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Discussion on: Why is React a library and not a (simple) framework?

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Joseph Moore

I am of the opinion that react (the package) is, in fact, a library. However, React as a whole has become a large ecosystem which is almost indistinguishable from a framework. While it is possible to use react as a library, in practice, one actually adopts a large number of tools and libraries from the React ecosystem. How many applications are there really that just use react without any related tooling or libraries?

The very fact that the default way of using react involves the use of a specialized DSL that isn't valid Javascript (JSX) tells me that no, React is not just a humble library. Is it a framework, though? Technically, probably not. However, the end result doesn't feel that different.

It reminds me a bit of the relationship between Ruby and Rails. While yes, technically, you can use Ruby without Rails, how many people actually do?

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Renan Lourençoni Nobile Author

This is exactly what I thought.

When I think about just react, it's a simple and powerful library, but when it comes to developing a React application, you'll will (almost) always need router, redux and some other libraries that are "specific" and necessary to react.