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As a front-end developer, you may find yourself contemplating which framework is the optimal choice for your project. Is React the right option, or is Svelte a more beginner-friendly alternative?

React was acknowledged as the dominant front-end framework last year. However, due to certain limitations, Svelte has emerged as a popular choice among developers.

In this article, we will compare React and Svelte based on various crucial aspects. By the conclusion of this post, you will have a clear understanding of which library is most suitable for your project.

React

React is an open-source library developed and maintained by Facebook and written primarily in JavaScript. It was released in 2013 and has undergone many noticeable changes since then as the front-end ecosystem evolved. It’s used for developing front-end user interfaces for web and mobile apps. Today the React ecosystem itself extends to other frameworks built on top of it, such as Next.js and React Native. 

Svelte

Svelte is a free open-source JavaScript compiler. It came out in 2016 and has gained traction rapidly due to its unique approach toward building and shipping front-end web applications. The Svelte source code itself was written in Typescript, a more robust version of JavaScript. 

Syntax and learning curve: Is Svelte easier to learn than React?

Svelte

A Svelte application consists of three parts: the HTML part, the JavaScript part, and the CSS part. Svelte builds this model for developers, but also provides a short way to write code. However, this pattern is similar to other frameworks such as Vue.js, Angular, and (most importantly) JavaScript implementations. So it’s easy to start writing some Svelte code.
Here is an example:

<script> 
let name='svelte' 
</script> 
<h1>You're learning {name}!</h1> 
<style> 
h1{ text-decoration:underline; } 
</style>

In the script section, we create a JavaScript variable and output it to the HTML template. Finally, we have a styling section that will control the CSS for this page.

React

React requires code to be written in a special JavaScript extension language called JSX. So all React files have a .jsx extension. HTML templates are returned from JavaScript functions and all logic is contained there. Below is the same code example as before, but using React syntax. 

import React from 'react'; 
import './style.css'; 
export default function App() 
{ 
    const name = 'react'; 
    return ( 
    <div> 
    <h1>You're learning {name}!</h1>
    </div> 
    ); 
}

Notice that we import the styles.css file at the top. This is where you can declare some CSS for your React templates: 

h1 {
   text-decoration:underline;
}

Conclusion

Because React uses JSX, it has a steeper learning curve than Svelte. Svelte is easy to use, especially for beginners, as it relates to vanilla JavaScript and other frameworks.  

Developer experience


Developer experience refers to the level of satisfaction and enjoyment you derive from working with a particular framework, creating applications, and maintaining them over an extended period. If a framework doesn’t provide a seamless and straightforward process for building web applications, it may not be the most optimal choice.

Both React and Svelte provide their respective compilers, allowing for hot reloading and application bundling. However, do they offer the same capabilities and assistance in writing code and reducing boilerplate? This is what we are about to explore.

React

Here is some simple code in React that binds the value of an input field to a variable and prints it: 

import React,{ useState } from 'react';

export default function App() {
  const [name,setName]=useState('')
  const handleChange=(e)=>setName(e.target.value)
  return (
    <>
      <input type="text" value={name} onChange={handleChange} />
      <h1>Name: {name}</h1>
    </>
  );
}

The App component consists of an input field and a heading. We utilize a state variable named “name” that is connected to the input field through the value property. To ensure that the state variable reflects any changes in the input field, we trigger the handleChange function. It updates the “name” state variable with the current value of the input field. Here is the outcome:

Svelte

Now let’s write some code in Svelte that does the same thing as above: 

<script> 
let name=''; 
</script> 
<input type="text" bind:value={name} /> 
<h1>Name: {name} </h1>

We have a name variable that we directly bind to the input field and then output it under a heading.

Conclusion

Achieving the same functionality requires approximately five lines of code in Svelte, while it takes roughly ten lines in React. React involves more boilerplate code, including the creation of a function and the inclusion of a return statement to output the HTML. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the Svelte code provided above does not require any import statements, unlike React.

Evidently, Svelte provides a more concise and straightforward approach to code writing, with less boilerplate, resulting in a superior developer experience compared to React.

React vs Svelte: which is better?

Now it’s time for the final decision. But before we conclude, let’s summarize:

If you’re a beginner looking to build a small-scale project such as a developer portfolio, a blog website, or a personal project, Svelte is the way to go. It’s also suitable if you want to develop something more substantial but want to do it quickly, like an MVP for a product. With Svelte, you can create fast applications in a short amount of time without unnecessary complexity or convoluted boilerplate.

On the other hand, if you’re aiming to develop applications across multiple platforms and need a highly flexible and scalable solution to target a large user base, React is the recommended choice. If you’re working on a complex web application, React should be your go-to option. Its popularity, robust ecosystem, and extensive range of tools and libraries will assist you in building applications that cater to intricate use cases.

Finally, for more such posts, please follow our LinkedIn page- FrontEnd Competency.

Anuj

Anuj

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