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Backbone.js vs React: What are the differences?

Backbone.js: Give your JS App some Backbone with Models, Views, Collections, and Events. Backbone supplies structure to JavaScript-heavy applications by providing models key-value binding and custom events, collections with a rich API of enumerable functions, views with declarative event handling, and connects it all to your existing application over a RESTful JSON interface; React: A JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.

Backbone.js and React are primarily classified as "Javascript MVC Frameworks" and "Javascript UI Libraries" tools respectively.

"Javascript structure", "Models" and "Simple" are the key factors why developers consider Backbone.js; whereas "Components", "Virtual dom" and "Performance" are the primary reasons why React is favored.

Backbone.js and React are both open source tools. React with 132K GitHub stars and 24.5K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Backbone.js with 27.5K GitHub stars and 5.7K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, React has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3224 company stacks & 3094 developers stacks; compared to Backbone.js, which is listed in 1066 company stacks and 218 developer stacks.

Decisions about Backbone.js and React
Kamaleshwar BN
Head of Engineering at Dibiz Pte. Ltd. | 10 upvotes 路 126.4K views

It was easier to find people who've worked on React than Vue. Angular did not have this problem, but seemed way too bloated compared to React. Angular also brings in restrictions working within their MVC framework. React on the other hand only handles the view/rendering part and rest of the control is left to the developers. React has a very active community, support and has lots of ready-to-use plugins/libraries available.

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Jos茅 Oberto
Head of Engineering & Development at Chiper | 13 upvotes 路 113.3K views

It is a very versatile library that provides great development speed. Although, with a bad organization, maintaining projects can be a disaster. With a good architecture, this does not happen.

Angular is obviously powerful and robust. I do not rule it out for any future application, in fact with the arrival of micro frontends and cross-functional teams I think it could be useful. However, if I have to build a stack from scratch again, I'm left with react.

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Valeriy Bykanov
Founder, CEO at X1 Group | 4 upvotes 路 84.9K views

Working on a new SaaS web/mobile app and ended up with React as our choice of Frontend JavaScript framework for SPA web version with React Native for iOS, Android, Windows clients.

The key takeaways:

  • Both frameworks can do the job quite well for us. This might be true for the majority of utility web apps being built out there as well, so there was no "wrong" decision here.

  • Vue is often cited as easier to learn and code on. But only in case your engineers never worked with either Vue or React and start learning them from scratch. In our case, we knew we'll be hiring engineers who already have experience in the framework we'll select - so it was not a big argument for Vue.

  • We're building our engineering team in Ukraine and realised we have 3(!) times more engineers with React experience on the market than having Vue experience.

  • Mobile - React Native, despite being a different framework, still shares a lot with React and it's just easier for React developers to start using React Native in days.

The strongest points for our decision:

  • React community is larger, means more/faster answers to your questions and existing components.

  • Way more experienced React engineers on the market.

  • React + React Native is a great combo if you're building web and mobile clients of the same app.

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John Clifford de Vera
Software Engineer at CircleYY | 21 upvotes 路 92.8K views

I used React not just because it is more popular than Angular. But the declarative and composition it gives out of the box is fascinating and React.js is just a very small UI library and you can build anything on top of it.

Composing components is the strongest asset of React for me as it can breakdown your application into smaller pieces which makes it easy to reuse and scale.

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M谩t茅 Homolya
Senior developer at Self-employed | 10 upvotes 路 61.4K views

Svelte is everything a developer could ever want for flexible, scalable frontend development. I feel like React has reached a maturity level where there needs to be new syntactic sugar added (I'm looking at you, hooks!). I love how Svelte sets out to rebuild a new language to write interfaces in from the ground up.

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Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH | 18 upvotes 路 446.1K views

Our whole Vue.js frontend stack (incl. SSR) consists of the following tools:

  • Nuxt.js consisting of Vue CLI, Vue Router, vuex, Webpack and Sass (Bundler for HTML5, CSS 3), Babel (Transpiler for JavaScript),
  • Vue Styleguidist as our style guide and pool of developed Vue.js components
  • Vuetify as Material Component Framework (for fast app development)
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • Apollo / GraphQL (incl. GraphiQL) for data access layer (
  • ESLint, TSLint and Prettier for coding style and code analyzes
  • Jest as testing framework
  • Google Fonts and Font Awesome for typography and icon toolkit
  • NativeScript-Vue for mobile development

The main reason we have chosen Vue.js over React and AngularJS is related to the following artifacts:

  • Empowered HTML. Vue.js has many similar approaches with Angular. This helps to optimize HTML blocks handling with the use of different components.
  • Detailed documentation. Vue.js has very good documentation which can fasten learning curve for developers.
  • Adaptability. It provides a rapid switching period from other frameworks. It has similarities with Angular and React in terms of design and architecture.
  • Awesome integration. Vue.js can be used for both building single-page applications and more difficult web interfaces of apps. Smaller interactive parts can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure with no negative effect on the entire system.
  • Large scaling. Vue.js can help to develop pretty large reusable templates.
  • Tiny size. Vue.js weights around 20KB keeping its speed and flexibility. It allows reaching much better performance in comparison to other frameworks.
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Malek Boubakri
Web developer at Quicktext | 0 upvote 路 9.1K views

The project is a web gadget previously made using vanilla script and JQuery, It is a part of the "Quicktext" platform and offers an in-app live & customizable messaging widget. We made that remake with React eco-system and Typescript and we're so far happy with results. We gained tons of TS features, React scaling & re-usabilities capabilities and much more!

What do you think?

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Manatsawin Hanmongkolchai

When I started TipMe, I thought about using React frontend. At the end, plain, simple jQuery won.

