Frameworks in Javasripts make your life easy.
A bit of History
The oldest library that I fondly remember of is jQuery. The library came with a million utilities that were exposed through APIs that the developers could use to change web page behaviour. jQuery provided methods to traverse through DOM with quick commands, manipulate them, respond to user actions and events, and iron out differences between different browsers at a time when poor standards were the norm.
Then came frameworks like Angular, Backbone, Ember, etc., which are now known as first batch of ‘modern’ frameworks. These frameworks competed to make the developers life much much easier, and build larger scale applications that could be maintained.
Many such libraries developed in the past like jQuery, Ember and Angular continue to be supported, have a huge fan base, and continue to improve. However, as in life, people do tend to switch to alternate options sooner than later - especially when the alternatives offer much more by avoiding baggage from the less exciting period in history.
The State of Frameworks Today
Frontend applications continue the tradition of providing excellent user experience for users on internet. While we can talk eloquent on their magic, they ‘still’ manipulate DOM more or less like in the yore. There has been rapid progress, no doubt -
- Enable writing code at scale
- Improved async behaviour that greatly enhances user experience
- New, improved ways of interacting with DOM that make applications faster - including brilliant ideas like virtual / shadow DOM updates popularized by libraries like ReactJS
At the heart of all that, we need to understand that the frameworks abstract the complexity thereby enabling faster development of performant applications.
Is it possible to build cool projects without frameworks?
Frameworks give you building blocks to create a modern web application. They literally build on top of giants - web standards, learnings from other projects, best practices et. al.
You will still do the work (= drive the car), and will be capable of crash & burn - but it is more likely that you will succeed reaching the destination . The safety, speed and comfort can make you wonder on just how could you live so far without those ‘essentials’.
I am super excited. Where do I start?