Have you heard of Next.js?
Category: JavaScript
7 years ago   316 views
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Features of Node.js
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Most web developers nowadays combine HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript to create websites and web applications that deliver richer user experience across many devices, platforms, and browsers. The developers also use a variety of JavaScript libraries to simplify and speed up web application development. For instance, the web developers use robust front-end libraries like React.js to create composable and interactive user interfaces (UIs).

React.js further help programmers to create reusable UI components that present dynamic and changing data efficiently. Next.js is an open source and lightweight framework built on top of React.js. The web developers use Next.js to create universal JavaScript applications. They can further run on web application developed with Next.js on multiple browsers, servers, platforms, and devices with a single code base. Despite being a minimalist and modern JavaScript library, Next.js comes with features to facilitate development of universal web applications.

Understanding Important Features of Node.js

Built on Top of 3 JavaScript Frameworks

Next.js is developed on top of three distinct JavaScript libraries – React.js, Babel.js and Webpack.js. React is a front-end JavaScript library, whereas Babel is a compiler for writing next-generation JavaScript applications. At the same time, Webpack is designed as a module bundler. It helps programmers to bundle JavaScript files for usage for web browsers.

Facilitates Isomorphic JavaScript Application Development

Despite being a minimalist JavaScript framework, Next.js comes with features to simplify development of universal JavaScript applications. The applications developed with Next.js are compatible with varying browsers, servers, platforms, and devices. Also, the single code base makes it easier for developers to build, maintain, and manage a variety of isomorphic JavaScript applications efficiently.

A Minimalist JavaScript Framework

As mentioned earlier, Next.js is developed on top of three JavaScript frameworks. It enables programmers to create robust isomorphic applications by using React components, Babel plug-ins, and Webpack loaders. But it is designed as a lightweight and minimalist framework. Next.js lacks some of the robust features provided by popular JavaScript frameworks including built-in testing framework, data system, and auth system. It comes with features to facilitate development of isomorphic JavaScript applications.

Server Side Rendering

Next.js is designed as a JavaScript client-side framework. But it comes with features to render React components on the server-side. The Next.js components stored in the page directory automatically get rendered on the server-side. Also, the server-side scripts are automatically inlined each time the components are server rendered.

Code Splitting

Despite rendering components on the server-side, Next.js still keeps the application’s front-end and back-end decoupled. Hence, the developers can work with varying back-ends while using Next.js as the front-end framework. The feature further helps programmers to keep the client-side and server-side code separated. They can even modify or replace the back-end used by the application in future while scaling or expansion.

File System Based Router

Like other JavaScript frameworks, Next.js also comes with its own router. But it uses the file system as the router of the application. The developers have to create files for each web page inside the page directory, and export React components containing the file content. The feature makes the server render only the modules required by the pages to be loaded.

Option to Use CSS Stylesheets

Next.js is designed with built-in support for CSS. Hence, it allows developers to customize and style web pages by CSS stylesheets. The CSS support further helps developers to make the web application look good on both computers and mobile devices. The programmers also have option to use existing CSS-in-JS solutions while developing universal JavaScript applications. However, they currently lack the option to render CSS elements on the server.

Easy Deployment and Zero Configurations

The web developers can install and configure Next.js just like other JavaScript packages. They can even install and set up the framework by using widely used package managers like npm or Yarn. Also, the developers can easily customize configuration of Next.js to add React components, Babel plug-ins, and Webpack loaders to the universal JavaScript application.

On the whole, Next.js enables JavaScript programmers to create universal web applications that run seamlessly across multiple browsers, servers, platforms, and devices. They can further use the latest version of Next.js to simplify and speed up universal web application development. Next.js 2.0 further enables programmers to take advantage of programmatic APIs.

 

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