Comparing ReactJS and Mithril: Which framework suits your project?

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The tools and frameworks developers use are constantly changing, and this also extends to using Javascript. Many Javascript frameworks in today’s market can help develop websites and applications like ReactJS and Mithril.

ReactJS is a popular choice among developers as it offers many advantages, including a declarative paradigm, component reusability and quick data binding. On the other hand, Mithril is commonly used by developers because of its small size, vast number of documentation and virtual DOM diffing.

Therefore, for developers, it is essential to understand the differences between the two frameworks. This article provides a comparison between ReactJS and Mithril.

Key features of ReactJS

ReactJS is the most widely used JavaScript framework for creating user interfaces. React is based on a component-based architecture, which allows developers to work on more manageable and smaller components when developing complex UI interfaces.

React uses one-way data binding, in which the data follow a single direction that starts from parent to child components. This method makes predicting and tracing data changes easier while simplifying debugging and learning application behavior.

ReactJS differentiates itself from other frameworks with features like JSX and Virtual DOM. JSX is a syntax extension for JavaScript in React. It lets UI components be constructed with a syntax similar to HTML, which improves code readability. The JSX follows JavaScript standardization to ensure functionality in a browser.

React also uses a Virtual Document Object Model (DOM) representation that will update first if changes are made. React enhances user experience and performance by updating the real DOM only when necessary, where it calculates the difference between the old and updated versions.

Key features of Mithril

Like ReactJS, Mithril is a client-side JavaScript language for creating single-page applications. Curve Mithril is incredibly lightweight, with 7kb gzipped functionalities and no dependencies, thanks to its small API and restricted learning.

Mithril comprises efficient features such as auto-redrawing, virtual DOM diffing and compilable templates. Mithril has built-in modules for everyday needs like routing and XHR, and the usage guide shows how to use them idiomatically. This is advantageous for developers who aim for consistency and simple onboarding in their projects.

Comparing the two frameworks

The two frameworks use more or less the same design. The most evident difference between React and Mithril is that React’s JSX syntax does not run natively in browsers, whereas Mithril’s uncompiled templates do. The next difference is that Mithril templates compile into static Javascript data structures, but React’s compiled code still contains function calls for every virtual DOM element.

Another distinction between the two frameworks is that Mitril is not a templating engine but an MVC framework. It features an auto-redrawing mechanism that enables the developer to unintentionally bleed out of the MVC pattern or block application code with redraw calls when quickly rendering views. Finally, Mithril has a smaller file size than React but provides a broader scope.

React and Mithril have their own advantages. React is more popular and thus receives frequent updates. However, Mithril is more lightweight. Ultimately, choosing between the two frameworks depends on your project’s needs.