Pros and cons of ReactJS: A comprehensive analysis for developers

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Released by Meta in 2013, ReactJS is a popular open-source JavaScript library for creating user interfaces. It offers multiple advantages, including a declarative paradigm, component reusability and quick data binding.

Regardless of the advantages, using React can be challenging due to frequent development changes, poor documentation, and the necessity of using third-party libraries for full-stack app development.

Advantages of React

React simplifies and speeds up application creation by employing a declarative paradigm. The versatility of the reusable code makes application creation and management easier.

React also features virtual DOMs, which are entirely stored in memory to improve application responsiveness and efficiency. Whether the developers are creating a web page, an app or even a mobile app for iOS and Android, React can significantly increase productivity and deliver great results.

ReactJS uses JSX (JavaScript Extension), a syntax that lets HTML quotes and tag syntax render specific subcomponents, allowing developers to create web apps in a straightforward and easy way. This accelerates the development process by making it easier to reuse parts of an application on both the client and server sides.

Furthermore, JSX accurately restructures and displays only the necessary elements when the data changes, making your code simpler for troubleshooting. The benefits also cover backward compatibility. React API essentially remains unchanged after each update. Warnings will appear for a considerable amount of time so developers can easily migrate their code.

Disadvantages of React

React has many useful tools and libraries frequently updated to improve performance. React’s constant improvements cause documentation to become its most troublesome aspect.

Not a fully-pledge framework, React is a library that only manages the visual aspects of the MVC pattern. Therefore, developers must use external libraries and tools in order to create full-stack apps with React.

Another disadvantage is that the view part of React is mixed with the logic code by default. Unlike Angular, React does not feature separated component logic and view. Instead, the component has a function called render that returns JSX in which the syntax describes views similar to HTML. As a result, it makes it harder to read codes, and developers must jump between specific lines in the file.

Top Alternatives

While React offers straightforward features to create efficient user interfaces, it has some disadvantages. In some specific cases, it could be easier to use its alternatives. The first is InfernoJS, which, although not as comprehensive, provides a fast and lightweight performance.

Inferno has a one-way data flow architecture and does well with isomorphic rendering real-time data views. Since it has a partial synthetic event system, Inferno can render, update and remove elements from the DOM more quickly by assigning specific events.

The second alternative is Preact, one of the fastest virtual DOM libraries available in the market. Preact offers one of the thinnest DOM abstractions and can be directly used from the browser. With its many sophisticated features, such as state rendering and linked state, Preact is an excellent alternative for creating PWAs and other web and mobile applications.

The third alternative is AngularJS, a popular framework for creating dynamic single-page web, desktop, and mobile applications (SPAs). This framework is mainly used in the development process of user-interactive apps and website-based SPAs because it can load all new pages from the server and continuously rewrite the existing code. Additionally, Angular is particularly useful for developing, structuring and simplifying JavaScript applications with MVC and MVVM architectures.