React.JS: A Bliss or Woe for New Developers?

What is React.JS?

React.JS is a multi-purpose, open-source JavaScript framework and library used for front-end development focusing on building interactive user interfaces (UI) and web applications faster and better.. One can develop their applications by creating reusable components. These components are individual pieces of a final interface, which can be assembled to form the application’s entire user interface.

The primary role of react is to handle the view layer of the application by providing the efficient execution just like the V in a model view controller (MVC). Rather than handling the whole user interface as one unit, React.JS allows developers to separate these complex UIs into individual reusable components which form the building blocks of the whole UI which helps the ReactJS framework to combine the speed and efficiency of JavaScript with a more efficient method of manipulating the DOM to render web pages faster and create highly dynamic and responsive web applications.

Origin of ReactJS

“The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML as opposed to native,” said Mark Zuckerberg.

He promised Facebook would soon deliver a better mobile experience.

Later, In 2011 ReactJS was created by one of the Software Engineers on Facebook named Jordan Walke and was utilized by the company for its own news section. In 2012, One of the subsidiaries of Facebook, Instagram also started using it. Looking into the problem solved by React.JS Facebook made it open-sourced in the year 2013. In the beginning, developers didn’t support it because it used Markup and JavaScript in a single file. But as more people experimented with it, they started embracing the component-centric approach for separating concerns.

In 2014, many large companies across the globe started using React.JS in their production environments.

Features of React.JS

1.  JSX:  JSX is an abbreviation for JavaScript XML. It is an extension of JavaScript Syntax. It combines HTML syntax with JavaScript directly to make it easier for developers to interact with the browser. It is type-safe, and most of the errors can be found at compilation time. It is easy to create a template using JSX in React.

2. Virtual DOM: It is a DOM object representation that helps in creating a virtual copy of the original DOM object by web browsers for simplifying the process of keeping track of updates in real time. React maintains two virtual DOMs in which the first one contains the updated virtual DOM and the other is a pre-updated version of the updated virtual DOM. When comparing the current virtual DOM with the previous one is known as ‘defying’. Once React knows what has changed, it updates the objects in the actual DOM. 

3. Performance: As we discussed earlier, React uses virtual DOM and updates only the modified parts which makes the DOM run faster. DOM executes in memory so we can create separate components which helps in the efficiency of the DOM.

4. One-way Data Binding: One-way data binding, as the name itself suggests that it is a one-direction flow. The data in react flows only in one direction which means the data is transferred from top to bottom i.e., from parent components to child components. The properties in the child component cannot return the data to its parent component but it can have communication with the parent components to modify the states according to the provided inputs. It helps in keeping everything modular and fast.

5. Extension: React has many extensions which can be used to create full-fledged UI applications. It supports mobile Application Development and helps in providing server-side rendering. React is extended with Flux, Redux, React Native, etc. which helps to create a good-looking User Interface.

6. Simplicity: React.JS is component-based that helps in making the code reusable. It uses JSX which is a combination of HTML and JavaScript. This makes code easy to understand for everyone.

React supports more features like routing, debugging, API interaction, and state management. It is the best choice when it comes to rendering data.

Benefits of ReactJS for Front-end Development

1. Performance: React JS prioritizes high performance as its core design principle. The framework offers a dual DOM programming model and server-side rendering, enabling the seamless execution of complex applications with remarkable speed and efficiency.

2. Reusable Components: One of the main benefits of using ReactJS is its potential to reuse components. This time-saving feature allows developers to focus their efforts on other aspects of the application’s development. Additionally, ReactJS ensures that changes made to a specific component have no adverse effects on other parts of the application, providing a robust and isolated development environment.

 3. Speed: By enabling the utilization of specific application parts on both the client and server sides, ReactJS significantly enhances the speed of the development process. This means that different developers can work on distinct components independently, without introducing conflicts or interfering with the overall application logic, resulting in efficient development and streamlined collaboration.

4. Flexibility: Compared to other frontend frameworks, the React code is easier to maintain and is flexible due to its modular structure. This flexibility, in turn, saves a huge amount of time and cost to businesses. Deploying React is fairly easy to accomplish if you have some basic knowledge of JavaScript. In fact, an expert JavaScript developer can easily learn all ins and outs of the React framework in a matter of a day or two.

This framework offers various benefits to both developers as well as business owners. It’s no surprise that this framework gained popularity quickly and is still on the rise.

Why is React so popular among the Developer Community? 

1. Easy to Grasp: One of the main reasons of wide-adoption of Reactjs is that it’s easy to grasp the fundamentals of React, especially if you already are a pro at JavaScript. You can install React and be up and running in a few hours, getting straight up to building web applications. The documentation is clear and there is a lot of it. Furthermore, the short learning curve means  less downtime learning—allowing you to operate sooner. 

2. Easy to Scale: React is built to be extremely versatile to easily integrate with other third-party libraries and frameworks in your tech stack. React apps happily scale to hundreds or even thousands of components. It doesn’t create any unnecessary barriers for developers to build complex applications.

3. Testing & Functionality: With ReactJS, developers can utilize ecmascript6 modules to define dependencies and make use of tools like Babel and react.js. These modules are easy to test and can be considered as the current state’s functionality. They can be observed for changes in triggered functions, outputs, events, and more. It’s important to test them before using, and ReactJS simplifies the testing process, making it much easier to ensure the desired functionality.

4. Increase Productivity: As discussed earlier, React does a lot to simplify and speed up processes. It is great at streamlining workflows, but there is one feature that most developers rejoice at, and that is reusable components.

Global Popularity of React in the Technology Market

The efficiency of React with minimal coding, possible rendering performance, JSX syntax, and extra simplicity and flexibility are the prime reasons behind the growing popularity of React.

These features also make React coding the first choice of tech giants like Facebook, PayPal, WhatsApp, Uber, Instagram, Airbnb, and many others.

Frequently Asked Questions :

1. Is React a good choice for Web Development?

Ans: For developers who are developing single page web applications, React.JS is a good choice. It enables programmers to build complex websites with reusable pasts. The main advantage is the capability to update only the component with relevant data.

2. Is React and ReactJS the same?

Ans: Yes, React and ReactJS are the same. React is a JavaScript library that creates one page web based applications, which can be referred to as ReactJS.

3. Is React a frontend or backend framework?

Ans: React or ReactJS is mainly used as a frontend library building User Interfaces and components. However, it also offers functionality like backend rendering, virtual DOM, data binding, etc.

4. Is it worthwhile to learn React?

Ans: Learning React is essential for developers. It is more than just a trend. What really matters are the web development methods that React has popularized. Even though ideas like functional programming and unidirectional data flow have been around for some time, the web industry has only recently started using them effectively.

5. What are the examples of React.JS development?

Ans: Technology and social media giants adopt React.JS for improving the performance of their web applications. Some famous examples of ReactJS development are Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Salesforce, Flipboard, BBN, Dropbox, Instacart, etc.

6. Is it simple for beginners to create a web application using React?

Ans: Yes, Reusable components make it easy to develop a website with React.JS. We can write reusable code on both desktop and mobile applications. It helps in reducing efforts and time as developers don’t require to write the same lines of code repeatedly. 

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