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ReactJS or AngularJS? What about something else?
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So far, ProjExec has been a really good citizen in the IBM/ICS world as we tried to reuse the core Connections stack as much as can (Dojo, OneUI, ...). But these technologies start to age while the browser technologies evolved a lot in the past years: what required a whole bunch of JavaScript using Dojo/JQuery can now be squeezed in a few lines using new libraries! It is time to change gears.

We started to look at what technology would better fit our needs. The main requirements are:
  • Make the developers productive - easy to integrate new developers
  • Have a decent performance when the application grows - ProjExec is large!
  • Can integrate with the existing code, and be used incrementally within ProjExec
  • The tool chain should integrate well with what we currently use (Maven, Eclipse...)
  • Can be debugged easily, with mean full logs
  • Have a eco-system with ready to use libraries (bootstrap, mobile, ...)
We already started to use AngularJS 1.x 2 yrs ago for some new modules. The initial steps were pretty easy, although it started to be more difficult when the complexity increased. And anyway, we know that AngularJS 1 is behind us. We cannot decently bet our future on it.

The natural next move was to use Angular 2, as it fixes most of the issues found in 1.x. I would say this is true, but the learning curve grew significantly. That includes some technology choices (ex: Observable vs Promises), Typescript, the tool chain required to get an application properly packaged, and the heaviness of the resulting code... I spent time playing with it for Darwino (we'll release some examples), but I do not see the ProjExec developers being quickly productive with it. This has been further confirmed by one of my friend, a GDE (Google Developer Expert, the equivalent of IBM Champion): his one week training class is barely sufficient to get the developers comfortable. Also, getting it integrated in a venerable existing application raises some challenges.
Ok, we'll might use it later with Ionic 2 for a dedicated mobile UI, but for now, let's look if something easier can be used on the existing web application.

The next candidate on the list is Facebook's ReactJS. Clearly, there is a buzz around this technology. It has very interesting concepts, it creates high performance applications. But the initial learning curve is even bigger than Angular's, particularly for Java developers. Moreover, it is pretty low level, which provides great flexibility but you then have to choose the proper companion libraries.
We'll keep this in the back burner, let's look is something else better suits our needs.

Finally, we discovered that another library got a lot of traction last year: it is called Vue.js (https://vuejs.org/). After a first look at it, it feels like what I hoped Angular 2 would be! Ok, I bought 2 books from Packt ($5 each), got the source code from Github and started my deep learning. It features exactly what we need:
  • Easy learning curve, particularly when you have some Angular 1 background. Anyway easier than Angular or React
  • You don't need a whole set of tools/CLI to be in place up front. Just include the single JS file and you can get started. It happens that we'll finally use Webpack, but this was not a requirement from the beginning.
  • It fixes many of the problems/inconsistencies found in Angular JS 1.x (bind vs values, separation of concerns, single file components...)
  • It easily integrates within existing applications, regardless of what they already use (Dojo, JQuery, ...), even if they are not designed as SPAs
  • It performs as good as ReactJS. Moreover, if you're a JSX fan, it is available as well
  • It is very lightweight and non intrusive
  • Developer's productivity feels superior to ReactJS
  • A good set of tools/libraries/docs is available https://github.com/vuejs/awesome-vue
  • See how it compares to the other libraries: https://vuejs.org/v2/guide/comparison.html
We decided to go with it. The early feedback I got from the development team is very positive. We'll see in the longer run if it keeps its promises, but so far so good.

I'll be interested to hear anybody else experience. Please feel free to comment.




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http://blog.riand.com/2017/01/reactjs-or-angularjs-what-about.html
Jan 25, 2017
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ReactJS or AngularJS? What about something else?
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Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 5:53p   Philippe Riand
When I started to look at AngularJS a few years ago, I surprisingly found myself quickly comfortable with this technology. One of the reason is that many of its concepts are shared with XPages. Of course, there are fundamental differences, the most obvious being AngularJS a pure client technology while XPages, based on JSF, is a server side one. But still, they share a lot! If you know XPages, your experience understanding AngularJS should be similar to mine. I'm basing my experience on Angul
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