Today, programmers own the world of the Internet. One of the most popular programming languages that are bringing the change at a rapid pace is JavaScript. Every veteran and novice programmer is interested in two big names: Angular and React.

There is an ongoing debate on which the Single Page Application (SPA) is better and easy to use? One of the biggest battles on the Internet is Angular vs React. Both platforms are highly advanced and are being used across the globe.

Without wasting any further time let’s get into the details of both of these Javascript frameworks.

Note: Though Angular primarily uses TypeScript, since most of the JavaScript programmers are the ones using Angular and TypeScript eventually gets converted to JavaScript. So for broader applicability, we are referring Angular as a JavaScript framework here. In React community ES-6 is more popular than TypeScript, however, in 2018, using TypeScript with React is quite feasible.

History of React

React was released at the year 2013 and currently managed by a big social media platform: Facebook. React is a javascript library, used to create user interfaces. Even Facebook uses some of the components of React on several pages but not as the Single Page Application (SPA).

Chris Cordle, a popular software engineer stated that ‘Facebook uses React more than Google leverage Angular.’ there are other big names that use React JavaScript libraries such as Paypal, Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr, Airbnb, Uber, and Walmart.

History of Angular

Based on TypeScript, Angular is an efficient framework, was developed in the year 2010 and is managed by one of the biggest search engines: Google. Angular also referred to as Angular 2+, Angular 2, and ng2. The tech giants describe Angular framework as a “Powerful, superheroic JavaScript MVM framework”. Here are a few names that use this popular framework- Forbes, Weather.com, Google, Wix, and Healthcare.gov.

Note: AngularJS is the term generally used for the 1.x version of the Angular framework, while the term Angular is used for the 2.x or later versions of the framework. AngularJS should not be used for any new projects, Angular is the preferred version of the framework now.

Features Offered by React and Angular Frameworks:

When it comes to features, Angular leads with more features than React.

However, the benefits offered by both frameworks are good and bad for a developer. It completely depends upon how they use it in their project.

Top Features of Angular

Let’s look at some of the significant features of Angular:

  • Templates
  • Dependency Injection
  • Ajax request by angular
  • Routing
  • XSS protection
  • Component CSS encapsulation
  • Material Design Components

These features can help the developers come up with a responsive web application. Also, these features are already present inside the Angular framework, so there is no need of searching the libraries. Though this can be a problem for coders because they have limited options in the library but they can replace it with the other libraries with a bit extra efforts and time.

Top Features of React

At its core, React is a virtual DOM based component library. There aren’t many features built-in in the React framework. The library also offers:

  • XSS protection
  • Utilities for unit-testing protection
  • There is JXS (an XML like language) built on top of Javascript, instead of classic templates.

As mentioned earlier, there aren’t features inbuilt in React, hence developers have the freedom to explore other options/features. The programmers can do anything they want from the number of libraries in React. However, the programmer also needs to do all the framework set up by himself in React to include the additional features from other libraries. Some of the most popular libraries that are widely used by the programmers are Fetch for https requests, React-router, and Enzyme for unit testing.

Core Development

We know that the two biggest tech giants Google and Facebook support Angular and React respectively. On one side where Facebook used React framework for Whatsapp and Instagram, Google leveraged Angular in many projects such as Adwords UI with Angular and Dart.

Let’s have a look at the Github stats. Angular has more than 41K stars and 700+ contributors whereas React owns around 112K stars with over 1200 contributors on Github.

Technical Comparison Between Angular and React

comparison-angular-react

The comparison between Angular and React in respect to technical components including Model View Controller, Templating, License, Data Binding, and Rendering.

Components

Angular and React both encourage component-based architecture. Both can be used to set up MVC (Model, View, and Controller) or MVVM (Model, View, and ViewModel) style architectures. However, with its framework approach and inbuilt routing, Angular nudges the developer to use MVC, whereas React leaves it completely to the developer. Angular also pushes for “module” pattern to achieve code-splitting. React can also be used to achieve code-splitting, however, it’s completely up to the developer’s discretion.

