Choosing a JavaScript framework: Angular vs ReactJS vs Vue.js

Compiling a technology stack for a start-up or new product development can seem a difficult task considering the enormity of parameters involved in assessing the right option. While the right choice of Javascript framework for web applications can ensure round-the-clock development, a poor choice will only lead to hiccups.

This is also one of the reasons there was a lot of debate among developers a little more than a year ago -- on whether to use Angular or ReactJS for their projects. However, a new player in the form of Vue.js came into the picture with increasing interest. This then presents a good case for assessing the merits and demerits of each Javascript framework to make a choice, especially for indecisive developers starting out on a project. A brief introduction of each of the frameworks is first provided before assessing them across different parameters.   Developed by Google, Angular is the most mature option as it was released in 2010. The TypeScript based JavaScript framework is renowned for building highly interactive web applications. The latest stable version is Angular 7, which was released in October 2018, is used by organizations such as Google, Forbes, WhatsApp, Instagram, and several Fortune 500 companies. ReactJS is a JavaScript library for building UI components in web applications. It was open sourced by Facebook in 2013, and its ability to build enormous web applications where data is altered on a regular basis makes it a firm choice for Facebook, Uber, Netflix, Twitter, PayPal, and Walmart among others. Vue.js on the other hand, is one of the most discussed and escalating JavaScript frameworks at the moment. Created by former Google employee Evan You, it is gaining recognition because of its ability to build attractive UIs using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Alibaba, GitLab, and Baidu are among the major users. These frameworks are assessed on the following parameters.

Community Support and Growth

Google and Facebook ensure the growth of their respective frameworks, that is, Angular and ReactJS. They publish updates and releases frequently but remain well maintained in terms of migrations and produce one major update biannually. ReactJS is considered more flexible than the full framework of Angular. Hence, as a set of independent, faster, and evolving libraries, developers are required to remain vigilant on every little module that is no longer supported or maintained by ReactJS. Vue.js particularly makes migration easier with its helper tool. However, it may be problematic in the large app due to the lack of a proper roadmap on versioning and other plans.  

Finding developers

People are more geared towards Angular or Vue.js because they involve HTML. ReactJS on the other hand, involves more JavaScript with a different syntax of JavaScript XML (JSX). Albeit it doesn’t require using JSX in an application, familiarity takes time with the setup, environment, and architecture of ReactJS. In such cases, Angular becomes an impressive option making it easy to find Angular developers. It has a well-established community with several projects, updates, and resources; presenting a more sustainable future.

Framework or library?

Angular is a framework because it allows a good start to build an application with the complete setup. One can simply start building without having to look into libraries, routing solutions, and the structure. ReactJS and Vue.js are however more flexible and universal than Angular. ReactJS allows multiple integrations in the form of pairing, exchanging, and integrating libraries with other tools out there. Though its flexibility offers a seamless integration, this conversely increases the chances of wrong decisions and dependencies. Vue.js is on the other hand, the cleanest of the lot. It helps keeps efficient code with the perfect balance of flexibilities and internal dependencies. It simplifies web development with its simple, straightforward and easy JavaScript framework.

Learning curve

Angular involves a steep learning curve because as a complete solution, mastering it requires learning associated concepts like TypeScript and MVC. Having said that, though learning Angular takes more time, the investment reaps dividends in terms of understanding front end processes. ReactJS offers a ‘Getting Started’ guide which helps set up in less than an hour. The thorough and complete documentation provides solutions to common issues. The learning curve isn’t as steep because it is not a complete framework and advanced features require the use of third-party libraries. Vue.js is the easiest to learn which is one of the major reasons of its growing popularity. However, its simplicity represents a double-edged sword as it feeds poor code, making it difficult to debug and test.

In conclusion

Each parameter involves its standout options, such as
  • Flexibility ReactJS
  • TypeScript Coding Angular
  • Clean Coding Vue.js
  • JavaScript   ReactJS
  • Learning Curve Vue.js
  • Object-oriented Angular
  • Small-scale Vue.js
  • Large-scale Angular/ReactJS      
It can be thus said that the answer to the debate of Angular vs ReactJS vs Vue depends on the project and individual requirements. Each of them have their own benefits and drawbacks, which must be assessed thoroughly and decided in terms of aligning with organizational resources and needs.