Developing dynamic and interactive web applications can be a daunting task without the right tools. This is why web frameworks have gained immense popularity in recent years, as they provide developers with the necessary components to create scalable, maintainable, and high-performance applications.
SolidJS and Svelte are two of the most innovative and exciting web frameworks in the industry today. Both frameworks challenge traditional web development by offering unique approaches to building web applications.
Although SolidJS and Svelte share some similarities, such as their emphasis on reactive programming and efficient rendering, they differ significantly in their architecture, development experience, and ecosystem.
In this article, we will conduct a comprehensive comparison of SolidJS vs Svelte, highlighting their distinctive features and similarities. My aim is to equip you with a thorough understanding of how these two frameworks function, their advantages and disadvantages, and which one is best suited for different web development projects.
SolidJS follows the same philosophy as React, using unidirectional data flow, read/write segregation, and immutable interfaces. However, it provides additional control over reactivity and performance by using custom hooks and functions for state management and effects.
SolidJS supports modern browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Edge) for both desktop and mobile devices, as well as Node LTS and the latest Deno and Cloudflare Worker runtimes for server environments.
Some key features of SolidJS include:
- Reactive programming: SolidJS uses a reactive programming approach that allows automatic updates of the UI in response to data changes.
- Declarative syntax: SolidJS has a declarative syntax that makes it easy to write and understand code.
- Easy-to-use reactivity layer: SolidJS uses a reactivity layer that is scalable, efficient, and easy to use.
- TypeScript support: SolidJS provides full TypeScript support, enabling developers to write type-safe code.
- Server-side rendering: The framework supports server-side rendering, enhancing performance and SEO.
- Good performance: SolidJS is known for its exceptional performance, surpassing many other popular front-end frameworks.
- Growing community: SolidJS has a thriving community of developers actively contributing to its development and providing support to others.
Svelte is a powerful tool that enables the speedy development of web applications. It also focuses on facilitating the creation of dynamic and engaging user interfaces.
.svelte file for ease of organization and maintainability.
Some key features of Svelte are:
- Reactive programming: Svelte’s reactivity system allows developers to easily create dynamic, reactive user interfaces that respond to changes in data.
- Small bundle size: Svelte’s compilation process generates highly optimized code, resulting in smaller bundle sizes and faster load times.
- Simple syntax: Svelte’s syntax is easy to learn and understand, allowing developers to quickly build applications without needing to spend a lot of time learning a new framework.
- Component-based architecture: Svelte is built around a component-based architecture, allowing developers to easily create reusable components that can be used throughout an application.
- Two-way binding: Svelte allows for two-way binding between data and UI components, simplifying the process of creating interactive user interfaces.
- CSS encapsulation: Svelte provides built-in support for encapsulating CSS styles, making it easier to manage complex stylesheets in large applications.
- Stores: Svelte’s stores allow for centralized data management, making it easier to share data between components and manage complex application state.
- Server-side rendering: Svelte can be used for server-side rendering, allowing for improved performance and better search engine optimization.
Comparing SolidJS vs Svelte
In this section, we will compare SolidJS and Svelte in several aspects.
Overall, SolidJS and Svelte offer distinct approaches to building web applications, with SolidJS providing more control over reactivity and performance, and Svelte offering a simpler and more streamlined development experience.
SolidJS and Svelte have different design philosophies. SolidJS takes a more declarative approach, emphasizing reactivity and minimalism. Its architecture is designed to be scalable, efficient, and easy to use.
On the other hand, Svelte focuses on the idea of compiling components into highly efficient code that executes at runtime, prioritizing performance and simplicity. Its design philosophy is centered around the concept of “writing less code, better code”.
SolidJS claims to be the fastest framework available, while Svelte is also designed to optimize performance.
SolidJS is faster than Svelte because it implements a few slightly more sophisticated techniques such as optimized DOM list reconciliation. According to the benchmark from SolidJS’s author, SolidJS outperforms Svelte in several metrics such as startup time, update time, bundle size, and memory profiling.
However, Svelte still has good performance compared to other popular libraries such as React, Angular, and Vue and produces smaller execution code bundles.
SolidJS is also relatively easy to learn for developers who are already familiar with React, as it builds on the same underlying principles and structure. The learning curve for SolidJS is practically non-existent for React developers.
Nevertheless, both Svelte and SolidJS are considered to be easier to learn than React.
Adoption and Popularity
Svelte is more popular than SolidJS, both in terms of downloads and GitHub stars. Svelte has 492k+ weekly downloads and 65k+ GitHub stars, while SolidJS has only 72k+ weekly downloads and 26k+ GitHub stars. However, both SolidJS and Svelte are relatively new frameworks compared to more established solutions like React and Angular.
Svelte has gained more popularity and adoption among developers due to its simplicity, ease of use, and performance benefits. It has been widely adopted by companies and open-source projects, with many developers praising it for its fast development cycle and intuitive API.
On the other hand, SolidJS has a smaller user base but is gaining traction among developers who value its reactive programming model and lightweight approach to building web applications. Despite its smaller community, SolidJS has also been adopted by some notable companies and open-source projects, demonstrating its potential as a powerful alternative to more established frameworks.
Documentation and Community Support
SolidJS and Svelte both provide good documentation to help you understand the concepts and features of the frameworks. SolidJS documentation is concise and easy to comprehend, while Svelte’s documentation is more comprehensive and includes extensive examples.
Both frameworks also have active communities that offer helpful resources such as tutorials, examples, and forums. However, Svelte has a larger and more established community with a wider range of plugins and tools available. As a result, developers using Svelte have access to a greater range of third-party resources and can benefit from a more vibrant and active community.
Both SolidJS and Svelte are being used by a number of companies, though Svelte has a slightly more prominent presence.
Notable companies that use Svelte include Netflix, Spotify, and The New York Times, while SolidJS is being used by companies such as Durudex and Aoe4world.
It is difficult to predict the future of SolidJS and Svelte as they are still relatively new technologies that are rapidly evolving. Currently, Svelte has more popularity and adoption than SolidJS due to its simpler syntax, smaller footprint, and more extensive feature set.
However, SolidJS has advantages over Svelte in areas such as a more sophisticated reactivity system, modular architecture, and faster performance. As a result, it is possible that SolidJS may gain more recognition and traction in the future, especially as developers become more familiar with its unique features and benefits.
Choosing Between SolidJS and Svelte
SolidJS offers a flexible and declarative library that avoids using a virtual DOM and offers more control over reactivity, while Svelte focuses on ease of use, localized change optimization, and precompiled code for smaller bundle sizes and faster execution.
Choosing between SolidJS and Svelte depends on your requirements and preferences. SolidJS might be the better choice if performance is a top priority, as it offers more control over reactivity and has been reported to beat Svelte in relevant metrics.
On the other hand, if ease of use and smaller bundle size are more important, Svelte might be the better choice due to its compile-time approach and optimized handling of localized change.
Another factor to consider is familiarity with React. SolidJS’s syntax is similar to React, so developers who are already familiar with React might find it easier to learn and use SolidJS. However, developers who prefer a more radical approach to UI development might prefer Svelte’s approach.
If you are looking to compare Svelte with another framework, it is worth checking out the comparison of Svelte vs Next.js as well. This provides further insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each framework and can help you make an informed decision between these two.