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Framework is a word used a lot in the web development world. What is a framework? Do I need one? Which one should I use? These are all valid questions that deserve an answer. Read on for more information!
A web framework is a software library that enables developers to write software on the web. A base to build from. The foundations. Lets run with the building analogy for a little bit...
When you build a house, it starts with the architect. You will discuss with the architect your dream house. From here, he will be able to advise on which materials you require. If you use a material that is commonly used, such as a standard brick, then this will make it cheaper and easier for the builder. Your materials would be comparable to the library used. Common web libraries are React and Vue ( discussed below ). You could use hexagonal bricks, and sometimes this is what you really really want. But these aren't standard so it will take a lot longer.
You could give the builder a couple thousand bricks, and he may be able to make a house from it. But it is usually best to provide a plan as well. These plans will be different from project to project, but the builder can still follow the plan as they are structured the same way. Plans all have sizes, materials, shape and position. These plans would be your framework.
When we look at websites and web applications, you will see that there are often duplicated features that are similar on each site. For example authentication, page routing, button clicking, data fetching etc. If the developer was to create everything from scratch for each website, it would take 10x longer to create and would be harder to maintain. By leveraging a framework, the developer can focus on what makes your business unique.
It depends on the framework! Each framework has a different way of solving problems that are faced by developers. However, they all have the following in common:
- Lots of users working on solving issues and fixing bugs
- Support is easier as everyone is using the same 'language'
- Common patterns or design guidelines mean it is easier for a new developer to take over the project and edit/update it.
NextJS is a React framework. It is leading the charge of static site generation and incremental static site generation.
Vue has the most stars on GitHub ( 199K ), however most people believe that React is more popular, probably because it is a bit older than React. The project is developed and led by ex-Googler Evan You. It’s a very strong, independent project in the open-source community and is used by over 1 million websites.
NuxtJS is a vue framework. Featuring hybrid rendering, powerful data fetching and many other new features.