Incremental and virtual DOM - ReactJS, Angular, VueJS

Anton Ioffe - October 6th 2023 - 23 minutes read

As the new era of modern web development evolves, we find ourselves steering towards sophisticated JavaScript libraries like ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS. There is no denying that they have transformed and elevated our approach to developing intricate, efficient, and interactive web applications. A crucial part of this transformative journey is the Document Object Model (DOM), and more specifically, the various types of DOMs implemented by these libraries.

In this comprehensive study, we will traverse the intriguing terrains of the Incremental, Shadow, and Virtual DOMs as they apply to each of the aforementioned JavaScript libraries. Alongside detailed introductions to the libraries themselves, expect to partake in an immersive deep dive into how these DOM technologies power these JS libraries, complete with real-world code samples.

Through comparative analysis, the exploration of diverse practical implications and by taking a glimpse into the future developments and trends, we aim to provide you with a robust understanding, actionable insights, and valuable foresight to empower your project decisions. This journey ahead holds much to discover and learn. Buckle up and get ready for an exciting exploration of DOM in the world of ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS.

Deciphering the Document Object Model (DOM)

In the realm of contemporary web development, the Document Object Model (DOM) holds paramount importance. The DOM is an interface that depicts your web page in a way that the browser can understand and interact with. It serves as a live blueprint of your web page, detailing HTML tags, their specifications, and hierarchical relationships, thereby 'mapping' each element to an object on this model.

Each modification to the state of our application, from adding, removing, or updating a UI component, necessitates an update to the entire DOM to reflect this change. This procedure proves resource-intensive and time-consuming as with each DOM adjustment, the browser must carry out a variety of operations including layout, reflow, and repaint, which might largely decelerate your application's performance.

The performance limitations and inefficiencies of the traditional DOM spurred the development of alternative DOM approaches for modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries.

An often-observed practice among novice developers is the direct manipulation of the DOM within inner functions and loops.

Consider this common oversight demonstrated below:

for (var i = 0; i < 5000; i++){
  document.body.innerHTML += '<div>' + i + '</div>';

This approach is costly as each iteration forces the browser to parse the HTML and continuously modify the DOM tree, inciting unnecessary layout thrashing and detrimental effects on your application's performance.

A more performance-wise method would entail the creation of an intermediate representation of these elements, followed by appending this to the DOM, as demonstrated in the code snippet below:

let elements = '';
for (var i = 0; i < 5000; i++){
  elements += '<div>' + i + '</div>';
document.body.innerHTML += elements;

In this ameliorated method, we successfully curtailed interactions with the real DOM by accumulating all tweaks in a string and only updating the DOM once at the end. Consequently, it addresses the performance concerns.

Can you point out other ways to manipulate the DOM that could augment an application's performance?

Employing the correct techniques to interact with the DOM remains vital for any modern application's performance. Grasping the implications of your interactions can assist in preventing unnecessary render-blocking operations and optimizing rendering.

Looking ahead, it's critical to appreciate how these JavaScript frameworks use alternative DOM approaches as a core strategy to deal with performance issues. The concepts of the Virtual and Incremental DOMs are instrumental in understanding the performance improvements that these modern JavaScript libraries bring to the equation.

Remember, when dealing with any client-side JavaScript library, it's indispensable to stay aware of the DOM and its quirks. Understanding the DOM on a deeper level grants developers the ability to produce optimized, efficient code ensuring swift and smooth operation of their web applications.

Moving forward, we'll delve deeper into the different types of DOMs that these libraries rely on to advance their performance metrics and combat the limitations traditional DOM comes with.

Introduction to Core JavaScript Libraries: ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS

ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS are the three core JavaScript libraries that have shaped modern web development. All three libraries have played a key role in transforming the landscape of mainstream development with direct and efficient techniques for Document Object Model (DOM) management.

ReactJS was initially developed by Facebook and later made open-source. Soon after its introduction, ReactJS gained popularity due to its distinctive approach to UI development. Leveraging a virtual DOM, ReactJS enables developers to create declarative user interfaces that update and render efficiently, resulting in smooth, responsive user interaction. The foundation of this efficiency is provided by ReactJS's reconciliation algorithm, which optimizes memory usage and minimizes direct DOM modifications, hence ensuring the most performant and efficient scenarios for UI updates.

