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June 14, 2018

Build High-Performance Interfaces with Inferno.js

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User experience has emerged as one of the most critical factors in creating an effective online experience today. Developers from almost every background are looking for new and enhanced ways to upgrade their user interfaces for smartphone applications, tablet apps, and website solutions too.

One of the most interesting things about Inferno, is that it’s a JavaScript library which helps developers to build unique user interfaces on the same API as JavaScript React. This means that developers who have gotten used to the React experience won’t have to waste a lot of time and money into learning a brand-new set of skills and methodologies.

The question is, what is it that makes Inferno such a compelling option for UI developers? Let’s take a look at what you can do with this incredible system.

How Does Inferno Work?

Similarly to many of the other frameworks and libraries available for developers to access today, Inferno functions primarily on a virtual DOM. The Virtual DOM is a small abstraction above your real DOM that provides the Inferno system with plenty of useful information about what your projected UI is going to look and feel like. Every time you create a new component or virtual DOM mode, you tell the system more about what you want your UI to do.

The Inferno system can take all the complex information involved in the JavaScript system, and work out how you can create your UI with the fewest amount of complex changes as possible. This means that your JavaScript Inferno solution can automatically simplify and speed up the process of user interface development. For many developers, the Inferno.js solution eliminates much of the trial-and-error involved in touching up a UI.

What Makes Inferno Special?

As a system similar to React.JS, Inferno was designed to be fast and lightweight out of the box. The intentions of the team behind Inferno.js were to create a system that was easy to use and intuitive, as well as having plenty of incredible features that make working with your UI project a little more engaging.

Thanks to an API that’s similar to the React framework, the Inferno.js system is naturally React compatible. The concepts and component lifecycle systems are so close that developers can switch between frameworks seamlessly. If that wasn’t enough, the performance of Inferno.js is truly incredible. In fact, it’s one of the fastest frameworks in the front-end community when it comes to rendering thrilling new UI experiences for web applications and mobile.

The Isomorphic rendering on both server and client sides with Inferno, along with quick booting from server-side rendering devices make working with Inferno a dream come true.

How Is Inferno Different to React?

While Inferno was designed to be very similar in nature to React, it’s not the same experience entirely. For one thing, the Inferno.js framework is a lot smaller than React. Inferno is only 8kb compared to React’s 30kb size. At the same time, Inferno is much faster than React – which is probably at least partially down to its lightweight nature. When it comes to speed, Inferno doesn’t just accelerate the development experience with benchmarks; it also helps to take your system to the next level with real-world applications too.

Unlike React, Inferno doesn’t exactly have a fully-synthetic event system. Instead, the developers here chose to invest their time and effort into delegating specific events instead. Additionally, Inferno doesn’t support the React Native experience. The Inferno.js framework was designed specifically for the browser/server experience, with DOM conversations in mind. Other ways that Inferno and React differ include:

  • Inferno does not naturally support string refs, though this feature can be enabled using inferno compatibility. However, the team behind Inferno.js say that they wouldn’t recommend using the string ref system with Inferno.js. Apparently, string refs can be the reason for a lot of memory issues and performance problems with real-world applications.
  • Inferno can use the React development tool extensions designed for a range of web browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. This access to the extensions means that you can access the same high-level experiences for debugging and application management as you would expect when using React.
  • Inferno.js can also provide stateless component lifecycle events. Many developer consider this to be a huge benefit of the Inferno system because it makes life easier if you prefer to use lightweight components.
    Though choosing the perfect JavaScript solution will always come down to the personal preferences of the developer, it seems that Inferno has a lot of benefits to offer as a React.JS alternative.
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