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Show HN: Noact – React-like Virtual DOM library in 70 lines of TypeScript (github.com)
50 points by owouwuowo 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

The idea of React is good - declarative, stateful, reusable components, etc. While the bloat of React and it's toolchain (and npm plugins) has become a mess. When you have 2^100 different plugin combos to do something, you have 2^100 imperfect solutions and no experts in any of them, rather than one elegant and simple standard that can be optimized.

This repo is great proof that React is over engineered. Vanilla JS has WebComponents[1] and Templates, and a vDOM is easy to support (it existed long before React) and the DOM was the original place to store state in custom properties that you could manipulate internally with 'this'. What's missing is the ecosystem of Reusable WebComponents (primatives) based around this simple approach.

That's why this is so great to see. As more of a purist, I would try to make this a Vanilla JS lib instead of TS and remove one more build step. But the idea of 60 lines of code that use primatives (thus making this hyper extendable) is perfect.

[1] https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Web_Components

These are react's dependencies:


This repo is proof of nothing and I'm tired of reading those knee-jerk takes. You can't say "react's toolchain is a mess" and "prove" it with a repo that has zero toolchain, no JSX, etc. It's a bit saying "vlc is so bloated!" to someone showcasing "a video player in 30 lines of QML" with no play/pause button.

Not to detract from the rest of your post, the core concept and primitives are great. Would you like them served up in a NPM micro-dependency, maybe? You'll just … add JSX, babel etc separately, will be missing half of react's features like hooks etc and will still have as many dev dependencies as before.

It could be that this sort of thinking contributes to the massive number of JS frameworks out there. You think React is bloated, so you make a "React in 70 lines" ... realize there's some things you missed... fast forward to two years later and you've got another framework.

This is not the whole story though react is kinda useless without its tools. A fair argument would be if create-react-app had so little dependencies. But i agree with you react itself is not bloated but in general the whole webtooling is.

If react is useless without its tools then what is this submission for in the first place?

If you use Create React App[1] then you don't have to think about the toolchain.

I do sometimes wonder what the people complaining about npm packages and the React ecosystem/build process are developing? It would be interesting to hear. I've shipped complex web applications built using Create React App without needing to "eject", and without installing dozens of packages from npm.

[1] https://create-react-app.dev

I bet you’ll be thinking about the toolchain under this leaky abstraction before long, when the first thing inevitably doesn’t work as expected and you are googling for a solution.

I think this is wrong. I think if it shows anything, it’s that in the real world, you have to address exceptional cases rather than ignore them.

This was exactly my thinking when I wrote ElemX[1]. It has more a VueJS feel with template bindings, but it is based entirely on WebComponents and there are essentially no "tricks" (although it does use MobX for observables/computeds). It's a super small library but easily extendable with custom bindings.

[1] https://github.com/agquick/elemx.js

It's weird how in the JS community rewrites of react are common in the CLJS community using React as a runtime is more common:

  - https://reagent-project.github.io/
  - https://github.com/day8/re-frame
  - https://github.com/tonsky/rum
And my favourite - https://github.com/fulcrologic/fulcro

Hosting your work on top of another ecosystem, such that you can still use the underlying ecosystem, gives you a lot of leverage out the gate

Totally a tangent, but I found the explosions typing gif super distracting.

The wheels on the bus go round and round

To the author: check out Mercury (2014), Hyperapp (2017), Choo (2018)

Inferno... Preact... the list goes on and on.

If you're already using typescript, why not also .tsx? It's easy to map to your own components.

But does this actually have "reactivity"? If I was to update variable, would that state propagate to all its dependants in the DOM automatically?

What in the JS ecosystem promotes such posts and up-votes them to first page? These 50line / 100x faster micro frameworks 'never' reach 1% in core functionality and aren't usable beyond building 10 lines of demo app.

I don't see similar posts for Java/.Net/Go ecosystem. Spring in 500 lines or 100x faster ASP.net!!

It’s because there’s a very big difference between the state of the JavaScript ecosystem and the ecosystem for nearly any other language you can mention. And for a very large percentage of the development community worldwide, the JavaScript ecosystem is not something that anyone enjoys. That’s why it gets upvoted.

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