Templating

Templating is one of the most important features that no programmer wants to miss when works on a web app. While using a strong, effective framework, developers can’t skip on the templating option. Angular templates are more like traditional HTML with snippets of Angular specific expression evaluators. In React JSX, though it looks similar to HTML but has some quirks as they are embedded as strings inside JS code.

On the other hand, React doesn’t offer any division among the directives, templates, and the template logic. In Angular, the users are allowed to make their own directives which can be inserted into the templates later.

Data Binding

In the 2.x version, Angular also prefers one-way data binding similar to React, but the programmer can choose to enable two-way data binding in a particular situation if needed.
License

Both Angular and React are open source frameworks, offered under MIT license.

Rendering

Rendering is the process of binding the data variables to template strings to produce the HTML DOM to display components. Both React and Angular mainly use client-side rendering, however, both support mature options to enable server-side rendering if required.

Important Information about React:

React has a number of topics to talk about from a developer’s point of view, that includes:

JSX

In React framework, JSX combines makeup and logic within the component in place of using them separately. This allows developers to directly write the markup inside the Javascript. Also, programmers get the benefits of static analysis as the JSX markup compiler spot the errors and let programmers rectify those in real time instead of continuing with them.

Similar to HTML for syntax, JSX is also an optional pre-processor and can be later compiled in Javascript. It has some quirks like instead of using just ‘class’, it uses ‘classname’. One of the most significant advantages of using React for app development is compile-time checks’ efficiency. With JSX, compile-time checks work effectively as all your data will be in one place during the code compilation process.

Flow

react-flow

It’s the type-checking tool for React. Flow adds support for type checking by adding type annotations in comments. It’s an alternative to TypeScript. Since Flow is created by Facebook, it is used more in React community. However, the support for TypeScript in React is picking up in 2018.
Redux

Redux can also be referred to as a problem-solving tool which developers use to resolve errors when things get messy. It is used for ’state management’ which deals with the internal parts of the React app.

One can describe Redux easily with the three fundamental principles, namely:

  • The state in Redux library is read-only.
  • A single source of truth present in Redux.

The changes in Redux library are performed by using pure functions.
Redux comes with a steep learning curve, but once understood, can reduce a lot of complexity in a React application.

Important Information about Angular:

Angular also has some significant and beneficial features that help in writing maintainable applications:

TypeScript

TypeScript is built by tech giant Microsoft over Javascript. This comes as an enhanced version of Javascript with more features. This language has robust typing system and analyzes the code through various type inferences and annotations. In addition to that, Typescript is influenced by .NET and Java. So, for the developers familiar with these two languages, can learn Typescript easily.

RxJS

RxJS is a Reactive library which enables customized and more flexible operation handling. This library can be considered as an ideal blend of iterator and observer pattern along with functional programming. With RxJS, developers can treat anything like a continuous stream of values to perform various operations like filtering, mapping, and so on.

Conclusion

To conclude, I would like to say that both Angular and React (coupled with popular ecosystem libraries) are really powerful frameworks. Angular prefers batteries included approach which allows you to get off the ground quicker, whereas React’s philosophy seems to be less is more. React leans toward flexibility whereas Angular is more opinionated. That said, the React ecosystem has some “de facto” libraries which lean towards functional paradigms and are equally opinionated. Both are equally capable and can be used to create almost any kind of Web application. Which one will work for you better? Why not try out both and then decide?

react-angular

Author's Bio:

mobisoft-pritam
Pritam Barhate

Pritam Barhate, with an experience of 11+ years in technology, heads Technology Innovation at Mobisoft Infotech. He has a rich experience in design and has been a consultant for a variety of industries and startups. At Mobisoft Infotech, he primarily focuses on technology resources and develops the most advanced solutions. Follow him @pritambarhate