As developers, we all know that our industry evolves at a very fast pace. So fast, indeed, that it’s often hard to keep up with all the new libraries, frameworks and new versions of the tools we use on a daily basis. Still, it’s important to stay as up to date as possible. Doing so ensures that we remain productive and in line with the expectations of our bosses and clients.
The new year started more than a month ago and some trends have already started to take shape. In this article, I’ll cover three libraries and frameworks worth keeping an eye on in 2015.
React.js isn’t a complete framework, so it doesn’t provide all the components you’ll find in other projects like Ember or AngularJS. It encourages the creation of reusable UI components, which present data that changes over time. Many people like to refer to React as the V in MVC. An important difference with frameworks like AngularJS – which uses a two-way data binding model – is that React features a one-way data binding model.
One of the most important concepts of this project is the virtual DOM. You can think of it as a set of elements that you can modify with your data and which, in the end, will modify the page’s real DOM. The virtual DOM is used for efficient re-rendering of the DOM by using a diff algorithm that only re-renders the components changed. This in turn enables the library to be ultra fast.
Another great feature is that it can also render on the server using Node.js. Therefore, you can use the same knowledge you’ve gained both on the client and on the server. This has major performance and SEO benefits. Many developers are using React.js to render a first, static version of the page on the server, which is faster than doing so on the client and is also SEO-friendly. Then they enable fast user interactions and UI updates by using React.js on the client side.
This is just a brief introduction to this library, and I really encourage you to learn more by visiting the React.js website. It contains a lot of useful tutorials that will help you in the learning process.