React was initially developed and maintained by Facebook, along with a large community of individual developers. React was initially introduced in 2013 and quickly gained widespread popularity within the web development community due to its efficiency, flexibility, and ease of use.
In traditional development, when you make changes to a website, the entire webpage gets updated, even if only a small part has changed. This process can be slow and inefficient, especially for complex websites, as it directly manipulates the browser’s DOM (Document Object Model).
To solve this problem, React will keep a virtual copy of your website in memory, called a virtual DOM. Whenever there is a change in your website, React will create a new virtual representation of the DOM in memory. It then uses a special algorithm called “diffing” to compare this new virtual DOM with the actual DOM and update only the necessary parts based on the comparison.
This comparison process is generally referred to as “reconciliation”. It helps React to identify which parts of the website have changed and require updates.
Remember, the virtual DOM is like a blueprint of your website. React uses it to figure out what changes need to be made. The reconciliation process ensures that only the essential changes are applied to the actual website, minimizing the number of DOM manipulations, and improving the overall performance.
React simplifies this process by providing a more efficient and structured way to update the UI. Here's how the same greeting message can be achieved with React:
Don’t worry about what is this ReactDOM, <Greeting />. For now, just remember that React simplifies the process of displaying and updating content on a web page by providing a more organized way to write code. It takes care of the behind-the-scenes work, so you can focus on building your application without worrying about manually manipulating the HTML.
Simply think, React as a JS + HTML combined and working!
That’s, a wise question, indeed! learning React will open a world of possibilities and can greatly enhance your web development journey.
The software engineer Jordan Walke, working at Facebook, created React in 2011 for internal use in developing Facebook’s Newsfeed feature. Initially, React was referred to as “FaxJS”, but later it evolved into what we know as React. In 2013, React (V0.3.0) was released to the public in July of that year. The latest version of React as of August 2023 is V18.2.0.