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· 10 min read

Svelte vs React Comparison

Introduction

The last few years have seen a major surge in the development of JavaScript frameworks. This has led to an increase in competition between different frameworks, with developers and businesses choosing the one best suited for their needs. This has sparked a sort of “framework war” as developers and businesses debate which framework is the best and which is the most suitable for their needs.

The main contenders in this framework war are React, Angular and Vue. All three are popular open-source JavaScript frameworks and each has its advantages and disadvantages. React is a library for building user interfaces, and is very flexible and easy to use. Angular is a full-fledged framework offering more features for developers but is more complex. Lastly, Vue is a progressive framework, offering a wide range of features but is easy to learn.

The framework wars have made it hard to determine which one is the best as each has its advantages and disadvantages and is better suited for different types of applications. This has led to a discussion within the development community as to which framework is the best and which should be used for different types of projects. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the individual developers’ preferences and needs.

What is React?

React is an open-source JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It was initially released in 2013 by Facebook and is currently maintained by the React team of engineers. React makes it easy to create interactive UIs with declarative components. It also uses a virtual DOM (Document Object Model) to quickly update components without having to re-render the entire page.

React was designed with performance in mind. It is designed to be declarative and component-based, allowing developers to create reusable components that can be composed into larger UIs. It also makes use of the Virtual DOM to optimize rendering performance. Additionally, React employs the use of state management libraries such as Redux and MobX to manage application state in an efficient and scalable way.

React has become one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces. It is used by some of the world’s largest companies, such as Facebook, Netflix, and Airbnb. It is also used by many smaller companies, such as startups and independent developers. React’s popularity is due to its powerful features and flexibility, which allow developers to create highly interactive and responsive UIs.



What is Svelte?

Svelte is a modern JavaScript framework that was created in 2016 by Rich Harris. It is a component-based JavaScript framework that is used to create user interfaces. Unlike other frameworks, Svelte takes a different approach to building user interfaces. Instead of running in the browser, Svelte runs at build time, generating highly optimized vanilla JavaScript that updates the DOM. This approach means that Svelte apps are fast and use less code than traditional frameworks.

Svelte has gained popularity since its inception due to its simple yet powerful approach to UI development. It is easy to learn and use, and it has excellent documentation. It is also incredibly lightweight, with no external dependencies.

Svelte also supports server-side rendering, which enables you to build server-side applications in JavaScript. Additionally, Svelte has great support for TypeScript, which makes it easier to write type-safe, maintainable code.

Overall, Svelte is a great framework that offers an easy and efficient way to create user interfaces. It is a great choice for any project, whether you are just starting out or are an experienced developer.

Comparison

We will introduce the points where the two frameworks will be compared against each other: Performance, Bundle Size, Community Support, and Maintenance.

First, let’s start with a brief overview of Svelte and React. Svelte is a relatively new JavaScript framework that compiles code into small, efficient JavaScript code. It's designed for fast performance, and it has a simple syntax that makes it easy to work with. React, on the other hand, is a more established framework that uses a component-based approach to web development. It's been around since 2013 and is used by many large companies.

Performance

Here, we will compare the optimal performance of React and Svelte. Svelte is known for its performance as it compiles the code to efficient JavaScript. This can be particularly beneficial for projects that involve a lot of data manipulation or require a large amount of user input.

While Reactjs is slower in comparison as it relies on the virtual DOM. React is more suitable for applications that don’t require as much data manipulation and don’t need to be updated as often.

Where do Svelte over-performance over Reactjs comes from?

Svelte cuts lots of corners in its compilation. It interprets its application code during build time. This means that its complies the application code during the compilation of the code and does use virtual stuff during in runtime.

In contrast to Svelte, Reactjs interpretes its code during the runtime of the code. During runtime, Reactjs keeps a snapshot/representation of the real DOM in what is called the virtual DOM (vDOM), this vDOM is what Reactjs uses to mirror what will eb appended to the real DOM.

Virtual DOM is just a tree structure of JavaScript objects, just like a temporary for changes that are made to the UI. So we see that Reactjs makes a double calls when rebdering the components. It creates a snapshot in the vDOM and then updates the real DOM, this is what makes it to be actully slower than the Svelte.

