Reactive JavaScript: The evolution of front-end architecture

One of the most dynamic areas in software development today is front-end architecture. Several innovators are pushing the state of the art to devise more powerful ways to build dynamic user interfaces. Much of this work is happening at a furious pace and right out in the open.

Thanks to a number of open source JavaScript projects, such as SvelteKit, Solid, React, Qwik, and Astro, we have a front row seat to the evolution of the future of the web. Here’s a guide to understanding the action.

What is hydration?

Much of the activity around improving modern front-end architecture is focused on what’s called hydration. To understand what hydration is and why it’s central to modern front-end architecture, let’s get a grip on the high-level concepts at play. To deliver the wonder of reactivity, every framework must handle the three aspects illustrated in the diagram below.

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