Without being prophets, it is not difficult to surmise that you will be choosing between the frameworks of Angular, Vue.js and Ember for your development projects over the months ahead. And to our comparison list we decided to add a couple of libraries as well – the hugely popular React and another which was extremely popular but now regarded rather obsolete — jQuery. We’ve included it because of its legacy merits which offer a good benchmark against which newer technologies can be judged. If you are interested to learn more about jQuery and its historical importance to the development industry you can check out our jQuery vs. Angular blog post.
There’s a bit of a ‘Dev Geek’ “holy war” currently being waged between the five frameworks we cover here. If you’re smart, you’ll understand there is no need to take sides. Angular, Vue, jQuery, React and Ember are all good frameworks or libraries.
Of course, developers often have their personal preference. But what the right choice for a given project is often boils down to the development’s particular characteristics, the competencies of the DevOps team available and the business priorities of the product manager and their organisation. There’s rarely a definitively ‘right’ answer.
On the chart above you can see stats showing the trends in popular usage between Angular, Vue, jQuery, React and Ember. This clearly shows that React is out in front but are its features really what you’re looking for today? Only a deep understanding of the unique pros and cons of each framework or library can help you make a truly informed choice. For a bird’s eye view, let’s look at the parameters of each framework and library compiled in the table below.
Your eventual choice between Angular, Vue.js, jQuery, React or Ember will of course be heavily influenced by the format of the applications you will develop. Particularly whether it is a SPA (Single Page Application) or MPA (Multiple Page Application).
If we delve into ThoughtWorks' Technology Radar, which provides insight into how different technologies evolve over time, it shows that Angular is the only in the 'Trial' ring. This means that while considered a solid choice without having yet fully matured as a framework
-How we can use components with modules;
-How we can use dependency injection;
-There are many “pros” out of the box like as a router, form validation, HttpClient, etc;
-The high level of control;
-Unlike React, Angular enables normal usage of HTML and CSS along with all their features and advantages.
-It can be a little tricky for inexperienced developers to work with Angular, especially if they do not have a strong background in Typescript. However, it is still it easier than React for the less experienced to get to grips with;
-Angular is quite fluid.
To date, every new version differs significantly from the previous, which
results in distrust of the framework;
-A developer is limited
if he/she wants to create a single-page application. You can’t just drop it
into your full stack or a multi-page application.
-Optimization does not require a world of work;
-React is flexible and interacts with different libraries and projects without issue;
-React is designed to render content based on JSX. It can be used in both SPA and SSR architectures, making it the perfect solution for this type of development work.
-React is quite simple but compiling an entire framework based on React is a challenging task;
-With a heavy heart, we have to conclude - React doesn’t bring all the features Angular does.
Vue.js is a breath of fresh air. The framework was first launched in 2014 and then relaunched in 2016. Vue describes itself as an "Intuitive, Fast and Integrable MVVM for creating interactive interfaces." And at K&C we tend to agree with those adjectives.
The framework project’s main goal is to make ideas in web UI development (components, declarative UI, hot-reloading, time-travel debugging, etc.) more comprehensible. Less dogmatic, it is much simpler to learn for young developers compared to other frameworks.
Vue.js has been chosen by Alibaba, Nintendo, Expedia, and multiple other enterprise-level projects, defying the sometimes lazy assumption that it is a framework for single-page applications. The fact that Vue.js does not enjoy the backing of a “big corporation” makes its growing success all the more notable. Evan You, a former ‘Googler’, created Vue.js completely by himself.
Many opinion leaders regard this independence as a positive and it has actually resulted in a particularly diligent volunteer support community having sprung up around Vue. Problems and questions are typically responded to much more quickly than is the case with the big, corporation-backed frameworks such as Angular and React.
Another positive side effect is clear code/API which has not been ‘over-engineered’. It obviously hasn’t affected Vue.js’s position on Technology Radar, where it has achieved the same “Trial” status as Angular.
-It is possible to use ES5, ES6, as well as TypeScript (yet it can be harder to set up);
-As with React, Vue quite nicely interacts with other libraries or even projects;
-Vue’s documentation is easy to understand and well-structured. This makes getting started painless.
It’s relatively new and doesn’t have the endorsement of one of the big tech players like Angular (backed by Google) and React (backed by Facebook).
The Ember open source framework is an old friend of developers, originating from Apple Music. It is best known as a massive repository that serves as a dictionary for app development. It takes into account convention rather than juggling configurations and enables two-way data binding.
-Simply configured on the system;
-Deploys good user interfaces.
-Quick changes are processed slowly;
-Among the heaviest frameworks;
-Inactive community means lots of obsolete tutorial materials;
-Hard to master;
-Too complex for small projects;
-Slow release of new versions with few new options.
-Appropriate for AJAX programs;
-Broadly implemented due to its fast processing speed;
-It makes DOM manipulation painless;
-There are plug-ins;
-Quick bug detection.
-Not everything is built to a common standard;
-Potential for incompatibility due to inappropriate version;
-Handling AJAX and jQuery isn’t an easy task for a newbie.
So finally, which of Angular, Vue, jQuery, React or Ember should you choose for your app? As outlined above, each framework or library has its strengths and weaknesses. The right choice depends on the particular needs of an application and is also influenced by developer resources and business considerations. But we would be cheating if we left it so open at the end of such an extensive review of the five. So, here are some rules of thumb to help you decide:
-Your solution is Angular if you like TypeScript and prefer to work in a clearly defined framework in one style and flow.
-Your solution is React if you need flexibility, prefer big ecosystems, do not want choose between various packages, are fond of JS, like your own approach and cutting-edge technologies.
-Your solution is Vue.js if you are looking for the simplest learning curve, need a lightweight framework or need clean HTML files.
-Your solution is Ember if you… like Ember :)
And if you still can’t make up your mind, try them all out in different contexts. You'll come to your own conclusions.
Krusche & Company's development experts are experienced across Angular, Vue, jQuery, React and Ember. Our Munich-based web development, DevOps, Cloud and digital transformation agency has over 20-years of experience. We enable our partners' digital business goals from enterprise portals for some of Europe's best known brands to lean MVPs for promising start-ups and everything inbetween.
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