React can be used to describe what you want to render in a declarative way using shared components and elements. New web projects at Facebook are commonly built using it in one form or another.
If you're confused about the numbering of the new version, it is the next in line after the previous 0.14 version released in July 2015. The developers have decided to switch to major version numbering:
"to indicate that we have been using React in production for a long time. This 15.0 release follows our previous 0.14 version and we’ll continue to follow semver like we’ve been doing since 2013."
There are real changes to React along with the name change. The interaction with the DOM has been changed, According to the announcement of the new version on the React blog:
"We are now using document.createElement instead of setting innerHTML when mounting components. This allows us to get rid of the data-reactid attribute on every node and make the DOM lighter. Using document.createElement is also faster in modern browsers and fixes a number of edge cases related to SVG elements and running multiple copies of React on the same page."
Another change is the addition of support for all the SVG attributes that are recognized by current browsers. Until now, React's support for SVG has been incomplete, and many tags and attributes were missing. The change to using document.createElement helps here too as there's no longer any need to maintain a list of SVG tags. This means that any SVG tags that were previously unsupported should work in React 15.
The final major improvement is that React 15 no longer emits extra <span> nodes around the text, making the DOM output much cleaner. The developers credit external contributor Michael Wiencek for this enhancement, saying:
"This was a longstanding annoyance for React users so it’s exciting to accept this as an outside contribution."
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