Technical Content Writer at almaBetter
React is a component-based library that allows developers to break down complex UIs into small, reusable components. Each component is responsible for a specific functionality and can be easily combined with other components to create a complete UI.
One of the key benefits of React is its performance. This is because React uses a virtual DOM (Document Object Model), an abstraction of the actual DOM. The virtual DOM allows React to update only the necessary parts of the UI when changes occur rather than updating the entire UI. This results in faster performance and a better user experience.
React.js was first introduced by Meta in 2011 when a Software Engineer named Jordan Walke was working on a project to improve Facebook’s chat feature. The project involved building a user interface to handle large amounts of real-time data and updates.
Initially, React was used only within Meta, but it quickly gained popularity among developers outside the company. In 2015, Meta released React Native, which allowed developers to build native mobile applications using the React library.
Since its release, React has become one of the most popular Front-End Development libraries, with a large and active community of developers. Many high-profile companies have used it, including Netflix, Airbnb, and Dropbox.
Over the years, React has undergone many changes and improvements. In 2015, Meta released React 0.14, which introduced several new features, including improved server-side rendering and the ability to use React with non-JSX syntax.
One of the key features of React is its ability to break down a complex UI into smaller, reusable components. Each component represents a specific functionality or UI element, such as a button or a form input. Components can be easily combined with other components to create more complex UI elements or used as standalone elements.
React also uses a virtual DOM (Document Object Model), a lightweight copy of the actual DOM. The virtual DOM allows React to update only the necessary parts of the UI when changes occur rather than updating the entire UI. This results in faster performance and a better user experience.
React is highly flexible and can be used with various technologies and tools. Furthermore, it can be integrated with other libraries and frameworks like Redux, Angular, and Vue to provide additional functionality and support.
Here are some examples of web applications that use React.js:
Meta: As the creator of React.js, Meta naturally uses the library extensively throughout its web applications. React powers many of Facebook’s and Instagram’s UI elements, including the News Feed, comments, and Messenger.
Airbnb: Airbnb uses React.js to power its search and booking features. The site relies heavily on real-time updates and user interactions, which React’s virtual DOM is well-suited to handle.
Netflix: Netflix uses React.js to build its user interface, particularly for its video player and search features. React’s ability to handle real-time updates and complex data structures is handy for the constantly-changing content on Netflix’s platform.
Dropbox: Dropbox uses React.js for its web application, particularly for its file-sharing and collaboration features. React’s component-based architecture allows Dropbox to build and maintain complex UI elements for its users quickly.
GitHub: GitHub uses React.js for its user interface, particularly for its pull request review and issue tracking features. React’s ability to handle real-time updates and large data sets is convenient for these collaboration-focused features.
These are just a few examples of the many web applications that use React.js to power their user interfaces. The library’s flexibility, performance, and ease of use have made it popular for many modern web applications.
As Web Development evolves, React.js will likely remain a key player. Its ability to handle real-time updates, large data sets, and complex user interactions makes it an essential tool for building the web applications of tomorrow.
Want to learn more about React.js and other such libraries? Join AlmaBetter’s Full Stack Web Development course for a deeper understanding.