What to expect from Frontend Frameworks in 2021?

If you’ve been contemplating what to build your next side-project in, like I have, it can feel like stepping into a mine-field not knowing what might come with your next step. 2021 is shaping up to be yet another year where frontend development doesn’t slow down one single bit. Many developments have started last year of course, but they are well on their way to reaching a climax in the year ahead. What can we expect from the likes of Vue, Svelte and React?

Vue 3.0

Whether we’re talking about support for things like carousels with vue-slider-component, to fully-fledged UI-kits like VuetifyJS; support for 3.0 is simply still in alpha, beta or in even earlier development. With the addition of for example the Vue Composition API, there is simply a lot of development for many added components and libraries that needs to happen, before you can be able to fully leverage the new functionality that v3.0 offers.

So should you already start using Vue 3.0 for development or not? If you heavily rely on code written by others for most of the things you do, then it’s probably better to wait for all your known and loved libraries to have been updated to the new Vue version. If you however have a preference for developing most things yourself, then it’s definitely great to get started with 3.0. The fundamentals are definitely there, and there is no reason you cannot build a great webapp with it. The development experience is still as good as ever. Ofcourse Vue also doesn’t sit still, so if you’re interested in what they are adding in 2021, be sure to check out their latest blog post on the topic.

SvelteKit

Right, but what actually is SvelteKit? Simply put, it is the replacement for Sapper, the current app-framework built on top of Svelte. So you’ll get a new way of building your Server-Side Rendered apps in Svelte, with a new framework that does the heavy lifting for you. That’s however not the only thing, according to the words written in the elusive ‘What’s the deal with SvelteKit’ blog post. According to the blog, it also expects to unify the development with Svelte in general. Because, as you might know, you don’t actually need Sapper to develop apps with Svelte. You can just use Svelte on its own, which could be quite confusing, especially for new developers making their way into the world of Svelte.

So can we start using SvelteKit already? Well, yes, you can. There is a quick installation for starting development with SvelteKit, simply run this command in your cli:npm init svelte@next and you’re good to go. But, as the infamous blog already explains, only do so if you’re brave. Why you ask? Well, that command is really all you get. There are no docs, examples, frameworks, libraries and components built on top of it available yet. Even the framework itself is being developed behind closed doors in a private repo. So anything you do with it, is completely up to you. I’ve tried it, and while it does the job just fine, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it yet for production-grade webapps. For that it’s simply too alpha, and who knows for how long it’ll have that status.

React Server Components

So what are React Server Components exactly? As their name suggests, it is closely tied into typical SSR, but, according to the RFC, not exactly the same. According to the RFC, Server Components offer a way of splitting typical Client-Side Rendering, with Server-side Rendering. While you would still have your typical React code on the client-side for delivering an amazing interface, you’ll also have React code running on the server for data-fetching purposes and for rendering for example static components like a detail page of some webshop product. With React Server Components, it aims to remove the need for tools like Next.JS, so that might have a big impact on how we work with React. For a better and more detailed explanation of what it is actually is, I’ll gladly refer you to the aformentioned RFC.

Summing up

I hope this blog has given you some small insights in what you can expect for your framework of choice. While I do realise it’s in no way the same as knowing every nook and cranny of a certain framework, these milestones do offer you some perspective if you’re looking for a certain framework for your next pet project. Can you make mistakes with your choice? Not really! Development should be fun, and if you find that something doesn’t work out like you expected it to in the end, then the next framework or development is already out there waiting for you to try it out.

Extra: Not specifically a Front-end framework

Developer from the Netherlands. Working as a JavaScript Developer & Product Owner at 24i. www.linkedin.com/in/matthijs-langendijk/

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