JAMstack series (part 2 of 4): Top JavaScript frameworks

22 mei 2020 om 09:30 by ParTech Media - Post a comment

In the first post of our 4 part series, we have read about the basics of the JAMstack framework including its three primary components JavaScript, APIs and their markup.

Out of the three, JavaScript is often considered as the brain of JAMstack because its primary function is to instruct the system to fetch all the necessary data to your websites. It also handles all the dynamic functionalities of it.

Now there are multiple frameworks that can be used to build your JavaScript code and each framework has its own Unique Selling Point. One may be easy to code, another may have a huge community of developers to help you, and so on.

In this post, we are going to look into the 4 best JavaScript frameworks that are used across the globe and analyse their positives and negatives. In this process, we will help you in your quest to choose one of the best JavaScript framework for your next JAMstack project.

This is the second part of a four parts series on the JAMstack framework.

Table of Contents

  • Angular
  • Ember
  • Vue
  • React
  • Wrapping Up

Angular

Angular or also known as Angular 2+ is a framework built on TypeScript which helps developers by providing multiple robust tools to build the client-side of web applications. Angular over the years have become highly modular in nature. It is maintained by Google and has rock-solid support of a huge community of developers across the globe. One of the features of Angular is its two-way binding nature. According to this feature, whatever changes you make on the view are immediately displayed on the model and vice-versa. Angular also works based on the MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) architecture which helps by separating the data from design and visual representation.

Why should you opt for it?

Apart from the two-way binding process, there are several other reasons why Angular should be your next JavaScript framework. Angular supports caching and various other processes that typically reduce the heavy burden placed on the servers. Sites built using Angular are also responsive adding to its advantages. But the biggest selling factor of Angular is the support of Google which ensures that there is no lack of regular updates and also the support of a huge community of developers who can assist in helping you out.

Why should you not opt for it?

New developers find Angular to be quite difficult to learn due to the complexity of the code. Also, websites developed in Angular take time to load due to activities like DOM (Document Object Model) manipulation. Though MVVM offers great benefits to the site built with it, developers who are more used to the traditional methods of coding find it extremely challenging to learn. Another aspect of Angular is the scopes which are a built-in object in Angular that contains the data of the application and methods. These scopes are extremely layered and hierarchical that makes it quite complicated to manage especially the debugging part.

angular

Ember

Ember is similar to Angular in many aspects. It offers a two-way bind the same as Angular and is designed in a way to manage the increasing demands of web developers seamlessly. Like Angular, it is also based on the MVVM model. Ember typically works using templates that can help it to update the model automatically, if any content of the applications gets updated. Thanks to these features, Ember helps you to develop even the most complex webs applications. However, it comes at a price. The framework is one of the toughest frameworks to master due to its rigidity and conventional nature. Ember also comes with a massive data library, in-house Command Line Interface (CLI), and a debugging tool called Ember Inspector.

Why should you opt for it?

The massive data library of Ember helps you to query the API layer and retrieve data easily to your local app store. Similarly, the CLI of Ember is also quite easy to use and makes the lives of the developers easier. Ember Inspector, the in-house debugging tool does its job perfectly well. Lastly, the two-way data binding feature is a useful addition to the already existing list of advantages.

Why should you not opt for it?

Apart from being one of the heaviest JavaScript frameworks, it is a quite difficult framework to learn. All the developers claim that you need to be a master of basic JavaScript first before laying your hands on Ember. Also since the community of developers is quite small, there isn’t much help available out there on the internet. On top of it, the core developers release the features quite slowly and there have been no innovative features introduced in recent history.

ember

Vue

This is one of the least complicated frameworks in this list and is often preferred over Angular and Ember due to its simple code structure. It is smaller in size and has features like visual DOM and 2-way binding. In Vue, the focus is more on the view part which is also the frontend. It is quite easy to integrate Vue with other libraries and projects. The best part is the installation of Vue which is quite uncomplicated. It is also open-source and is as popular as the other frameworks in the list. It is a perfect choice for single-page apps, asynchronous components and server-side rendering.

Why you should opt for it?

One of the biggest reasons why you should opt for Vue is the lack of restrictions in its framework. This gives a lot of flexibility to the developers. Also, the core library of Vue focuses on the View aspect and when it is combined with the modular approach helps to develop complex solutions in simplistic ways. Another advantage of Vue is the ability to integrate Vue with other frameworks such as React. This helps developers to customize the project according to their requirements. Scalability is another reason why Vue is preferred as it can be modified and scaled based on the requirement without compromising on any aspects. Also, you can produce the final build project within a file size of just 20KB which is quite staggering.

Why you should not opt for it?

The support for plugins is quite less since Vue is still in the development phase. One other problem with Vue is that it is too flexible that can turn against you as it can cause more errors and irregularities in the code. Lastly, the community of developers to seek help is quite small in Vue and the bias towards the Chinese language is evident as the majority of whatever little support available is for the Chinese development community.

vue

React

This framework was developed as an internal project at Facebook. However, it gained rapid popularity over the years and found users even outside Facebook due to the ease of learning core features and the ability to create applications in limited amount of code. It has a huge contributor community and excellent support for developers. It has an open-source JavaScript library that is predominantly used for building single-page applications. It is mainly used to handle the view layer for both web and mobile apps. React also helps by creating reusable UI components. Developers tend to use React to create large web applications that can modify data by reloading the page.

Why should you opt for it?

React JS is ably supported by React Native that helps React JS to be a reliable platform to build mobile applications in iOS and Android. Unlike the traditional JavaScript frameworks, React makes websites SEO friendly because React applications can run on the server, and also the virtual DOM will be rendering and returning it to the browser a simple web page. There is a huge JavaScript library in the React framework that helps developers to find anything they need. Also, there is a massive collection of React Developer Tools that have been created as Chrome and Firefox dev extension. This allows you to inspect all React component hierarchies present in the virtual DOM.

Why should you not opt for it?

React uses JSX that allows HTML to mix together with JavaScript. Some developers consider JSX as an issue, as it has a quite steep learning curve. Also, React consists of only the UI aspect of an app. You will have to choose some other technology for the other aspects of the development. React technologies are growing at such a rapid pace and there are so many frequent updates making it very complex for the developers to keep a tab of it. Also due to the rapid change, there is no time for the developers to document the updates. As a result, there isn’t much documentation for new developers to review before starting their application on React.

react

Wrapping Up

In this post, we have seen some of the best JavaScript frameworks available for developers and the reasons why each of them should be considered or not considered for your next JAMstack project. We will wrap up this post with an easy comparison chart between them.

In the next post in this series, we will look into the top services for extending your JAMstack site.

comparison chart