Bundle Size

Svelte produces smaller bundles than Reactjs. Svelte's bundle size is 1.6KB gzipped version while Reactjs bundled size is 42.2KB, this is due to its compile-time approach. Also, Reactjs tends to generate more code than Svelte as it needs to maintain the virtual DOM.

Third-Party Support

React, yet being lightweight is merely focused on the view layer only. You will need third-party if you are going past the view layer only. For state management, we will have to install redux and react-redux. For network requests and server communication, we will have to install any of the network libraries, e.g axios, got, etc. or we can just use fetch. For reactivity, we will have to install rxjs.

This is different in Svelte, because everything is in-built in Svelte, from state management to reactivity.

## Components Components in Reactjs and Svelte differs. In Reactjs, components are either classes or functions that are exported from .js, .ts, .jsx, and .tsx.

In Svelte, components are written in .svelte files and Svelte exports it, we don't have to do anything.

import FilterButton from "./FilterButton.svelte";

Our UI elements are written in the .svelte and Svelte does the magic behind the scene. In terms of styling, Svelte modularized their styling or we can say that Svelte scoped the styling in components. This means that the styling will be unique to the component, there will not be any conflicts in the styling. This just like in Nextjs(a SSR-version of Reactjs), we can either create global styling or unique styling for components.

## Community Support We will look into the community support of both frameworks to see who has stronger support and that may last for a very long time.

Without a doubt, Reactjs has a larger community and more resources for developers. There are tons upon tons of React blogs treating various features and advanced topics of Reactjs. Nowadays, you need only the internet to learn React. Also, Facebook has a devoted team of smart engineers supporting and maintaining Reactjs. Also, being open-source thousands of developers all over the world work towards supporting Reactjs.

On the other hand, Svelte has fewer resources and is relatively new. So, it has fewer people in its community yet, it is so because it is very new and people are adopting slowly.

Maintainence

Reactjs beats Svelte in maintenance because Facebook is at its helm, and they also have a dedicated team that works round the clock to maintain the framework. Reactjs has seen a lot of new and huge releases, making React the ideal framework for everybody to adopt. We have seen the releases of functional components, React Context, Hooks, etc.

Svelte has also a great maintenance team that works to keep Svelte highly performant and in contention with Reactjs.

When to use React and when to use Svelte?

When it comes to choosing the right JavaScript library for web development, React and Svelte are two of the top contenders. React is a popular and widely used library developed by Facebook, while Svelte is a relatively new library that has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to understand when to use React and when to use Svelte.

React is a great choice for larger projects that require a lot of features. It has a strong community and lots of support, and is backed by Facebook, so you know it's reliable. It's also great for making complex user interfaces because it's easy to create reusable components with React. It also has a lot of features and tools built in, so it's a good choice for teams that need to build large applications quickly.

Svelte, on the other hand, is more suited for smaller projects that don't require a lot of features. It's more lightweight than React and uses less code, so it's great for projects where performance is key. It also has a smaller learning curve, so it's a good choice for developers who don't have a lot of experience with JavaScript. Additionally, Svelte is great for creating dynamic user interfaces, since it compiles code into highly optimized JavaScript.

When it comes to choosing between React and Svelte, the best option is to assess the needs of your project. If performance and optimized code are important, then Svelte may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you need to create large and complex applications quickly, then React may be the better option. Additionally, if you want to create dynamic user interfaces, then Svelte is the better choice.

Ultimately, it depends on the needs of your project and the amount of time you have to develop it. React is a great choice for larger projects, while Svelte is better for smaller, more dynamic projects. It really all comes down to the specific needs of your project and the amount of time you have to invest in development.

Conclusion

We started by going down memory lane on the advent and rise of frameworks, and their wars in recent times. Next, we delved into React to learn about its brief history and also Svelte's. Later on, we compared both frameworks based on performance, bundle size, community support, and maintenance.

The decision between Svelte and React comes down to the needs of your project. If you’re looking for a lightweight, fast-performing framework that’s easy to learn, then Svelte may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you need a powerful framework that can handle complex applications, then React may be the better option.



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