Oct 30th, 2020

Selecting The Right Javascript Framework

Author - GuruPrasad Murthy
Selecting The Right Javascript Framework
Oct 30th, 2020

Selecting The Right Javascript Framework

Before you decide on a framework for your frontend project, there are a few things to take into consideration. How complex is your project? How many developers are working on it? Do you need the flexibility to build both a web app and a mobile app? Do you need to incorporate a CMS?

In general, you should choose the framework that is easiest to get up and running and adds the least weight to your project, while still giving you the features you need. With that said, let’s take a look at some options.

Angular

Angular, originally released in 2010, has gone through a major evolution in 2016 and is one of the best-supported and most popular Javascript frameworks around, with great documentation and many accompanying libraries. Developing using Typescript is time saving, support for Angular CLI makes updates seamless and two-way data binding make Angular a very powerful choice for front end engineers.

One of the drawbacks of using Angular is its somewhat steep learning curve, and large package size compared to React.

React

React is one of the most popular JS tool out there today. It’s technically not a framework, but a library of UI components. It’s well-documented and has been around since 2013. There are hundreds of libraries out there that make developing with React easy, including Create React App, which will get your dev environment up and running in minutes.

React makes changes to individual elements on the page through a virtual DOM. It uses JSX, a declarative HTML-like syntax that allows you to create discrete UI components. The component model makes reusing and testing code extremely easy.

Vue

Vue is another popular Javascript framework that aims to combine the best features of Angular and React. Many people consider the Vue API to be simpler than the React API, so front end developers without much Javascript experience might have an easier time with Vue than with React.

Vue also relies on a virtual DOM but uses HTML templates instead of JSX components as its building blocks. Vue uses Angular’s directive binding to hydrate templates with data.

Gatsby

Gatsby is a React-based framework that generates static sites and can also be used to build progressive web apps. Gatsby integrates easily with content management systems and provides pre-made building blocks for common use cases.

Under the hood, Gatsby relies on React to build, bundle and serve static HTML pages. Once as much content has been statically generated as possible, client-side React picks up where Gatsby left off, giving a Gatsby page as much power and flexibility as a traditional React PWA.

Ember

Ember is one of the older Javascript frameworks around—it was first released in 2011, but it’s still loved by many Javascript Engineers. It’s a template-based model that uses the Handlebars templating engine to generate HTML templates that are updated through directive-binding similar to Angular’s model.

Some of the most popular features of Ember include the Ember inspector tool and Ember Simple Auth, which abstracts away the complexity of user authentication. While not as popular as React or Vue, it’s a great option for building functional, easily maintained web apps.

Meteor

Meteor is a full-stack Javascript framework that runs not just in the browser, but also on the server and in mobile apps. It’s a great option for getting smaller apps and proofs-of-concept up and running quickly, but can be limiting for complicated, large-scale, enterprise applications.

Isomorphic Javascript code runs inside the browser and in a Node container, from where HTML, CSS, and assets are served. Meteor runs a MongoDB database instance, but it supports any database with a Node driver.

There are so many options for frontend frameworks out there nowadays that choosing one for your project can seem like an overwhelming task. The good news is that no matter which one you choose, you will get an improved dev experience compared to vanilla Javascript. There is no “best” Javascript framework, there’s only the best framework for your project.