Angular JS, React JS and Node JS Demystified

The JavaScript war is at an all-time high. Developers across the JavaScript divide are debating on the best tool to use for Javascript applications. Pundits in this arena are drumming support for their favorite between Angular JS, and React JS. We’ll look at the similarities between these two frameworks and dive deeper into understanding the Javascript engine Node Js. What sets apart these three tools and how useful are they for Js software development?

Angular Js

angular js google

2009 saw Google launch its “brainchild”, open source client-side web framework. Angular Js was released for angular developers with the primary purpose of addressing single page application creation challenges .

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It simplifies development by providing a reliable framework for Client-side Model View Controller (MVC). Google  is providing an official style guide and best practices, but it remains that the most comprehensive and popular AngularJS are from the AngularJS community itself. 

Angular data binding

In Angular Js, the model and the view are linked to allow automatic data synchronization between the two.  Sitepoint explains how the two way data-binding in Angular JS works. Any changes to the view are instantly propagated on to the model and vice versa.This property makes Angular app development less demanding as the programming model is simplified for the coder.

Angular modular development

Building modular rich client side applications that are well structured is now possible with Angular.  Modules are created in separate Js files and are essential in separation of logic. They play a vital role of keeping the code organized. Examples of Angular Js modules include controllers, applications and services. Every part of the application is kept in a separate container to keep the code clean.


angular expression

Creating an angularjs module

Why adopt Angular JS?

  • The Angular architecture allows an easy and automatic data synchronization between the model view and the components.
  • Angular templates are rendered just like the traditional plain HTML. Included extended HTML terminologies carry instructions on how to project the model into view.
  • An inbuilt dependency injection subsystem allows the user to ask for dependencies. This is quicker and easier than having to look for them, which translates to faster Angular app development and testing.
  • Angular is made to be testable from the initial development stages all the way up.
  • Angular views are simple HTML pages. JavaScript controllers are responsible for the processing.

Trends with Angular Js

In 2015 Google initiated the Polymer project. It is relatively new and hasn’t really caught on. Some browsers still don’t support it. Polymer differs from Angular in that it is a tool for development of web components, while Angular is a whole self contained framework.

Some developers believe that Google is planning to slowly phase out  Angular with this new entrant. That of course is pure speculation and only time can tell.Polymer is pushing for building of the application UI dynamically using reusable components.

Whether or not the relevance of Angular will diminish in the future is solely dependent on the decisions of Google and the ever changing trends.

React Js

react js logo

React JS provides high performance client and server side rendering with a one-way flow for data binding. It is based on building reusable chunks of code which are components, more of a library, which makes it  quite easy to work with.

React  kind of gets out of the way of the developers design preferences; it doesn’t care whether the React app developer prefers Django or ASP.

React is more of a library than a  framework. It can best be described as an application view that allows the programmer to utilize reusable components. It is composed of its own React libraries, tools, and solutions that developers can use to build their own Js framework.

React server side rendering

React boasts a unique feature that facilitates quick rendering of content, for better user interaction. A virtual React DOM allows both client side and server side rendering which decreases  the page load time. Facebook, a high user traffic site employs React Js since it delivers amazing user experience, which is vital for a website of its caliber.

Re-usable components

React is built around development using components. Common react design elements can be broken down to individual components. React Buttons, fields, forms etc, can be saved and reused for a later time when the application developer intends to create another mobile or web UI project. This saves time and effort for the coder as they don’t need to write code again for the same components in the future.


react component

Benefits of adopting React Js

  • It keeps a virtual React DOM which randomly updates parts that have been changed or those that need to be updated.
  • React allows both client and server side rendering.
  • It provides an option for pure JavaScript template creation.
  • React JS components are highly re-usable.
  • React comes with a small API. Beginners will find it easy to learn and start using it.
  • React Native, an offshoot of React Js allows use of Javascript to write Native IOS applications.

Trends with React Js

Recently the JSX Compiler Service was deprecated as a JSX transformer tool, with the developers recommending the use of  Babel REPL tool instead. 

Node Js platform

node js logoNode is a Javascript run time powered by Google chrome V8 Javascript engine.  It can be described as Javascript that has been given the ability to run on the computer, instead of the browser, like normal Javascript. This is made possible by the V8 JavaScript run time engine.Based on a module architecture, Node simplifies the development of complex applications.

It is works on an event-driven non-blocking IO model and is adapted for developing server side applications in JavaScript. Node Js allows you to build Utilities that you can concatenate and create JavaScript files with on your machine.

