3 Reasons to Love React

March 14, 2015

Recorded at the Hong Kong JavaScript and Node.js meetup on March 3, 2015:

Today, I want to discuss React, a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces. I've used it for several projects, and the more I work with it, the more I appreciate its features. I'll explain why I find React so compelling and why you should consider using it too.

As a software engineer, I understand the daily challenges developers face. Before using React, coding often felt uncomfortable, particularly when building user interfaces. There are numerous possible states, and testing all of them is impractical. You might encounter mutable DOM issues or unpredictable user inputs. Your UI might not behave as expected, or it might not scale well with large applications.

Programming is an art—specifically, the art of organizing complexity. ReactJS helps you manage this complexity when building UIs.

What Is React?

React serves as the 'view' in MVC (Model-View-Controller). Unlike full frameworks like MeteorJS, React focuses primarily on the UI. It is developed by Facebook and Instagram and is employed in their production environments. For example, the comment box you see on Facebook.com is a React component.

Why React?

I'll focus on three key points: React components, performance, and handling dynamic data.

1. React Components

In my previous role as a MeteorJS developer, I found traditional templating languages like Handlebars or Spacebars limiting. React, on the other hand, utilizes components instead of templates. This modular approach allows for more flexibility, reusability, and testability.

2. Performance

Thanks to the invention of the Virtual DOM, React offers impressive speed. Traditional approaches often require the entire page to re-render, even for minor changes. The Virtual DOM minimizes such expensive operations by updating only the changed parts of the DOM.

3. Managing Dynamic Data

State management is a significant challenge in UI development. React solves this problem by adopting a one-way data flow, which improves maintainability and simplifies debugging.

Closing Thoughts

In summary, React stands out for its simplicity and power. It enables the development of reusable, testable components. It offers excellent performance and effectively handles dynamic data.

That's all for now! Any questions?

Here are the slides: Slide Presentation

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn