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React.js! Let’s Talk About It…



What Is React?


  • React is the most popular front-end JavaScript library in the field of web development. It is used by large, established companies and newly-minted startups alike (Netflix, Airbnb, Instagram, and the New York Times, to name a few). React brings many advantages to the table, making it a better choice than other frameworks like Angular.js.



  • Originally developed for Facebook, React is a JavaScript library that builds user interfaces for single-page applications by dividing UI into composable components. Since it requires only a minimal understanding of HTML and JavaScript, React has risen in popularity as a front-end web development tool.


Why should you use React?


1. Fast Learning Curve

  • React is easy to learn, as it mostly combines basic HTML and JavaScript concepts with some beneficial additions. Still, as is the case with other tools and frameworks, you have to spend some time to get a proper understanding of React’s library.


2. Reusable Components

  • Components are the building blocks of any React application, and a single app usually consists of multiple components. These components have their logic and controls, and they can be reused throughout the application, which in turn dramatically reduces the application’s development time.


3 Improved performance

  • React uses Virtual DOM, thereby creating web applications faster. Virtual DOM compares the components’ previous states and updates only the items in the Real DOM that were changed, instead of updating all of the components again, as conventional web applications do.

4 Easy creation of dynamic applications

  • React makes it easier to create dynamic web applications because it requires less coding and offers more functionality, as opposed to JavaScript, where coding often gets complex very quickly.

5 It can be used for the development of both web and mobile apps

  • We already know that React is used for the development of web applications, but that’s not all it can do. There is a framework called React Native, derived from React itself, that is hugely popular and is used for creating beautiful mobile applications. So, in reality, React can be used for making both web and mobile applications.

6 Dedicated tools for easy debugging

  • Facebook has released a Chrome extension that can be used to debug React applications. This makes the process of debugging React web applications faster and easier.




Features of React


Now that you have understood what is React and why it is used, lets now uncover few of its intriguing features.


JSX

  • stands for JavaScript XML. It is a JavaScript syntax extension. Its an XML or HTML like syntax used by ReactJS. This syntax is processed into JavaScript calls of React Framework. It extends the ES6 so that HTML like text can co-exist with JavaScript react code. It is not necessary to use JSX, but it is recommended to use in ReactJS.


Virtual DOM:

  • A virtual DOM object is a representation of the original DOM object. It works like a one-way data binding. Whenever any modifications happen in the web application, the entire UI is re-rendered in virtual DOM representation. Then it checks the difference between the previous DOM representation and new DOM. Once it has done, the real DOM will update only the things that have actually changed. This makes the application faster, and there is no wastage of memory.


One-Way Data Binding:


  • Unlike other frameworks, ReactJS follows unidirectional data flow or one-way data binding. The major advantage of One-Way-Data binding is that throughout the application the data flows in a single direction which gives you better control over it. Because of this, application’s state is contained in specific stores and as a result, rest of the components remains loosely coupled. This makes our application more flexible leading to increased efficiency


Performance

  • ReactJS is known to be a great performer. This feature makes it much better than other frameworks out there today. The reason behind this is that it manages a virtual DOM. The DOM is a cross-platform and programming API which deals with HTML, XML or XHTML. The DOM exists entirely in memory. Due to this, when we create a component, we did not write directly to the DOM. Instead, we are writing virtual components that will turn into the DOM leading to smoother and faster performance.


Extensions

  • React goes beyond simple UI design and has many extensions that offer complete application architecture support. It provides server-side rendering, which entails rendering a normally client-side only web application on the server, and then sends a fully rendered page to the client. It also employs Flux and Redux extensively in web application development. Finally, there is React Native, a popular framework derived from React, used to create cross-compatible mobile applications.


Debugging

  • React applications are easy to test due to a large developer community. Facebook even provides a small browser extension that makes React debugging faster and easier.






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