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At my workplace we are currently looking to redesign our application stack on the web. We are satisfied and accepted that our server will be Node.js but we are finding it very difficult to find a front-end framework we can agree on.

I'm not asking for opinions on particular frameworks (there are tons of other resources for that) but our primary candidates are Angular, React + Flux + (other components for Routing, Models, etc) and Knockout.

We're looking for advice on how to evaluate each choice and come up with a best fit for ourselves. We've spent time researching the opinions of others but it's not inspiring confidence. http://todomvc.com/ was recommended as a place to get a feel for each framework but we want to get deeper understanding than a simple implementation of a todo list app.

Of course, we considered the idea of prototyping each framework but worry we would be spending too much time and we have to present our plan to our boss for acceptance. We feel that spending weeks prototyping would help us but maybe there is a better way to approach it?


Another valid answer may be that evaluation between several proven frameworks is useless. We are being somewhat pressured to make a choice and perhaps living with any of the choices is better than spending a lot of time deliberating. Thoughts?

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Hold a meeting and decide which factors (ease of use, scalability, etc.) you are going to use to judge each framework.

Then, write a small prototype application, making several versions that use each of the different candidate frameworks. Have another meeting (code-review style), and evaluate each of the frameworks on the factors you decided on in the first meeting, and then make your decision.

There are books you can buy and several articles on the web that will help you make your decision.

See Also
Selecting an MVC Framework -- Already has prototype application code to help you choose.
Micro Framework Chooser
Template Engine Chooser

  • Thanks. Of course, the first thing we did is Google to get some perspective on the process. But what we found lacking was any sort of preferred process. Have you had experience going through this process what worked? What didn't? – Ryan Badour Jan 7 '15 at 16:53
  • There's no "standard process" for choosing a technology, other than "evaluate each option, and choose the one that best meets your needs." Some companies like the feature-richness of Angular, while others prefer the simplicity and lower learning curve of some of the alternate frameworks. It all depends on your specific needs. – Robert Harvey Jan 7 '15 at 17:02
  • And in terms of evaluation what can you say to your experience with it? Did prototyping seem to yield the answers you were looking for? Is a few weeks enough time to get a grasp of the framework? Did you find that your choice still had problems that prototyping didn't help you find? Did you ever go back on your choice? Did you contrast prototyping with any other methods? – Ryan Badour Jan 7 '15 at 17:07
  • You seem to be looking for a guarantee. I can't provide that. What I will say is that getting "hands on" with the top candidate frameworks will yield a better decision than simply reading about them. Also note the link I provided in my answer, which has code already written that will help you evaluate the frameworks within a TODO application. – Robert Harvey Jan 7 '15 at 17:11
  • And did you find the process of comparing frameworks a worthwhile endeavor? Do you have enough experience to say that it makes a noticable difference in contrast to picking any of a top list? If we're going to take time to choose I want to hear some sort of opinion about the usefulness of it. I don't need a guarantee just some confidence that prototyping will save us time later. – Ryan Badour Jan 7 '15 at 17:22

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