At the forefront of React

Osama Qarem's photo
Osama Qarem
2 min read
Post big cover imageImage credits: Guillermo Ferla

For the entirety of my career, I've worked mainly with React Native building mobile apps. I've gotten used to "learning behind" when it came to new React features.

Most new APIs that shipped with React 18 were incompatible with React Native at the time. Those APIs built upon the concept of 'concurrent rendering' which wasn't possible with React Native. Since then, the folks behind React Native made an incredible effort and shipped a new renderer "Fabric" that unlocks React 18 features for React Native. Hooray! 🎉

Well not exactly – the new renderer is not backwards compatible with the old one and UI Library authors will have to move their packages to the new architecture to materialize the benefits.

React Native has always been playing catch-up and that influenced my enthusiaism for new React features. Whenever a new thing is announced I'll read about it. But honestly my internal state of mind would be "I suppose I won't have to really think about this again for the next 2-3 years, until React Native supports it".

Now, at my new job working with React for the web, the feeling's different. We're already using React Server Components, and React 18's full arsenal is available to me. The web in general also evolves more quickly. When something new is released, it's worth my attention. It feels like I'm at the forefront of React and it's exciting.

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