Top 5 JavaScript Frameworks: Trends and Prospects

Author : raseldiu56
Publish Date : 2021-01-05 16:58:35


Top 5 JavaScript Frameworks: Trends and Prospects

Each year, the tech industry evolves at a fast pace. Different trends emerge based on popularity and their comprehensiveness. A technology trend that sprang up last year may not even exist this year. Therefore, when we deal with such a rapidly changing ecosystem, it is vital to know the industry trends.
The purpose of this article is not to suggest the best frameworks or libraries. Instead, I will look at the past, present, and future of these so that you can make effective decisions for your future projects. Besides, most of these are likely to be among us for the next couple of years.

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I will be providing a comparison of a few JavaScript frameworks based on the following facts.
Keeps growing and is maintained up to date — probably will be maintained in the foreseeable future too.
Considered popular based on some reliable sites such as GitHub, NPM trends, Google Trends, etc.)
Has a large active community around it.
1. React.js — Skyrocketing Usage

React.js is an open-source front-end library that was created by a team of Facebook developers in 2011. Having been evolved over 9 years, it can be considered one of the most popular front-end libraries. It became open-source in 2013.
React introduced a component-based, reactive, functional programming style for frontend development, which changed the course for Single Page Applications.
Why did React get this popularity?
Well, it has some exciting features.
React introduced the component-based rendering mechanism where one doesn’t need to reload components on a page if there has been no change to its data. React provides the ability to re-render only components that received new data.
It offers the best Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and has massive SEO support.
New features are being developed for React as we speak, including React Fiber for better concurrency, React hooks to manage functional components with less boilerplate code, React suspense for better rendering, etc. Therefore, React is evolving pretty fast.
Once you learn React, you can use it anywhere, not only for web applications but in mobile applications as well (React Native).
Likewise, many other features make React.js one of the topmost popular libraries nowadays. NPM trends, even more, prove this fact. Let’s look at React's trend over the past 5 years compared to some other frameworks.
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Source: NPM Trends

As you can witness, React.js has been clearly dominating the frontend frameworks in terms of downloads over the past 5 years.
In terms of Stack Overflow trends, React.js supersedes other popular frameworks too.
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Source: Stack Overflow Trends
Tip: Share your reusable components between projects using Bit (Github). Bit makes it simple to share, document, and organize independent components from any project.
Use it to maximize code reuse, collaborate on independent components, and build apps that scale.
Bit supports Node, TypeScript, React, Vue, Angular, and more.
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Example: exploring reusable React components shared on Bit.dev
2. Vue.js — Whooping 174K GitHub Stars!
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Source: vuejs.org
Vue.js was created by combining the positive features of AngularJS (The view layer) and the positive features of React (Virtual DOM) by an ex-Google engineer named Evan You. This is one of the easiest frontend frameworks to learn, and developers can implement SPAs very efficiently using Vue.js. Due to this reason, this has become very popular among developers.
Vue.js' popularity is more evident by the number of stars the repository has gained on GitHub compared to other frameworks.
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Source: Star History
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Source: NPM Trends

According to the above statistics on NPM Trends, Vue has 173,615 GitHub stars, which are even higher than those of React. This proves that Vue.js is a very trendy framework nowadays.
The Best of Both Worlds
Some features in Vue.js have led to its popularity very quickly. Some of them are,
Vue.js allows progressive web application development.
It offers two-way data binding similar to AngularJS and Virtual DOM and event sourcing similar to React.
Has equal support for JavaScript and TypeScript.
The popularity of Vue has increased over the past few years.
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Source: NPM Trends
Since we came across Angular while speaking about the above frameworks, let’s look at its popularity.
3. Angular— The Complete Framework
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Source: Angular PRESSKIT
Google introduced Angular in 2016. However, it had a predecessor AngularJS which goes back to 2010. In the early days, React popularity pushed Angular behind. However, Angular found its niche to become a proven and reliable enterprise-grade framework.
Reasons for its popularity?
AngularJS remains popular due to a few reasons.
It has a large eco-system maintained for over a decade.
It has a full set of tools.
Allows high-quality code generation with a clean coding structure and code consistency.
Has great documentation, and its libraries provide massive support for developers
Increasing community support by the day.
If we compare Angular with React, we can observe that the Angular downloads haven’t increased much. The no. of downloads has almost reached a saturation level over the past 2 years.
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Source: NPM Trends
4. Ember.js — Boosting Developer Productivity

Ember.js is known to be a popular JavaScript framework to build modern web applications. It is a full-featured framework that allows developers to focus more on creating unique functionalities. This will boost a developer’s productivity as it avoids writing tedious code. It has grown popular in the past few years, and many top-notch companies use this framework in their products. The best examples for these are Netflix, Microsoft, and LinkedIn.
Even though Ember is primarily considered for the web, desktop and mobile application development is also notable for Ember.js. One such example is the Apple Music desktop application. The use of Ember.js in Apple Music proves it to be an excellent JavaScript framework. It runs on the two-way data binding concept like AngularJS and SSR like React.
Ember was ranked at 6th place in the frontend JavaScript frameworks category in the State Of JS 2019 survey.
The usage of Ember in the developer community has gradually increased since its release, and it saw its highest no. of downloads somewhere in May 2020.
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5. Svelte.js — Super Small Bundle Size!
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Source: Wikimedia Logos
Svelte.js has become very popular in the last 12 months or so. It is an open-source component-based JavaScript framework written in TypeScript. Svelte was released in 2016 and has had growing popularity among the developer community ever since.
Why is it Popular?
Unlike React, Svelte has no virtual DOM. The components are written purely in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
The Svelte compiler compiles them into vanilla JavaScript modules, which are not dependent on a framework. Because of that, the bundle size of the application is super small when compared to React, Angular, and Vue.
As the state changes, the DOM is surgically updated. Therefore, Svelte does not need high browser processing, unlike React or Vue.
Svelte won the award for the upcoming technology that may take over or not in the State of JS 2019 survey.
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Source: State of JS Survey 2019
The usage of Svelte has drastically increased during this year.
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Source: NPM Trends
Honorable Mentions

While React, Vue, and Angular reside in the top 3 positions in the most popular frameworks, many other upcoming trendy frameworks/libraries exist.
A few such frameworks or libraries are as follows.
Meteor — Developers who are keen on developing real-time applications use Meteor often. This is considered as a full-stack solution for developing and deploying web applications.
Mithril — This is a UI JavaScript framework used for developing SPAs. This provides routing and XHR utilities straight out of the box and is fast and easy to implement.
Aurelia — This is considered the latest version of JavaScript, which enables you to implement any interface. It can extend HTML for a lot of purposes, including data binding.
Polymer — An open-source library that can create elements for a website without going into a complex level. Supports both one-way and two-way data binding. Google developed polymer.
Conclusion
All the JavaScript libraries and frameworks that we have looked at here contain the great potential to grow drastically in the future. Therefore, getting started with these will give you an added advantage to your JavaScript career. If you are interested in comparing more JavaScript frameworks and libraries and exploring their popularity, you can find more information.



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