Why is React a library and not a framework?

Can React be considered a true library? Or is it actually a framework? Could a library bring the same level of power and performance to an application as a framework? These and many other questions remain when it comes to React, a JavaScript library that is becoming increasingly popular in the development world.

The main problem with React is its ambiguous identity. While some consider it a “framework”, others view it as a “library”. It is important to understand the differences between these terms because they carry different implications for developers. A framework organizes code into individual components and provides the structure for the application, while a library is primarily for specific functions and tasks, such as data manipulation or performing a specific action. The debate has been ongoing since React first appeared and is yet to be resolved.

In this article you will learn what comprises a true library and framework, and what makes React unique. We will explore some of the advantages of React versus other frameworks, as well as the critical tradeoffs that arise when deciding which one to use. We will also analyse the evidence and compare it to other libraries and frameworks that offer similar features and capabilities.

Overall, the goal of this article is to provide an overview of React and to help developers decide if it is the right choice for their project. It is important to note that there is no single “right” answer – every team and project will have different needs and requirements. By understanding React’s identity, features, and advantages, developers will be able to make more informed decisions regarding which tool is best suited to their project.


React is a JavaScript library popularly used to build user interfaces. It is mainly used for the development and creation of UI components, which are a combination of a number of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS code. Unlike many other JavaScript frameworks, React does not offer application architecture, but only provides developers with a set of building blocks to create user interfaces.
The main difference between a framework and a library is that a framework is a set of pre-established rules and architecture that must be utilized when developing a program, while a library is a set of existing codes that can be easily called upon when needed. A framework is dependent on the developer to build applications, while a library does not rely on a specific set of rules but allows developers to make use of the code in whatever way they choose.
In the case of React, it acts as a library as it provides developers with a set of tools that can be used in any way the developer desires. The library also allows developers to easily reuse their components, reducing the amount of time required for development. As such, React is not a framework, but a library that enables developers to quickly prototype and develop entire applications using its code.
React’s popularity has grown rapidly in recent years and it is widely adopted by developers due to its efficiency and flexibility. React is also popular with designers, as it is helpful in creating user interfaces that are easy to use and look great. Finally, React is known to be secure and robust, thanks to its high performance and a dedicated community of developers.
Overall, React is a useful library that has helped make modern web development easier, faster, and more efficient. Thanks to its flexibility, developers can use it to rapidly create efficient and attractive user interfaces.


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A Brief History of React

The React library was first released in 2013 and was created by developers at Facebook Inc. In the short years it has been alive, it has become one of the most dominant technologies in both web and mobile development. How did it become so successful in such a short time?
The big reason React was so quickly adopted was due to its innovative approach to computing. It employs a component-based architecture, which simplifies web development by allowing developers to build user interfaces our of individual, modular components. This allows for greater scalability, maintainability and ease of development.

Why React is a Library, Not a Framework

Due to its success, many people often mistakenly classify React as a framework. The truth of the matter is that React is not a framework, but a library. There is a key difference between the two. While frameworks often have opinionated and prescriptive guidance, libraries tend to be more flexible and do not come with hard-coded rules on how a project should be built.
React is a library because it doesn’t come with an opinionated way to structure an application. It only provides developers with a set of useful tools and components to build user interfaces. It gives developers control over how to structure the architecture and user flow of their application.

React’s Benefits

React’s library-only approach has provided developers with a lot of benefits. Here are some of the advantages React has to offer compared to other technologies:

  • Great for creating complex UIs: React makes it easy to create complex UI components quickly, without the need for writing much code.
  • Good performance: React uses a Virtual DOM implementation, which significantly boosts its performance and makes it faster than other JS libraries.
  • Easy to understand: There is no complex, overly-opinionated guidance to learn when starting out with React. Plus, it’s based on JavaScript – one of the most popular language out there.
  • Widespread support: React has a very active online community providing support and troubleshooting.

Overall, React is a great library for anyone who wants to create powerful modern web or mobile user interfaces. Its unique approach to designing applications makes React a powerful tool for software development.

Top Reasons Why React is a Library and not a Framework

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What is the Difference Between React Library and Framework?

The difference between React library and framework is an essential question for any web developers to understand. Library is a set of functions that can be used to perform specific operations. Frameworks, on the other hand, provide an abstraction layer that developers can leverage to create a complex software architecture. A library is meant to do one specific job, such as form validation, while a framework provides an abstraction layer that allows developers to build applications with multiple cooperating parts.
React library is focused on the view layer of application and makes it easier to develop user interfaces. It relies on JavaScript for most of its features but you can use any language that compiles to JavaScript for your React code. React library components can be used in any project as a drop-in library, without the need to also include the rest of the framework. This gives developers the freedom to pick and choose what components they find to be the most efficient and practical for their projects.

