Author - Neeti Kotia

ReactJS vs VueJS: Comparing the Best JavaScript Frameworks

Though JavaScript has been around for quite a long time, it was largely seen merely as a cosmetic tool for web applications. But in the last few years, as frontend and backend technologies started to converge and the gap between web and mobile development started to become narrower, it has emerged as one of the most prominent tools. Now if you dig deeper, you would find numerous JS libraries of which ReactJS and VueJS remain the most popular. If you are confused about the two, here is your guide to finding the best JS framework:

ReactJS

Launched by Facebook in 2013, ReactJS remains one of the most popular JS libraries.

Pros:

  • Easy learning curve

One of the key reasons ReactJS became popular in the first place is because its developers find it much easier to learn and deploy in their application.

  • Open source

There are two benefits of its open source tag- 1. It's freely available for anyone to use and modify; 2. It evolves much quickly to bring in new features and improve performance, which further helps grow the community.

  • Flexibility

ReactJS is quite lightweight and easily integrates with other technology stacks. This flexibility helps developers

Cons

  • Poor documentation

React ReactJS for a very long time used as an internal technology at Facebook, they never bothered to create detailed documentation

  • Complexity

Through ReactJS is easy to learn for beginners, it gets really complex once the application starts scaling up, particularly when developers have to use Event managers. 

Vue

Launched in 2014, Vue is an open source JS framework that has gained a lot of traction in recent times.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Flexible
  • Detailed documentation

Cons:

  • Limited community support
  • Doesn’t scale well

Showdown

Now that we know these technologies have on offer and their respective shortcomings, let’s take this discussion a step further to pitch them directly against each other in key aspects and see which one comes out on the top:

Performance

This is quite tough to measure in terms of comparison but here is the gist- for simple interfaces, ReactJS would outperform Vue. But if you have too much animation and the interface has many interactive features, Vue would perform much better than React.

Scalability

Now, this is where ReactJS has an upper hand and one of the key reasons it is adopted by large corporations. ReactJS follows a component-based model that scales very well whereas Vue follows a template-based model that often breaks down as the application grows larger in size.

Convenience

ReatJS library is kind of an open field with no division in MVC, MVW or other methodologies. While this offers flexibility to seasoned developers, it creates challenges in implementing cross-functional teams. Vue, on the other hand, is based on MVC and thus makes it suitable for such cases.

Corporate backing

The corporate backing of any technology indicates long-term support as these companies tend to not only use but also contribute to these platforms. ReactJS, being a product of Facebook and used by applications like Netflix and Dropbox has excellent corporate backing. And the Vue to have corporate backers like Alibaba and Xiaomi isn’t as strong as React.

Community support

If you get stuck in ReactJS development, you would find a ton of resources to get you through while the same can’t yet be said for Vue. The point is, React has created quite a matured community that would take quite some time for Vue to match up with.

Final verdict

Though Vue has its benefits, ReactJS is still the king of web application development. But as Vue gains wider traction it may pose a serious challenge to React in future.

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You Must Optimize Your App for All Screen Sizes. Here is why

Do you remember the term “phablet”? It was coined a few years ago to denote the hybrid of phone+tablet. All smartphones with a screen size larger than 5-inches were termed phablets. We don’t use that term anymore for 5-inch or even 6-inch phones are now the norm. There are two points we are trying to portray here:

  • The market is increasingly moving towards larger screens
  • The outlier at one point may become the mainstream at another

That’s enough for hardware. Now let’s roll to the software segment. When businesses plan to launch an application, they have to formulate strategies to reach the maximum audience at minimum cost. That is, they target the largest chunk of users first and then make their way downward. If you are confused, consider this data that shows the percent of users with phones of particular screen size:

Screen SizeMarket Share
5-inch50%
6-inch20%
4.7-inch15%
4-inch10%
6.5-inch5%

Now because optimizing an app for any particular screen size takes time, i.e billing hours, businesses have to make trade-offs between investments and returns. In the case mentioned above, they would obviously first build the application that is optimized for the 5-inch screen. Then if the budget allows, they would optimize for 6-inch displays and so on.

While this approach seems quite pragmatic and beneficial in maximizing ROI, it suffers from a critical flaw. If you carefully look at the table above, it prioritizes optimizing apps for 4-inch and 4.7-inch displays against 6.5-inch. And on the first glance, it seems feasible because those smaller screens combinedly capture a market share of 25% against 5% of the larger screen. But that runs contrary to the larger trend we discussed earlier.

Mobile phones have a really short lifecycle. That means, even if larger screens capture lesser market share now, they are still a better bet keeping future in mind. The best example of this long-term approach can be seen in case Evernote. While it already dominates the smartphone segment, it has invested in other platforms like Windows and Chrome OS as well. That is, no matter where the trend leads, they would be ready to reap the benefits. This is a fact that top mobile app development services realize and thus are consistently updating their tech stack to ensure a wider reach.

