London, United Kingdom
info@telesens.co.uk
+44 20 3432 8178

Comparing JavaScript frameworks and libraries for Frontend development is a popular topic, especially junior developers often turn to this question.

Looking ahead, it’s important to mention that comparing is not the best solution. Each technology has its own pros and cons, and this overview will be about them.

Before looking directly at the technologies, let’s pay attention to the difference between a library and a framework.

Both library and framework play a vital role in software development, in our case, in the visual interface development.

The library is about performing specific operations and is clearly focused on a narrow area. Developers are responsible for the flow of the application.

A framework can include different libraries depending on the tasks. A framework is singly responsible for the flow of an application.

React is an open-source JavaScript library for user interfaces developing. It was developed by Facebook, maintained, and used by Instagram and many other companies.

It is suitable for building single-page applications of any size and scale. Designed around the concept of reusable components.

Goal: provide high speed, simplicity, and scalability.

Angular is an open-source framework that provides everything you need to create applications according to client-side logic. It was created by Google. It is a platform that simplifies the development of web applications and has built-in directives. The framework adapts and extends traditional HTML.

Vue is a library that can be used to build complex single-page web applications. It is a solution for the rapid prototyping of complex user interfaces of web applications.

Vue is widely used by companies like Alibaba, Xiaomi, GitLab, etc.

The dynamics of the popularity of all frameworks you can easily track in real time. Below you can see the comparison of requests via the statistics of Google Trends, Stack Overflow Trends, and GitHub for 08/26/20.


Google Trends

Stack Overflow Trends

GitHub

Let’s take a look at React, Vue, and Angular in terms of benefits, limitations, and learning.

React

The React documentation provides detailed solutions to common problems. The design is simple and customization can be done quickly. As awareness of the library is growing, it can be a great start for fresh developers.

Benefits:

  • Speed ​​and performance in the application (virtual DOM support);
  • Connecting JavaScript and HTML in JSX makes components easy to understand;
  • Provides opportunities for SEO optimization;
  • Server-side rendering;
  • Implements functional programming concepts by creating code that is easy to test and reuse.

Limitations:

  • Disordered documentation and a large number of tools may be confusing;
  • Moving away from class-based components;
  • Additional libraries needed.

Vue

Vue is well documented, highly customizable, and from some point could be perceived as a symbiosis of Angular and React in terms of design and architecture, which makes development easier.

Benefits:

  • Speed, reactivity and component structure;
  • Uses Virtual DOM;
  • High performance and lightness;
  • Easy integration into existing projects;
  • Convenient for an international audience of users — the ability to use the product, despite the Internet speed limits.

Limitations:

  • More flexible than needed for integration into large projects;
  • The Vue community is not that widespread.

Angular

Needs more time to study it, nevertheless, detailed documentation allows you to get all the necessary information on your own.

Benefits:

  • Works with default settings;
  • Great for applications with highly dynamic content;
  • Structure and architecture specially designed for large project scalability;
  • MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel — the ability to work separately on one section of the application using the same set of data);
  • Angular-language-service — HTML component template autocomplete.

Limitations:

  • Errors during migration between versions;
  • The monolithic structure does not work well for small static pages, reduces overall performance;
  • Requires learning the TypeScript programming language;
  • Relatively slow rendering speed.

Such characteristics of frameworks show that there is no need to compare Angular, Vue, and React functionally. The point is to clearly identify the task and select a tool for its implementation. The learning speed and ease varies, but again it is worth starting from the desired final result.