Why Has React.Js’s Popularity Grown So Dramatically?
React’s dramatic rise in popularity came shortly after a surprising announcement about Angular 2 i.e. the popular framework was not going to be built with backwards compatibility. This news left a large number of developers stuck with a dying project and they were eager to jump ship. So, after hearing about the benefits (mainly performance) that React offered, it was a no-brainer that they should give it a try. I know that at our company, we dove into React immediately and began using it in place of Angular.
It’s Just A View Layer
One of the first things that naysayers like to spew is, React.Js is not a framework, it’s just a library. These individuals are overlooking the fact that you can implement React.Js instantly into your current project with nary a lag.
Data Flow is Unidirectional
Although React.Js is said to put the “V” in MVC, it isn’t structured like other similar programs i.e. it passes its data in a unidirectional manner versus the others that use two-way binding. Furthermore, the React.Js team also released Flux; a program that made handling the React.Js state easier and also helped them stay one step ahead of the curve. Dan Abrahamov took things one step further by building a program called Redux, which placed everything in one store and made it possible to subscribe to it through the application. What’s more, it comes with a time-traveling debugger as well.
Once upon a time, the React.Js core library was linked to its DOM-oriented components, but this is no longer the case. Nowadays, React.Js can be considered more of an ecosystem with the capabilities to support a wide selection of various architectures and applications than a library that has a specific function. And when you look at the success of external libraries with integration capabilities, it becomes clear why developers are more willing to try building libraries around React.Js. Either that or they are inspired to check out React.Js’s influences, like Functional Reactive Programming — a reaction that has provided a lot of momentum for that particular community.
The Bottom Line
Although it’s clear that React.Js has a lot of benefits, it is by no means perfect. Because it is still relatively new, it’s continuously changing. At my company, we are actively looking for new ways of making the React.Js ecosystem more capable, accessible, vibrant, and even more powerful.