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React concepts: declarative

Published Nov 03 2018

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You’ll run across articles describing React as a declarative approach to building UIs.

React made its “declarative approach” quite popular and upfront so it permeated the frontend world along with React.

It’s really not a new concept, but React took building UIs a lot more declaratively than with HTML templates:

The opposite of declarative is imperative. A common example of an imperative approach is looking up elements in the DOM using jQuery or DOM events. You tell the browser exactly what to do, instead of telling it what you need.

The React declarative approach abstracts that for us. We just tell React we want a component to be rendered in a specific way, and we never have to interact with the DOM to reference it later.

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