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What is React?

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React is a powerful yet flexible JavaScript-backed library created by Facebook and maintained by a global developer community. The open-source library is designed for building actionable user interfaces with the help of small chunks of code, known as components. Smaller components can be nested within more complex ones to eventually make up all-out web applications. ReactJS is a declarative, flexible front-end library providing web developers with effective tools for building the app’s view layer, according to the commonly used software design pattern – MVC (Model,View, Controller). According to the developer survey 2020 from Stack Overflow, React.js has become the most wanted technology for web development.

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Some competitive features of React

Open-sourceness

Once developed by Facebook web dev professionals, the library today enjoys widespread support from the global developer community. It means free timely updates on every single issue that may occur, vast resources available, and multiple tips and Q&A discussion threads that accelerate a learning curve.

Component-based architecture

React.js uses entities called components that comprise its programming code. There are two main types of components, namely functional and class-based. The components used in React are independent and isolated, each of them having its own state. It makes the ReactJS components be easily modified, updated and rendered separately. This architecture saves app developers much time and effort, and boosts app performance.

Declarative paradigm

Unlike imperative programming, React has a declarative style, meaning developers do not need to provide explicit step-by-step task instructions. Instead, this JavaScript-driven library allows to design simplified views for every app’s component state. When it is a case of the app’s data change, the required components are timely rendered and updated to ensure high application performance and smooth functionality.

Versatility

Given that React is not literally a framework, but a great flexible library, its functionality can be extremely useful while working with a wide range of frameworks and in various runtime environments.

Open-sourceness

Once developed by Facebook web dev professionals, the library today enjoys widespread support from the global developer community. It means free timely updates on every single issue that may occur, vast resources available, and multiple tips and Q&A discussion threads that accelerate a learning curve.

Component-based architecture

React.js uses entities called components that comprise its programming code. There are two main types of components, namely functional and class-based. The components used in React are independent and isolated, each of them having its own state. It makes the ReactJS components be easily modified, updated and rendered separately. This architecture saves app developers much time and effort, and boosts app performance.

Declarative paradigm

Unlike imperative programming, React has a declarative style, meaning developers do not need to provide explicit step-by-step task instructions. Instead, this JavaScript-driven library allows to design simplified views for every app’s component state. When it is a case of the app’s data change, the required components are timely rendered and updated to ensure high application performance and smooth functionality.

Versatility

Given that React is not literally a framework, but a great flexible library, its functionality can be extremely useful while working with a wide range of frameworks and in various runtime environments.

Using React as a basis: related libraries and frameworks

Due to its component-based architecture, React allows creating easy-to-use and fast user interfaces. Usually, React.js is used alongside other libraries, renderers and frameworks to better address some specific tasks.

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  • When utilized together with ReactDOM, React is treated as a full-fledged framework for robust web development. The package helps React-based elements be rendered and updated to comply with the DOM methods, which drastically improves the efficiency of web apps and web pages.
  • React 360 is a React-driven framework that enables web developers to create immersive user interfaces while leveraging cutting-edge 3D and Virtual Reality technologies.
  • React Native as an open-source framework geared for mobile application development, is often paired up with React to develop robust native mobile apps across various platforms, like iOS and Android. According to the recent 2020 survey by Statista, React Native is the most popular cross-platform mobile framework leveraged by 42% of app developers from all over the world.

The benefits of using React

Nowadays, the popularity of ReactJS among web developers is undisputable. The library gains much traction scoring over 150K stars on GitHub that still counting.

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1

Simplicity

React is popular at global scale for its simplicity. When things are getting more and more complicated, being simple is a real asset. React.js is both easy to learn and to use. The library has a plethora of tech documentation, including manuals, step-by-step tutorials, online forums, templates, and sandbox execution options. Due to its component-based architecture, developers can easily modify separate components without affecting the entire code structure.

2

Reusability

All the components in ReactJS can be used multiple times and in various combinations, either independently or as a part of larger code constructs. While leveraging React, developers are capable of building efficient apps’ UI within a short period of time.

3

High performance

Due to lightning fast virtual DOM capabilities, React allows to render only those components that undergo changes. By doing so, React helps greatly improve app’s performance on any device, like smartphone, desktop or tablet. Memory reconciliation algorithms enable quick updating of web pages without time-consuming UI reloading.

4

Streamlined data flow

React.js ensures smooth data flow control over its components. It makes possible due to the usage of two types of variables: state and props. When it comes to re-rendering of some components with dynamic data, both state and props are responsible for data changes. With this, these two methods are quite different in the way they handle data. While props are used to pass data from a parent component to a child one, state is all about dynamic data changes within a given component. When set up in the right way, both props and state help trigger the rendering process of those components that require data updating.

5

Great development and testing toolkit

React is very flexible in terms of the availability of resources web developers can freely use while building robust cross-platform applications. Its above mentioned component-based architecture ensures quick and smooth web app development flow. The global React community contributes greatly to updating its extensive knowledge base, along with numerous new tools, features, and templates appearing free of charge. React’s testing and debugging mechanisms are also much better than any other common JS framework can provide. There is a list of specialized test utilities enabling developers to test and debug every single erroneous component in the most efficient and time-saving way.

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2

Reusability

All the components in ReactJS can be used multiple times and in various combinations, either independently or as a part of larger code constructs. While leveraging React, developers are capable of building efficient apps’ UI within a short period of time.

4

Streamlined data flow

React.js ensures smooth data flow control over its components. It makes possible due to the usage of two types of variables: state and props. When it comes to re-rendering of some components with dynamic data, both state and props are responsible for data changes. With this, these two methods are quite different in the way they handle data. While props are used to pass data from a parent component to a child one, state is all about dynamic data changes within a given component. When set up in the right way, both props and state help trigger the rendering process of those components that require data updating.

1

Simplicity

React is popular at global scale for its simplicity. When things are getting more and more complicated, being simple is a real asset. React.js is both easy to learn and to use. The library has a plethora of tech documentation, including manuals, step-by-step tutorials, online forums, templates, and sandbox execution options. Due to its component-based architecture, developers can easily modify separate components without affecting the entire code structure.

3

High performance

Due to lightning fast virtual DOM capabilities, React allows to render only those components that undergo changes. By doing so, React helps greatly improve app’s performance on any device, like smartphone, desktop or tablet. Memory reconciliation algorithms enable quick updating of web pages without time-consuming UI reloading.

5

Great development and testing toolkit

React is very flexible in terms of the availability of resources web developers can freely use while building robust cross-platform applications. Its above mentioned component-based architecture ensures quick and smooth web app development flow. The global React community contributes greatly to updating its extensive knowledge base, along with numerous new tools, features, and templates appearing free of charge. React’s testing and debugging mechanisms are also much better than any other common JS framework can provide. There is a list of specialized test utilities enabling developers to test and debug every single erroneous component in the most efficient and time-saving way.

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