Among endless discussions on what framework is better, Angular, React and Vue are three frameworks that appear to be the most popular in the web development community these days. Only a couple years ago it was Angular and React that shared the lead positions on the market. Today Vue joins in as the third serious player among these two.
Before we begin reviewing Angular, React and Vue in more detail, it is worth noting that each of these libraries/frameworks is good for its own reasons. Therefore, we will be looking at the key features, functionalities and areas where these frameworks can be best applied rather than defining the winner.
All three frameworks require MIT licence, which means that you must include copyright notice in any product that comes out as the result of working with these frameworks.
Angular is the biggest open-source framework or rather platform among the three that is used for web development. The history of Angular goes back to 2010, which makes it the oldest framework. In 2016, Angular progressed to Angular 2 version and further to its successive versions, with Angular 10 being the latest release introduced in 2020. Cumulatively, they are now referred to as Angular.
Angular is the product of Google. This framework will find its best use in mid-scale and large projects that require large infrastructure. Examples: Google, Wix, Forbes, Nike, PayPal, General Motors, Telegram, Upwork.
One of the biggest advantages is that Angular runs on TypeScript.
It has massive infrastructure, endless features and strong architecture to offer, which makes it convenient and easy to work with for both newbie and experienced developers. The framework allows auto completion, strong typing and offers interesting interface.
It uses both one- and two-way data binding, which allows greater flexibility compared to other frameworks.
Angular has a built-in state management and routing support.
It is a great choice for companies with large teams working on complex projects. It will also suit individual developers as the framework has a detailed documentation that enables developers get all the information to work on a self-directed basis.
Angular is the product of Google; the company made sure the framework is effective, relevant and up-to-date in terms of trends and demand. On top of it, Google offers backward compatibility that enables developers align existing projects upon the release of the new versions.
To add to this, Angular has a large community, which is backed up by over 1129 contributors, providing sufficient support to those who work with this framework.
Updating Angular is only possible in subsequent order, from one version to another.
React is one of the largest open-source frameworks. It was initially designed as a library, but now is a framework that can be integrated into any project.
React is the product of Facebook, initially released in 2013. The most recent version is React 17. Examples, where this technology is used: Twitter, Airbnb, Instagram, Dropbox, WhatsApp, Netflix, Uber.
One of the biggest advantages of React is the ability to integrate with other frameworks smoothly.
It is a relatively simple, highly stable (due to one-way data binding) and flexible framework. It offers a variety of libraries and plug-ins that really improve and simplify the performance.
React uses virtual DOM (Document Object Model) that allows updating changes virtually without rewriting the entire HTML document.
React also uses multiple components and reusable library code. The latter saves time for development and minimises the possibility for coding errors.
Being a product of Facebook – one of the largest IT companies in the world, React is supported by a large community of developers. This means that whenever you encounter an error, it is highly possible there is already a solution.
React requires multiple integrations (like Redux) and supporting tools. It relies greatly on third-party tools. Its non-isomorphic approach makes it impossible to use the same code to render HTML.
JSX feature is less convenient compared to two-way data binding and quite complex to use.
React lacks a well-defined structure, which adds to learning complexity. This framework is not the best tool to create smaller applications that include CRM systems or internet stores.
Unlike Angular and React, Vue is not a large corporate product. Initially released by Evan You in 2014, today Vue is run by a group of core contributors. The most recent version of Vue is 2.6.12.
Being the smallest framework of the three, Vue is the most popular technology among developers these days due its straightforward approach. It will find its best use in CRM systems for smaller / mid-scale companies. Examples, where this technology is used: GitLab, Alibaba.
Vue uses virtual DOM, which speeds up the performance and eliminates possibility of errors. It has a built-in state management and routing support.
Vue is more intuitive than Angular and React, easy to customise allowing combine UI and components behaviour from the inside of the script. Vue is easy to integrate with other libraries.
No big names or corporate support behind Vue is seen as an impediment when large companies consider choosing Vue for their projects. The framework is quite simple compared to Angular and React, however the simplicity results in poor code, making it difficult to fix errors and bugs and test. Great variety of approaches for app development may seem confusing and lacking structure for less experienced developers. At the same time, advanced users will benefit a lot from the freedom of choice among endless approaches and patterns that Vue offers.
As you can see there is no best library or framework here, each of them has their strengths and weaknesses. What is important to remember though is that you need to feel comfortable or simply like the technology you work with to achieve the results you want. All three frameworks inevitably undergo active development, which results in adding new features and removing older ones on a regular basis. This may put you out of your comfort zone, but if you stay in the loop, you will benefit from the improved performance that each of them has to offer.
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