React - Framework or a library?

Sun, Jan 29, 2023

Is React a framework or a library?

I used to say it was a library.. or view engine, or maybe a display-thingamobob.. Not so sure I'd still say so.

I think today, esp. since randos are now convinced React is not a framework but that next.js/remix/etc are the frameworks, I think I want to say it's a framework - not only because I'm contrarian by nature.

I have updated my mental model of what I think a "framework" in software development is. To me a framework is just "a structure" - if you have a structure, a known structure, that you adhere to.. you have a framework.


The structure can be made up of file conventions, some core bit of code that allows for the file structure to exist, etc.

And you can have multiple frameworks, at the same time, some that you borrow, some that you install, some that you just prefer.. it's just a structure

Some frameworks are way more structured than others. and way more opinionated about everything, and some are more open ended.

In conclusion

A framework is a code structure that births organization of code and convention.

That's it