Last updated 2024-07-07 05:03:38

What Is Vanilla Code?

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In the world of software development, you may have come across the term "vanilla code.". Vanilla code refers to code that is written in the simplest, most unadulterated form of a programming language [→] or framework [→]. It's free from any libraries [→], frameworks, or additional tools that could alter its basic nature.

In this post, we will look at the concept of vanilla code and how it compares to using frameworks and libraries.

Understanding Vanilla Code

Vanilla code comes from the idea of eating plain vanilla ice cream. No extra bells and whistles, i.e. no frameworks of libraries.

For instance, writing vanilla JavaScript means using just JavaScript, without relying on libraries like jQuery or frameworks like React.

Pros of Vanilla Code

  1. Greater Understanding: Given vanilla code does not depend on external libraries, developers might be able to go through another developers vanilla code without having to dig through multiple layers of code.

  2. No External Dependencies: Vanilla code doesn't rely on external libraries or frameworks, reducing the risk of compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities.

  3. Performance: Without the overhead of additional layers, vanilla code can be faster and more efficient.

  4. Flexibility: Developers have full control over the implementation and can tailor the code to meet specific requirements without being constrained by the limitations of a framework.

Cons of Vanilla Code

  1. Development Speed: Writing everything from scratch can be time-consuming, especially for complex projects.

  2. Reinventing the Wheel: Developers might end up re-implementing common functionalities that are readily available in frameworks and libraries.

  3. Maintenance: Managing and updating vanilla code can be more challenging, as there are no external updates or community support to rely on.

  4. Lack of Standardization: Vanilla code can vary widely between developers, leading to inconsistencies and potential difficulties in collaborative projects.

Vanilla Code vs. Frameworks and Libraries

While vanilla code has its advantages, using frameworks and libraries can also be beneficial. Here are some considerations:

  • Development Speed: Frameworks and libraries can significantly speed up development by providing pre-built solutions and abstractions.
  • Community and Support: Popular frameworks and libraries often have large communities and extensive documentation, making it easier to find support and resources.
  • Maintainability: Using well-maintained frameworks and libraries can reduce the maintenance burden on your codebase.

Examples of Vanilla Code

Here is an example of some vanilla JavaScript code and the same functionality implemented using a library jQuery [↗]:

Vanilla JavaScript

01: document.getElementById('myButton').addEventListener('click', function() { 02: alert('Button clicked!'); 03: });

Using jQuery

01: $('#myButton').click(function() { 02: alert('Button clicked!'); 03: });

In the above example, the vanilla JavaScript code achieves the same result as the jQuery code, but without relying on the jQuery library.

When to Use Vanilla Code

Deciding when to use vanilla code versus a framework or library depends on the project requirements and the team's expertise. For small projects or components where performance and simplicity are crucial, vanilla code might be the best choice. For larger projects with complex requirements, using a framework or library could be more efficient.

Here is another article you might like 😊 "What Is Event-driven Programming?"