React vs. Vue: JavaScript framework wars

4 min read

Before I begin, one thing that needs to be established, is we can’t for a second ignore the fact that we are going to compare two different JavaScript frameworks – React and Vue. Both frameworks are clearly different in terms of popularity and usage. While ReactJS is a JavaScript library, great for building huge web applications where data can be updated on a regular basis. Vue.js is a JavaScript framework, fit for creating highly adaptable user interfaces and sophisticated Single-page applications.

On the other hand, we all have mostly come across is how React and Vue are similar in their fundamental approach. They both have a virtual DOM based approach; they both have component based structure and are Reactive in their architecture. They both tend to work around a root library with all the other tasks transferred to other libraries.

Having said that, as per npm trends report, React stands well ahead in terms of monthly downloads at 2.4 million whereas Vue stands joint second with Angular at around 239k downloads. Now that we have established the popularity of front end web development frameworks, it’s time to talk about what works and what doesn’t in React and Vue.js.

Comparing React.js and Vue.js

Template vs JSX

While everything in React is a JavaScript code written in JSX syntax, Vue depends majorly on its templates which are HTML5 and CSS3 based. Now if you are a front end developer how can this possibly affect you? Well it depends on your choice of working methodology. If you want to write code on your own and control every aspect of your application, then the React way will be much more suitable for you. But if you want to start working on a readymade template and then add features as you go then Vue should be your best choice.

React is a better framework if you want to scale up

Make no mistake about this. The size and scalability of your application plays a determining role on your choice of framework. The fact that React gives you more control over your application architecture is the single most reason why it is easier in React to scale up your application. But since Vue is so much dependent inherently on the templating structure, it becomes tough when to build an industrial grade application made with Vue as changing the template can be difficult.

It’s easier to update data with Vue than React

Updating data on Vue is much simpler. The middle stage of transpiling is not needed in Vue as it directly renders into the browser and hence the process is faster. Whereas in React, the data is analyzed, then stored, then the Document Object Model (DOM) is invoked and thereafter the change takes place, which is a time consuming process.

React has a bigger community than Vue

React is backed by Facebook. There are many similar libraries like React such as Preact which render support to React making it a  larger community than Vue. And with larger communities developers can expect faster resolution of issues and regular community support with timely updates.

Building for mobile with React and Vue

The capabilities of all modern day frameworks are often judged in terms of how they allow developers build for mobile.

React has a world class companion in this domain: React Native. React Native is very similar to React in terms of its component structure, and is a fairly short learning curve for anyone already using React.

The introduction of Vue Native, which offers a way of writing mobile applications with NativeScript using Vue, has made it easier for mobile developers to use Vue mobile development. Chinese tech company Alibaba has also created a cross platform framework called Weex.

Weex has support for Vue, and while it doesn’t yet have the capabilities of React Native, it could be a mobile framework to watch.

Which is better? React or Vue?

To summarize, there are different aspects of Vue and React which are useful and developer friendly. However if you intend to judge them on your own, you are better off assessing what your development needs are first? How big an issue scalability is going to be? Would you be needing something for the mobile platform too? Once you have figured out these questions, the choice should be easy.

Read Next:

What is React.js and how does it work

Is React Native really a Native framework

Using React Router for Client Side Redirecting

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