What is React?
React is a library for building user interfaces (UIs) through the use of reusable components. These components are the building blocks of a React application, encapsulating both the visual elements and the underlying logic.
How Does React Work?
React works by utilizing a virtual representation of the DOM, known as the Virtual DOM. The Virtual DOM is an in-memory representation of the actual web page, allowing React to quickly update the UI without touching the real DOM.
Whenever there's a change in the application's state, React updates the Virtual DOM, calculates the difference between the new and old Virtual DOM (called "diffing"), and then efficiently updates the real DOM with only the necessary changes. This process, known as reconciliation, allows React to deliver optimal performance.
Components: The Building Blocks of a React App
There are two main types of components in React: class components and functional components. Class components are built using ES6 classes and provide access to more advanced features like state and lifecycle methods, while functional components are simpler and typically used for presentational purposes.
Here's an example of a simple functional component:
State and Props
React components have two primary ways of managing data: state and props. State represents the internal data of a component, while props are external data passed down from a parent component.
State can be managed within class components using
this.setState(), and within functional components using the
Props, on the other hand, are immutable and are passed down from parent to child components as arguments. This promotes a unidirectional data flow, making it easier to reason about the application's data flow and state management.
React has revolutionized the way we build web interfaces by providing a modular, maintainable, and performance-driven structure. With its focus on components, state management, and an efficient reconciliation process, React empowers developers to create powerful and scalable applications.