Angular's approach was all about structure and organization. It embraced a declarative style of programming, allowing developers to define what they wanted their applications to do without worrying about how it would be achieved. This made it an excellent choice for large-scale projects with extensive codebases.
React introduced the concept of reusable components, which became its defining feature. These components encapsulated both the structure and behavior of specific parts of a web application, making them highly modular and easy to maintain. React's virtual DOM (Document Object Model) also allowed for lightning-fast updates when changes occurred in the application's state.
Angular and React were both powerful tools in their own right, but they differed in their approach and the problems they aimed to solve. Angular provided a comprehensive solution for building large-scale applications, while React excelled at creating reusable components and rendering efficient user interfaces.
However, as time went on, AngularJS started showing signs of age. Its complex syntax and performance issues led the Angular team to embark on a complete rewrite. This resulted in the birth of Angular 2+ (commonly referred to as just Angular), which was released in 2016. The new version embraced modern web development practices and introduced concepts like component-based architecture and reactive programming.
On the other side of the battlefield, React had a relatively short but impactful history. Facebook developed React to solve the challenges they faced while maintaining their massive codebase. They wanted a solution that allowed them to build reusable UI components and handle complex state management efficiently.
React's popularity soared rapidly due to its simplicity and performance benefits. It attracted not only developers from Facebook but also from across the globe who recognized its potential. React's success led Facebook to open-source it in 2013, allowing developers worldwide to contribute to its growth.
As time went on, both frameworks continued to evolve and improve. Angular introduced features like lazy loading, improved performance optimizations, and enhanced tooling support with each release. React also grew stronger with advancements such as server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities, improved state management libraries like Redux, and an active ecosystem of third-party libraries.