Information Technology

When is the time to search for a front-end framework?

When is the time to search for a front-end framework

A popular IT meme goes “Oh no, I’ve created a new framework!” When you start exploring the resources online you may easily get confused with the choice of available frameworks. Some developers prefer to plunge into the net, others turn to well-known solutions like React, Vue, or Angular. But when is the right time to attend to the search for a framework? If everything works well in your app why should you dig into the differences and features of the existing tools? In this article, we will try to figure that out. Further, you will find the information on:

  • when to use a framework
  • pros and cons of applying a framework
  • alternatives to using frameworks

 A framework indeed…

First, let’s focus on what a framework is. Basically, it is the structure of your app. It includes a set of files and directories where you will add your code and files to. Frameworks deal with low-level functionality, allowing developers to take care of the high-level. With the help of frameworks most of the development process, which includes coding, designing, and testing, operates on a single platform.

 When is the time?

A simple app is usually built with three things: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. HTML is used for the contents, CSS is responsible for the design, JS is interaction with the user. You open up an app, enjoy the style, tap the buttons, JS sends your request to the back and responds fast. And the app keeps working alright until one day something goes wrong.

  • Your app becomes popular, more users appear, they make the same requests, so the code starts repeating and growing.
  • If you make a small change to your code, this may affect the whole application, and you will spend hours trying to fix everything.
  • It is quite problematic to employ a new developer, as you are the only person who understands how your code works.

Those issues do not happen all of a sudden, but one day you just realize you can’t cope with them anymore, you give it up and opt for a framework. 

Pros and cons of a framework

A framework is supposed to deal with the following tasks:

  • make a readable code
  • create new pages with the same components
  • modify UI fast and easily
  • create elegant and logical UI
  • fix the bugs effectively
  • provide a community of peers and responsive support

Some frameworks on the market perform perfectly, others focus on particular functions. Some, like Bootstrap and SemanticUI, boast readable, maintainable HTML and CSS, highlighting compatible visualization. Others, like Vue, React, and Angular, are known for logical structuring data flow throughout the application. So there is a wide choice of solutions for the developers to meet their requirements. If to summarize the benefits of using a framework, it facilitates the development process, speeds it up, and provides technical assistance through the support staff or loyal followers online. 

What are the risks?

  • Learning curve. Implementing a new tool always requires a thorough understanding. Some frameworks may seem easier than they are, so you should make sure you allocate time to learn.
  • Design issues. Sometimes it is more relevant to build the components from scratch to ensure they correlate with each other. Frameworks may require the rebuilding of the whole design of your app.
  • Fast evolution. Remember the meme mentioned in the beginning? The thing is that frameworks evolve quickly, and applying a brand-new framework today, you may find it is not updated in a couple of months. That is the reason why it is difficult for new products to gain loyal customers, developers do not trust anything new.

What are the alternatives?

JS libraries may work well especially for smaller projects and precise tasks. JavaScript libraries contain ready-made applications that can be used independently or built into any project. Webix JS Framework is a robust tool. It is not a small one though, it contains more than 100 widgets. It offers complex widgets, that are fully-fledged solutions for apps with scheduler, chat, pivot tables, and other features. Besides, the library has its own Webix Jet micro framework that can be used to build and combine all the components. Such libraries become an option for those who want to make the UI work and look nice but don’t want to spend time inventing the wheel.

 Sum up

Frameworks are powerful tools that help to cope with the issues of developing an app and writing a readable code. There are hundreds of solutions online that differ in their functions, complexity, and size. Any of those frameworks can become a reliant assistant if it was carefully chosen and implemented at the right time. So the best piece of advice would be not to hurry and to think twice before diving into the offered possibilities.

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