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Top JavaScript Frameworks

According to recent polls, JavaScript (JS) is the most popular programming language today, with 64.96% of developers utilizing it. Also interesting to note is that, rather than write JS code from scratch, developers are opting to leverage JavaScript frameworks. This should come as no surprise, since the best JS frameworks give developers access to robust tools that streamline JavaScript app development for a range of web and mobile projects. This programming tutorial will present the most popular JavaScript frameworks, in order of popularity in 2022 according to statista.com, starting with Node.js, React, and jQuery.

Popular JavaScript Frameworks

We will be uploading this page from time to time as test and review more JavaScript frameworks, so be certain to check back often. The JS frameworks listed in this developer tool highlight are not in any particular order.

Node.js JavaScript Framework

Nodejs JavaScript framework

 

Node.js was not only the most used JS framework by developers worldwide in 2022, it topped the list of most used web frameworks, with almost half of web developers (47.12%) using it, according to statistica. Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment designed to build scalable network applications that run on the server.

Features:

  • Fast: Node.js is really fast because it’s built on the V8 JavaScript engine of Google Chrome.
  • Asynchronous: All APIs in Node.js work asynchronously, which means they are non-blocking. After calling an API, the server is free to move to the next one. Node.js employs an event notification mechanism which allows the server to receive a response from the previous API call.
  • Single-threaded: In contrast to today’s more common concurrency model of employing OS threads, Node.js follows a single-threaded model that uses event looping. This allows the server to respond in a non-blocking manner using the event mechanism.
  • No buffering: Node.js cuts down processing time significantly when uploading audio and video files because it doesn’t buffer any data. Instead, applications output data in chunks.

As a server-side language, you can do things with Node.js that you could not with vanilla JS. Here is some code for a local server that listens on port 3000:

const http = require('http');

const hostname = '127.0.0.1';
const port = 3000;

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.statusCode = 200;
  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain');
  res.end('Hello World');
});

server.listen(port, hostname, () => {
  console.log(`Server running at http://${hostname}:${port}/`);
});

Pros:

  • High performance
  • Easy to learn and integrate with other applications
  • Scalable
  • Active community

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to maintain code
  • There are a number of untested or poor quality tools
  • Heavy reliance on callbacks

React JavaScript Framework

ReactJS JavaScript Framework

 

React JS, or simply React, was the second most popular web and JS frameworks in 2022, with 42.62% of web developers using it. Created by Facebook, React is an open-source JavaScript Framework generally used to create responsive and interactive user interfaces (UI). Known to be SEO-friendly, React is favored by developers who build e-commerce websites. It makes use of a virtual DOM, which makes integration with any application quite straightforward.

Features:

  • Declarative: You can design simple views for each state in your application, and React will efficiently update and render just the right components when your data changes. Declarative views also make the code readable and easy to debug.
  • Virtual DOM: React keeps an ideal, or “virtual”, representation of a UI in memory and syncs it with the “real” DOM in a process called reconciliation. This approach enables the declarative API of React: you tell React what state you want the UI to be in, and it makes sure the DOM matches that state. This abstracts out the attribute manipulation, event handling, and manual DOM updating that you would otherwise have to use to build your app.
  • Event handling: React employs its own fully compatible W3C object model event system and also provides a cross-browser interface to a native event.
  • JSX: JSX is a markup syntax that closely resembles HTML. JSX makes writing React components easier by making the syntax almost identical to the HTML injected into the web page.
  • Fast and Efficient Data Binding: React utilizes one-way data binding whereby data flows from owner to child. This is implemented via an application architecture called Flux controls. ReactJS helps update the application View using Flux controlling the application workflow.
  • React Native: React Native combines the best parts of native development with React. You can use React Native in your existing Android and iOS projects or to create a whole new app from scratch.
  • Component-Based: Everything is a component of the web page. Components manage their own state, then compose them to make complex UIs. Since component logic is written in JavaScript instead of templates, you can easily pass rich data through your app and keep state out of the DOM.

Here is the code for a stateful component that updates the number of seconds elapsed:

class Timer extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.state = { seconds: 0 };
  }

  tick() {
    this.setState(state => ({
      seconds: state.seconds + 1
    }));
  }

  componentDidMount() {
    this.interval = setInterval(() => this.tick(), 1000);
  }

  componentWillUnmount() {
    clearInterval(this.interval);
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        Seconds: {this.state.seconds}
      </div>
    );
  }
}

root.render(<Timer />);

Pros:

  • Easy to learn
  • Comes with a comprehensive set of efficient tools
  • Reusable components
  • Virtual DOM
  • SEO friendly
  • Small size
  • Ability to test and debug quickly

Cons:

  • Could benefit from more documentation
  • Some developers complain about JSX’s complexity and steep learning curve
  • Regular upgrades need developers to sustain recent learning changes
  • Not a comprehensive technology. Needs to be used with other frameworks

jQuery JavaScript Framework

jquery JavaScript Framework

 

Although there is debate about whether jQuery is a library or a framework, there is ample evidence to suggest that it qualifies as a JS framework. Hence its well earned spot as the third most popular web and JS framework in 2022, with 28.57% of web developers using it. Contributing factors to jQuery’s ongoing popularity is its speed, small size, and numerous features. For instance, jQuery facilitates HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax and includes an easy-to-use API that works across all major browsers.

Features:

  • HTML/DOM manipulation
  • CSS manipulation
  • HTML event methods
  • Effects and animations
  • AJAX
  • Utilities

Here’s an Ajax call a script on the server “/api/getWeather” with the query parameter “zipcode=97201” that replaces the element #weather-temp’s HTML with the returned text:

$.ajax({
  url: "/api/getWeather",
  data: {
    zipcode: 97201
  },
  success: function( result ) {
    $( "#weather-temp" ).html( "<strong>" + result + "</strong> degrees" );
  }
});

Pros:

  • cross-browser compatible
  • CSS3 compliant
  • lightweight – only 30 kB minified and gzipped
  • easy to learn
  • faster programming
  • easy, impressive animations
  • open source with regular updates
  • outstanding API documentation

Cons:

  • open source — vulnerable to any modifications
  • can lead to future errors if used without a strong JS foundation
  • slower than regular CSS

Final Thoughts on Top JavaScript Frameworks

This installment of top JavaScript frameworks introduced us to three very different, yet all outstanding JS frameworks, namely: Node.js, React, and jQuery. But do not decide on one just yet as we will be adding Express, Angular, and Vue.js to our list soon!

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