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jQuery vs. React

jQuery and React are both popular JavaScript libraries. These libraries greatly aid and streamline the process of front-end web development. They have advantages over one another based on the use-case and specific requirements.

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step comparison between both libraries.

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jQuery is a “write less, do more” JavaScript library. It simplifies complex JavaScript tasks by wrapping them into straightforward methods.

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces (UI). It is a tool for developing different UI elements and components.

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jQuery was initially released in 2006 by The jQuery Team.

React was initially released in 2013 by Facebook.

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The size of the jQuery library is approximately 18% less compared to React. While this difference may seem insignificant, it can have a substantial impact on page load times.

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jQuery makes use of the traditional DOM. In the case of a traditional DOM update, the tree is updated from the root all the way down. Thus, DOM updates can take more time, especially for large and complex applications.

As opposed to jQuery, React makes use of a Virtual DOM. The use of a virtual DOM speeds up the DOM update process. This makes React substantially faster than jQuery.

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During web development, developers often make use of third-party JavaScript libraries written in jQuery or React. These third-party libraries can be really helpful and are usually present as NPM (Node Package Manager) packages. There are significantly more NPM packages available in React compared to jQuery. This makes React more favorable when third-party libraries are required.

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jQuery is a utility library that wraps different browser APIs. It is not specifically designed for building large applications. If we use jQuery for large applications, we might run into the following problems:

  • jQuery can lead developers to create “Spaghetti Code” for large applications, i.e., the code grows bigger and complex with time and becomes significantly harder to maintain.

  • Large applications consist of a huge, complex DOM tree --traditional DOM updates get slower with time.

As opposed to jQuery, React is a component management library. It is favorable for developing large-sized applications because:

  • The component-oriented structure of React requires developers to use recommended methodologies. While this takes away some flexibility, it helps maintain the code as the application gets larger.

  • The use of a virtual DOM incurs a lesser time overhead for DOM updates. This makes the DOM update process faster for large applications.

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