Should I use Angular or React?
AngularJS and ReactJS top all the discussions concerned with Front-end development as both are high performing, advanced and widely adopted for developing cross-platform applications.
Whats is Angular?
Angular has a very complex and fixed structure because it's based on the three layers Model, View, and Controller - typical of single-page applications. It was first appeared in 2009. Since one of its developers, Misko Hevery, became a Google employee, it is actively supported by Google now. After latest official release of Angular, the popularity of the framework has reached a new level in today's time.
What is React?
So, which one is best for your website?
Data Binding - Angular connects Document Object Model values to Model data through the Controller using two-way data binding. In short, if the user interacts with an input field and provides a new value to the app, then not only the View is updated, but the Model as well. Two-way data binding is beneficial for Angular. But two-way data binding approach is its negative impact on performance.
React uses one-way data binding, meaning we are able to direct the flow of data only in one direction. Because of this, it's always clear where the data was changed. It's worth noting that two-way data binding was available in React before v15.
Resolving Dependencies - Angular uses a basic Object Oriented Programming pattern called dependency injection, meaning we write dependencies in a separate file. It's inconvenient to create a dependency directly in an object. Where React doesn't offer any concept of a built-in container for dependency injection. But this doesn't mean we have to think of a method to inject dependencies. You can use several instruments to inject dependencies automatically in a React application. Such instruments include Browserify, RequireJS, EcmaScript 6 modules which we can use via Babel, ReactJS-di, and so on.
Directives and Templates - Directives in Angular are a way to organize our work/code around the DOM. If working with Angular, we access the DOM only through directives. For example, Angular has many standard directives, such as ng-bind or ng-app, but we can create own directives as well. And we should. This is a powerful way to work with the DOM.
React doesn't offer division into templates and directives or template logic. The template logic should be written in the template itself.
Performance - When we bind values in HTML with our model, Angular creates a watcher for each binding to track changes in the DOM. Once the View updates, Angular compares the new value with the initial (bound) value and runs the $digest loop. The $digest loop then checks not only values that have actually changed, but also all others values that are tracked through watchers. This is why performance will decrease a lot if your application has too many watchers.
MVC - Dividing the application into distinct and easily modifiable elements make it easier to reduce the line of code, and in the end, it increases the quality of the result of the product. React only has the view component of the MVC which can increase the line of codes but Angular is developed according to the MVC architecture.
Packaging - It is all about the flexibility and capability of a developer to deploy a code the way you want it to run. If you want to achieve a faster loading time, developers much first aim at loading the minimum number and then continue when its demand increases. React allows developers to make the best use for slower loading pieces of code. Its library also enables working with solutions like web pack. Angular offers a limited ability to control the packaging, and as a result, it ends up looking like assembly code. Thereby, Angular is comparatively more rigid. So, while dealing with packaging, React is better.
Reuse of Code - React lets you manage your app code as you like but Angular consists of a series of ready to use elements. Even if it has priority collisions and namespaces, Angular is always prepared to employ more elements. So, regarding the reuse of code, Angular is much better.
Learning Curve - Angular has a steeper learning curve compared to Reactjs and so, it is not easy to master. If you are a professional developer, this will be easier to understand.
Documentation and Vendor Support - Angular was created by Google and the company keeps developing the Angular ecosystem. Since January 2018, Google has provided the framework with LTS (Long-Term Support) that focuses on bug fixing and active improvements. Despite the fast development of the framework, the documentation updates aren’t so fast. To make the Angular developer’s life easier, there’s an interactive service that allows you to define the current version of the framework and the update target to get a checklist of update activities.
So, where should you use Angular?
Development time is at a premium, and you need a full, comprehensive framework that will get you running quickly out of the box. With the recent release of Angular 2.0 on May 2, 2016, Angular devotees have another reason to stick with their framework of choice. Angular 2.0 shipped with a huge performance boost, including support for server-side rendering and a similar approach to using one-way data binding to only manipulate the parts of the DOM that need to be changed.
However, Angular 2.0 also involved a major rewrite of the framework, so whether you choose to install React or upgrade to the next generation of Angular, there's still going to be a learning curve to overcome. But React is not backwards compatible with browsers older than IE8. Also, the community is young, so it's possible you'll have to do a lot of "reinventing of the wheel" in order to get the specific features you're looking for. It's also up for debate whether or not installing React is worth the trouble if your project is either a simple webpage or if Angular is already more than capable of rendering your view.
So, where should you use React?
React shines when you have lots of dynamic content changing within the view. Most client-side solutions on the web today struggle with rendering large lists of items within a single view. This "struggle" may be on the order of milliseconds, but in this increasingly digital world, a half a second delay is all it takes to kill your user experience. It's why sites that have a lot of dynamic, constantly changing, data-intensive content like Instagram or Facebook choose to power their applications with React.As a library, you can also use React as the view component of Angular or other frameworks, because it does not tie you to a specific technology stack. React is also perfect for those familiar with ClojureScript and its immutable data structures - the Om project is the rising star for those looking to build dynamic applications using these technologies.
To sum up, both Angular and React are great for writing single-page applications. But they are completely different instruments. Some programmers may say that React is better than Angular or vice versa. What's really best for a given project, however, depends on how you use these instruments.