But what exactly optimization means anyway?

It depends on what screen you are optimizing for. If it’s a larger screen, it would mean using the extra space to deliver more features. It can be something as small as changing the design or something as relevant as offering multi-window support. It’s just a matter of how much you are willing to invest to optimize your app for any particular screen size.

For smaller screens, optimization is much trickier. There you have to either cut down some features or reorganize the app for a clutter-free experience.

Now let’s circle back to our initial discussion of larger trends in the smartphone market. The conundrum that most businesses face is that if they focus on current market structure, they can rapidly acquire users and break even on the cost of mobile app development but may miss out the future opportunities. While if they focus on the future, they have to suffer poor ROI for a time before their long-term strategy comes to fruition.

The solution that we suggest is to take a phased approach. Start optimizing for current trends and then use the immediate returns to invest in future investments. That is, you must optimize your app for screen sizes and it’s just a matter of which one you prioritize.

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Here are 5 Location-Based Service Everyone Uses

Did you know that the GPS on your phone, the one you use for calling cabs or tracking your dog used to be a top-secret military technology until quite recently? And contrary to popular belief, GPS isn’t a new technology either. It’s been around for almost 40 years but it is only in the last decade that it’s became a staple for mobile solutions and has virtually created entirely new industries. If you just look at the broad variety of services GPS has enabled and refined over the last years, you can grasp the true extent of its impact.

And to be clear, when we say “variety”, we aren’t just referring to the large number of mobile applications that use GPS but also the immense diversity in the services they provide. Essentially, the technology you use for ordering a pizza through UberEats is same you use for finding romantic partners on Tinder. The point is, location-based services have become so ingrained in mobile solutions that you might be using many of them without even realizing it. Here are 5 key location-based services- each with numerous applications that can easily be spotted any smartphone:

Discovery

These were one of the first kinds of location-based services that hit the consumer space after GPS was opened to public use. These services detect user’s location and show requested information about their locality. Be it finding restaurants, tourist attractions, or nearby gas stations, there are numerous applications that deliver such services. Foursquare was one of the first applications of such kind while these days, most of these features are integrated into Google Maps itself.

Service delivery

This is currently the hottest segment in location-based services that has virtually opened up a new category of services referred to as “on-demand services”. The process is very simple- users open their app à the app detects their location à they request a service to that location. Those services can range from calling a cab or ordering food to requesting for laundry or a massage. The entire cab industry, food delivery, and virtually all on-demand applications fall into this category.

Social sharing

With each smartphone having inbuilt GPS, the dynamics of socializing has changed drastically. One of the key segments that location-based services have completely overhauled is the dating platforms. Instead of relying on users to provide their information and offering a fixed number of matches, these services access user’s location consistently to offer them new matches in their locality everywhere they move. Also, the advent of “check-ins” and leaving reviews for all the places they visit has shaped how people share their opinions and their activities.

Tracking

Be it tracking your lost phone, your pet with a tracking collar, or your car with an inbuilt tracker, there is a whole range of location-based services apps help users know exactly where their belongings are. Even the features of tracking your cab or food delivery when en-route can be considered a part of these services.

Games

It’s only recently that the potential of location-based services have been explored in the gaming segment and the results have been quite encouraging. While the longtime popular applications like Geoguesser do seem to be based on LBS, they really are not. It is the applications like Ingress or the Pokemon Go that access user’s live location and then superimposes a virtual world on that real framework.

Overall, there is hardly any category of app that doesn’t require location-based services. Even the ones that don’t explicitly need it, still ask for location permissions to filter their content. And as the technology has proliferated, building them has become quicker and cheaper. In fact, in top markets like the app development companies in India deliver highly sophisticated applications at a fraction of western markets. It is this mix of its inherent benefits coupled with inexpensive development that has brought the once coveted location-based services to everyone.

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The Future of Enterprise Mobility will be driven by AI

Mobility has been one of the defining characters of the last decade and while its impact in consumer space is widely visible, the behind-the-scenes shifts in enterprises have been equally transformative. But as mobility starts to saturate, an entirely new technology is ready to propel the next phase of innovation- AI. As per a Gartner study, by 2021, around 40% of enterprise solutions would use AI at some level.

And while we can’t comprehend the full-scale of its adoption, there are some key areas that would see the first wave of transformation. Here are just a few of them:

Anomaly detection

Internal operations of any enterprise depend on a whole range of mobility solutions- from employee attendance and project management to payroll generation and internal communications. The AI-driven solutions in the coming years would not just keep each of those applications in sync but also continuously monitor their activities to flag any anomalies that are simply too tough for humans to detect. Be it an unusual spike in data traffic or simply optimizing the system by adapting to the usage pattern, AI would form the first line of defense in future enterprise solutions.  

