React.js

Welcome to the newest trend in town – React.js. While you wonder what’s so amazing about React.js, let me tell you it is used by none other than Facebook, which is used by all in all everyone. However, a common misconception that the general mass has is that React.js is a framework. React.js, as a matter of fact, is a JavaScript library. Hence, even though it is classified along with Vue.js or Angular, it is different from them as React.js is not a framework unlike them.

Why is React.js the new hype

React.js and its usability
The reasons why Rect.js is the popular new kid in town among Developers

Let us look at some reasons why React.js is the new hype.

  • React comes in most use when developers want to declaratively describe their User Interfaces. It comes along with even model the state of those interfaces. This eventually means that instead of coming up with steps to describe transactions on interfaces, developers just need to describe the interfaces in terms of a final state. This final state acts like that of a function.
  • React takes care of updating the User Interfaces based on that transaction happening at a stage.
  • Working with the DOM API is hard. React basically gives developers the ability to work with a virtual browser. A virtual browser, as a matter of fact, is more friendly than the real browser. React’s virtual browser acts as an agent between the developer and the real browser.
  • React.js simply needs familiarity with Javascript. The rest is an easy job. In other words, React is just JavaScript. With just is a very small API to learn, a few functions and how to use them – React is easy. As a matter of fact, acquired JavaScript skills are sufficient enough to make you a better React developer. It’s no surprise that a JavaScript developer can become a productive React developer in a few hours.

Also read Frequently asked questions in Vue.js

Some features of React.js

Let us take a look at some of the amazing features of React.js. We can obviously credit these features to the reason why React.js is gaining immense popularity.

Faster Page Reevaluation or Binding

Virtual DOM is used by React.js in order to reevaluate the changes made to any component. As a consequence, just like Angular or Vue.js, one does not need to refresh the screen to observe any changes made. Changes are updated and automatically reflected on the screen.

Updating of the component occurs through component isolation. Component isolation in React.js helps in limiting the amount of work that is needed to be done by the browser. Component Isolation is the phenomenon where changes to one component do not affect others. It keeps the whole component DOM structure intact. In addition to this, even the library makes it easy to run UI updates without having to make an HTTP/HTTPS call. This indeed comes as a huge advantage.

If you have worked in Angular, you must be aware of the concept of Parent and Child components. In React.js, the downward flow from parent to child component is the sole factor that ensures that any change to the child component does not affect the parent component.

This further ensures faster page reevaluation on changes.

The use of stateful, composable and reusable components

As it comes in handy to our knowledge that React.js has the immense facility of bringing into reusable, stateful and composable components on the plate. In the User Interface, each entity is defined by components. Components can thus be explained as the basic blocks of each item on the user interface. You can also imagine components as simple functions. Just like we can create functions, use and reuse them, so can we do with components. Just like functions, we can use simpler components to build larger ones. In other words, we can say – ‘Components can contain other components’.

Components are exactly the same as functions. We call their input “properties” and “state”, and even a component output is a description of a User Interface. This is quite similar to HTML for browsers. As a matter of fact, we can even reuse a single component in multiple User Interfaces.

Unlike pure functions, however, a full React component can have a private state to hold data. This private state may, however, change over time.

Reusable Styling – Template Style Content

One of the unique and major advantages is the presence of the Reusable Template Style Content of React. Without much thought, we have observed that most websites split up into the following sections, namely, Main Content, Navigation, and Sidebar.

React.js keeps this in mind and splits the page into individual components. These components can be manipulated and used as needed (as we have mentioned in the previous point). We can employ templates for each component, and easily use them as per our requirement. These components are easy to build.

One of the most amazing facts about React is that the JSX library in React helps the developer to a great extent. As a matter of fact, using the JSX library we can write inline JavaScript code withing HTML. Also, JSX is easier to use than constructing complex HTML through JavaScript’s standard capabilities.

Virtual View Representation in Memory

As mentioned, using React, we can write JavaScript with HTML. JavaScript is used to generate HTML to work with some data rather than the reverse. Enhancing HTML is the task of Javascript frameworks, such as Angular and Vue. Angular can extend HTML with features like looping, conditional statement enhancements with *ngIf and *ngFor and so on. On the contrary, React.js relies on the power of Javascript to generate HTML that works with some data.

One of the biggest advantages of this approach is Tree Reconciliation. Let us understand what this means. React basically uses the Virtual DOM to render an HTML tree virtually first which we are well aware of. After this, every time a state changes and we get a new HTML tree that needs to be taken to the browser’s DOM, instead of writing the whole new tree React will only write the difference between the new tree and the previous tree (since React has both trees in memory). 

We have indeed gained quite a huge milestone by the concept of tree reconciliation. This by far, has increased our use of React.js to a great extent.

Live Storage of Variables in React.js

We have all heard about the storage of variables. Now let us look at what the term ‘Live Variable Storage’ refers to – specifically in React.js.

As we have seen the virtual DOM is one of the most basic and important component of React.js. The virtual Data Object Model, as a matter of fact, makes it easy to pass data between components. When various other methods such as AJAX are involved, it can be very easy for important variables and values to get lost between the page construction, the first update call, and subsequent updates.

Virtual DOM comes as a boon in this case. In fact, this can be considered one of the biggest powers of the Virtual Data Object Model.

With a Virtual DOM, these values stay in the browser’s memory. These values are ready to be used again without requiring the developers to work with complex variable value-passing methods. Hence, we can pretty well understand how beneficial React.js is to us.

So without much Adieu, it is correct to say React.js has taken over front-end development even though it is not a framework like Angular or Vue but just a library. Never underestimate the power of a common library you see!

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