Battle of JavaScript: The 4 JavaScript Frameworks Leading the Pack

Battle of JavaScript: The 4 JavaScript Frameworks Leading the Pack

Are you building web applications with the use of JavaScript? JavaScript frameworks are the backbone of single page development and they are providing additional features to the normal JavaScript and HTML formats. For years jQuery and JavaScript have been used to help building some of the most complex interfaces using deep code development and maintenance.

However, the integration of top front-end tools and JavaScript frameworks gives you the space needed to easily focus on the development of interactive user interface elements without having to be concerned about code maintenance and code structure. For those who are looking to implement JavaScript frameworks, the following is a guide on the top front-end JavaScript frameworks for 2016.

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JavaScript Frameworks for 2016

JavaScript Frameworks: Angular.js and Angular2

Angular.js is a part of GetAngular, a large commercial product and was first released in 2009 under MIT license. Since its initial release, Angular has grown greatly and currently boasts one of the largest communities of developers out of all JavaScript users. It is the most used framework for the development of single page web applications.

Angular has been written with testing in mind. It helps categorize building blocks of your application in several different categories including: views, services, filters, factories, directives, and controllers. Each building block has a different role and function but all come together to complete the process carried out by the developer.

Angular.js gives HTML more power than any other type of JavaScript. It does this by adding all features that are necessary by building a more interactive user interface. It allows users to extend HTML attributes via Angular directives which manipulates DOM and attaches the features provided by the used directive.

At the core of Angular.js it features two-way binding. This allows interactive users to input data, this feature synchronizes the JavaScript objects model and view before the logic within the model is executed and updates the DOM. This helps to take away the pain of manually writing code for DOM manipulation.

This year’s hot newcomer is Angular2. It makes it incredibly easy to build modern websites. In Angular2, the component is the core primitive building block of your application. Check out one of our earlier blog posts to start getting familiar with the framework.

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JavaScript Frameworks: Backbone.js

Backbone.js is a lightweight framework which was first released in 2010 under MIT license by Jeremy Ashkenas. It is one of the older JavaScript’s that are still used and features a compressed rate of just 6.3KB.

This framework is known to power major sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Hulu, and Pandora Radio. Unlike other frameworks, Backbone.js allows developers to easily choose what they need template wise and what works best for them on any given project.

Backbone is easy to learn and is a simple, small sized package. You can actually go over everything within an hour. Its flexibility allows you to build anything on top of it by using third party JavaScript frameworks or by writing your own code.

JavaScript Frameworks: Ember.js

Ember is a powerful MVC JavaScript framework which was released in 2011. Ember feature a two-way data binding feature which is very similar to Angular. It can update the view when changes in the model exist and update the model when changes in the view exist. This keeps the framework in sync at all times.

With the integration of Fastboot.js module, it allows server side rendering of DOM similar to what React.js does. Ember.js currently uses the template engine Handlebars. This is an extension to the template engine, Mustache. Handlebars completes simple string transformation but doesn’t understand DOM. HTML bars is currently in production and will understand DOM when complete.

Related content: Where is JavaScript going in 2017?

Ember.js favours convention over configuration meaning that in place of writing boilerplate code it can infer most of the configuration automatically itself. Ember.js includes an optional data layer and excellent router called ember data.

Ember’s fully fledge data module can integrate well with Ruby-on-Rails backend or other API’s which follow similar conventions. Ember can provide additional support for setting up fixtures for developing against testing and mock API.

JavaScript Frameworks: React.js

React.js was first released in 2013 and is the powerhouse behind social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram. It’s far simpler than Angular and Ember but it also does less. The main concern for React.js is how visual components are rendered and built. This JavaScript framework doesn’t deal with the actual physical structure or flow of data of the application. In order for this to occur it needs to be integrated with other full frameworks such as Redux or Flux.

The main features React.js has to offer is through the virtual DOM. This JavaScript framework is best at rendering very complex user interfaces that feature high performance operation. React.js utilizes the virtual DOM and renders either at the server side or the client side while communicating back and forth.

For more performance intense applications, it will approach this by comparing virtual DOM to the actual DOM to work out the differences. It will also complete a server side DOM render along with updating selective nodes of browser DOM without the need to render the entire DOM. It brings increased re-usability to the table with its reactive components which can be used across multiple applications or be available for use by the public. Read our blog post about the best resources to learn React.

 

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8 thoughts on “Battle of JavaScript: The 4 JavaScript Frameworks Leading the Pack

  1. You should add Aurelia to your list. Simple. Powerful. Unopinionated. You can work in ES6 or Typescript; jspm or Webpack. It’s a lot easier to learn and understand than Angular.

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