Intelligent decisions

It won’t be an overstatement to predict that within the next 5 years AI-enabled solutions would be presiding over the board of any organization for all crucial decisions. While most of the enterprises currently take decisions based on statistics and sheer hunch, as improved data mining and predictive analytics become cheaper and more accessible, it would take any uncertainty out of the decision-making process. For instance, most of the stock trading enterprises already use some kind of AI tool to decide their portfolio and even automate the trading. It’s only a matter of time before such tools are deployed in other industries as well.

AI-integrated hardware

BYOD policy is increasingly gaining popularity and it is reasonable to expect that within a few years, a majority of employees in any given enterprise would be working on their own devices. And you may already know, the smartphones already feature AI-enabled chips that drastically improve performance. Yes, this isn’t exactly enterprise solutions adopting AI but rather adapting to it. But in any case, the applications would be built to make the most out of these improved capabilities.

Communications

Be it the recent surge in chatbots, AI assistants, or simply the recently unveiled Google Duplex, AI has been penetrating the communication space for quite a while and it’s now mature enough to be inducted in enterprise solutions. Not only they offer a much faster, reliable, and scalable solution for businesses to communicate with their clients but their advanced features like detecting emotions through voice and face can be a ground-breaking tool for enterprises to build the most effective communication channels with their customers and within.

But as always, these exciting transformations have their own hurdles. They aren’t too high to derail the process but certainly have the potential to delay them.

AI washing

Perhaps the biggest threat to mass AI deployment is not other technologies but the overenthusiasm of AI itself. Many enterprise mobile solution providers often market simple algorithmic processes as AI. This kind of misrepresentation would essentially disappoint the early adopters and thus discourage further investment and by extension, adoption.

For example, though Face detection or text-to-speech might seem like AI-capabilities to some, they are essentially routine algorithmic tasks. It is actually the Face Recognition or understanding the semantics of the text or speech that makes an application truly AI-enabled.

Operational restructuring

AI is often portrayed as the mortal enemy of the human workforce and there is quite an anxiety about vertically integrating such technologies into any enterprise. But the organizations who are already working with such solutions have an entirely different experience. Yes, a few mundane jobs are lost but far more productive posts are opened up. But this requires a complete operational restructuring- an inertia that many enterprises might find tough to overcome

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Front End, Back End, and Full Stack-The Three Faces of Web Development

Front End, Back End, and Full Stack-The Three Faces of Web DevelopmentRollback a few years and you would find that web applications were little more than digital catalogs. For the most part, they were static and as they had fewer footfalls, the risk and repercussions for crashing websites also used to be low. Those days it used to common for a single person to design, develop, and even host their website! But as the scale and complexity grew, web development has gradually moved from a generalist to specialist approach- giving rise to separate domains of frontend, backend full stack development

But that isn’t the complete picture. If you have ever scrolled through job portals, you would rarely find job profiles named Backend Developer or Frontend developer. Instead, the developers are generally associated with the technology they work on rather than on which end is it applied. Further, the rise of languages like JavaScript has further complicated the matter by blurring the line between the two, something we would discuss later. To get a clear picture, let’s first probe each of them and then we will try and come up with a generalized conclusion.

Frontend development

As the name suggests, this part of development creates the face of web application- the part that users actively interact with. Every webpage is built using a markup language called HTML (currently HTML5) while CSS and JavaScript are used for design and integrating dynamic components. But as mentioned before, you would rarely find a job profile named frontend developer because they are generally called UI/UX designers.

As much of the application is built using ready-to-use components and templates, the task of these developers slants more on designing than development. Not just the aesthetics- which is a part of the interface but also the entire workflow- that constitutes user experience.

Backend development

The actual working of websites takes place behind the scenes. That is, when you as a user click “Buy” on any eCommerce website, it is the backend developers who make the purchase happen. Technologies like PHP, Python, NodeJS, among others, remain the most popular for backend development. And just like you don’t find “front-end developers”, you won’t find “backend developers” in job profiles. They are known by the technology they work upon like “PHP developer”, “NodeJS developer”, etc. The database expertise to remains a part of backend development.

Overall, all you need is a UI/UX developer and a PHP/Python/NodeJS developer to build any web application.

Full Stack development

Generally, developers who carry expertise on all parts of application development are referred to as full stack developers. In theory, that is quite simple to explain but as mentioned, web development technologies have evolved a lot over the years and things aren’t any more so easy to segregate.

The new web development space

With the advent of many tools and technologies, JavaScript, in particular, have a line between frontend and backend development has blurred. As mentioned, JavaScript remains a key component of frontend development but if you noticed, NodeJS- a backend platform, is also based on JavaScript. Similarly, there are many low-code tools that offer components with both GUI and backend functionality. So if a developer builds web applications with these new tools, are the front-end developers or the backend developers?

Overall as a general rule of thumb, we should be segregating these domains only for custom web application development and not all web development projects. In that case, our neatly defined categories hold true. Otherwise, it is more plausible to assume that full-stack developers have built the application.

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