I've been saying for years that React feels like jQuery did circa 2010: it's used everywhere, its devotees are numerous, but the leading edge left it in the dust a while ago. I do think that Hooks have helped keep it fresh for a bit longer – or at least, stopped it from going stale sooner – but as native browser APIs continuously pick away at the edges of its functionality, and as the world wakes up to the need for performance and UX over DX and nice repository management, React feels clunkier and clunkier. (And this is coming from someone writing on a React site, working in a React job, and actively still happy using React.)
Anyway, what I've been hinting at, Josh has actually put into some darn good words. In particular the methodical tackling of the biggest "reasons for React" is well balanced and summed up. They also have an eerie habit of perfectly picking their pull quotes to align with my own bookmarking habits, so there's that, too 😂
On the central thesis:
React does what it does well, but it doesn’t do anything better than other frameworks.
On why "most popular" does not equal best:
But it’s not fair to say that React really demonstrates better ability here. It’s just been given more opportunities.
On the potential issues of picking dev velocity over long-term stability (*cough* Tailwind *cough*):
Choosing React just for the sake of getting new devs up and running faster is short-term gain for long-term loss. (Tech debt, in other words.)
On the performance issue, one of the core reasons businesses should be looking elsewhere for greenfield work:
If your company lives and dies by mobile usage, for example—especially in places with comparatively low-powered devices or networks—you might (literally) not be able to afford React’s performance tradeoffs.