This article is about Stent - a Redux-liked library that creates and manages state machines. Stent implements some of the Redux’s core ideas and in fact looks a lot like it. At the end of this post we will see that both libraries have a lot in common. Stent is just using state machines under the hood and eliminates some of the boilerplate that comes with Redux’s workflow.
If you are writing React applications you probably know about higher order components or render props (which by the way I think is kind of a form of higher order component pattern). In both cases we have a component that encapsulates logic and passes props down to children. Recently at work we came to the idea that we may push this further and represent some functionalities which are out of React in the same fashion - with a single tag in our components tree.
(If you are lazy jump to this section to learn what is this article all about.)
Remember The Island movie from 2005. I watched it again these days and I realized that the old sci-fi titles start with something really interesting. It is funny how they create a world of flying vehicles and say something like "The year is 2019 …". Well, we are 2018 and the public transport is still on the ground. We still can't clone people (I hope so) or travel in a giant spaceship which looks like a fully-functional city.
Redux is a library that acts as a state container and helps managing your application data flow. It was introduced back in 2015 at ReactEurope conference (video) by Dan Abramov. It is similar to Flux architecture and has a lot in common with it. In this section we will create a small counter app using Redux alongside React.
Long long time ago in a kingdom far far away there was an app. The app was supported by the well known React and Redux families but there was a problem. It was damn slow. People started complaining and the app had to do something. It had to deliver its content quickly so it provides better user experience. Then the server-side rendering was born.
I really like Redux. I Love its ideas. The reducers for example - small pure functions that apply changes without side effects are nice way to model the mutations in the state. Redux also teaches us to use the one-direction data flow which makes our apps more predictable and stable. These two things fits well for what we are doing on the front-end - building user interfaces.
Of course there is nothing perfect and Redux as every other library has its own problems. In this article I want to explore some ideas for new APIs that will help solving the problems that I encounter. I’ll be happy to see your comments below.
Something bugs me last couple of years. I'm using React for some time now and there is always this doubt if I'm placing the business logic on the right place. I'm trying to be pragmatic, to follow best practices and listen what the community is saying. However, I still feel that something is not ok. This blog post presents the idea of the reactive view. That is nothing new per se but I came up with this term because it fits well in my idea.