The Reactive Manifesto


One of the big topics at 2014 edition of QCon in London was reactive programming and the topic even got its own track at the conference. The reactive programming is an approach to application development that is based on asynchronous communication model using non-blocking components that pass events/messages around the system. For those of us who did programming already in the heydays of Microsoft Windows this will sound very familiar as it feels very much as a resurrection of event driven programming, so it is not very surprising that reactive programming paradigm originates with Microsoft who is also progenitor of RxJS, the most popular reactive programming library for javascript. While I'm not familiar enough with merits and drawbacks of reactive programming to have any definitive opinion on this paradigm, I do think it is a sign of changing times when pendulum is yet again swinging towards fat, stateful clients. Just like transition from simple DOS to complex Windows applications required change of programming paradigm, the evolution of web applications from simple html pages to rich web applications based on complex javascript will require change of programming paradigm yet again. The proponents of reactive programming have published a document called reactive manifesto that sums their thinking and rationale behind the reactive programming paradigm. I recommend you reading it, if for no other reason to see what some people think are the important problems contemporary software development should be solving.

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