:heart: React

Things I've learnt in 2020

December 20, 2020

React—used appropriately—works.

React for small sites: NO

React has the highest learning curve from all frameworks, paradigms I’ve encountered in my career.

React itself is not complicated. The underlying new principles and the immature ecosystem makes it complicated.

If you want something small like a marketing site, blog, portfolio — better avoid it. Any old stack, or Svelte and Vue might be better.

React for REST API: NO

This year I saw how desperate people jump into the React bandwagon without understanding React is one piece of the puzzle.

React shines together with GraphQL and Relay, it’s siblings. When separated React becomes a yet another UI library without the sum is greater than its parts effect.

React for the future: YES

In case you’ll want to invest in future React is perfect.

It transitions you from the old, imperative thinking to the new functional and reactive thinking.

React is a pioneer. It’s successor, a dedicated and integrated tool built from scratch on these new principles, perhaps is in the labs somewhere.

Invest now in React, and you’ll pick up the new tool later in no time.

React for a design system: PERHAPS (99%)

Back in 2015 I’ve created a design system in plain HTML, SCSS, Javascript on Gulp and Node.

The weak point was Javascript — programming user interactions. Binding together structure, style and behaviour with id and class names is an ultimate perversion which doesn’t scale.

Now I’ve spent Q4 with creating a design system in React and Typescript on Webpack, Babel and Node.

I’m pretty sure (99%) this stack works. Then I can state wholeheartedly React today is one of the best tools to create a design system.

React for interactive design: DEFINITIVELY

What makes React great is how fast it updates the smallest pixel on the screen.

This feature opens up perspective in creative coding with React. What was until now possible with WebGL and Canvas is now possible with plain HTML, CSS and the shadow DOM.

Paint on the screen when the cursor moves, you’ve thought? Right, you can do it with React.

Summing up

React is god-sent. It’s the first web language optimized for heavy user interactions.

Used in the right context makes magic. Otherwise, well, is often pain.


To React with best practices. Written by @metamn.