Frameworks have the purpose to provide a simpler bootstrapping and scaffolding for an application, thereby letting developers implement the business logic in their applications.
The most significant difference between libraries and frameworks resides in a concept called inversion of control. In this case, libraries plug into your code to resolve a particular problem. Your code needs to fit into a specific workflow that the framework proposes.
To make this simpler, if you are in control of a code that you want to invoke to resolve something, you are using a library, and if you are filling in the gaps and not invoking the tools that run your application, you are using a framework.
The following list covers libraries that have the generalist vision of proposing a simple way of coding an application from scratch.
Without any sign of fading early, React is now the most dominant web framework. Its key features incorporate the following:
- “Learn Once, Write Anywhere” is React’s slogan. Software engineers can use React for building React-native mobile apps, React apps for web, desktop apps, etc.
- React is one of the sleekest JS frameworks where React-Core is only a component-based library for the View Layer, so your application will not be overloaded with third-party projects.
- Facebook’s sponsorship boosts React’s development. The advantage is that React features are examined by 2.6 billion users of Facebook.
- React is constantly enhancing itself, and it has launched React hooks, React Fiber, and Suspense to increase performance and deliver a better user experience.
With 8 million downloads every week, React is now the maximum downloaded frontend JS framework. Furthermore, from the past five years, NPM trends have displayed React.JS as the absolute winner among the frontend frameworks. On Github, React is the 2nd most starred JS framework, having the 2nd highest number of contributors. As reported by the StackOverflow Developer Survey 2019, it is the 2nd most utilized framework in website development.
Content related: React vs Angular2: which technology should we use?
The Angular framework is component-based, organized into modules to collect functional sets that the application loads. Different services can provide the application data or logic shared across components using dependency injection. Finally, routing is handled within the application with a router service that takes charge of navigation, transitions, and parameters in the form of a single-page application.
Here are some key features of the Angular development platform:
- Cross-platform: This not only delivers web applications for personal computers but is also able to deliver Progressive Web Applications that support multiple devices and use modern web capabilities in a hybrid way using the Ionic mobile app SDK, or even desktop applications, for instance, using Electron. You have all this without the need for any other download or the requirement to publish and deliver your application in a distribution store like AppStore or PlayStore.
- High speed and performance: This is for loading applications and for development stages with excellent integration for debugging changes almost in real time in the latest versions of the framework.
- MVC Architecture: This has clear boundaries across views, the model, and the controller that serve as a delegate.
- Two-way data binding: This keeps the view and model totally in sync, thereby reducing development time and errors that maintain the correspondence.
- Angular Command Line Interface (CLI): This command line interface provides a set of commands to development without any dependency on a particular Integrated Development Environment. The different options in Angular CLI resolve the scaffolding for any piece of code needed, consequently speeding up development.
Vue is a lightweight, open-source front-end JS framework used for developing highly functional single-page web apps and creative user interfaces with less effort. It was first introduced in 2014, taking inspiration from Angular for delivering an easy, effective, and lightweight alternative in the type of Vue.JS. Although Vue has acquired many of its features from Angular and React, it has made significant enhancements on those features for delivering a secure, easy-to-use, and better framework.
Moreover, Vue provides high flexibility — it doesn’t just work as a high-end, full-fledged framework like Angular but also functions as a view layer using state management like React. Therefore, the main benefit of Vue is its advanced, unlimited, uncomplicated, and easier nature that adapts to the developers’ requirements.
- Developed in Model View Controller (MVC)
- Vast documentation and support resources
- Emphasis on simplicity
- Easy to learn
- Seamless integration into current web apps
This is a full-stack framework. Full-stack implies that you can control everything, from the UI to the database, using the same framework and language. This is one of the main benefits of Meteor. These are the key features of Meteor:
- The Meteor community is active, offering community support on the development and maintenance of packages for people’s use and forums.
- Meteor comes with various helpful smart packages that are instantly accessible for every kind of use. It enables the addition of tailored packages for people who want to make their own packages.
- Meteor is a full-stack framework that enables developers to learn a single tool and utilizes it for nearly everything in their app.
- It creates a great proposition for newbie developers who are aiming for full-stack projects or positions, as they can become productive more quickly.
You can use Meteor for developing the interface of your app, but it can also be used in combination with a UI-specific framework (using Meteor only for the backend). In case you need to have an all-inclusive, single framework that will deal with everything in a single box, Meteor is the option to go for.
Node.JS has these key features:
- I/O is event-driven and asynchronous: Every API is asynchronous. This implies that its server does not wait for APIs to return data.
- Highly scalable: JS follows an event system that enables the server to respond in a non-blocking way, which makes it scalable.
- Single-threaded: Alongside the event looping, Node.JS follows a single-threaded model.
- No buffering: JS reduces the processing time meaningfully when it comes to uploaded video and audio files. It never buffers any data, and the app receives the data in chunks or pieces, resulting in improved performance.
- License: It was launched under an MIT license.
To sum up
The presented list shows the different options available in the market, starting with a complex and really complete frontend library like React that is on top of the wave nowadays to something easier to implement out of the box like Meteor. You could also select something simpler with a short learning curve and a robust server-side environment that will help you build better web applications, like Vue.JS, or go for Angular with TypeScript to increase delivery speed and reduce errors with great integration with any backend interface.
Finally, it depends on you and your requirements about complexity, high performance, ease of use, and delivery speed that will lead you to your desired destination.
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