The survey assesses each technology based on their retention ratio and user count. High usage/high retention technologies (a measure of satisfaction based on whether a person would continue to use it or avoid it) are safe to adopt, low usage/low retention are considered 'harder to recommend', and high usage/low retention are worth reassessing if used.
Electron, the most widely used tool for building cross-platform desktop apps, has seen its retention levels drop dramatically since 2020. It was the leader by retention between 2018 and 2020, but it fell to 75% in 2022, though it's still in the top five by retention, just ahead of React Native at 74%.
Still, only 32% of respondents were aware of Tauri, and just 5% of them use it, although usage has doubled in the past year. Electron remains the most used toolkit at 35%, along with React Native, followed by Cordova.
The most widely used frontend framework was React at 82%, followed by Google-made Angular at 48%, and Cue.js at 46%. Svelte usage had grown from 7.8% in 2019 to become the fourth by usage at 21%. It was also the top framework developers said they were interested in learning.
Svelte and Solid were the leaders by retention, at 89% and 90%, respectively. React's retention has fallen from 89% in 2019 to 83%, while Angular's retention has grown slightly over the period to reach 42%, but that's still well down from 2016 when it had 68% retention.
On the server side, the top rendering framework was Next.js at 48%, followed by Gatsby at 23%, and Next at 18%. However, Astro and SvelteKit topped the retention scale with 92% each, followed by Next.js at 90%. Gatsby's retention has fallen from 90% in 2019 to 38% in 2022.
Sarah Drasner, director of engineering and web infrastructure at Google, argues in the conclusion of the report that falling retention for React, Angular and Cue is a "sign of maturity".
"When we look at established frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue we often see a drop in satisfaction, and people may wonder what it means for the future. I believe that this decline is a function of the tool being battle-tested and used in production, of finding the rough edges and experiencing the trade-offs every tool has. It's a sign of maturity and clear-eyed appreciation for what these tools can offer," Drasner writes.