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React Concurrent Mode: The future of Web Apps

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Who else doesn’t know or have heard about ReactJS, a popular JavaScript library designed to build fascinating user interfaces? Undeniably, the arrival of this framework makes the creation of interactive UIs painless. The concept of “Learn Once, Write Anywhere” has drawn a flood in the web development frameworks market. Today, this component-based declarative framework has become a top choice of developers around the globe. But this framework doesn’t stop here from surprising everyone out there. It comes up with a bucket full of surprises. It brings a set of experimental features. Yes, experimental features which aren’t yet available in the stable release.

This set of features got the name “Concurrent Mode”. React’s concurrent mode has become a new buzzword in today’s web development market. If you are also a big fan of React and wish to learn about its latest feature, you have landed in the right place.

This article will help you understand the concept of concurrent mode. What is it? How will it work? Is it able to solve the challenges faced while using React?

So without any further ado, let’s get started-

What is Concurrent Mode?

You probably all had some good experiences combining ReactJs with various potential back-end frameworks, React Table, Typescript, and also for dockerizing React app because it offers freedom to write UI codes in more declarative styles. We can do more with fewer lines of code and update the domain, and performance weighs over browser inconsistency. It offers lots of good things, right? But still, React is not perfect.

In fact, the biggest drawback or complaint of using React is JavaScript. Yes, you might be wondering what I am writing here. React is itself a framework of the JS family, so what’s the problem?

The problem is, JavaScript blocks the main thread. To help you understand this in a better way, let’s take an example. JavaScript is a single-threaded language. When you click something in a web application when JavaScript is running, you might notice that it’s blocking the browser from responding to your click until JavaScript is finished running.

You’ve run into this for sure while using a web application. For instance, if you are trying to text input like typing, typing and it doesn’t respond, for a second you wonder what’s going on, and you are continuously scrolling the mouse. This is a clue that JS is blocking the browser from responding to us. And once JavaScript finishes running, it allows browsers to respond.

But it’s too late. It leads to an awful user experience. Here the issue is JavaScript blocks not only the browser’s response but also blocks the scrolling part. So how do we fix this? Here React concurrent mode comes into the picture.

The main idea behind this concurrent mode is pretty simple. Instead, when react is running, or something like a click or an event happens, react will yield the main thread to the browser and allow the browser to handle that click or that update. Afterwards, the react can come back and finish the rendering part. So, this is great; the main thread is not blocking anymore.

But there is more; there are additional benefits that concurrent mode can unlock. React concurrent mode helps us with more fluid and responsive UIs; it allows us to prevent render-blocking updates and prioritize the render updates.

Currently, react is following the render-blocking approach, which means once a new rendering starts, we cannot go back and stop it until it is finished. So if you have another render update in the queue, it needs to wait. This creates enormous chaos and enhances the debouncing rates of React applications.

The concurrent mode fixes this issue by following the interruptible-render approach. This means the render can be started and stopped. If there is any high priority update waiting in line, it can run on a priority basis, and once it is finished, the paused render update can resume.

Isn’t it a fantastic feature of React? Implementing concurrent mode enhances not only the performance of the applications but also makes the user’s and developer’s experience smoother than ever before.

So, what do you understand about the concurrent mode?

The React team explain concurrent mode as:

“Concurrent mode is a set of experimental features which makes react applications highly responsive and gracefully adjustable according to the user’s device capabilities and network speed.”

Note: These features are still experimental, which means they are subject to change. They are not yet a part of any stable release; you can only use them or test in an experimental build.

What benefits will you get from using Concurrent mode?

Using concurrent mode will offer you immense benefits like:

  • Complete control over the rendering process
  • Prioritize the render updates as per the requirements
  • Suspend and resume components rendering
  • Cache and optimize runtime rendering codes
  • Hide or archive the content from the screen until required

Concurrent Mode Features

Concurrent mode offers two types of core features popularly known as:

  • Suspense Fetching Data: The suspense feature in concurrent mode helps in rendering and fetching the data seamlessly. It lets developers use promises to allow components to wait before rendering. This means there is no need to keep waiting for the response in return before starting the rendering.
  • Transition: Transition is generally considered a hook that helps the users stay in their current state until the new can fall back to the spinner or finally be revealed. startTransition and spending are the two return values in Transition.

Both the features carry a similar mission, i.e. to help integrate the findings from the human-computer interaction research into natural and functional user interfaces (UIs).

Final Words:

So here we come to the conclusion part. We hope that now you understand what React’s concurrent mode is all about. The concurrent mode in React is a compelling set of features that makes the applications more responsive and performing.

If the heavy and time-taking tasks can be quickly done via concurrent mode. Who else doesn’t want to use it? The concurrent mode is definitely the future of web applications offering seamless user experience and growth than ever before.

However, it is still in its experimental stage but has already created a bug hype and excitement in the market. So what are your thoughts on it? Do let us know? Share your feedback and experiences with us. We’d be glad to hear from you.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for assistance with any related services to React, feel free to get in touch to hire React developer of your choice.

Till then, Happy reading…

Author Bio:

Chandresh Patel is a CEO, Agile coach and founder of Bacancy Technology. His truly entrepreneurial spirit, skillful expertise and extensive knowledge in the Agile software development services has helped the organisation to achieve new heights of success. Chandresh is fronting the organisation into global markets in a systematic, innovative and collaborative way to fulfill custom software development needs and provide optimum quality services.

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