at solving different problems of client-side development such as managing app state, routing, communicating with the backend, etc.

React, Angular, Vue, Backbone, and Ember all appropriate the latest JavaScript ES6+ specification. Each framework has its ecosystem. If you want to try more JS frameworks, learn Meteor, Node.js, Mithril, Polymer, or Aurelia. The only thing that remains for you is to dive deeper into the details and specialties and select the best framework for your needs.

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