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Ask HN: At what point is a front end framework essential and not just a feature?
1 point by aur3s 19 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 1 comment
Hello people,

I was hoping for some opinions from some guys and girls who focus more on the backend of applications or full stack developers.

I am somewhat mixed up. I am a freelancer and I've developed several projects in Django (and also in Flask) and until now I have always used their template engines and I am happy so far. I combined it with vanilla JS, Jquery, sometimes with AlpineJs and now recently tried HTMX. To be honest, I cannot really complain since I managed to fashion all components to my and my customer's liking without any major drawbacks. Although I have to be honest and say that I sometimes have pushed AlpineJs a bit too much, beyond its original purpose of just sprinkles.

The applications I build are mostly for SMEs to automate some of their tasks. For me to stay sane and to get the project done in time I strive for simplicity in terms of project architecture.

But everywhere I go I read about React or Vue and I absolutely understand that they have their purposes and are game-changing in some fields, no doubt. Now, I always wonder for myself, should I learn a front-end framework? Will I end up as a a jack of all trades and just create one messy application after another?

AlpineJs, HTMX, etc. are very much manageable to master in a foreseeable time but every time I try to sit down and start with Vue / React I am faced with so many new variables (NPM, NodeJs, Typescript, Webpack, etc.) that I think I have to learn for at least half a year till I just understand what is going on. Specially as a freelancer I have to be able to fix things fast by myself if the shit hits the fan.

Now, does it make sense to learn Vue/React as a solo programmer or just to stick with the small frameworks like AlpineJs/HTMX? At what point do you consider a frontend framework essential and not just a feature?

Thanks in advance.

> At what point do you consider a frontend framework essential and not just a feature?

Browser computer games come to mind, it's really difficult to do them without writing tons of JS. and when you are forced to write tons of JS it's better to use a framework. However, a mostly content based website (which is most of the web) doesn't really need a lot of JS so doesn't need a framework.

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