Since its introduction in 2013, React has changed web development in more ways than one. It is now the most popular library for building user interfaces and inspired many additional libraries and frameworks to build fully-fledged web applications with React.
In this article, we will discuss the impact React had and important supporting tools like Webpack and Babel that help us create web applications in React. Learning about different mechanisms of React should help you understand how it works under the hood.
Let’s get started.
React and its purpose
Web development before React
Part of the reason why React became so popular is because it provided what the web development community needed. With React, web developers had access to faster web development and better overall quality of applications.
Data Binding and Flow
The library pioneered an unidirectional data flow. Meaning that parent components pass data down to child components. As a result, data is more consistent and easy to manage throughout the app. In small scale web apps, we use props to pass down data from parent components to children. React also offers Context API for large scale web apps, and redux for a comprehensive data management solution.
Another great thing about React is that it’s equally effective for building small and large web applications. It especially shines when you need to develop an interface for large scale dynamic web apps. For example, web apps for Netflix and Instagram rely on React to display changing information.
How React changed web development for the better - summary
Hopefully we were able to illustrate how React improved the web development process for the better. Features we described have become integral in web development today. Even frameworks other than React have adopted similar approach to handling changes and other important aspects of building web apps.