React’s Rising Popularity

Anum Siddiqui
Jun 25, 2018 · 4 min read

Intro to React:

The first time React appeared to be in use was in the Facebook News Feed in 2011, and it was developed by a Facebook engineer. After it was open sourced in 2013, it quickly gained popularity. It became somewhat a standard library for front-end developers building user interfaces. One of the reasons that lead to the success of React is its versatility, as it can be used with other libraries and doesn’t assume anything about what else is being used in your stack. Therefore it is indeed very flexible, and that means your application can use whatever system to manage state that feels right for you.

Main Design Concepts of React That Drive It’s Popularity:

1) The use of reusable, composable, and stateful components

React describes User Interfaces using components. Components can be thought of as simple functions. They can reuse a single component in multiple User Interfaces, and components can contain other components. However unlike pure function, a full React component can have a private state to hold data that may change over time.

2)The nature of reactive updates

When the state of a component(the input) changes, the User Interface it represents(the output) changes as well. In a browser, we would need to regenerate the HTML views in the Document Object Model(DOM). However, with React, we do not need to worry about how to reflect these changes. React will simply “react” to the state changes and automatically update the DOM when needed.

3)The virtual representation of views in memory

As we all know React uses The Virtual DOM to render a HTML tree virtually first, and consequently every time a state changes, we get a new HTML Tree that needs to be taken to the browser’s DOM. Instead of writing a whole new tree React will only write the difference between the new tree and the previous tree. This process is known as Tree Reconciliation.

4)Testability

When using react to develop mobile applications, you can easily test the features of your applications. This is one of the reasons why React applications are so easy to test because its views can be treated as functions of a specific state. Thus allowing developers to easily and efficiently test each part of their application with little effort.

BONUS

One of React’s best features is that it can run on the client side as well as it can be rendered on the server side. This allows for faster load times and better SEO (search engine optimisation) performance.

What is the difference between ReactJS and React-Native?

React-Native is a framework and ReactJS is javascript library that which you can use for your website. Upon starting a new project with ReactJS, a bundler like Webpack is usually chosen in order to figure out which bundling modules you need for your project. React-Native comes with everything you need, and it is quite simple to set up. It only takes you one command line to run in the terminal.

React-Native doesn’t use HTML to render the app, but provides alternative components that work in a very similar manner. Since your code doesn’t get rendered in an HTML page, this also means that you won’t be able to reuse any libraries that you had used before with ReactJS that renders any kind of HTML SVG, or Canvas. In addition React- Native is not made from web elements and can be styled in the same way as ReactJS.

What do Studies Say?

In a 2016 StackOverflow developer survey, the data showed that React’s popularity increased by over 300%. In addition in 2017, React still held its position as among the most popular.

In job listing, React took off and went ahead jQuery. It is actually the first library to pass jQuery in job popularity in a decade.

React Rising — the first library to unseat jQuery this decade (source: Indeed.com)
Anum Siddiqui

Written by

New York native Full Stack Web Developer on the hunt for new opportunities and always hungry to learn!

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