Alternative JavaScript Frameworks

Web technology is known for being incredibly volatile. For every passing hour, there is a new JavaScript-based library, framework, and app. Of course, most of these fall to the wayside fairly quickly: but there are certainly some that are worth discussing.

Featured framework logos. Images sources: Aurelia, Mithril, Svelte, Ionic


Aurelia is a JavaScript framework that has a focus on front-end applications, across all platforms. The basic idea is that Aurelia is just a collection of modules, which can be used collaboratively as an all-in-one solution. It is designed to be high performance, highly extensible, and easy to learn.

Aurelia logo. Image source: Aurelia

Aurelia integrates well with other web technologies, thanks to its compliance to web standards. If you want to use external libraries, such as jQuery, or other frameworks such as React, Aurelia won’t hinder you.

Find out more about Aurelia, and get started with your first application here!


Mithril, similarly to Aurelia, is a client-side JavaScript framework for Single Page Applications. In particular, Mithril is small (<10kb gzip, according to their website) and fast, especially compared to bigger players such as Vue, React, and Angular.

Mithril logo. Image Source: Mithril

This framework has a major focus on being all-inclusive and consistent. Provided out of the box solutions for major web application features like routing are solid, an important sticking point for teams that value consistency. It ensures that all Mithril Apps are consistent and similar, and don’t vary too wildly.

Check out Mithril here, and get started with your first application.

Alternatively, Mithril provides a framework comparison page that compares it to React and Angular, which is a good read if you’re familiar with either of those frameworks. Check it out here!


Svelte is a JavaScript framework that takes a fairly different approach to the basics of “reactive” webpage rendering. Unlike frameworks like Aurelia, Mithril, or even React, Svelte offers a build-focused approach. There is no need to send the framework to the user, only a small amount of plain JavaScript that was built from your code.

Svelte logo. Image source: Svelte

As a result, Svelte is incredibly performant. In the words of Rich Harris, Svelte creator:

It's basically as fast as vanilla JS, which makes sense because it is vanilla JS – just vanilla JS that you didn't have to write. (source)

Check out Svelte here, and get started!


This framework has a completely different focus than the previously mentioned frameworks. Ionic is a framework for building hybrid mobile applications with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Ionic logo. Image source: Ionic

Again, this framework is very different from the preceding ones, as it is not a front end framework for single-page applications. Ionic is designed to make your mobile app codebase compatible with all mobile platforms, as well as making it easy for web developers to get started with mobile app development. It does this by providing a platform to use Angular, React, or Vue on any mobile device by simulating a browser window.

Check out Ionic here, and get started on a hybrid mobile app!

Final Thoughts

Depending on the purpose of the application you want to develop, you may want to put a lot of thought into what technologies you want to use. Aurelia, Svelte, and Mithril all put their best foot forward, offering feature-sets that are unique enough to clearly distinguish them from each other. However: they also all aim to solve the same problem, and provide tools for building similar applications.

Ionic stands out in this regard as a framework that actually fills a gap in the market for hybrid mobile applications. It also supports the much larger, more popular frameworks, allowing developers who are more familiar with them to hit the ground running. In my opinion, this makes Ionic far more interesting than the others listed here.

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