I had to build this iteration of the site fast and by using jQuery I could keep using Django as a full stack development tool. One important point is Django form (combined with Django Bootstrap3) means that I don't have to reinvent form rendering again, which will be the case with React.

Over time, more interactivity seeped into the site and React components start making its way into the codebase.

I now wish the site is built using React so that I could add more user friendly interfaces easier (no more fuddling with server states) but I would still say jQuery helped me get past those early days.

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Jonas Stendahl

React has by far and away been our most important library choice throughout the history of Sellpy. It is a library that offers great flexibility supported by a really strong core. The React team is doing incredible work bringing quality features to the core project and tons of quality third party libraries fill in the gaps.

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React was a very contentious decision among the Meteor community. We started off with Blazejs, which itself was based off of Handlebars. We liked the HTML-like syntax of Blaze and how nurses, doctors, and other clinicians could become familiar with it. However, the code wasn't very reusable and it was neither modular nor composeable nor testable, and became a major headache to maintain. React solves the problems of composeability and reusability and testing isolation, at the price of having worked the problem backwards and having wound up with a quirky syntax that runs within Javascript that looks similar to HTML but isn't. Nonetheless, React is quickly become a classic example of functional programming techniques, what with its' pure components. All in all, an enjoyable technology to work with that brings some sanity to front-end user interfaces.

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We chose React on the advice of the Meteor Development Group, which acts as our upstream technical advisors. We had a prior investment in BlazeJS, due to it's optimistic UI, latency compensation, and real-time updates. However, the BlazeJS code wasn't composable and didn't lead to good reuse, as it was already overly abstracted. It also carried with it a lot of baggage from the default HTML DOM. We have enjoyed React's functional components, deterministic rendering, testability, composability, and widespread support. It's taken some time to get used to, but fits in very well with a functional programming style. We had also taken a look at AngularJS components, but they were always half-baked in comparison to the active React community.

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Preact offers an API which is extremely similar to React's for less than 10% of its size (and createElement is renamed to h, which makes the overall bundle a lot smaller). Although it is less compatible with other libraries than the latter (and its ecosystem is nowhere as developed), this is generally not a problem as Preact exposes the preact/compat API, which can be used as an alias both for React and ReactDOM and allows for the use of libraries which would otherwise just be compatible with React.

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Kyle Harrison
Web Application Developer at Fortinet | 2 upvotes 路 2.8K views

When deciding on a front end framework to build my bitcoin faucet project, I knew I needed something battle hardened, dependedable, but also feature filled and ready to go out of the box.

While I've written some smaller apps with ng2+, I've never gone full tilt with it so I knew there were still some things to learn, and most importantly: how to do them properly, such as proper component architecture and breaking old habbits from ng1.

I didn't opt for React in this case, simply due to the need to stack more and more things on top of it to do what I'd need it to do. I wanted a framework that was going to take over routing and execution of complex UI controls, and keep items outside of a component's scope updated and react to events. This framework needed a comprehensive event emission system, data acquisition and handling, bi-directional data binding, state, and a series of things that you'd need to install separately for React to match up to what's already in the box with Angular.

I opted to stick to Angular instead of Vue for the fact that Angular also already has it's entire build system ready to go and comprehensivly built to deliver the tiniest version of it's deliverable. I was hosting this thing in a google cloud instance, so I needed to make sure the app stayed as small as possible, and could automatically trim out the cruft. This is where Angular's built in Tree Shaking took precedence for me.

Vue is more than capable of handling everything I'd need, and it was something I took serious considerion of. For instance, Vue poweres Cointiply, another bitcoin faucet application that's highly reactive and high componentized just like I wanted.

But I'd still need to learn Vue, I'd still need to configure it's build system, and I still wanted to use SCSS and TypeScript.

So Angular it was. ng8 is a great platform for building very complex user interfaces, and has many of the problems you'd inevitably face integrating a user interface to an application already figured out, and complete with a best practice recommendation.

React and Vue, given enough time and energy, are super capable platforms. No one can deny that. Angular's "A-Z Batteries Included" approach to the whole development process is what made it especially enticing this time.

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Manuel Schoebel

When first used Angular, the documentation was horrible and also the construct of Angular super academic and hard to learn (back in 2014). When evaluating React it was way easier getting stated even though its html in js (jsx) approach was very different. After some time we really started to like the co-location and component based model. If you architect well, you will have a component completely in one file including js/html/css.

We solely focus on one technology for frontend development. The reason for that is, that offering customers excellent services we need to be up to date on all developments of the framework but also its community and vast amount of packages. Reading blogs, newsletters, podcasts and so on. You will realistically only be able to be really good at one, so thats for us: React!

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What is Backbone.js?

Backbone supplies structure to JavaScript-heavy applications by providing models key-value binding and custom events, collections with a rich API of enumerable functions, views with declarative event handling, and connects it all to your existing application over a RESTful JSON interface.

What is React?

Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
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What companies use React?

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What are some alternatives to Backbone.js and React?
It is a library for building interactive web interfaces. It provides data-reactive components with a simple and flexible API.
AngularJS lets you write client-side web applications as if you had a smarter browser. It lets you use good old HTML (or HAML, Jade and friends!) as your template language and lets you extend HTML鈥檚 syntax to express your application鈥檚 components clearly and succinctly. It automatically synchronizes data from your UI (view) with your JavaScript objects (model) through 2-way data binding.
Angular 2
It is a TypeScript-based open-source web application framework. It is a development platform for building mobile and desktop web applications.
A JavaScript framework that does all of the heavy lifting that you'd normally have to do by hand. There are tasks that are common to every web app; It does those things for you, so you can focus on building killer features and UI.
Aurelia is a next generation JavaScript client framework that leverages simple conventions to empower your creativity.
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