React Framework

React Framework is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces for building web applications. It is a collection of tools and packages that aims to make the development experience faster and easier and enables developers to create complex web applications. React Framework provides developers with an efficient set of tools for managing state, managing data flow, and routing. It also automates many of the tasks that are necessary when creating a dynamic web application, such as data fetching and API calls.
One of the key differences between the React Library and Framework lies in their approaches to scalability. When developing a new application, it is important to consider how many components you will need to scale it efficiently. With the library, developers may find themselves having to manually implement additional components to achieve the desired scalability. On the other hand, with the framework, the scalability can be taken care of without having to create additional code manually, as the framework organizes the components and provides a way to scale them.
Though React library and Framework are quite similar, there are distinct advantages associated with both. At the same time, developers must be aware that choosing one over the other is somewhat dependent on the needs of their projects. When in doubt, however, a combination of both React Library and Framework can often be the best solution.
For further reading on this topic, refer to these two articles:

Exploring the Differences Between a Library and a Framework

Understanding React as a Library

React is a popular JavaScript library used for building user interfaces. In the ever-evolving world of web development, it has quickly become a go-to-solution for web developers looking to create dynamic user interfaces for their web applications. With its flexibility, ease of use, and scalability, React has become a great tool for web developers. But what makes React a library and not a framework?
Thought-provoking question: What features make React a library, rather than a framework?
The primary feature that sets React apart from a traditional framework is its philosophy. React is an open-source library, written in JavaScript, which means that it is optimized for developer productivity and flexibility. The React library is designed to be a flexible tool, rather than a rigid framework, that developers can utilize to quickly add features and customize the user interface for their projects.

Advantages of React Library

React offers an array of advantages that make it a great choice for web developers. Firstly, React provides an efficient, high-performance user experience. In comparison to a framework, React allows developers to create components that can be reused throughout an application. This facilitates easy maintenance and debugging of code, ensuring that an application will run smoothly and error-free.

Secondly, React’s component-based architecture allows developers to break a user interface into smaller parts. This means developers can select the components they need for a specific task and quickly build a user interface without needing to create one from scratch. This allows for greater flexibility and faster development times.
Finally, developers can take advantage of the vast array of available React components, rather than having to start from scratch. From React components such as charts and graphs to larger frameworks such as Material-UI, developers can quickly create an intuitive user interface for their applications.
React offers an array of advantages to web developers, from its efficient performance to its component-based architecture. With its flexibility, scalability, and easy customization, React has quickly becoming a go-to-solution for businesses looking to create high-quality, dynamic user interfaces.


The seemingly never-ending debate between React, a library, and a framework reigns supreme in many development circles. With advances in technology continually offering developers more and more options for building web applications, which should they choose for their project? Is React the right choice?
A valid thought-provoking question one might pose is how is React different from a web framework? In comparison to a framework such as Angular or Ember, a library like React focuses on one specific thing – the view layer. Rather than providing an entire framework with guidance and components, React is a library that only deals with the view.
This makes React a powerful tool when working with data-heavy projects. For one, it is faster and more lightweight than a framework. It is also easier to use and offers flexibility when needed. Additionally, a lot of well-known frameworks such as Meteor or Meteorite are using React as a component.
In conclusion, React has the potential to be a great resource for developers looking for a component-based view library. Its lightweight nature allows it to be used alongside other web frameworks and tools, making it a great all-rounder. For those considering React in their projects, our blog offers more in-depth information on the subject. Be sure to check back in the future as we will be keeping our readers up to date with new releases and interesting projects.


1. What is the difference between a library and a framework?
A library is a collection of functions that are already written and can be called upon when needed by the programmer whereas a framework provides a set guidelines and abstractions that the programmer must adhere to. Libraries are great for flexibility, making it easier to accomplish more than one task. On the other hand, frameworks provide structure and are designed for larger projects.
2. What are the benefits of using React as a library?
The primary benefit of React as a library is its portability. React components are not tied to any particular framework, and can therefore be used in a variety of environments, as well as within larger, more complex applications. React also has a robust ecosystem of tools allowing developers to quickly and easily build, test, and deploy their applications.
3. Are there any disadvantages to using React as a library?
One downside to React as a library is that its components are relatively isolated, meaning that in order to share state between them, developers need to build their own mechanisms for managing shared state. Additionally, there is a lack of structure around component organization in React as a library, making it difficult to manage complex projects.
4. What features are included in React as a library?
React as a library includes features such as powerful components, one-way data flow, the React virtual DOM, server-side rendering, and JSX, a syntax extension to JavaScript that makes writing React components simpler and easier.
5. Is React as a library a good choice for beginners?
React as a library can be a good choice for beginners, as it is relatively easy to learn, and the ecosystem of tools and libraries makes setting up projects much simpler. Additionally, the portability of React components makes switching from one framework to another, or using different environments, easier in the long run.