Frameworks and libraries are software packages that are prewritten/reusable code modules which can be imported into a project. These standardized front-end technologies help front-end developers accelerate the development process without spending copious time coding every object or function from scratch.
This article lists some front-end frameworks and libraries that every developer must be familiar with.
Basic CSS is limited to just styling the elements that we develop in HTML, but modern applications are more complex. The pre and post-processing capability of CSS allows front-end developers to dynamically execute the code like other programming languages.
Sass and LESS are two pre-processing extensions of CSS that allow front-end developers to use loops, variables, and functions within CSS. This extended functionality helps to use logic within styling to visualize content differently as per the requirement.
Post-processing is used when you’ve already coded in plain CSS and want to extend its functionality afterward through automation. Some common post-processing activities include extending class selectors and auto-appending prefixes. PostCSS is a framework that can be used for post-processing CSS.
As of 2021, around 77.6% of all websites use jQuery, so it is a sound front-end library for developers to learn. One of the reasons why developers prefer jQuery is its small size. The library is just 30 kb to gzip or minify.
A component library is a tool that allows front-end developers to scale their projects fast. From Netflix to Uber, many companies leverage these front-end libraries to design speedy systems and show impressive growth.
Unless you are working on an enterprise project with specific needs, you seldom have to look over component libraries to build applications and websites faster. For instance, when you are working on a webpage, you do not have to set the columns and rows to adjust the position of elements one at a time.
You can use Bootstrap, which uses built-in components to position elements on a web page. For almost any functionality, there are component libraries available to use out of the box. However, you must ensure that you are not simply importing the component libraries and using them with the same look and feel. This will make your website look too similar to other websites using the same component libraries. Instead, use these front-end libraries to maintain features.
Some important component libraries for front-end developers are:
Single-page application (SPA) frameworks and libraries
When working on single-page applications, you might not need all the functionalities of a framework but limited components from it. You can count on SPA front-end libraries and frameworks for such development requirements.
SPA routing libraries are also important. These front-end libraries include the page routing functionality to the project when it is missing in a SPA framework. Svelte SPA Router, React Router and React Navigation are some notable routing libraries.
Finally, if you are building an application that requires scalability beyond the scope of conventional front-end frameworks, third-party SPA state management libraries can help. Redux, Hookstate, and NgRx are some important state management libraries.
Innovation in software development results from combining technical skills with productivity tools to deliver results faster, by automating much of the time-consuming tasks. The front-end libraries and frameworks listed here can help developers accelerate project development and scale at speed. This should serve as a great reference guide to get you started.
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