Angular, React.js & Vue.js – Quickstart & Comparison

Vue.js, an MIT-licensed open source project, is a JavaScript library for building web interfaces. The library was first released in 2013, but not many developers took cognizance of it in web framework technology for the next two years. It was 2016 when Vue.js rose to fame and gained so much traction that it’s now seen as an alternative for even well established JavaScript libraries, such as Angular and React.

Since Angular belongs to search engine giant Google and React comes from social media behemoth Facebook, developers still trust and use those libraries more than Vue.js. However, Vue.js showed enough strength last year to make waves on the internet and emerge as a potential candidate to surpass the reach of Angular and React in many cases. This blog attempts to shed light on why there is a growing belief among developers that Vue.js is set to become the top JavaScript library, leaving behind Angular and React.

Check Out Vue.js Achievements in 2016

  • 1,531,217 NPM downloads

  • 26,000 Github Stars

  • 100,696,367 pageviews on Vuejs.org page

  • Vue.js version 2.0 launched in September 2016

  • Vue.js was 3rd most starred project in 2016 on GitHub

Why is Vue.js considered to be Better than Angular and React?

Vue.js is a lightweight and easy-to-learn library, with facilities like two way data binding and virtual DOM. Unlike Angular and React that often inundate developers with myriad things to develop an app, Vue.js is simple and only calls for things that you need to effectively develop an app. Besides, Vue.js is relatively new, therefore obviates the need of acquainting yourself with its history before starting using it.

Let’s First compare Vue.js to Angular

At present, Angular.js is the top JavaScript library, and with the release of Angular2, it’s growing even bigger. However, Vue.js is also learning from the success of established JavaScript libraries, like Angular, to become big soon. For instance, the release of Vue 2.0 last year was aimed at helping developers to build web apps with more advanced features at utmost ease.

Vue.js v/s Angular 1

#1. When it comes to API and design, Vue is way simpler than Angular 1. Also, Vue does not give rise to complex and tedious learning like Angular 1.

#2. “Vue.js is a more flexible, less opinionated solution than Angular 1. That allows you to structure your app the way you want it to be, instead of being forced to do everything the Angular way. It’s only an interface layer so you can use it as a light feature in pages instead of a full blown SPA”, said Evan You, Founder at Vue Technology LLC.

#3. Similar to Angular 1, Vue also supports two way data binding. But, Vue uses a one-way, parent-to-child data flow between components as default, which makes the flow of data easier to reason about in large apps.

#4. Another important distinction between Angular 1 and Vue.js is the clarity of separation between directives and components. Directives in Vue comprise DOM manipulations only, whereas components are meant for self-contained unit with its own view and data logic. The separation between the two often becomes very confusing for developers who use Angular.

#5. Since Vue does not use dirty checking, it performs better than Angular 1. Performance of Angular 1 goes down in the event of a lot of watchers because any change in the scope requires re-evaluation of all these watchers again. And, if some watchers trigger another update, there may arise the need to run the digest cycle multiple times in order to “stabilize”. To make worse, Angular users sometimes couldn’t find a way to optimize a scope with many watchers.

Vue is free of that, as it puts into use a transparent dependency-tracking observation system with async queueing. As a result, all changes trigger independently, barring the existence of explicit dependency relationships.

Vue.js v/s Angular 2

Angular 2 is not a version upgrade, but a complete rewrite. Angular 2 is faster than Angular 1 and some drastic changes have also been introduced in the API of Angular 2. The design of Angular 2 was created keeping in mind top-notch support for large enterprise applications, which was not possible with Angular 1. In addition to ES5, ES6and Dart, Angular 2 also uses TypeScript, which is a combination of ES 6, Types and Annotations. Angular 2 also brings “Components” as a replacement for “Controllers”.

Angular 2 has certainly become a big player in the JavaScript world. But nevertheless, Vue 2.0 is still a better choice in some cases.

#1. When we talk about performance, Vue 2.0 is faster than Angular 2, according to this 3rd party benchmark. Angular 2 has the capability of shrinking its size with offline compilation and tree-shaking, bur Vue 2 is still lighter. It’s true that tree shaking helps an Angular 2 app reduce its size by removing the codes that are not being used. However, the app grows back to its actual size when you start importing and using more features from the framework.

