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Which one is better: React or Angular?

React vs Angular

In a world where change is constant, you should be always aware of the latest in the market and should compare to find the best. Needless to say, JS frameworks play an important role in web development. Speaking of JavaScript you can never miss talking about Angular and React. Although both of them have JavaScript/Typescript component-based architecture, these two have their advantages and limitations.

There is n number of factors when you look for front-end technologies. Apart from requirements, there are many other factors that you should consider while making your choice. First and foremost on my list is Performance followed by Updates, Trends, Community Support. If you have a multifunctional team, do consider the learning curve of the technology as per your time limits. Based on the type of web application, check for benefits on server-side and user-side aspects.

Factors To Be Considered Before Choosing A Framework/Library…
  1. Learning Curve of Technology.
  2. Benefits on the Server-Side and User-Side Aspects.
  3. Functionalities, Special Features.
  4. Updates, Trends, and Community Support.

About:

I do believe it’s safe to say that Angular has impacted billions of people around the world. Recently they have ended LTS for AngularJS. AngularJS set a solid foundation for Angular and helped define the future of the web. Angular has versions released every 6 months. In November 2021 v13 is released.

So, Today I am going to consider Angular 2 and above versions because of obvious reasons.

React has empowered an ecosystem of millions of developers. In terms of coding, React is very lightweight. Nothing is built-in in React, you need to get packages for everything. You have a lot of frameworks built on top of React like NextJS, RedWoodJS, BlissJS, etc.  React has a huge ecosystem and flexibility. Fundamentally, if you know ES6 you can easily catch up with React.

Best and latest features :

Angular v13:

  • State of View Engine

View Engine is no longer available in Angular as of v13. This is great news because Angular can continue to create Ivy-based features that bolster your productivity with the platform.

  • Changes to the Angular Package Format (APF)

The Angular Package Format (APF) has been streamlined and modernized to better serve developers by removing older output formats, including View Engine-specific metadata. They’ve standardized on more modern JS formats such as ES2020. Libraries built with the latest version of the APF will no longer require the use of ngcc. There is leaner package output and faster execution. APF supports Node Package Exports. This will help developers from inadvertently relying on internal APIs that may change.

  • End of IE11 support
  • Improvements to the Angular CLI
  • Angular now supports the use of persistent build-cache by default for new v13 projects. 68% improvement in build speed by just adding to angular configuration. They have also introduced esbuild, which now works with terser to optimize global scripts and stylesheets.
  • Framework changes and dependency updates RxJS 7.4 is now the default for apps created with ng new. There’s now support for TypeScript 4.4.
  • Improvements to Angular tests and dynamic creation of components
  • They’ve introduced support for inlining Google Fonts, Adobe Fonts. Inlining fonts can improve your app performance by speeding up the First Contentful Paint (FCP).

 

React

React has released the latest version  beta 18 with new features:

  • Streaming server-side rendering with React.

The ability for server-side rendering or SSR to be streamed to the browser, enabling partial page sections to be rendered before the entire page is ready. This should speed up the time it takes for the user to see anything on the page.

  • The first React working group

The goal of the React 18 Working Group is to prepare the ecosystem for a smooth, gradual adoption of React 18 by existing applications and libraries. The Working Group is hosted on GitHub Discussions and is available for the public to read.

  • React Developer tooling

React Developer Tools is a DevTools extension for the open-source React JavaScript library. It allows us to inspect the React component hierarchies in the browser’s Developer Tools.

  • Concurrent rendering

Redesigned the upgrade strategy for gradual adoption. Instead of an all-or-nothing “mode”, concurrent rendering will only be enabled for updates triggered by one of the new features. In practice, this means you will be able to adopt React 18 without rewrites and try the new features at your own pace.

  • Transition API:

One of the most significant updates of React 18 is the introduction of a startTransition API that keeps our app responsive even during the large screen updates. Sometimes during heavy update operations, our app becomes unresponsive, the startTransition API can be very useful to handle such situations.

Side by side comparison:

Angular is created by Google and React is created by Facebook. Angular architecture is based on the MVC pattern and React is combined with flux. In Angular, we can create components, services, and modules by using the command line. The structure is already in place for your files.

But this also states that Angular is more opinionated than React. React has a better learning curve as compared to Angular.

Due to structured content, if you are new to an organization then it’s easier to go along with Angular than React. React provides one-way data binding only unlike Angular which has one-way and two-way data binding as well. React provides a virtual DOM feature while Angular works on real DOM. Redux can be also considered as a plus point towards React.

Finally, some pros and cons to summarize:

Angular Pros

  • Angular libraries are available, which helps in making strong template solutions.
  • Presence of in-built injection subsystem dependency.
  • It is easier for developers to make a customized document model object (DOM).
  • Unit testing can be done by pushing the page into the controller through which we can see the results.
  • Able to create a good user interface with data binding.
  • Integrating the components with a Model view is easy.
  • Extended HTML syntax.
  • No need for any plugin or framework to create an application.
  • Two-way data binding nullifies the changes in small data and reduces the effort for the synchronization of view and model.
  • Can be defined as a complete framework compatible with any platform.
  • Availability of ready-made tools.
  • The component-based architecture includes elements with applicable functionalities which offer higher encapsulation.
  • Two-way data binding offers high performance.

Angular Cons

  • Implementing and creating DOM is easy, but issues arise with the performance of DOM elements.
  • Integrating a third party seems a little clumsy.
  • Debugging may be difficult.
  • A limited number of resources for routing.
  • Loading may be slow since there are impeded interactive page elements.
  • Special concerns on security should be implemented for the apps to be safe.
  • Needs only lesser lines of code, but cannot handle very complex queries.

React Pros

  • Code reusing, which makes debugging simple.
  • Architecture is based on components that can be easily imported.
  • Improved user interface since it is view-oriented.
  • Supports reactive native library.
  • Updations are faster with the front-end and server-side support.
  • Global and remote web applications can be made by the developers with server-side analysis.
  • Supports iOS and Android.
  • Improved SEO.
  • Creates machine-readable codes and compound components that compile with the verified file.
  • Abrupt analysis of DOM operation is possible.
  • Availability of virtual DOM (Document Object Model) that will ease the use of large databases.
  • Virtual DOM hikes the performance percent.
  • Being JS-centric, ReactJS looks simple.
  • Needs lengthy codes, but can cope with very complex functionalities
  • Creating UI code is easier with JSX /TSX file
  • Debugging is easy since one-way data binding is possible.

React Cons

  • The abrupt release of updates and new codes creates confusion over the developers where to start researching.
  • Ever-changing architecture puts developers in a dilemma.
  • The new configuration should be put up when ReactJS joins with the MVC.
  • Fewer options for good state management tools-Redux/Mobx/Context API.

Not a full framework so combining the UI library into the MVC framework needs thorough knowledge in coding.

Findings based on my experience and analysis:

I faced issues with Angular while upgrading as it was all or none and it impacted a lot of my functionalities every time.

While learning React as there is no opinionated structure I needed to study thoroughly while designing it. There are not many options available for state management in React apart from Redux. There are options like context API and mobx but not much tried and tested for enterprise applications.

My advice is for you to try both React and Angular and see which one will work for you best. Learn to code and discover what other things you can create out of them. Come up with better solutions to your problems, continue building stuff, and most importantly—don’t become a STAGNANT DEVELOPER!

Shivani Jadhav

Shivani Jadhav

Shivani Jadhav is a Senior Developer with rich experience of working on Angular, AngularJS, Java, React. She is high performing individual, demonstrating drive enthusiasm and ability to work well under pressure.