Performance, speed, or popularity? What are the most vital characteristics that developers seek in the tech stack? There could hardly be a single reason why certain frameworks rise, while others become the thing of the past.
1. React stays on top
What is the framework that was used by 4 out of 5 front-end developers in 2020? It comes as no surprise that it is React. In fact, it is a library. But React formed such a strong ecosystem around itself that programmers classify it as a framework rather than a library.
In 2011, React library came into life because of Facebook’s need to maintain the quickly evolving traffic for its services. The early-stage prototype for React was called FaxJS. It was not yet such a robust, efficient, and convenient library for developing user interfaces.
2020 was marked by the first React release that did not add new features. Instead, this version enabled gradual upgrades and facilitated embedding React into other technologies.
Further reading: React App Development: UI, Styling, State Management, Testing
The concurrent mode is expected to become a part of the stable release in mid-2021. This mode will make it possible to defer your changes from appearing on screens. It much differs from the React approach we had before.
Our team monitors the state of React passionately and expects 2021 to be a great year for React developers. If you want to boost your efficiency, scoop the best practices and tools for React development in our tech article.
You may also like: How to Create a PWA with React 📱 Progressive Web Apps Guide
2. Vue continues to evolve
Sometimes, it can be hard for a developer to choose between Vue.js and React for a project. In Codica, we use both of these frameworks for different tasks that occur during custom software development.
In 2020, we saw the long-awaited major release of Vue.js – 3.0. It brings boosted apps’ performance, smaller bundle sizes, and enhanced TypeScript support. Also, the Vue team released the Composition API that facilitates work with large-scale projects. The 2.7 Vue release will become LTS with a 1.5 years maintenance lifespan.
Let’s learn more about the Vue enhancements that will affect trends in JS frameworks in 2021.
The performance comparison between Vue 3 and Vue 2 indicates significant improvements, namely:
- Up to 41% smaller bundle size;
- Up to 55% quicker initial rendering;
- Up to 133% faster updates;
- Up to 54% less memory usage.
How did Vue 3 get such amazing results? The latest Vue release follows the approach of ‘compiler-informed virtual DOM’. The template compiler quickly renders the static content in a more efficient way and also can flatten the template’s dynamic nodes.
Before the third release, Vue was well-suited mostly for small projects. For example, Codica team successfully used Vue for the front-end part of our time-tracking Slack bot.
3. TypeScript is growing rapidly
The solution from Microsoft is not the only one presented on the market. However, the latest State of JS survey shows that TypeScript is the most used language here.
Advantages of TypeScript
Optional static typing
TypeScript is based on the structural, or ‘duck’, typing. Using TypeScript, you can create complex types by combining existing ones. For that purpose, you can use unions or generics. Also, TypeScript supports interfaces.
Early bug detection
Further reading: Advantages of Test Driven Development
Large-scale solutions support
That is why TypeScript became the second most loved language in 2020, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey. The JS trends indicate that the popularity of this technology will continue to grow in 2021.
You may also like: Top Programming Languages to Shape Software Development in 2021
4. Web components as building blocks of the Web
That is why these building blocks of modern web apps are called framework-independent or agnostic web components. They facilitate web development and reduce the time and costs needed to build an application.
- Custom Elements allow developers to create new autonomous HTML tags with fully-customizable behavior.
- Shadow DOM makes it possible to encapsulate DOM subtrees to the web elements.
- HTML Template provides the way to create markup fragments that do not affect the page load by being instantiated at runtime.
Advantages of web components
- Interoperability and flexibility
Reusability and encapsulation
Progressive web apps are gaining momentum now. Thus, PWA development became a must for businesses that want to engage with their mobile customers efficiently. That is where web components could be of great help due to their small bundle size and quick runtime.
Related reading: What Does Progressive Web Apps (PWA) Development Mean?
5. GraphQL is capturing data management
GraphQL is a query language released by Facebook in 2015. This data management tool provides a flexible syntax for querying data from both the back-end and front-end. Nowadays, it is used by many popular companies like GitHub, Pinterest, Coursera, Shopify, and many more.
In 2020, GraphQL had the highest interest among all technologies that programmers are aware of. 89.6% of programmers who have heard about this language want to study it.
However, the leader in providing data management is still Redux that is used by 67% of developers. But JS trends show that this technology is losing satisfaction among programmers.
Why is developers’ satisfaction with Redux decreasing? The thing is, Redux often is quite verbose and requires too much boilerplate. Also, it is not so good at managing cached data for applications.
The reason for GraphQL creation was Facebook’s need to increase the performance of data calls within their apps. And GraphQL did that job great.
