With a Node.js based REST service, is it okay to not use a front-end framework like React or Vue.js?

; Date: Thu Jul 26 2018

Tags: Node.JS »»»» Front-end Development

React and Vue.js are very popular front-end application frameworks. One might think either one is the best and only way to develop the front end of an application. Lots of folks will tell you, use React because it's the best framework, while others are flocking to Vue.js because whatever. A few years ago The MEAN Stack (Mongo-Express-Node-Angular) was all the rage, and now The MERN Stack (Mongo-Express-React-Node) is taking its place. Is it therefore ridiculous folly to skip using any front end framework? Or to skip using one of the popular choices?

In actuality you can do anything you like, and use any tool that makes sense for your application.

The server could be written in Assembly language if that's what you see to do.

The application might be a Game written in a game development toolkit (er... Unity? I'm not sure).

The front end application might not even be user-facing, but could be another web service.

Life is too short to prescribe The One True Way To Develop Applications.

What did our ancestors do in the time before Vue.js or React? Since those long distant ancestors are simply “us” of a couple years ago, think about what you did at that time. Neither React nor Vue.js existed at the time. I heard that Angular was rather difficult.

Here's one thing I did: Two years ago I had to reimplement the dashboard of our application. We got a very nice drawing from a Designer, and that was all I had to go with. It had been planned for others on the team to work with me, but they got called away to put out a serious fire leaving me to do the entire task. The back-end was a Spring service. Since I knew Bootstrap fairly well, I used that, and made up some JavaScript conventions to manage the data. Queries to the back-end were easily implemented using jQuery's $.ajax function.

It got the job done. While it wasn't the best design, it was good enough that we stuck with it until the company ran out of money about 8 months later.

About the Author(s)

(davidherron.com) David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.

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