Why These 5?
There are dozens of JS frameworks now, but our choice is with Ember, Angular 2+, React, Vue.js, and Polymer. The reasons for selecting these tools over others include:
- Modern developers have to choose only among the most up-to-date frameworks so that they comply with newest updates of software and work universally well;
- To be efficient, JS frameworks should have an ecosystem, offering ready-made solutions for the routing, app state management, and communication.
This framework is an “ancient” one, designed long time ago and having a time-proven record of effectiveness. Ember even served as the basis and inspiration for many later JS frameworks. Its age does not in any way presuppose outdatedness; it’s a very usable tool enabling the incorporation of component-based applications. Its benefits are numerous:
- Its special design for productivity
- Best practices to the core
- Numerous add-ons for a flexible app and web design
- Availability of Handlebars/ HTMLBars templates
- Productivity-boosting Ember CLI.
The Ember CLI is worth adding a couple of separate words, as it’s probably the best about this framework. It boosts the developer’s productivity by enabling project creation with ready setups and automatically generates components, controllers, and additional project files from the terminal. Moreover, this CLI can install third-party dependencies, which makes it a preferred choice for fans of multi-functionality.
Disadvantage of this framework is that it’s really complex. So, you may master it and successfully utilize it in app and web development only if you are not a beginning amateur.
2. Angular 2+
The Angular framework has been developing for a number of years, and Angular 2+ may be reasonably called a turning point in Angular development. Once a strong market leader and a competitor to Backbone JS framework, Angular experienced tough times and almost vanished in oblivion as soon as React was introduced.
Major features of Angular 2+ include:
- It is a full-featured framework (opposed to other JS frameworks that are in fact only libraries)
- It has transferred from a Model-View-Whatever architecture to the component-based architecture, now becoming highly modular
- It has become much more flexible.
Thus, as you can see, Angular used to be extremely popular before React, and Angular 2+ repeats the path of its iconic predecessor. This happens mainly due to a highly functional Angular CLI, availability of typescript, and other attractive features. However, before choosing it, consider its drawbacks as well:
- The framework is highly prescriptive in terms of development: you will have to adjust to services, the dependency injection framework, and special HTML attributes called directives.
- Type safety in this framework is achieved only with the use of TypeScript, which hinders its user-friendliness.
React emerged in the JS market several years ago and quickly won the hearts of developers to become an indisputable leader. Its core benefit is in the use of reactive approach and functional programming. Moreover, its approach to frontend development was genuinely unique. Its major benefits include:
- Lightweight and efficiency
- Great popularity ensuring availability of additional tools and a large volume of additional/supporting information
- Greater flexibility with Flux and Redux tools
- Availability of numerous state management libraries for React (jQuery AJAX, fetch API, Superagent, Axios, etc.).
- A super-efficient Create React App (CLI)
- Availability of several platforms React Native / React Windows / Next.js.
However, keep in mind that despite all its benefits, React is not that easy to handle for a JS beginner. So, if you consider using React, make sure you are fine with the component-based architecture, JSX, and unidirectional data flow.
Though an experienced developer may regard Vue as a simple mix of Angular and React, which is actually a part of its history, Vue still borrowed the best from both frameworks and combines them perfectly. Similar to React, Vue requires the developers to store component logic and layouts together with stylesheets in one file and uses props and state objects to enable inter-component interactions. Just like Angular, Vue mixes HTML layouts with JS and requires the use of directives for value interpolation from component logic to templates.
Benefits of Vue.js include:
- Simplicity as compared to other JS frameworks
- Higher flexibility and productivity
- Impressive speed
- Effective Vue CLI.
Polymer was a project in Beta release for a long time but finally saw a release some time ago, quickly gaining popularity among developers. Though many see its high similarity to Angular in terms of code syntax and design solutions, Polymer still claims to offer a fundamentally different approach to modern web development. Its major features are:
- Utilization of Native Browser Technologies
- Easy creation of reusable custom elements
- Focus on web components
This JS framework (or, to be more precise, JS library) is backed by Google, which possibly promises it a cloudless future, but Polymer still faces some issues, such as:
- Unsatisfactory support in browsers
- Developers’ complaints around communication and support.
Thus, as you can see, the choice of a JS framework is often hard and depends on numerous factors, the API factor being only one of the many. A conscious business choice depends on the developer’s availability and overall costs, so the wrong framework choice often results from an absence of balance between business needs and the developer’s preference. The discussed five JS frameworks do strike this balance, so selecting any of them is a safe choice both for the client and the developer, guaranteeing excellent outcomes within an estimated budget.