Angular, another heavyweight in the JavaScript libraries arena, is engineered and maintained by Google. Angular became notable due to its solid architecture and full-fledged compatibility with TypeScript, offering what some may argue as a more structured and statically typed approach to front-end development. Contrasting ReactJS, Angular chooses to employ an incremental DOM rather than a virtual one. This different approach provides Angular applications with an edge when it comes to throughput and managing memory pressure, notably concerning large lists and complex UIs.

VueJS, despite being younger than ReactJS and Angular, has swiftly ascended the ranks of popularity within the developer community. VueJS’s ascent can be largely attributed to its lightweight makeup and progressive architecture. As a matter of fact, VueJS amalgamates concepts and ideas from both ReactJS and Angular, resulting in a hybrid approach to DOM manipulation. VueJS utilizes a virtual DOM similar to ReactJS and likewise offers an all-embracing system API as Angular does. A standout attribute of VueJS is its emphasis on simplicity and flexibility, which earns it the adoration of novice developers and seasoned ones looking to optimize their work.

There's no denying that these three libraries—ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS—each exhibit unique techniques for managing the DOM. This variety in their approaches impacts a broad range of concepts like the architecture of libraries, their feature set, and their design paradigms.

Questions such as, "What would happen without a virtual DOM in ReactJS in terms of performance?", "Could Angular's incremental DOM technique be simplified while still retaining its efficiency in memory management?", and "Are there avenues for further optimization of VueJS's hybrid DOM manipulation model?" spur curiosity and evoke interest. Stick around as we delve into and engage with these questions, probing the expansive world of DOM in web development today.

In subsequent sections, we will delve more deeply into these core libraries. We will talk about the intricacies of their DOM models, the advantages and shortcomings of each technique, actual code examples from the real world, as well as common pitfalls associated with these models, among other engaging topics!

As we set forth on this exploration of these libraries, it's essential to bear in mind that each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The art of selecting the right tool for the right problem evolves with experience, precise understanding of the requirement, and an in-depth knowledge of the prospective tools.

Building Concepts: Introduction to the Virtual DOM, Incremental DOM, and Shadow DOM

In the journey of web development with prolific front-end libraries such as ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS, you will most likely encounter the notions of the Virtual DOM, Incremental DOM, and Shadow DOM. Grasping these central ideas, their functionality, advantageous traits, and their potential setbacks can equip you to build robust, efficient web applications.

Virtual DOM

ReactJS primarily leverages the virtual DOM, a faster yet scaled-down rendition of the actual DOM. It serves as a type of mediator between the developer's actions and the genuine DOM, allowing a more optimized approach to updating the DOM. It achieves this by computing the differences (popularly termed as 'diffs') between the newly spawned virtual DOM and the preceding one. Subsequently, React infuses these modifications in the actual DOM without affecting the untouched segments. Consider the following example that illustrates ReactJS’s interaction with the virtual DOM in a real-world scenario:

// Here, we are simply creating a heading element with a greeting message
const createHTMLElement = () => {
    return React.createElement('h1', {className: 'greeting'}, 'Hello, world!');

// This function simulates a change in the greeting message
const changeGreeting = (newGreeting) => {
   return React.createElement('h1', {className: 'greeting'}, newGreeting);

// This function applies the new updates to the virtual DOM
const updateDOM = (newElement) => {
    ReactDOM.render(newElement, document.getElementById('root'));

// Initially we render the virtual DOM

// After two seconds, we will change the greeting message
setTimeout(() => {
    updateDOM(changeGreeting('Hello, developers!'));
}, 2000);

The primary allure of the virtual DOM resides in its capacity to boost performance and streamline programming operations. However, you must bear in mind the slight memory overhead introduced by the process, attributable to generating a memory-based replica of the actual DOM.

