title image containing icons for different javascript frameworks

The Best JavaScript Frameworks 2019

JavaScript is the most used language in software application development today. These applications are not only limited to websites but also mobile applications, machine learning, and much more. JavaScript is a client-side programming language which creates dynamic and interactive pages.  It can also be used in cross-platform engines and works on the vast majority of browsers and devices. To improve JavaScript’s performance, various frameworks have come into play. If you are new to this technology and eager to learn but confused about what framework to start with, here’s a brief comparison of different frameworks in JavaScript.

Most Popular JavaScript Frameworks

Angular

Angular is known to be the “all-in-one” framework due to its completeness in creating scalable applications. It has earned a good reputation among the large community of developers. It is primarily maintained by a team at Google that provide updates and the latest versions.  Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using Angular:

Pros

  • Requires minimal coding since it uses TypeScript to identify the errors easily. Good for applications with interactive client-side development
  • Due to its reputation, developers have strong plug-in support and other features
  • Has data-binding that enhances testing capability. Using two-way data-binding and identification of controls between the model and view help to simplify development.

Cons

  • A developer needs to be an expert and familiar with the framework and its associated languages due to its complexity
  • A dynamic application does not perform perfectly.  A complex application may slow down in performance
  • Not so good for SEO indexing

React

React is one of the most famous JavaScript libraries due to Facebook’s popularity. It is maintained by Facebook and has one of the biggest communities of developers.  Most companies such as Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, and Uber use React in their platform. A common misconception by most people is that they refer React as a framework. It is NOT a framework but rather a library in JavaScript.  React Native, on the other hand, is a framework for iOS and Android development. React Native is a combination of native and JavaScript UI development. Despite the fact that React alone is not a framework, here are some reasons why some developers still prefer to use it.

Pros

  • With the aid of the Virtual DOM, React makes it easier and faster in building dynamic UI. This approach is very efficient in real-time applications, and it uses hot reloading to make the even performance faster
  • React uses downward data binding where data flows in only one direction.  Code is more simple and stable in that approach
  • SEO friendly

Cons

  • Developers must constantly upgrade their skills since the language is constantly improving and updating. Developers must keep up with the high pace of development.
  • Since the evolution of this technology is really fast, its documentation is insufficient and has been a problem in the community of developers
  • React uses JSX, which permits JavaScript to use HTML syntax. Due to JSX’s complexity, developers tend to complain about this aspect

Vue

Vue is one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks for creating user interfaces and sophisticated single-page applications. It focuses on integrating other libraries and reusing existing projects. Vue was launched last 2013, and being a relatively new player in the market, here’s a glimpse of its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Simple syntax
  • Vue is a combination of the functional and OOP approach. It has a similar coding style with Angular but is enhanced better than Angular
  • Has good documentation
  • It is good for an application that needs constant or real-time updates

Cons

  • Good documentation but the community (and the development team) is divided into English and Chinese language users. Getting support for certain issues might be a bit challenging given the potential language barrier.
  • Working with big projects and with different developers might be a big problem in Vue. It offers flexibility but too much flexibility might lead to inconsistency and errors within the code, thus, could result in delays in development

Node.js

Node.js is quite an interesting technology. Unlike most JavaScript frameworks and tools which are focused on client-side development, Node focuses on the server side. One interesting fact about Node.js is that it is NOT a framework but a runtime environment. It is not made with JavaScript but is written mainly using the C++ and C programming languages.

Pros

  • Easy to learn for those familiar with JavaScript
  • NodeJS has the ability to be used as a single programming language since it can be used in both back-end and front-end development
  • NodeJS has the capability to have simultaneous requests since it offers a non-blocking I/O system. It can handle concurrent requests better which makes the application more efficient and have better performance.

Cons

  • Due to its fast-paced development, Node developers may experience problems handling newly-released APIs, since they sometimes do not provide good backward-compatibility
  • NodeJS is not recommended for CPU-intensive tasks especially during callbacks, which usually end up with multiple or nested callbacks resulting in delays
  • Node doesn’t offer scalability due to some limited hardware resources issues

jQuery

jQuery is one of the most used and favorable Javascript libraries. It is good in event handling and also in effects and animations which are the most useful features of jQuery. This is the most favorable library in JavaScript since most users like using its interactive features. When it comes to performance in a complex application, jQuery might be slow due to the browser-side transitions for animations.

Ember.js

Ember.js was initially released in December 2011, based on a Model-View-ViewModel(MVVM) pattern. It is not only designed for single-page web applications but also for desktop and mobile applications. Unlike some of the other frameworks, this framework has backward compatibility with its different versions. Various companies and industries use Ember as their platform and one of these is Apple Music which uses the framework in its desktop app.

the image shows the icons for the following javascript framework libraries in the discussion

Top JavaScript Framework and Libraries

Next

Next.js was initially released last November 7, 2016, and is currently on its 8th version. This framework was known to be “meta-framework for universal applications” since it aims to give the user the capability to create web views utilizing Vue.js in single file component system. This gives the capability for both client and server-side rendering.

Aurelia

Aurelia.js was released in 2016 and it enables the creation of web, mobile, and desktop applications. This framework is based on the MVC and MVVM patterns using mutable conventions. Coding using Aurelia makes it easier since most developers have created templates. This framework supports alternative syntax in TypeScript and CoffeeScript.

Polymer

Polymer.js was initially released 3 years ago and has a stable released last May 5, 2018. Polymer is not a JavaScript framework but a library for creating web applications using Web Components. This library has been used by many players in the Web such as Youtube, Google I/O, Netflix, and many others.

Meteor

MeteorJS is a JavaScript framework which is best designed to create real-time updates. It was first introduced on January 20, 2012, under the name Skybreak. It’s best described as fast and easy and good for applications that have specific goals. It is implemented using the MVC pattern where it speeds up the development in Mobile and Web applications.

Backbone

Backbone.js is a JavaScript library with model-view-presenter (MVP) design pattern. It was initially introduced in October 2010 but has a stable release on February 19, 2019, and can be downloaded on Github under the MIT software license. One of the best features of Backbone is that it is designed to be lightweight with the aid of RESTful JSON interfaces.

Conclusion

All of these frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses. We can’t simply say that one is better and the other one is worse. Choosing which framework to use will always depend on the type of application being built and the expertise and skills of the developers implementing it.

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