Comparing JavaScript Frameworks

In an age where the trendiest tech is becoming obsolete and using jQuery is “old-school” legacy, finding the right JavaScript framework is not easy. 

JavaScript is one of the most prominent and versatile web technologies, and like any good programming language, it’s constantly changing. Nowadays, JavaScript can now be deployed on the client, server – side, mobile and desktop applications. Javascript frameworks provide a methodology to simplify code, allowing developers to manipulate functions where needed. If you have done your research, you have probably been told to “choose based on what’s suitable for you”… so what IS suitable for you?

Let’s take a look at the three biggest JavaScript frameworks in 2019.

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Angular

Back in 2010 when front-end javascript frameworks had just come into fruition, Google developed AngularJS to become one of the most powerful frameworks. It was quickly adopted by many large companies due to its scalability and efficiency.

In May 2016, Google released Angular, a rewrite of AngularJS which was not backward compatible. The rewrite dramatically changed the Angular environment to become a component based architecture, allowing you to install separate modules as required. 

Unlike React or Vue, Angular is a complete framework, encompassing all of the tools a front end JavaScript developer could need, only… it’s written in TypeScript. TypeScript is actually a superset of JavaScript meaning that, it can still read and generate JavaScript code, however having an understanding of of TypeScript is incredibly beneficial.

Fun Fact: The core developer on TypeScript, Anders Hejlsberg is also the lead architect of C#.

Angular is suitable for enterprises as it can be used to develop large scale, feature rich applications such as native, hybrid and web applications. It is definitely the most employable of all the frameworks due to its use at large corporations. Angular also has an enormous community of Google employees and developers to support it.

Users say that Angular has the steepest learning curve and adaptability of the three major frameworks. Google and the Angular community are continuously working on creating and improving documentation.

Since the re-write from AngularJS, many developers have been switching to other frameworks, however, it can take time for developers to rewrite their applications. For now, Angular is here to stay and support many companies such as Google, PayPal and HBO. 

“Angular is basically a full stack for front end”

– Tariq Firoz, Software Development Team Lead at LEAP Dev
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React

When Facebook created React in 2013, it quickly gained popularity and almost saw the obsoletion of several frameworks we know and love. React gave developers the ability to describe what their UI should look like, as opposed to telling it how it should look when events occur. This paradigm shift increased efficiency as it made code more readable and maintainable.

React aims to provide the best possible rendering performance. Developing React Fibre, an internal engine, makes rending much faster.

Now, it is the most popular JavaScript library used to build interactive, stateful and reusable UI components. It allows for more flexibility in the development environment and there are plenty of tools and packages available. React has a large number of contributions from the community and is supported and maintained by Facebook. 

React has been developed with high traffic web pages in mind. Facebook uses React components on many of its pages. It has also been adopted by large companies such as Uber, Airbnb and Netflix. Instagram for the Web is entirely written in React.

React Native is another Facebook venture, giving developers the chance to build native iOS and Android applications with React and JavaScript.

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Vue

Vue is one of the newest additions to the JavaScript race and even without the backing of a major company, it has become one of the most dominant frameworks. Ex-Google employee and ex-AngularJS user, Evan You, developed Vue.js as a progressive and lightweight response to AngularJS with inspiration from React. 

Vue’s coding style and layout is reminiscent for front-end developers by separating HTML, CSS and JS. It also allows you to use JSX. It can also be incrementally integrated into existing projects. Users say that Vue is a very simple and lightweight framework which allows for elegant programming style and patterns. 

“I figured, what if I could just extract the part that I really liked about Angular and build something really lightweight without all the extra concepts involved?”

– Evan You, Creator of Vue.JS

Vue is entirely driven by the open source community and funded through Evan You’s Patreon account. He had received small pledges and one-the donations from other developers. Vue’s success can be largely attributed to its rapid adoption in China, particularly by companies such as Alibaba and Baidu. In addition, Vue has been used by GitLab, Expedia, Nintendo and many more smaller projects.

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Each of these frameworks have their strengths and their drawbacks. Whilst all three major frameworks have very different backgrounds, they are all suitable for similar applications. Frameworks are gradually improving and becoming adaptable for various applications. Pick your JavaScript framework based on your project needs and your desired outcome. Observe your coding style and give it a try!

LEAP Dev

LEAP Dev is an innovative software development company in the legal tech industry with over 80 in house software engineers. We are the #1 provider of firm management, lawyer/client collaboration, accounting and payment processing solutions to small law firms with over 35,000 users in Australia, the UK and the USA.

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