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Digital age came years ago and it has been increasing its development pace year by year. JavaScript is one of the fastest-growing technologies and every month there’s an update. Currently, we have three well-established frameworks: React, Vue and relatively new Angular. So which solution should you go for when developing an app?

As usual, it all depends on very specific needs. Before starting a project, developers have to decide on one framework to use. This article covers the main characteristics of React, Vue, and Angular focusing on how they can suit your requirements.

Brief Comparison of Frameworks

Before we throw light on the matter by discussing specific features of those three frameworks, we would like to give you a quick peek. Here’s how a software development company like Tricension  summarizes them.

React is mainly used for building UI components of apps. Vue is able to build UI using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Angular, on the other hand, is embraced by front-end developers. When it comes to their popularity, we need to state the obvious – the most commonly used language is still JavaScript, and both React and Vue allow developers to use it. Angular is best if you want to use TypeScript.

There’s an endless debate on which framework is the top one. The truth is, there’s no simple answer. All were created by different companies, at different times for various purposes. If you want to build a large-scale application full of features, then you should go for Angular. React is more suitable for web-development and native-rendered apps. Vue is ideal for both web-development and single-side applications. Complicated, isn’t it? Let us clear this out for you.

React

React is a framework developed by Facebook in March 2013, although its newest update was released in November 2018. It is a library designed to build UI. React is entirely based on JavaScript, therefore, it’s best for SPA development and both Android and iOS apps. The learning curve is not as steep as angular. Recommended languages are JSX and JavaScript XML.

Pros

  • Components – React enables so-called component creation. These modules can be reused across several pages saving developers a lot of time. They can focus on more important aspects of one’s business.
  • Migration – it is easy to migrate between version thanks to codemodes which make use of automation processes. React code can be added anywhere and developers don’t need to worry about errors occurring.
  • Virtual DOM – it makes the code creation simple and fast. The library creates a virtual image of the website and all the updates are performed there before the page is rendered.
  • Learning curve – because react is a library, not a framework it takes relatively less time to learn it.
  • Performance – React is able to quickly debug various faults thanks to a mechanism that separates faulty codes allowing developers to make corrections. It also uses both JavaScript and HTML and it works seamlessly with other framework and libraries.

Cons

  • React relies on JavaScript entirely and is very UI-centered and some think it’s over-dependent.
  • This library can be confusing for developers at first as React is mixing templates with logic.
  • React is also known for its poor documentation.

Vue

Vue is a type of framework that uses JavaScript and HTML templates. It was founded by Evan You, ex-Google employee in February 2014. It’s quite easy to learn so it makes the best choice for beginners. Vue is ideal for web development and single-page apps and it supports native applications too. It’s based on the Document Object Model.

Pros

  • Easy to learn – Vue is the easiest framework to learn so newbies in the development industry can benefit from using it.
  • Documentation – unlike React library, Vue provides very detailed documentation which can save developers a whole lot of time.
  • Size – we need to mention its size as well. Vue is the smallest framework weighing only 20KB. That’s the main reason it performs faster and more efficiently.
  • Scaling – despite its small size, it is able to produce large templates that can be reused.
  • Integration – small parts of codes can be easily integrated into existing templates thanks to Vue’s dual nature – web development and single-page application.

Cons

  • Difficult sharing is one of the major drawbacks of Vue because of its relatively small market share (unline angular and react).
  • Plugins issues – or actually the lack of them. If developers come across an issue, they need to switch to other languages for support. This aspect of Vue is still in the development phase.

Angular

Angular is a framework powered by Google. It was created in 2010, but its latest version was released in September 2016 (Angular 2+). Angular uses TypeScript and it’s ideal for developing native, hybrid and web apps. It’s by far the most difficult framework to learn but there’s a large community of developers and supporters making it one of the most popular solutions. Unlike React and Vue, Angular is based on the MVC model.

Pros

  • Excellent support and community – thanks to its huge popularity among developers, support, training, third-party tools can be easily obtained.
  • Detailed documentation – developers can get access to all the necessary information.
  • Two-way data binding – it reduces development time thanks to inbuilt Model-View-Controller. Any data change in the Model can be seen in the View.
  • Dependency injection, which made components with models reusable.
  • Directives – they allow developers to assign certain behaviors to the DOM resulting in rich content.

Cons

  • Hard to learn – Angular is the most difficult framework to cope with at the beginning. With more than one way to complete a single task, it creates a lot of confusion, therefore it’s designed for more advanced developers.
  • Slow performance – the big size of Angular slows down its performance, especially with dynamic apps.

Conclusion

Every framework (or a library) has its advantages and drawbacks. An experienced developer is able to identify the right strategy before starting to build an app. However, it’s not always this easy as projects can be quite complex. Nevertheless, the question of which approach is the best remains unanswered as a true winner cannot be determined without laying down fundamental factors on which the best solution can be based.