Cross Browser Compatibility and React JS Web Apps

Posted by Robin Jangu | July 2, 2018
Cross Browser Testing • JavaScript •

3876 Views | 4 Min Read

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Sometimes I feel the events in life happen in a sequence that you regularly come across Cringe moments. Like when you have sand in mouth or excruciating sound of chalk against the board. For me personally the worst cringe moment is when I come across a really bad Web App or Website. When I say bad, I mean Internet explorer bad (just kidding, it’s a nice browser). Directionless navigation, features not working, bad design and painful UX. Of all the thing the biggest problem is missing cross browser compatibility.

It was so bad that I loved it. After spending a good amount of 30 minutes, I explored the issues that made it go haywire.

Why React Native?

React is simply a UI and functionality library for JavaScript based apps. We recently talked about ReactJS in our last post Choosing the right JavaScript framework in 2018, so in this post we would look in more detail how ReactJS helps in development of browser compatible webapps.

So coming back to the question in hand, what makes React so great?

It comes with great deal of community support. The biggest advantage is that you can write JavaScript codes in React, and the transpiler will automatically take care of the compatibility problem due to version or language difference. It comes with great deal of community support as well and have native integration with tools that help in browser compatibility like babeljs. Not exactly JS but it is JSX, it is even more powerful than JavaScript.

“Write once use everywhere”.

Cross Platform Approach

One of the remarkable points for developing an application using React native is that it offers cross platform ability. Let’s imagine you have to build an application for iOS and Android. All you have to do is make source code for the application in general. React Native reuses the JavaScript that you wrote and adds a dimension of cross platform to it. All you have to do is specify the specific platform that you have in mind and it will take care of the rest. React Native offers within itself features.

Cross Browser Compatibility with React Native

While Cross Platform approach help us building robust applications, the problem with cross browser compatibility to some extent remains a pain. We turn to its parent ecosystem, the biggest benefit of using React native is that it is similar to React and even Preact so if you want you can use this to your advantage. While building a Web App you can leverage the predefined set up and save yourself from the hard-work. It comes with the PWA setup too, use service workers without any additional burden.

It even offers brilliant features like live reload, that allow you to update or change the source code on the go. It is really impressive as it brings a certain sense of freedom that other frameworks/libraries simply don’t offer.

In addition React implements a totally different DOM system which is independent of the browser. The implementation is done in order make the application cross browser compatible.
Memory leakage is less when you use React native which directly results in improved performance.

Synthetic Events

In case of Event Handling Native has a similar approach as React. Event handling is similar to DOM manipulation with little syntactic changes. Synthetic Events are defined by React in accordance with the W3C specifications. Instead of sting, you can pass a function event handler (JSX is really amazing!).

React Arsenal

There is no point in repeating the extensive coding functionalities. Thanks to the limitless community support ( Facebook has been investing a lot of resources ) it is easier for developers to find various tools. If you read the previous blogs about Babel and Webpack you would know how helpful it is to have their support. React framework ensures the proper functioning of both of these tools along with a few others. Bottomline is you can go crazy about using library functions, they will take care of smaller bundle size and cross browser compatibility too.

Wrapping Up

React is the clear winner among all the frameworks/libraries, Angular needs to come up with a new strategy. With Vue gaining popularity and Google announcing Flutter, React will face threat on two different fronts. The best thing about internet is the ‘uncertainty’.

Who knows…

I feel bad for Kroos. 🙁


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Written by Robin Jangu

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