Top 5 JavaScript Tools to Build your Next Product With in 2017 ⭐

For years, JavaScript remains one of the most popular programming languages for web and keeps holding its positions in the TOP 10 lists by IBM, TIOBE and other companies.

Most modern browsers support JavaScript, which means developers can be sure interactive websites they build will work on most devices. Besides, due to continuous improvement and enhancement, it works great for mobile app and game development, which is why its popularity keeps growing.

Considering JavaScript popularity and the typical nature of the problems it allows solving in web, developers have created dozens of frameworks that significantly speed up and simplify product development.

In this post, we’ll cover top 5 JavaScript frameworks our developers find the most interesting and promising in 2017.

Angular 2+

Stars: 24,499 Commits: 7,682 Forks: 6,218

Actually, Angular 2+ forces you to use TypeScript, not JavaScript. TypeScript is a modernized version of JavaScript (namely, ECMAScript 2015) plus dozens of tools for code optimization refactoring.

One of the biggest advantages of Angular 2+ is that it is a full-fledged framework coming with all you may need to build a web app out of the box. It also provides dependency injection, which is especially helpful when it comes to quality assurance, as it allows to test various services (i.e. functional parts of the code) separately, without loading the whole app.

Simple data binding also makes it easy for developers to manipulate Document Object Model, though the framework structure and approach is far from simplicity and might be even challenging to learn at first.

Angular is often promoted as a great framework for learning and business. Developed by Google, it is one of the most popular frameworks in the wild, which stimulates the growth of third-party components to speed up the development process and of the community creating lots of tutorials and documentation.

P.S.: In March 2017, Google has released Angular 4 and plans to release updates every 4-5 months. However, the updated versions are going to get new features and performance upgrades, and no changes to the syntax, which means they’re back compatible with Angular 2 and thus can be used for both old (Angular 2 based) and new projects.

React

Stars: 67,870 Commits: 8,650 Forks: 12,589

Despite being a library rather than a JavaScript framework, React still remains the strongest competitor for Angular when it comes to choosing the tools to build a web product with. It is often mentioned along with Flux, an app architecture pattern that adds a structure to React apps (a similar addition for Angular 2+ is Redux).

Both of the tools are created and maintained by Facebook.

While most other frameworks offer inserting JS into HTML, React embeds HTML into JavaScript, which results in using a language called JSX. JSX represents an XML-like syntax that allows usage of HTML tag syntax and HTML quotes in JavaScript. With JSX you create a machine-readable code and can unite components in a single file.

Thanks to Flux, React also has unidirectional data flow. Such approach makes the logic of the apps easier to understand and more predictable. You also avoid multiple copies of the same data that can often appear due to constant updates to the document object model.

With this approach, React is often considered a tool that is easier to learn than Angular, but due to its limitations and the necessity to use it with Flux it remains a not-so-straightforward instrument to learn.

Now, when we discussed the two most fundamental players on the market (Angular is used in Google products, and Instagram and Facebook run on React), we can proceed to less known frameworks that may better fit new products due to their flexibility and specialized architecture. 

Backbone

Stars: 26,351 Commits: 3,356 Forks: 5,696

Backbone is a lightweight framework (though we’d rather call it a library) used by Trello, Airbnb, and Reddit. Based on the MVP (model-view-presenter) architectural pattern, it helps developers building complex single-page applications to make their code more structured and easy to comprehend.

Backbone is perfect for apps with constantly changing UI elements, as it has a minimal set of data structures and does not mix JS with HTML.

It may turn out that in the beginning Backbone requires developers to write more JavaScript code compared to other frameworks, but in the end, the implementation of complex user interaction appears to be more straightforward and simple.

Alternatively, to avoid writing that code, you can go even further and use Backbone along with the Marionette framework. The latest makes using Backbone even easier since it offers its own class for views.

Vue

Stars: 55,127 Commits: 2,003 Forks: 7,518

Many consider Vue a framework that took the best from React and Angular. Created by a former Google employee, it is now used in Laravel, Gitlab, Alibaba and other companies.

Vue is lightweight, fast and overall easy to use, as it provides JSX capabilities and relies on virtual DOM just like React. With Vue-server-renderer it also supports server rendering, which simplifies the development of isomorphic (i.e. able to run both on the client and server machines) apps.

With another framework called Weex, you can use Vue to build native mobile apps for Web, iOS, and Android (for React you can use React Native, for Angular its Ionic 2/3). Thus, Vue works best when you need to quickly roll out a cross-platform solution, especially if it’s a single-page application where high performance is more important that good code structure.

Aurelia

Stars: 9,571 Commits: 562 Forks: 545

Often compared with Angular 2+, Aurelia is described a ‘JavaScript of tomorrow’. Unlike other frameworks, it represents a series of collaborating libraries that taken together offer a wide range of features for building single page applications.

As a result, Aurelia doesn’t require setting complex configurations and generally doesn’t get in your way if you follow the framework conventions, so you can fully focus on developing your app. It’s extensible, agile, and directed towards modern web standards, so learning it is easy (well, definitely easier, than Angular).

Aurelia supports ES2016, TypeScript and Coffeescript, and for many developers writing in vanilla JavaScript this is the critical reason to switch to it. And since it has no external dependencies, you can write both hybrid mobile apps and rich web apps.

In short, your choice depends on your business goals. We’d say that Angular 2+ will be a great choice if you’re building a solid product and need a well-documented framework with a strong community.

React will work best for single-page applications where users are expected to consume large amounts of content. If your product is going to be mobile-first, Backbone+Marionette are good to go.

And in case you’re entering a market with many competitors, you can try getting a technological advantage (like high performance or loading speed) by using Vue or Aurelia.

If you still have doubts and want to be 100% sure what JavaScript framework will fit your next app on, feel free to drop us a line at hello@brainbeanapps.com and we’ll help you make the right choice.

team/max-sushchuk-0b4b69f6ec9345895791323513727b8d1fa902e83e024621c9756e6c52b9439f.jpg
Max Sushchuk / IoT and Home Automation Theory expert
TALK
to us