#2. Vue is less opinionated than Angular 2, so you get official support for numerous build systems. Besides, you enjoy the freedom of structuring your app the way you want.

#3. It’s easier to learn Vue than Angular2. Any developer who is familiar with HTML and ES5 JavaScript can use Vue.js, and start building at least non-trivial applications in quick time.

To understand from a developer’s perspective let’s look at the following lines of code

                                                   Credits: fadeit.dk

Areas where Vue gets the Edge Over React

Without a doubt, React has taken the JavaScript world by storm. But as it’s often said that no framework is popular forever, Vue has already started to give the social media giant’s product a run for its money. There are also many similarities between Vue and React, like a virtual DOM, reactive and composable view components, etc. But, here we intend to talk about the differences.

#1. Vue 2.0 comes with a faster and lighter Virtual DOM implementation than React, which reduces more number of overheads than React’s. Mainstream virtual DOM implementations are known to cause performance issues like re-rendering, requiring optimizations, etc. “Vue 2.0 tackles this problem by combining virtual DOM with its reactive dependency tracking system, so that the system can automatically and efficiently determine when and what to re-render, freeing the developer from unnecessary optimization work”, said Vue principal developer Evan You. The improved render performance also gives rise to faster updates in unoptimized Vue than unoptimized React.

Vue also performs better in production. There have been cases when Vue has handled 10 frames per second in development while prototyping high frame-rate data visualizations or animations, whereas React managed about 1 frame per second only. The major reason behind that was React’s invariant checks in development mode.

Check out a benchmark test that was published on vuejs.org and shows that Vue’s rendering system is faster than React.
ÂÂ

Vue

React

Fastest

23ms

63ms

Median

42ms

81ms

Average

51ms

94ms

95th Perc.

73ms

164ms

Slowest

343ms

453ms

#2. React is all about JavaScript, often making reinvention of HTML and CSS within JavaScript a painstaking task. Also, the render function in React (or JSX) often involves a lot of logic and does not provide a visual representation of the interface. But same is not the case with Vue, which offers both template-based syntax and programmatic rendering with JSX or hyperscript.

With a template, it becomes easier for developers to think visually about the design and CSS. Also, a template will always be declarative, and any valid HTML will be valid in a template. There is also no need of advanced versions of JavaScript to increase readability.

#3. Vue is much easier to learn than React as it does not involve the learning of JSX, ES2015, or build systems. Since Vue.js can scale up, you can also begin learning the updated tools and best practices. However, an important point to note here is that React Native is popular for being a library that allows development of native mobile applications using Javascript. So, if your project is about developing a native mobile app, you must go for React.

#4. Vue’s two way data binding is simpler than React’s.

How React does it:

How Vue does it:

                                             Credits: rlafranchi.github.io

What to expect from Vue in 2017

Vue.js team is working towards making documentations better in 2017. There will also be improvements in APIs and on-boarding experience in the Native Rendering. Testing is another area Vue team is focussing on. So, there will be more guidance in the docs and official testing utilities to allow developers to test Vue.js components at ease. Besides, Vue is likely to see better discoverability in 2017.

The reason many developers are turning to Vue is that it addresses the issues of React and Angular. And, provides a way to code in a much simpler and easier manner. But, one must not forget that Angular and React are still very big names in the JavaScript world, whereas Vue has just begun to rise. There is no good or bad framework. Any framework you choose should be based on how apt it’s functionalities are for your project and how comfortable you are using it.

What do you think about the future of Vue.js? Do you think it is right to compare Vue.js to established frameworks like Angular or React? As usual, your views are important for all our readers, please share them into the comment box below.
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Angular, React.js & Vue.js – Quickstart & Comparison

63 COMMENTS

  1. > Vue is much easier to learn than React

    Vue without template syntax and observable system literally *is* React. The API surface of React fits on the palm of your hand, the one in Vue takes up a full book. The majority of React can be learned in minutes. Vue needs days and probably weeks to understand it fully. It is a small Angular after all.

    ES2015, or build systems

    React doesn’t need any of this. Just like Vue you can use script tags and still use JSX. And you do use Vue with build tools, or else you get to ship the template parser and you can’t form single file components.

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