Incremental DOM

Set against the virtual DOM, Angular predominantly employs the incremental DOM. Departing from creating an elaborate facsimile of the DOM, the incremental DOM follows a hierarchical approach for updates. It compares new nodes to old ones in a sequential manner and applies changes piecemeal. Here's an illustration of a more realistic use-case where Angular interacts with the incremental DOM:

// A simple Angular component is created
  selector: 'app-root',
  template: `<h1>{{ title }}</h1>`
export class AppComponent {
  title = 'Hello World!';
  // After three seconds, the title of our repository is changed
  constructor() {
    setTimeout(() => {
      this.title = 'Hello Developers!';
    }, 3000);
// Angular's change detection mechanism will pick up this change and apply it to the DOM

Indexed as its primary advantage, the incremental DOM deters memory overuse as it eliminates the need to create an exhaustive copy of the Dom. It does, however, make updates slower during considerable changes in the DOM, resulting from the individual comparison and alteration of each node.

Shadow DOM

Typically employed in Web Components, the shadow DOM offers a cloistered JavaScript scope. This ensures that your styles, scripts, and markup are confined to that particular component and remain separate from the other elements of your document. Instead of showcasing the direct node manipulation that the shadow DOM usually involves, let's look at how one could utilize this concept without direct DOM manipulation:

// Web Component using Shadow Dom without direct DOM manipulation
class MyComponent extends HTMLElement {
  constructor() {

    let shadow = this.attachShadow({mode: 'open'});
    let template = document.querySelector('#my-component-template');
    let clone = template.content.cloneNode(true);


customElements.define('my-component', MyComponent);

Your web component styles and scripts remain encapsulated and independent, ensuring no conflicts with other styles and scripts throughout your webpage. However, employing the shadow DOM can usher in an added layer of complexity, such as managing the finer details of implementation and backward compatibility.

To summarize, the Virtual DOM, Incremental DOM, and Shadow DOM open up unique avenues for interacting with and manipulating the DOM. Depending on your web application requirements and your choice of library or framework, you may find one more suitable over the others. But this gives rise to an intriguing question: How would selecting a certain DOM manipulation approach influence memory consumption and performance in a dynamic, ever-evolving application?

Virtual DOM and Incremental DOM: Core Mechanisms in ReactJS and Angular

Diving straight in, let's explore how ReactJS utilizes the Virtual DOM to optimize its performance and offer a seamless user experience. a key aspect of React's efficiency hinges on its clever use of the Virtual DOM - a lightweight copy of the actual DOM. As the name suggests, the Virtual DOM is an abstract, simplified version of the actual DOM, making it faster and more efficient to work with.

How does the Virtual DOM work? When a React component's state changes, instead of immediately updating the real DOM, React first updates the Virtual DOM. React then compares the updated Virtual DOM with the previous snapshot of the Virtual DOM. This process, known as diffing, allows React to identify the minimal number of operations required to update the actual DOM, improving both performance and efficiency.

Let’s take a look at a practical example:

class Counter extends React.Component {
    constructor(props) {
        this.state = {count: 0};
    incrementCount = () => {
        this.setState((prevCount) => {
            return {count: prevCount.count +1};
    render() {
        return (
            <button onClick={this.incrementCount}>
              Clicks: {this.state.count}

    <Counter />,

In this code snippet, each time the button is clicked, the incrementCount() function is invoked, which updates the state of the component. This state change triggers a function within React that synchronizes the Virtual DOM with the real DOM. React first performs a diff algorithm between the new Virtual DOM and the old Virtual DOM. Once React identifies the changed components, it efficiently updates these components in the real DOM, thus improving application performance.

Transitioning to Angular, while React uses the Virtual DOM, Angular employs the Incremental DOM. The Incremental DOM is a programming model for the browser's actual DOM where changes are made in place, compared to the Virtual DOM where the entire tree is re-rendered for changes. This approach assures that Angular only updates the components of the page that require changes, substantially improving efficiency and performance.

Let's dive into a simple Angular code snippet for better understanding:

import { Component } from '@angular/core';

  selector: 'app-root',
  template: `
    <button (click)="incrementCount()">
      Clicks: {{count}}
  styleUrls: ['./app.component.css']

export class AppComponent {
  title = 'Counter App';
  count = 0;
  incrementCount() {

In this Angular example, similar to the ReactJS example, we increment a value each time a button is clicked. Angular, utilizing Incremental DOM, creates and maintains a tree of component views to update the DOM. When the button is clicked and incrementCount() function is invoked, the Angular compiler creates an instruction to increment the count variable. The Incremental DOM efficiently updates only the parts of the actual DOM that changed.