Creating a HTTP server with Node JS.   Source: Hongkiat.com

node js creating HTTP server

Benefits of Node Js platform 

  • It allows the use of the same Javascript for both the front end and back end development.
  • Among many other functions, Node Js allows users to listen to network traffic, listen and reply to HTTP requests on the computer and access databases from the computer directly.

The downside of  Node JS

  • Node uses event-driven approach to cater for implied scalability. Node Js developers have to work with the asynchronous execution model which compared to linear blocking I/O programming method is more tasking.
  • Node developers will have to deal with excessive nested call backs.
  • Being single threaded, it makes it harder for programmers to deal with concurrency.
  • It lacks of a standard library. Working without some of the utilities that are not provided for in libraries sometimes translates to less seamless programming.

Angular Js Node Js React Js
Uses MVVC pattern Event driven architecture Uses Controller View pattern
Designed for single page application development For highly concurrent server side design Best for building scalable network applications
Open source java script framework. Run time environment Open source java script library.
Used for front end tasks It’s a Javascript run time Can create view in client side and server side.

The three are technically different tools, bound by their common dependence on Javascript.

While both React and Angular are opinionated to some degree, React happens to be “more accommodating” than Angular. Developers have the freedom to apply the React framework to any back-end they choose, it could be ASP, Django or Ruby on Rails,  unlike Angular.

Building the web out of reusable components is something we have seen in the MVC pattern. The component way of building dynamic UI flow is the future. This is the trend, and the backbone of React Js that Angular Js needs to catch up on.

React Js’s learning curve is shorter than that of Angular Js. It takes just a few months of practice for new users to learn and be proficient in it, unlike the more complex Angular Js which takes much longer to understand at an expert level.

React Js is dynamic (and futuristic) and a less restrictive framework. Angular Js is mature and it’s the safest bet when you need to work with two way data binding.

Node is a powerful platform for creating client-side and server-side applications and gives you good service when you are developing apps that hold many open connections for a long time.

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  • Tim Crouch

    You keep saying you can adapt React to any back-end as a plus over Angular. What back-end is Angular tied to? Out-of-the-box it can support any RESTful API back-end, which is pretty much everything evenly remotely modern (.NET, Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, node, etc.). And if you don’t want to use a RESTful API, you can pretty easily swap out the services to power it on web sockets or whatever you want. React and Angular are dead even in their server-side compatibility because they are both compatible with everything.

  • I kind of feel like I need to go take a shower after reading this article because I don’t have a service or product to sell yet!
    angularjs mobile app

  • Olivier

    Nodejs is bad, very bad i définitly hatte.

  • C. Murray

    Anyone used Polymer? I’d like to know more.

  • disqus_PlXDAA6rL8

    When talking about the best frameworks out there: You totally missed Ember.js! http://www.emberjs.com

    • C. Murray

      Totally love ember too.

  • Vedang Jadhav

    Poor! What on earth were you thinking comparing front end to back end?

  • G.Lawrence

    I think the purpose of this is describing what they are and isn’t intended for comparison of the three because that wouldn’t make sense.

    • JoeMoe

      It appears that they are constantly editing the article and changing a lot of what its supposed to be. It used to be:

      “AngularJS vs ReactJS vs NodeJS, Which is the best”

      In fact you can still see it in the title of the page. Look at the tab.

      And then it compared all three. Thats why NodeJS is in an article with ReactJS and AngularJS. They messed up big time and now they are trying to fix the errors in the article.

      They still have a chart where they compare the features. The chart was also wrong at first too. Trust me, everyone here had a right to call them out on the information previously, it was completely false but it seems like they are at least trying to fix it.

      • Simran Brucherseifer

        The obvious move to fix it is to remove NodeJS entirely and perhaps replace it by KnockoutJS.

  • axel c

    please @livecoding, do not use my email to advertise shitty stuff like this. THANKS

  • stephanromanov

    The information here is all messed up, and inaccurate.
    thumbs down

  • JoeMoe

    Why is this article comparing Nodejs to front end frameworks? This makes no sense. Nodejs is a runtime environment that runs on the backend. React and Angular are frameworks for the front end so it makes sense to compare those two but not Nodejs. I actually wonder if the author is even a programmer or has even used any of the things they talk about in this article.

  • GodOf Macro

    top kek ! 11/10

  • Marcpowo

    Maybe that article is a joke to make us laugh :p, who knows 😉

  • Marcpowo

    can you even compare a back end solution with a front end ?

