The Most Effective JavaScript Libraries to Improve Your App’s Performance

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages used for creating web applications. There are various JS libraries designed to facilitate the work of a developer. They offer ready-made components that can be used as bricks in the web app construction process. The diversity of those tools is helpful though it might be very confusing especially for juniors.

In this overview, we will focus on the most effective and popular current libraries. But before digging in let’s outline the features that make a UI library worth using:

  1.  Opportunities of the library. Here you are likely to ask yourself the following questions. What are the components included? Do they meet the requirements of my project? How well do they fit each other and the environment of my solution?
  2. Regular updates. Is there a team behind the solution that ensures sustainable improvement of the library and regular updates of its components?
  3.  Support. Is there a forum of developers or an active community of those in favor of the library? It is always nice to get a quick tip on how to deal with an unexpected issue.
  4.  Learning curve. Are there any video tutorials? Is the documentation full? Are there examples and code snippets to help me in the beginning?

The above-mentioned questions may help in the process of finding an ideal library for the project.

Now let’s focus on what is there on the market currently. We will include in this list multipurpose libraries as well as those designed to solve more specific issues.

Webix UI Framework
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This library offers 100+ widgets for any web application. Besides those helpful components, there are complex widgets, which serve as turnkey SPA applications. They can be either used in a project or become an independent solution. One more thing worth mentioning about the library is Webix Jet, which is a microframework. It allows you to combine various components of your project. The library is regularly updated and carefully supported by the developers. There is complete documentation and responsive support. Much useful information as well as many case studies of their clients is provided on the blog.

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This is a library with a RESTful JSON interface. The library uses the model-view-controller paradigm. With Backbone, you will have a minimal set of structure and user interface components that can be used for designing single-page applications. This concise number of elements will not drive a developer crazy about the choice of possible options and at the same time will ensure the freedom to design any application.

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This is probably one of the most well-known libraries. It is used by numerous sites for DOM manipulation for several reasons: jQuery is fast, easy to learn, and very full. There is great support from the community, which means the documentation is sufficient. Working with jQuery you may add some other resources to your project, which means the library is easily compatible with various environments.

To contribute to your solution made with jQuery you can utilize jQuery UI. This one is an addition with graphic elements, accordions, sliders, tooltips, date pickers, and so on to make your project complete. The library works with any browser and due to its popularity, you are likely to find a solution to any challenge online.

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This one is for those in love with data and animation. Thousands of websites are data-driven. It means they have to constantly refresh their content and this is possible due to the solutions similar to the D3 library. It works with HTML, SVG, and CSS. The library is fast, it can deal with huge data, and create any animation and interaction your imagination will come up with. The documentation as well as the examples and an active community will help to study the library.

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This one deals with data validation. The library can assist your development process with various form validation techniques. The choice of validation types is overwhelming. But if you don’t need anything too complex, you won’t need heavy coding. Otherwise, the process may become quite complicating. However, the number of examples and the documentation will come in handy.

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Another thing that may require a project is testing functionality. This is the task QUnit deals with professionally. It is not a secret that manual testing of any complex application is time-consuming and sometimes ineffective, as not all the bugs can be found. The main advantages of this library are that it is very easy to learn and it has significant community support so you will not get lost trying to figure out how to use the best of this library.

To sum up
In this overview, we have looked upon several JavaScript libraries that might be helpful in the process of web development. The first three of them differ in their size and popularity. The last three are designed to solve some specific issues, such as animation, data validation, and testing. Thus, there is no problem finding a library, there is a problem finding the one that will meet all the requirements. So before choosing a convenient tool it is always a good idea to clearly formulate the features you expect to have.