Advantages of GraphQL
- Faster data retrieval
REST approach deals with individual URLs that require combining multiple endpoints in the API request. But GraphQL collects data under a single endpoint. So to retrieve the needed data, programmers will need to perform just one API call.
Boosted query efficiency
The name of the language suggests that it uses graphs to define the data on the server. Such a graph-based scheme allows delivering the data in packages rather than through multiple API calls.
GraphQL supports arguments for each field and nested object, including scalar fields. This strong typing feature comes from the abstraction principle. In such a way, we reduce complexity and focus on the essential information.
6. Component-based architecture rocks
Component-based architecture decomposes the design into logical or functional elements. These elements embody well-known interfaces like methods, properties, and events.
Component-based architecture strives to enhance component reuse. The components are self-deployable binary units that encapsulate functionality.
Speaking of the latest JS trends and front-end development in general, we could not omit to tell about an open-source platform called Bit. It is a great tool for sharing, storing, and organizing web components from any project. It helps increase code reusability and collaborate on separate components.
Further reading: 12 Leading UI/UX Design Trends to Dominate in 2021
Advantages of component-based architecture
Ease of deployment When you need to roll out a new version, you do not need to replace the whole system. Everything that relates to the specific component is declared within its class.
Reduced cost You can integrate third-party components and also divide the software costs across different apps.
Ease of development Components use interfaces that help not to affect other parts of the application. The thing is, one level of architecture (the view in most cases) contains the logic, design, and helper functions.
7. Svelte is growing by leaps and bounds
Svelte is a lightweight framework that helps build robust web apps. Unlike React and Vue that convert applications into Vanilla JS code during runtime, Svelte performs it during build time. Svelte acts as a compiler that allows running apps in browsers without an abstraction layer. Let’s discuss what is so special about Svelte, one of the JS trends in 2021 you cannot ignore.
Advantages of Svelte
We have heard that React is reactive. But Svelte finds another source of reactiveness other than React’s virtual DOM. The thing is, all components in the Svelte app can have a state. As soon as you change the state of a component, the DOM gets updated.
The syntax of Svelte is straightforward and readable. Also, Svelte applications do not need much boilerplate.
- Next.js. React-based framework that is well-suited for server-rendered single-page apps. It supports hybrid static rendering, smart bundling, and route prefetching. Also, it comes with great TypeScript and SEO support.
- Nuxt.js. It can be described as a Next.js on Vue. However, it is a framework that has its benefits. For example, it deals well with building universal apps that can be executed on both the front-end and back-end sides. Also, it has fine meta tags managing that boosts SEO.
- Gatsby. React-powered framework for building e-commerce platforms, landings, blogs, and progressive web applications. It provides programmers with code and data splitting by having GraphQL under the hood. Also, it is good in terms of velocity, safety, and SEO practices.
Related reading: Top 10 Online Marketplace Trends to Watch out for in 2021
- VuePress. Static site generator developed by the creator of Vue, Evan You. It facilitates technical documentation handling. Using VuePress, you can get a pre-rendered SEO-friendly SPA with the use of just two commands. Also, you can use Vue components in your VuePress applications.
You may also like: The Power of CSS Processors in Web Applications Development
- Nest.js. Node.js framework is powered by TypeScript. It is well-suited for the development of robust and scalable back-end apps of all kinds. It catches the best ideas from object-oriented, functional, and reactive programming. Its architecture provides code modularity, testability, and maintainability.
- Express.js. Node.js framework, primarily used for building RESTful API servers. It offers support of I/O request handling. Also, Express comes with a collection of tools and middleware modules to facilitate the development process. Also, it is easy to configure and scale.
- Fastify. It provides a speedy and low overhead alternative for the previous framework. Fastify features encapsulated plugins, hooks, and decorators that facilitate code reusability and decoupling. Also, it supports TypeScript, one of the most important current JS trends.
- LitElement. Fast and lightweight library for sharing components across projects and developing a UI design system.
- Date-fns. Modern date utility library for browsers and Node.js. It is more lightweight than the Moment library.
- RxJS. Powerful library for creating functional, asynchronous, and event-based programs by using observable sequences.
- Agenda.js. Low overhead library for job scheduling in Node.js backed by MongoDB.
- Bull. Fast and reliable Redis-based queue for Node.js. Also, it has its TypeScript-written brother BullMQ
- Jest. Fast, safe, and well-documented library for building, running, and structuring tests.
- Commander.js. Library for creating CLIs in Node.js inspired by the Commander library for Ruby programming language. It comes with TypeScript support.
- Tutorial: Intro to React;
- Vue.js 3.0.0 Documentation;
- TypeScript Handbook;
- Web Components basics;
- Introduction to GraphQL;
- Svelte Introduction;
- PWA Guide by Google;
- Introduction to LitElement;
- Getting Started with date-fns.