    • Simran Brucherseifer

      I don’t think the writer even knew of the difference…

  • Chris

    You’re calling node.js a framework? You say node.js is “Best for UI design”?? Node.js uses controller view pattern? node.js natively supports “inventive programming”? What the FUCK are you talking about, because it sure isn’t node.

    • Michal Regis

      They put node.js in a wrong column. There should be React instead

      • Livecoding.tv Team

        Yeah, we informed the streamer and he corrected the column heading. React title was put there where Node should have been.

    • Matthew East

      This. Node.js is a javascript runtime, not a framework. I’m not even sure why it’s on this list.

    • Simran Brucherseifer

      Who ever wrote this has apparently no idea what he/she is talking about. There is no other way to explain this severely crippled comparison.

      NodeJS is neither client-side nor framework. AngularJS and ReactJS are written in JavaScript and supposed to run in browsers – in conjunction with some server backend, such as Apache + PHP or – ding dong! – NodeJS.

      NodeJS is written in C++ and supposed to run server-side. The standard framework to write web servers is ExpressJS – an no, ExpressJS vs. AngularJS / ReactJS is still apple and oranges. The solution to excessive nested callbacks is called Promises, e.g. the Bluebird library.

      > “Node Js app developers can utilize everything Javascript has to offer, without getting limited on their browser preferences.” That sentence makes no sense at all. JavaScript, as per ECMA-262, does not have features for crypto, streams and so on and so forth. This isn’t just a problem with your browser settings, these features are simply not part of JavaScript. They are part of NodeJS, or CommonJS if you will.

      The author of this article compares apples with iPhones – only because AngularJS, ReactJS and NodeJS have a suffix in common, doesn’t make them comparable. Be more careful next time you copy&paste an article together…

    • Bhrij

      If you want to be very very strict, you are right that Node.js is not directly a framework, but that is not the purpose of this article. We are just doing here a high level comparison. A good answer from one guy on Stackoverflow related to this discussion describes the differences between frameworks, libraries, APIs and runtime environment:

      “1. Node.js expands the JavaScript language by providing a larger set of runtime environment primitives—those which are outside the scope of ECMA’s standards. These include things like file I/O. This means that Node.js changes the language and is in some sense a new language: “Node.js JavaScript”

      2. Node.js, as a package, contains an interpreter and a compiler. It just steals these from V8.

      3. Node.js provides an implementation of the Node.js runtime environment which allows “Node.js JavaScript” to be executed.

      4 Node.js provides a set of standard libraries built atop the new primitives which make them more accessible to end users of “Node.js JavaScript”.

      So with all that said, I’m totally happy to call Node.js a framework even if it goes a bit against the norm! Node.js adds functionality to raw JavaScript in the way of expanding the language. With it brings new assumptions and tools for working in this expanded language. Functionally, these ideas are the same as the ideas of other well-accepted frameworks like Ruby on Rails.”

      • Simran Brucherseifer

        1. It doesn’t expand the language, there are no syntactical changes nor new keywords. It’s still plain JavaScript. If at all, it’s CommonJS that “extends” ECMA-262.

        3. It provides a runtime environment implementation of itself? That doesn’t sound right…

        4. They are called modules, not libraries. Library implies interchangeability, but you can hardly switch out NodeJS modules with your preferred alternatives (are there even any?!). It’s also bad to say “makes things more accessible”, because without these modules, there wouldn’t be a way to achieve the same goals at all in many cases.

        One can imagine Node as V8 plus some stuff on top though (but it’s actually Node that **embeds** V8, or other JS engines like Chakra or SpiderMoney). If you compared it to “naked” JavaScript environments, it might be somewhat of a framework. Having it compared to client-side front-end frameworks here is just wrong still.

  • grammakov

    test

  • Thank u adding me on moderator..! wow

  • Kevin Jensen Petersen

    I personally don’t like that power of such greatness (Being able to ban a channel) should be given out that easily. Have these Moderators been through an application? A test? Something other than just being a streamer.

    I feel like this could be abused big time.

    I don’t have anything against any of the streamers, I enjoy watching all of them on a regular basis. It was simply a thought that came to mind. Hopefully this has been thought of 🙂

    • Livecoding.tv Team

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  • Krystian

    Maybe add a Swift/Obj-C moderator? I suggest Karrmarr, he is really good coder and he spend a lot of time on Livecoding! 🙂

    • Livecoding.tv Team

      Thank you for your suggestion. We’ll look into that.

  • John

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