In my last post, I told you that using libraries will save you time and is a must. I still stand by that statement, but as I have learned more, high reward also contains high risk. What I mean by this is that the more 3rd party libraries you have, the more complex the dependencies of each one become, and it can lead your project into the situation where the glue just ain’t strong enough and bits and pieces start to break. You might find yourself struggling with compiling errors, endless workarounds and spending hours, even days on figuring out the fixes.
In case you didn’t read my initial thoughts and insights on jumping into the world of React-Native, I encourage you to give it a peek before you go further.
With all that in mind, here are my top 3 consideration to research before taking that fancy library into your project:
Easily the number one factor. The stronger the community is around the library project, the faster all the updates and fixes ship. Look for stars on GitHub. Over 1000 usually means it’s safe to use.
This is a very close second in the consideration order. As the Android and iOS platforms move fast, same is required from React-Native. When you see a popular library with no activity in a year or two, things start to become concerning. If the library is about components which are getting updated frequently in the native side, be very conservative on choosing it, since this could be sinking your ship later on.
You don’t want to invent a wheel right? Some things just are not meant to be made all over again. It’s always nice to have full control of the source code, but choosing right can save you weeks and months of development time. Find the balance of time and effort when making your decisions.
I wish I'd spent a bit more time studying the libraries I chose for making TicTok - Productivity Tracker. But I wanted to dive in fast and furious. You might get lucky by never stumbling into problems I had, but likely you will sooner or later.
The last tip is that once you have a working combination and want to update library versions, be prepared that you might need to go back and wait a while until issues are fixed. Next chapter we will be covering libraries I chose, why I chose them, what I would change now if I had a chance, and what libraries I recommend to use. See you then 👋🏼
About the Author:
Niko is Finlabs mobile development guru. Working in a team, or as a one-man show, Nikos skills in mobile development are some of the best and fastest around. Niko has strong experience in modern development methods and technologies and has flexed his development muscles at the likes of Nokia and Osuuspankki, where he was a leading member of teams creating global, award-winning products.
On our projects, Niko is often the driving force. His passion to push himself to the edge encourages other team members to push themselves beyond their regular limits.