React's real legacy. A follow-up to What is Virtual DOM?
Virtual DOM, 2 years later
Today, vdom is a mainstream concept. Implementations similar to or inspired by React’s have been incorporated into many popular frameworks and libraries. EmberJS has glimmer, Incremental DOM champions a lower-level concept of patching the DOM in-place, Elm has a core vdom library for HTML and SVG, Maquette focuses on dynamic UIs with performant animations, Preact is a React clone with a minimal footprint. There are many, many more.
Advanced DOM manipulation techniques are everywhere now and often shared and distilled and broken down beautifully by many smart people.
React’s real legacy (so far)
As important as vdom has been in overcoming performance issues, I don’t think it is the most important innovation that React has inspired or encouraged. Arguably more important than vdom are the other core aspects of React1.
- Component-based development & Composition
- Functional Programming concepts encouraged
- Simple state
- Universal / Isomorphic & ReactNative
I’m a big fan of React and the influence it’s had on the way we build dynamic UIs. React enables many good things while staying conceptually simple. I’m excited to build more with React and push it further (react-storybook, react-server), and I think the team behind it is constantly improving it.