In general, a framework refers to a structure that supports a structure from underneath. In programming, the frameworks do the same job. It provides support to the structure you are building with your codebase.
It helps you speed up your development process with readymade components and solutions. However, it is different from a library. Libraries are pre-written code snippets, whereas a framework is something that you can use to shape your application and organize it.
A framework can contain a library inside it, along with components like support programs, toolsets, compilers, and APIs that help Java developers create systems and develop software. Instead of writing code from scratch, again and again, these frameworks act like a template with common programming tasks pre-written.
The applications can be made very quickly with Angular, and they are very expressive. Angular comes with Data binding that automatically updates the view whenever the model is updated.
React was developed by Facebook (now Meta), to build interactive UI elements. The framework is also the base of React Native, the framework to build mobile applications. Compared to Angular, react is considered a little less complex, which makes it fast and efficient, especially for building powerful UI.
React allows developers to reuse the UI components. The framework can render on the server using Node. Code reusability remains one of the main features of the framework, eliminating the need to re-writing the code again and again.
Building quick SPAs with efficiency is what Vue does best. There are virtual DOMs that do not require you to reload the page to check for any updates after making changes.
All three frameworks are equally good at what they do and enjoy popularity for the same in the development community. However, comparing them side-by-side can give you an idea about what’s perfect for you.
Angular is the perfect framework that is functional enough to develop a complete web application out of the box. You do not need to explore packages and select them. Developers can start working on it directly without requiring the packages to add functionalities.
React is not a complete architecture but a view layer. This, however, makes React extremely flexible. It can be connected with several packages developed for the framework that helps in developing a complete application.
Just like React, it is not a complete MVC framework. Due to the framework’s lower popularity compared to the other two, there are limited packages available for Vue. In some cases, this can prove to be challenging to provide a specific functionality because of that.
As discussed earlier, Angular updates the entire tree structure of the DOM when there is an update in the object. It uses real DOM and not the Virtual DOM. This makes Angular slower compared to the other two frameworks.
On the other hand, React uses Virtual DOM, a lightweight representation of real DOM. Instead of updating all objects, Virtual DOM only changes the updated objects in Real DOM to move things more quickly.
Vue also updates the Real DOM in a similar fashion that React does. Therefore, the speed can be compared to React, and it is definitely faster than Angular.
Angular uses TypeScript, where you need to define variable types. It is easy to adapt for developers who are familiar with object-oriented programming.
The lack of speed that we have been talking about in Angular, catches up with the other two here. With two-way data binding, the changes you make in the UI element will reflect directly on the model and vice versa.
React has one-way data binding. The model is updated first and the UI changes are rendered later. However, debugging gets easy in React because of the single flow of data.
Vue supports both one-way and two-way data binding, called reactive data binding. The framework will automatically decide the correct way to update based on the input.
Angular uses Jasmine for testing, which allows a number of functionalities for different test cases.
React uses Jest for testing. Jest is embedded in every React library, eliminating the need for any configuration.
Vue uses unit testing with Jest or Mocha. Since Vue has single-file components, unit testing can be written for components in isolation.
Angular, released in Oct 2010, may not be as popular as React, but it is still used by many industry giants like Forbes, Nike, HBO, and Sony.
React, the most popular of the three, was released in March 2013. Facebook developed it and uses it in all its applications. Other companies that use React are Netflix, Twitter, Uber, and Reddit.
Vue was released in Feb 2014, and it has become a popular technology to be utilized by many since then. Grammarly, Adobe, and Alibaba are some of the companies using the Vue framework.
Angular has over 1 million commits and 570K issues posted on GitHub. The following boasts 556K repositories, which is huge by any parameter. Some popular repositories are Angular, angular-CLI, angular-seed, and more.
React has over 5 million commits and 1 million issues reported. The following of React framework on GitHub consists of 1 million repositories, which is massive. Some popular repositories are reason-react, reactjs101, react-paginate, etc.
Vue has 812K commits and 302K issues posted on GitHub. The following has 308K repositories. Some popular repositories are vuejs.org, vue-Apollo, and Vue-awesome-swiper.
Google trends show React as one of the most popular frameworks among the three. Angular and Vue are still strong but are losing momentum day by day. A popular framework will always get more updates and better community support. It is important to note that Vue and Angular may be less popular compared to React, but on their own, they also feature quite the following.
Apart from these three, frameworks like NodeJs and Ember also deserve a mention. For backend development, Express and NextJs are frameworks worth considering.
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