What Is ReactJS and Why Should We Use It?

In this article, we will learn what React JS is and why we should use React JS instead of other JavaScript frameworks like Angular.

React JS

What is React JS?

ReactJS basically is an open-source JavaScript library which is used for building user interfaces specifically for single page applications. It’s used for handling view layer for web and mobile apps. React also allows us to create reusable UI components. React was first created by Jordan Walke, a software engineer working for Facebook. React first deployed on Facebook’s newsfeed in 2011 and on Instagram.com in 2012.

React allows developers to create large web applications which can change data, without reloading the page. The main purpose of React is to be fast, scalable, and simple. It works only on user interfaces in application. This corresponds to view in the MVC template. It can be used with a combination of other JavaScript libraries or frameworks, such as Angular JS in MVC.

What are the ReactJS Features?

Let us take a closer look at some important features of React.

  • JSX
    In React, instead of using regular JavaScript for templating, it uses JSX. JSX is simple JavaScript which allows HTML quoting and uses these HTML tag syntax to render subcomponents. HTML syntax is processed into JavaScript calls of React Framework. We can also write in pure old JavaScript.

    React JS

  • React Native
    React has native libraries which were announced by Facebook in 2015, which provides the react architecture to native applications like IOS, Android and UPD.

    React JS

  • Single-Way data flow
    In React, a set of immutable values are passed to the components renderer as properties in its HTML tags. Component cannot directly modify any properties but can pass a call back function with help of which we can do modifications. This complete process is known as “properties flow down; actions flow up”.

    React JS

  • Virtual Document Object Model
    React creates an in-memory data structure cache which computes the changes made and then updates the browser. This allows a special feature which enable programmer to code as if whole page is render on each change where as react library only render components which actually change.

    React JS

Why React Js?

Now, the main question arises in front of us is why one should use ReactJS. There are so many open-source platforms for making the front-end web application development easier, like Angular. Let us take a quick look on the benefits of React over other competitive technologies or frameworks. With the front-end world changing on a daily basis, it’s hard to devote time to learning a new framework – especially when that framework could ultimately become a dead end. So, if you're looking for the next best thing but you're feeling a little bit lost in the framework jungle, I suggest checking out React.

  • Simplicity
    ReactJS is just simpler to grasp right away. The component-based approach, well-defined lifecycle, and use of just plain JavaScript make React very simple to learn, build a professional web (and mobile applications), and support it. React uses a special syntax called JSX which allows you to mix HTML with JavaScript. This is not a requirement; Developer can still write in plain JavaScript but JSX is much easier to use.

  • Easy to learn
    Anyone with a basic previous knowledge in programming can easily understand React while Angular and Ember are referred to as ‘Domain specific Language’, implying that it is difficult to learn them. For react you just need basic knowledge of CSS and HTML.
  • Native Approach
    React can be used to create mobile applications (React Native). And React is a diehard fan of reusability, meaning extensive code reusability is supported. So at the same time we can make IOS, Android and Web application.
  • Data Binding
    React uses one-way data binding and an application architecture called Flux controls the flow of data to components through one control point – the dispatcher. It's easier to debug self-contained components of large ReactJS apps.
  • Performance
    React does not offer any concept of a built-in container for dependency. You can use Browserify, Require JS, EcmaScript 6 modules which we can use via Babel, ReactJS-di to inject dependencies automatically.
  • Testability
    ReactJS applications are super easy to test. React views can be treated as functions of the state, so we can manipulate with state we pass to the ReactJS view and take a look at the output and triggered actions, events, functions, etc.

Hope you have enjoyed this article. In the next article, we will disuss the differences between React JS and Angular, and will analyze which one is better and why. So, stay tuned for the next article.