NodeBB + ReactJS

Moved Developer FAQ
  • #1

    What do you think about moving the entire NodeBB view to React? And yes, the view layer is separated from the server and everything communicates via the API. Creating styles in ReactJS is much more modern and exciting 😄

  • GNU/Linux

    @youhosi Everything is available as an API endpoint already, e.g and then you have the write api to write to db. So it shouldn't be hard creating a client in React.

    Any specifics why you think it would be better to go with react?

  • GNU/Linux

    To give you a little bit of history...

    @youhosi -- no, we explicitly made the decision to not use a framework for our frontend because we as developers were trained in an era when client-side frameworks did not exist.

    However, in hindsight this decision ended up being quite advantageous for the following reasons:

    1. Speed at the expense of convenience

      • You will always find that framework-less websites and web apps are much faster than ones using frameworks. My belief is that this is the case because frameworks need to broadly apply to as many use cases as possible, and this necessitates a significant amount of excess code that slows down the application.
      • NodeBB prioritises speed. You can see it in our time-to-first-paint and page transition speeds. The fact that we're a heavy (relatively, anyway) javascript app is already enough of a handicap. We have no intention of slowing things down further with additional client-side code to support a framework 😄
      • We use BenchpressJS for our front-end templates, which is highly optimized and efficient, against at the expense of more esoteric logic. However, we find this is a good balance of speed vs. convenience. Thanks to @PitaJ and @psychobunny for putting in the legwork to create our templating system!
      • We also use jQuery to ease client-side development.
    2. There will always be developers who can code in a framework-less style, and we do not see this going away any time soon.

    3. Frameworks come and go, but our code will always be more-or-less up to date and supported.

      • For example, could you imagine if we wrote our app in Angular 1 (which was all the rage at the time)? We also considered using MooTools instead of jQuery, which is pretty much defunct now. Every time a dependent framework goes, the developers leave for greener pastures (see point 2), and you'll be stuck with a codebase that needs rewriting.

    All of the above points are open for debate (and I do encourage it here), but this is our thinking as of this moment 😃

  • Anime Lovers

    I am now wondering why frontend like React is even needed. Usually React is well-known to works well with node.js backend and allow us to experience smooth web performance because React doesn't re-render whole page newly like refresh since it only modifies virtual dom. But since Node.js itself seems like being able to modify virtual dom without completely re-rendering whole page like old forum softwares do (xenforo, phpbb and so on). I haven't seen nodebb re-render whole page per each page (url) change request, rather it re-render only the parts needed.

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @noob111 the main benefit of React is not really performance. The benefit of React and other frameworks is that it separates your UI into individual composable components and allowed you to easily define them in a declarative fashion. Those features of that kind of framework allow for much easier development.

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