I’m trying to build an episode guide for a TV show I like, and I’m trying to decide whether to use a lightweight like Handlebars, or should I use a more robust framework like React. How does one know which one to use? Is it just personal preference. One thing is that when the user first gets to the guide, they can see a little bit of information about each episode. When the user clicks on an episode, a modal pops up with more information.
Either is a perfectly acceptable tool for such a project and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Personally, imho, React is a more marketable skill so it would be better to learn, but I’m sure someone might argue the opposite.
React isn’t needed for any use cases where you work with templates. In your case Handlebars or even EJS would be sufficient. ReactJS is mostly used in highly interactive websites where multiple parts of web page should be updated in reaction to user’s actions. React will help you to manage such situations especially in large web-applications.