Experimenting With React.js and React Native

Man, oh man, do I wish I had looked at React.js a few years ago.

I started a side project using it over my holiday break, and yesterday I got a React Native Android app up and running. Now I’m hooked. At first I was wary of JSX, but I’ve come to embrace it due to its ease of use and modularity.

I suppose I never looked at React because I thought I already had my favorite front-end framework: Angular.js. But with the new Angular 2 using TypeScript, it almost feels like an entirely new framework. That led me to check out React.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever touch Angular again. React is just that great.

The only other front-end framework I’ve used is Knockout.js. That has only been for projects at work — thankfully. I mean, just look at Knockout’s website. This isn’t 2009!

Were I to recommend a UI framework for a new project, whether on the web or mobile, I would start with React.js.

Here’s why:

  • Reach has only one job: UI
  • React has no opinions, you can use whatever framework however you’d like
  • Support and stability. Facebook is maintaining it, and seems to have built it right the first time. There’s little chance we get as much of a shakeup with future versions of React like Google did with Angular.
  • Its age. While React is young (it came out in 2013), it’s ancient in JavaScript land. But its continued popularity shows its staying power, and thus worth learning and using
  • JSX: I used to balk at the idea of CSS, HTML, and JS all mixed up in one file, but React manages to makes it work

Did I miss any other great reasons to use React? Do you disagree? Leave me a comment :)

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