3 things you need to know before starting with React

The world can’t live without mobile and web applications in this day and age. Everything is digitized, from booking cabs to ordering food to make bank transactions. Thanks to the efficient frameworks that provide a seamless user experience. One such robust frontend library is React. This tutorial on ‘what is React’ will help you understand the library’s fundamentals and work with a simple demo.

What Is React?

React.js was released by a software engineer working for Facebook – Jordane Walke in 2011. React is a JavaScript library focused on creating declarative user interfaces (UIs) using a component-based concept. It’s used for handling the view layer and can be used for web and mobile apps. React’s main goal is to be extensive, fast,  declarative, flexible, and simple. 

React is not a framework, it is specifically a library.  The explanation for this is that React only deals with rendering UIs and reserves many things at the discretion of individual projects. The standard set of tools for creating an application using ReactJS is frequently called the stack.

Why use React?

Now, the main question arises in front of us is why one should use React. There are so many open-source platforms for making the front-end web application development easier, like Angular. Let us take a quick look on the benefits of React over other competitive technologies or frameworks. With the front-end world-changing on a daily basis, it’s hard to devote time to learning a new framework – especially when that framework could ultimately become a dead end. So, if you’re looking for the next best thing but you’re feeling a little bit lost in the framework jungle, I suggest checking out React.
 

1. Simplicity

 
ReactJS is just simpler to grasp right away. The component-based approach, well-defined lifecycle, and use of just plain JavaScript make React very simple to learn, build a professional web (and mobile applications), and support it. React uses a special syntax called JSX which allows you to mix HTML with JavaScript. This is not a requirement; Developer can still write in plain JavaScript but JSX is much easier to use.
 

2. Easy to learn

 
Anyone with a basic previous knowledge in programming can easily understand React while Angular and Ember are referred to as ‘Domain-specific Language’, implying that it is difficult to learn them. To react, you just need basic knowledge of CSS and HTML.
 

3. Native Approach

 
React can be used to create mobile applications (React Native). And React is a diehard fan of reusability, meaning extensive code reusability is supported. So at the same time, we can make IOS, Android and Web applications.
 

4. Data Binding

 
React uses one-way data binding and an application architecture called Flux controls the flow of data to components through one control point – the dispatcher. It’s easier to debug self-contained components of large ReactJS apps.
 

5. Performance

 
React does not offer any concept of a built-in container for dependency. You can use Browserify, Require JS, EcmaScript 6 modules which we can use via Babel, ReactJS-di to inject dependencies automatically.
 

6. Testability

 
ReactJS applications are super easy to test. React views can be treated as functions of the state, so we can manipulate with the state we pass to the ReactJS view and take a look at the output and triggered actions, events, functions, etc. 

Features of React

JSX

JSX stands for JavaScript XML. It is a JavaScript syntax extension. Its an XML or HTML like syntax used by ReactJS. This syntax is processed into JavaScript calls of React Framework. It extends the ES6 so that HTML like text can co-exist with JavaScript react code. It is not necessary to use JSX, but it is recommended to use in ReactJS.

Components

ReactJS is all about components. ReactJS application is made up of multiple components, and each component has its own logic and controls. These components can be reusable which help you to maintain the code when working on larger scale projects.

One-way Data Binding

ReactJS is designed in such a manner that follows unidirectional data flow or one-way data binding. The benefits of one-way data binding give you better control throughout the application. If the data flow is in another direction, then it requires additional features. It is because components are supposed to be immutable and the data within them cannot be changed. Flux is a pattern that helps to keep your data unidirectional. This makes the application more flexible that leads to increase efficiency.A virtual DOM object is a representation of the original DOM object. It works like a one-way data binding. Whenever any modifications happen in the web application, the entire UI is re-rendered in virtual DOM representation. Then it checks the difference between the previous DOM representation and new DOM. Once it has done, the real DOM will update only the things that have actually changed. This makes the application faster, and there is no wastage of memory.

Simplicity

ReactJS uses JSX file which makes the application simple and to code as well as understand. We know that ReactJS is a component-based approach which makes the code reusable as your need. This makes it simple to use and learn.

Performance

ReactJS is known to be a great performer. This feature makes it much better than other frameworks out there today. The reason behind this is that it manages a virtual DOM. The DOM is a cross-platform and programming API which deals with HTML, XML or XHTML. The DOM exists entirely in memory. Due to this, when we create a component, we did not write directly to the DOM. Instead, we are writing virtual components that will turn into the DOM leading to smoother and faster performance.

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