Discussion Point: Given the unique strengths of both the Virtual DOM and Incremental DOM, which do you believe would be best suited for a resource-intensive, dynamic web application and why?

Deeper Dive: Would the advantage of the Virtual DOM decrease in a scenario where many unrelated elements are simultaneously updated, given the necessity of re-rendering the entire virtual tree? What about the Incremental DOM, in a scenario where the individual components are large but changes are relatively small?

In-Depth Exploration of VueJS: Virtual DOM Reimagined

Making the most of VueJS involves having a deep understanding of its core principles and functionalities. Of these, one of the most unique and powerful is its implementation of the virtual DOM. This occurs through the process of syncing with the actual DOM, via a mechanism known as diffing and patching. It enhances flexibility and performance, leading to a seamless user experience.

VueJS Virtual DOM: A Unique Approach

When working with VueJS, understanding its distinction of the Virtual DOM is imperative for optimization. Unlike traditional JavaScript frameworks, VueJS employs a reactive data system. With its reactivity system, VueJS can precisely figure out which components need to be re-rendered when state changes, leading to efficient updates and performance enhancements.

Each Vue component instance goes through a lifecycle, starting from creation to mounting to update to destruction. In each life phase, Vue provides corresponding lifecycle hooks. For instance, VueJS's special beforeMount hook connects the real DOM with virtual nodes in this process.

Here's a simple code snippet that illustrates a Vue component lifecycle:

new Vue({
    data: {
        message: 'Hello world!'
    beforeMount: function() {
    mounted: function() {
        this.message = 'Hello Vue!';

Upon creation, a Vue component initiates the setup of event listeners and reactive data. The instance mounts to the DOM (triggering the beforeMount and mounted hooks) and efficiently updates upon data changes.

Vue3 Improvements: Execution of Virtual DOM

With the advent of Vue3, there have been significant enhancements to the virtual DOM's performance, achieved primarily through a new architecture called the Composition API.

In Vue3, during each re-render, the virtual DOM's diff algorithm only updates the parts of the UI where data changes have occurred. By doing so, Vue3 minimizes the amount of DOM manipulation and the complexity of Component dependencies, leading to more efficient updates and better overall performance.

Consider the following example:

const App = {
    data() {
        return {
            count: 0,
            otherData: 'Vue3 is awesome!'
    methods: {
        incrementCount () {
            this.count += 1;


In the App component, whenever this.count changes, Vue 3's virtual DOM rendering engine only needs to re-render the part of the UI that uses this.count. Therefore, otherData, if used somewhere in the template, remains unaffected during the rendering process.

Performance Boost in VueJS's Virtual DOM

One might pose the question: "Where, then, does VueJS get its performance advantage?" The answer lies in the fact that Vue's reactivity system and virtual DOM work hand in hand to optimize the updating of components.

When a component's data changes, VueJS identifies and targets specific components for re-rendering, ignoring the others. This approach considerably reduces the number of render calls and virtual DOM nodes requiring diffing and patching during the update cycle, resulting in greater efficiency and speed.

VueJS's virtual DOM implementation, especially with its refinements in Vue3, features selective rendering and efficient component updating. Consequently, VueJS avoids unnecessary computations and DOM manipulations, resulting in an overall boost in performance.

But, does this mean VueJS's virtual DOM implementation incrementally updates like Angular? No, it essentially still works on the virtual dom concept underlying ReactJS, that is, the whole subtree is re-rendered and patched when the state is updated. However, VueJS has an extra layer of optimization because of the reactivity system.

In Conclusion

Remember that the road to mastering any library or framework involves understanding its core. With VueJS, appreciating the Virtual DOM implementation, and how it enhances performance is key.

Furthermore, the enhancements brought about by Vue3 and its Composition API can provide further room for performance optimization and component complexity reduction. By mastering these elements, one can get the most out of VueJS in real-world applications.

