In this digital epoch, every business, whether it is small-scale or large-scale, desires to have an online presence to reach out to potential customers and increase leads. As a result, web developers are highly coveted these days. They help companies to have an online presence and promote their brand by creating responsive and robust websites and web applications.
A plethora of technologies, like programming languages, libraries, and frameworks, are available out there that help web developers to create websites and web applications without any hassle. Before creating any website, developers decide upon the programming language and framework to use. Further, they can use libraries as per their development needs.
The answer is using libraries and frameworks saves a lot of development time. Frameworks act as a foundation for your applications, while libraries are prewritten code that you can use directly to accomplish a specific task.
So, let us begin our discussion!
What is React? [Definition]
Moreover, the only function of the React library is state management and rendering that state to DOM . It is not enough to use this library alone for creating applications. Instead, you need to leverage additional libraries for routing and client-side functionality.
Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Meta (formerly Facebook), created the React library. Initially, he released the prototype of React called “FaxJS”. He got the idea of creating React from XHP , an HTML component library for PHP.
In 2011, Meta first deployed this React library on Facebook’s news feed. Later, in 2012, the company deployed it on Instagram. Finally, in May 2013, Facebook released React as open-sourced at ??JSConf US.
After a few years, in 2017, the company announced React Fiber, a collection of internal algorithms for rendering. Since then, React Fiber has served as the foundation for the future development of the React library.
In the same year, the company released React 16.0 to the public. Later in 2020, Meta announced React v17.0. This version was the first major release without any significant changes to React developer-facing API. The current and stable version of React is 18.1, released in April 2022.
The following are the remarkable features of React:
- One-way Data Binding: As its name suggests, the data flows in only one direction, i.e., from top to bottom, in React. In other words, the data flows from the parent components to the child components in React. It is not possible for the properties in the child components to return data to the parent components. However, they can communicate with the parent component to change the state depending on the given input.
- Virtual DOM: Virtual DOM, or simply VDOM, is an acronym for Virtual Document Object Model. It is a programming concept that stores the virtual representation of the user interface in memory and uses the ReactDOM library to synchronize with the real DOM. React uses this VDOM which is an exact copy or lightweight version of real DOM.
- Control Statements: Like programming languages , React also supports control statements that enable you to display data in the browser based on the conditions that you specify in JSX.
- Components: Since React is a component-based library, it divides the entire web page into multiple components. Each component has its own logic and design.
- Extensions: React comes with multiple extensions that let developers create fully-functional web applications with intuitive user interfaces. You can extend React with React Native, Flux, Redux, and many more to create appealing and attractive UIs.
Here are the major benefits of React:
- The virtual DOM is responsible for React’s fast speed and high performance.
- It enables developers to create reusable components. Therefore, they can save a lot of time in creating any component from scratch and reduce the development time.
- React has a community of active developers that assist you anytime when you face any problem while developing applications using it.
- This library helps you to build SEO-friendly websites because it reduces the website’s load time and improves the rendering speed.
- When you extend React with React Native, you can also develop mobile applications that can run on any platform.
Some of the notable drawbacks of React are as follows:
- React is still evolving and changing. Therefore, developers have to constantly keep up with the changes and learn how to use React every time it undergoes significant changes.
- As a result of React being constantly changing and updating, there is a lack of detailed documentation available on the internet.
- Some novice developers may find the JSX syntax difficult to understand and learn.
- React can only handle the state management and rendering that state to the DOM. You need to leverage other libraries for developing fully-fledged web applications.
Mosaic was the first browser with a graphical user interface (GUI), which played a crucial role in the popularity of the World Wide Web (WWW). Later, Mosaic founded the Netscape Corporation and then created an improvised browser called Netscape Navigator.
However, the websites could only be static previously and were not able to dynamically change their content. This resulted in the need to add the scripting language to Netscape Navigator. For this, the company had only two options, as follows:
- To collaborate with Sun Microsystems to add the Java programming language to Navigator
- To hire Brendan Eich to incorporate the Scheme language.
- Prototype-Based: JS is a prototype-based language that uses the prototypal inheritance model rather than the class inheritance.
- It supports all the major browsers and is everywhere on the web.
- It does not support multiple inheritance.
1. Individual Components
As discussed earlier, React leverages virtual DOM. Whenever you update any component, the virtual DOM gets updated. Later, React determines what changes the component undergoes by comparing the updated VDOM with the previous or pre-updated VDOM. After determining, it reflects those changes in the real DOM.
3. Complex Websites and Web Apps
4. Reusable Components
5. Easy to Maintain
When it comes to maintenance, component-based websites are easier to maintain. This is because they allow you to change any component and observe the changes without affecting all other components.
6. UI and Logic of Websites
With React, you can create a web application by first developing small components and then combining them to form a complete application.
It lets you write the source code of a web application in a single large file.
Web applications developed using React are faster.
React components have the ability to handle the design and logic together on their own.
With React, you can create maintainable websites and web applications.
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