Some quick points on Angular vs React

January 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm 1 comment

At heart Angular is a piece of javascript that acts like a browser inside of a browser in order to emulate what a Single Page Application is supposed to be like. When you click on a link in angular an html template is fetched and then inserted into the view in front of you. Some javascript services and controllers might be too. In case you hadn’t noticing your browser can do this a lot faster than Angular can.

React is written in jsx an xml / html like language that fools you into thinking you’re writing html. In fact you’re writing javascript. Because of this views in React are primarily composed of functions. The order of those functions is manipulated by the state. The result is that when you’re using React you think you’re looking at html when in reality its actually a javascript function with the ability to render multiple views on a single page. React in other words can do a single page application while Angular is mostly relaint on a duplicate browser and a client side server to do the same.

Angular is complex, full of inheritance, uses an MvC like model, and has numerous global like $scope that create really intense inheritance chains that can become hard to manage. React is deceptively simple mostly because React does what browsers do the best: Views. React is intended to make pretty views its only afterwards that you learn about flux and realize  that react is more complex than it seems. React is also based off component compisition. Inheritance is difficult in React and that expense makes it more stable: you have to think about what you’re passing down while Angular $scopes and controllers often become jungles of services and inherited objects.

Angular places you in a high seat, it asks you to design an entire framework first and then views second. React on the other hand starts with the views then tries to simplify the controller using flux. Angular is like the visual studio of javascript frameworks: a lot of what’s going on is hidden underneath you kind of just have to do things the Angular way. On the other hand React will accept jquery functions and let you bind them to components. Its more of a rigging that javascript can build around. Anyone who has tried to get jquery to work in angular’s digest cycle knows the pains of incorporating other libraries into Angular.

Angular’s methodology is more serious, it was built with applications in mind. React on the other hand was built from serious research into high volume high performance javascript applications, but has a less serious tone and presentation. Working with react is pleasant, facebook had the common sense of letting users develop simple little applications with react before the reality of incorporating a flux framework comes into play. Angular on the other had requires an extensive learning curve of specialist terms and c like methodologies. It can be daunting and using it fully can be challenging.

None of this is intended to disparge Angular entirely. The entire framework in the right hands can do some amazing things. However I can’t help but be surprised at how easy, interesting, and fun I’ve found creating React apps to be. Angular requires skilled programmers to work out its various parts however React encourages good practice and a clean state system to make web apps more idiot proof. The later is highly appreciated not because web surfers are dumb, but rather curious.

Entry filed under: media.

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