Angular's Take on the DOM: A Deep Dive into Shadow DOM

In the world of web development, Angular holds a unique approach when it comes to DOM manipulation. Its use of the Shadow DOM introduces new opportunities and challenges for developers to explore.

The Shadow DOM, an emergent technology standard, is employed by Angular as a primary means of building web components. It provides encapsulation for JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, allowing these technical elements to be packaged into reusable custom elements.

Simultaneously, it ensures that these elements are correctly scoped and isolated, preventing styles from leaking and keeping the components' behavior consistent regardless of their application context. This is referred to as View Encapsulation, and it’s one of the attributes that keeps Angular unique among other frameworks.

Looking at a typical Angular application, you would observe the use of the Shadow DOM when the ViewEncapsulation mode is set to 'ShadowDom'. By doing so, Angular uses the Shadow DOM to host the component's content. Let’s consider an example:

import { Component, ViewEncapsulation } from '@angular/core';

  selector: 'my-comp',
  encapsulation: ViewEncapsulation.ShadowDom,
  template: `
    <h1>Hello Shadow DOM!</h1>
      h1 { color: red; }
export class MyCompComponent { }

In this instance, the encapsulation mode 'ShadowDom' instructs Angular to employ the Shadow DOM system, and encapsulate the styles and content. Therefore, the style definitions provided to an element are restricted to that specific element, avoiding any leakage to other elements.

Performance Implications

Apart from encapsulation, there's another aspect where Shadow DOM shows its strength - performance. By keeping everything isolated, the browser needs to compute the styles of far fewer elements, leading to faster rendering times. This characteristic also contributes to reducing complexity around state management and architectural layout of the application.

However, remember that Shadow DOM is still an evolving web standard and might not be supported equally across all browsers. While there are polyfills available to ensure compatibility, they might carry a performance penalty.

This is why Angular provides several ViewEncapsulation modes - Emulated, None, and ShadowDom. While the 'Emulated' mode offers Shadow DOM-like behavior with the broadest browser compatibility, the 'None' mode can be used when no view encapsulation is required.

Question to Contemplate

After exploring Angular's unique usage of the Shadow DOM, an interesting point of contemplation would be: How does the use of Shadow DOM align with your current project requirements? Would the benefits of encapsulation and style isolation outweigh the trade-off of browser compatibility and potential usage of polyfills?

In conclusion, Angular's deployment of the Shadow DOM presents a rich, encapsulated environment for component-based designs. However, like any other technology, it's crucial to understand its performance implications and best use cases before adoption. With this in mind, always remember to align your choice of technology with the requirements of your specific project.

Comparative Analysis: Virtual, Incremental, and Shadow DOM

When it comes to efficient operation and performance in JavaScript frameworks, understanding how they interact with the Document Object Model (DOM) is crucial. We have three main strategies being used in popular libraries and frameworks - the Virtual DOM, Incremental DOM, and Shadow DOM. These techniques differ in their implementation, complexities, and the advantages they offer. Let's delve into a comparative analysis of these three DOM strategies.

Virtual DOM

The Virtual DOM strategy, used by libraries like ReactJS, offers a way to avoid expensive direct interactions with the actual DOM. It works by creating a lightweight copy of the actual DOM, wherein changes are made first. These changes are then diffed with the actual DOM in a reconciliation process. The minimum number of operations required to update the actual DOM is then determined.

Pros and Cons of Virtual DOM


  • Enables optimization of multiple changes to minimize actual DOM operations.
  • Improves performance when there are frequent updates.


  • Memory-intensive due to maintaining a copy of the actual DOM.
  • Overhead of diffing and reconciliation processes.

Incremental DOM

The Incremental DOM, used by Angular, works differently. It uses a tree-walking algorithm but updates are made to the actual DOM one node at a time, enabling fine control over updates and memory usage.

Pros and Cons of Incremental DOM


  • Consistent memory usage, suitable for mobile devices.
  • Efficient when handling large lists that update a few elements sporadically.


  • Frequent small updates can result in more actual DOM operations than Virtual DOM.

