Angular Vs React: Which Is Better?

The bipolar landscape of today’s JS frameworks has left many web developers struggling to choose from the most popular client-side technologies – Angular and React. Whether you’re a new front end developer trying to figure out where to begin, an enterprise-grade architect chalking out a strategic vision for your organization, or a freelancer going to pick a framework for your upcoming project, you’d surely get benefitted by clearly understanding the positive and negative sides of both as that would let you make an informed decision.

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Both Angular and React are advanced, hugely adopted JS (JavaScript) technologies that front end developers use to create interactive SPAs (single-page applications). Angular has been able to take its place in almost any list of top 10 JS frameworks since its inception in 2010 and has become significantly popular among web developers. Created in 2013, React has become even more sought after in the web development realm, although it’s originally a library, not a framework. While Angular is a Model-View-Controller framework, React comes with a View only, lacking the Model and Controller elements. So, you might ask that how did the latter become so popular? And how both can be reasonably compared? We’ll be discussing the aspects such as model complexity, learning curve, data binding, dependency injection, directives and debugging to decide on the best one.

Before digging any deeper here’s a brief history of both.

Angular

Angular JS has been around more than React. Maintained by Google and used in Google Fiber and AdWords, it’s evident that Angular isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

React

Angular Vs React: Which Is Better - read.unanth.com?utm_source=blog

Created by Facebook, React is a big JS library that aids web developers to update the View for the user. To fill in the lack of the Model and Controller elements, Facebook introduced Flux that has countless variants today to manage the application workflow.

Let’s now begin the discussion.

Model Complexity

  • Angular

Angular’s performance is quite sensitive when handling scope because of the copy-n-compare. It means you can’t use large models which has both pros and cons. On the positive side, it makes the code more testable and simpler while on the negative side, it compels you to break down the stuff used normally.

  • React

React comes with the freedom to choose, without performance being penalized. The output actually depends on your efficacy as a front end developer.

Learning Curve

  • Angular

The bumpy road to adapting Angular is well-known in the web development The complex lifestyle of Angular demands that you actually read the code. Compile and link aren’t intuitive and certain cases can be confusing enough (recursion in compile, for instance).

  • React

It has a limited number of lifecycle methods, which are self explanatory. The best feature is that you’d never have to read its code.

Data Binding

  • Angular

In Angular, DOM (Document Object Model) values are connected to Model data through its Controller utilizing two-way data binding. This means when a user communicates with an <input> field and supplies new value to the app, both the Model and the View get updated. This two-way data binding lowers the effort of web developers as it needs less boilerplate code to be written to create interactions between the components in the application. You don’t need to invent a way to track changes in the app to modify the JS accordingly. The drawback of this approach is the negative impact it leaves on performance.

  • React

Contrary to Angular, React utilizes one-way data binding. It means the flow of data will be directed to just one way. Thus, it becomes clearly identifiable where the data was modified.

Angular Vs React: Which Is Better - read.unanth.com?utm_source=blog

Dependency Injection

  • Angular

It uses a fundamental OOP (Object Oriented Programming) pattern namely dependency injection. You’d need to write dependencies in a distinct file, which makes it inconvenient to develop a dependency directly in the object. Angular’s dependency injection is inherent to the standard functions of an AngularJS factory. When running code minification, a small nuisance may also be encountered, which can be considered as an issue with Angular.

  • React

Angular Vs React: Which Is Better - read.unanth.com?utm_source=blog

Absence of any concept of an in-built container is the key difference between Angular and React with regards to dependency injection. There’re several instruments that front end developers can use to automatically inject dependencies in a React application. Instruments like RequireJS, Browserify etc can be used via ReactJS-di, and Babel, amongst others.

Directives and Templates

  • Angular

Directives in Angular are something that you can use to organize your code/work around the DOM. When working with Angular, DOM can be accessed only through directives. Though creating your own directives is an advantageous method to work with the DOM, the syntax for creating them seems to be difficult to understand.

  • React

React doesn’t come with division into directives and templates or template logic. You’d need to write the template logic in the template itself. This approach of defining logic and template in a single place becomes more convenient as you need less to invest time in understanding the process.

Debugging

  • Angular

Angular is a system driven by event, which makes it easier to write and difficult to debug as stack-traces become longer and different than expected. However, supply of logical constructs like services seems to be beneficial as they make the code simpler to test and debug, when used correctly.

  • React

It has two key scenarios – one-way rendering flow and updating the model. It reduces the effort of front end developers as they need to look in fewer places to find the bugs. In addition, stack traces come with clear distinction between the developer’s code and that of React’s.

Summing Up

Both Angular and React are great technologies that provide miscellaneous opportunities in the web development landscape. Angular is really great at declarative solutions, but it lacks the simplicity and freedom of React. After going through the above core features of both, it actually becomes easy to conclude that’s what’s best entirely depends on your requirement. If you’re one of those front end developers who want to apply the integral approach to development, Angular should be your ideal bet. In case you want to develop a pretty small, easy and simple application that will take less time together with a reduced effort, you should opt for React without any doubt.