Shadow DOM

The Shadow DOM is a standard web platform feature used by libraries like VueJS, allowing for encapsulation by creating a separate DOM tree, hidden from the main document's DOM tree.

Pros and Cons of Shadow DOM


  • Encapsulation which prevents CSS or JavaScript clashes with the rest of the page.
  • Allows for isolated components.


  • Not all browsers fully support Shadow DOM.

While all three strategies aim to optimize performance and user experience, the choice between them depends on the specific needs of the project. For instance, if memory usage is a critical concern, Incremental DOM might be the best choice. In cases where frequent updates are expected, Virtual DOM can offer better performance. And if component isolation and style encapsulation are paramount, Shadow DOM might be the wisest pick.

Conclusion and Questions for Reflection

In this article, we have discussed and compared the major DOM strategies used in modern JavaScript libraries. One might ask, what factors should primarily influence the choice of the DOM strategy for a project? Could a combination of these strategies provide an even better solution? For seasoned developers, considering these strategies might inspire new ways to improve performance and user experience in future projects.

Practical Implications: Selecting the Appropriate DOM Approach

When it comes to choosing between incremental or virtual DOM, for your project, there are several factors to consider. Here's a brief outline of the key takeaways to aid in your decision.

Approach: Incremental DOM

Angular utilizes an Incremental DOM approach in its Ivy rendering engine. This model relies on a 'write'/'read' process, where changes are made directly to the DOM and read only once. Here are the cruxes to contemplate for this approach when implementing it on your projects:


  • For large datasets, the Incremental DOM generally exhibits improved performance over virtual DOM. It aids in simplifying memory management by reusing memory space for nodes that are created and deleted during the render cycle.
  • Achieves substantial scalability, as updating nodes here is inexpensive.
  • Provides more direct control over the update process, leading to finer performance tuning.


  • It can end up being slower than the Virtual DOM for smaller datasets because each node is processed individually.
  • The transformation process from a JavaScript object to the actual HTML structure happens each time there's a change, increasing the load.
  • The execution is not asynchronous, thereby blocking the main thread.

Approach: Virtual DOM

The Virtual DOM model, as emphasized in React and VueJS, is a lightweight abstraction of the actual DOM. It mainly operates through a 'diffing' algorithm, which makes a comparison between the new and existing virtual DOM and updates only the elements which have changes.


  • Since it works on a copy of the real DOM, it minimizes direct interactions with the DOM, thus enhancing overall application performance.
  • Optimization process happens behind the scenes, without additional effort from the developer's end.
  • It allows for asynchrony, so the user interface can remain interactive even while updates are processed.


  • Hefty memory footprints are an operational cost. For each DOM object, a corresponding virtual DOM object is created, thus multiplying memory usage.
  • Computation is increased for 'diffing' algorithms when reconciling the virtual DOM with the DOM.
  • More suited for applications that require high-frequency updates.

Careful consideration should be given to the specific needs and structure of your project before selecting between these two DOM models. For instance, if your project involves processing substantial data and demands direct control over updates, you might lean more towards Angular's Incremental DOM approach.

On the other hand, if your project involves frequent UI changes and requires an asynchronous update process, React or Vue and their virtual DOM approach might be more suitable. While both approaches have their strengths, being conscious of the trade-offs will lead to a more informed decision that is best suited to your project's requirements.

Thought-Provoking Questions

  • How critical is immediate UI responsiveness and asynchrony for your project?
  • Does your project involve more UI manipulation or data processing?
  • Have you considered the trade-off between memory usage and performance while choosing your strategy?
  • Does your project require frequent updates on smaller datasets or occasional updates on larger datasets?
  • What level of control over updates is necessary for optimal performance in your application?

Choosing the right approach between the Incremental and Virtual DOM involves a balance between your application's specific needs, the advantages of each approach, and the potential pitfalls. As a developer, understanding these concepts broadly can pave the way for optimized web development and improved user experiences.

Anticipating Future Trends: The Future of DOM in JavaScript Libraries

As we gaze into the future, it's clear that the DOM in JavaScript libraries is gearing up for more performant and effective ways of updating and manipulating the Document Object Model. The constant endeavor is to strike a balance between speed and resource consumption, leading to the ideation of inventive algorithms that limit DOM alterations.

To kick off, it's widely foreseen that JavaScript libraries with their virtual DOM capabilities will move towards much more judicious use. With targeted updates and re-rendering only those segments of the application needing modifications, these libraries significantly reduce the workload and thus, help enhance the web application performance.

Publicly released in 2017, React Fiber stands as a prime example of developments in this space. Encapsulating the core of React's reconciliation algorithm, it is essentially a virtual stack frame enabling asynchronous rendering. In simpler terms, React Fiber allows a high-priority update to interrupt a low-priority one, resuming the latter once the vital update is complete. Here's an example:

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
    state = { view: 'list' };
    onClick() {
        this.setState({ view: 'grid' }); // High priority update
        setTimeout(() => {
            this.setState({ color: 'blue' }); // Low priority update
        }, 0);
    render() {
        // Rendering logic based on state

In this case, React Fiber prioritizes the 'view' state update over the later 'color' state update. The latter is interrupted and then resumed once the critical update is achieved.

The incremental DOM ideology championed by Angular may also command a trend in the future landscape. Essentially, the incremental DOM leverages a granular diffing algorithm for updates, updating only the nodes impacted by the change. This methodology can significantly boost performance, particularly in sizable applications. Rooted in the 'incremental' change ideology, instead of re-rendering the entire tree structure, only the modified nodes undergo updates. Let's have a look at a related code snippet:

// Let's consider an item in a list; if only the price is updated,
// only this specific node should be re-rendered
let updatedItemNode = {
    price: '25$' // This is the new value we need to update to
let currentItemNode = angular.element(document.querySelector('#item-price'));

// Incremental DOM comes into play here
angular.render(updatedItemNode, currentItemNode[0]);

Among its contemporaries, VueJS takes a unique approach with its 'reactivity system', an optimized embodiment of the virtual DOM concept. This reactive dependency tracking feature enables Vue to precisely comprehend which components require re-rendering when a state undergoes a change. As a result, a significant enhancement in performance is observed. To understand this concept better, let's see it in action:

let vm = new Vue({
    el: '#example',
    data: {
        message: 'Hello'
    computed: {
        // A computed getter
        reversedMessage: function() {
            // `this` points to the vm instance
            return this.message.split('').reverse().join('');

Here, the reversedMessage function gets re-executed whenever the message property alters. This small, reactive dependency tracking change leads to efficient updates only where necessary.

Diving into the future, JavaScript libraries will undoubtedly continue redefining these approaches as new inventive techniques emerge to optimize DOM updates. Be it smarter diffing algorithms, finely tuned patching methods, or wholly new techniques for managing updates, these innovations likely bring better application performance.

What's the next colossal shift in DOM manipulation that equally enhances performance and curtails memory consumption? Will the Virtual DOM scale to unprecedented efficiency, or will a novel pattern steal the show as the upcoming standard? As the landscape of web development morphs and evolves, these thought-provoking questions will surely stimulate lively discussions among the developer community.

In the end, while the precise future of DOM manipulation in JavaScript libraries may be unpredictable, the unwavering truth is continuous evolution. This evolution will unfold new, flexible, and performant ways to construct and optimize web applications which will make understanding these trends imperative for developers.


In this article, the author explores the concepts of the Incremental, Shadow, and Virtual DOMs as they apply to the JavaScript libraries ReactJS, Angular, and VueJS. They highlight the importance of understanding the DOM and its impact on performance in modern web development. The article provides an in-depth analysis of each DOM strategy, discussing their advantages and disadvantages, as well as practical implications for selecting the appropriate approach.

Key takeaways from the article include the significance of choosing the right DOM strategy based on project requirements, the future trends and advancements in DOM manipulation, and the need for developers to have a deep understanding of the DOM when working with JavaScript libraries.

A challenging task for the reader could be to analyze a real-world web application and evaluate the potential performance improvements that could be achieved by implementing a different DOM strategy. The reader could experiment with different approaches, such as using the Virtual DOM in a ReactJS application or implementing the Incremental DOM in an Angular application, and measure the impact on performance metrics such as rendering time and memory usage.

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