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Marty.js – A JavaScript library for state management in React applications (martyjs.org)
255 points by jfhollingworth on Jan 21, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 93 comments

Nice documentation, and dev tools is a big plus.

The beauty of flux + react is, it's so simple and flexible.

I'm developing a fairly complex application with flux + react, (no flux frameworks, just facebook's dispatcher and stores/actions modelled after facebook's flux examples), and it seems I've implemented lots of things in marty.js. I also started using mixins for subscribing views to stores, immutable data in stores (so undo/redo is available without much work), loading data into stores from different sources etc.

I believe, in the following months, a de-facto flux framework will emerge, and marty looks so close to being that framework.

A few tips to fellow developers want to try react and/or flux:

- React is just the view part. Integrating it with other frameworks is easy, and integrating other js libs with react is also easy.

- OTOH, if you want to build a whole complex app with react, use something like flux with it, since there isn't a flexible way to modify the app state from child components with react.

- Immutable data structures really goes well with react + flux. I haven't been able to get the immutability/functional style before, and react + flux really helped with that.

Thanks again for the great tools.

Great comment and excellent intro to React for interested devs. I've been successfully using React for small and mid-sized apps, and agree that Marty looks like it's an elegant solution to the Flux pattern. (for application state in React, I've also had some success with passing around an immutable cursor, like react-cursor[1]).

One cautionary note about how easy it is to integrate React with other frameworks: this statement is true as long as the framework in question doesn't touch the DOM (e.g., using Backbone models). But if you try to integrate React with any JS library or framework that mutates the DOM, you should be aware that this will interfere with React's DOM "accounting" and potentially cause lots of problems.

There are certainly ways around this (look into the lesser-used React life cycles), but it's much easier to stick within the React ecosystem for any libraries that manipulate the DOM, or build your DOM manipulations from scratch (easy to do with React). Already, there's a fairly feature complete React Bootstrap library [2]. I've started work on a React charting library, using d3 for path calculations and other utilities (and temporarily for chart axes generation, but library users shouldn't have to worry about any DOM issues) [3]. And I'm sure there are a thousand and one other React view-level component libraries I'm not familiar with, most of which are likely available via NPM.

But I agree that React and the other virtual DOM libraries and frameworks (Ractive, Mercury, Om, etc.) are the next generation approach for client-side views. They not only make DOM manipulations much snappier, but they also make them much easier for the developer.

1. https://github.com/dustingetz/react-cursor

2. https://github.com/react-bootstrap/react-bootstrap

3. https://github.com/esbullington/react-d3

> (for application state in React, I've also had some success with passing around an immutable cursor, like react-cursor[1]).

The react-cursor library really introduced cursors based on immutable data for me. I've never used the library, but the idea stuck. Omniscient looks very shiny as well, but it too invasively changes the workings of React for me.

Immutable.js provides a great Immutability library, with a very lightweight cursor implementation on top. You can make a simple object that recursively updates itself with the newest state from the cursor. You have to merge updated states at the keyPath to prevent clobbering from 'synchronous' updates at different cursors.

If you give that object a listen(), a getCurrentState() and a private trigger() method, you are well on your way to a complete store. Reflux offers roughly this model, and adds much needed actions and listening to other stores.

Here's a gist with a tightly coupled (incomplete) example store that emits a cursor, and a React component that listens to the store and updates it:


By the way, the hypothetical reflux store in your gist is basically this: https://github.com/omniscientjs/immstruct

Thus, you can simplify to something like this: https://gist.github.com/Dashed/707664be1319bb222c7c


Omniscient is still useful in that you can make your own `component` shim using their `shouldComponentUpdate()`.

I think the reflux model doesn't too synergize well with immutable-js's cursors. I found out that reflux with omniscient/immstruct ended up being one more level of indirection. Plus, I didn't need all the features that reflux provided. I even tried a super-light version of reflux.

So I replaced reflux with an augmentation upon immstruct with more useful features (a library I've yet to release). I'm still experimenting with it while investigating a nice isomorphic architecture.

I discovered your react-d3 project last week and started using it a bit. Thanks a lot for making it.

Thanks for your comment, much appreciated!

If you want a framework with immutability you should probably just use https://github.com/Raynos/mercury as it gets rid of React's unnecessary component state.

Gaa, another framework that's opinionated about the data structures it gets passed. No thanks.

Try those data structures out. They are based on functional lenses and are really efficient and you can get time travel for free.

It's worth trying to understand the data structure and why it was used before you dismiss it out of hand. It was a very deliberate choice. There is also a very strong 1:1 mapping between plain old javascript objects and the state data structure you build up with observ, observ-struct and observ-varhash. Serialization and hydration works basically out of the box.

My reaction to the marty stuff is that it's trying to moved towards an architecture that mercury already has out of the box and that you don't have the unnecessary component state stuff the parent comment mentioned.

The component state stuff is probably my biggest gripe with the way react is architected.

Haven't used mercury, but in react component state has it's uses. It's strongly recommended both in docs and mailing list that component state should only be used for ephemeral data, the data that losing is not a problem when the component unmounts.

For example, when implementing a dropdown menu with react, holding the dropdown menu's open/closed state in the component, and modifying it with onClick events is really convenient.

IMHO, that sounds like more of a concern for the data structures you're using, not the view layer.

I do appreciate you taking the time to lay out the advantages, and I was rather flippant.

Curiously, what about marty do you really like that makes it feel like a good de-facto framework?

Well, de-facto may be a strong word for what I meant, as everybody has their own way of doing things.

For me, appealing side of react + flux for me is it's simplicity. Adhere to the few principles of them (one way data flow, no permanent state in components etc.), and you have a scalable architecture in your hands, with little to no magic on the data side.

Haven't used marty yet, and since I've already developed what marty offers on my own app already I don't plan on using it soon, but from what I read in the docs, it doesn't try to do too much, or make too many decisions on your behalf. It offers more structure than a barebones dispatcher, without getting in the way. And in my experience, that is a really efficient and scalable way of building complex apps.

I'm scanning the documentation for this now and the "state sources" concept looks useful. Stores seem to be a bit cleverer than in other Flux implementations too.

The fact it's got a Chrome extension and what appears to be comprehensive documentation bodes well. I'm currently using reflux because I like its simplicity (no dispatcher and no action creators) but Marty has definitely piqued my interest.

Edit: Question for the author. Any thoughts on isomorphic apps with Marty? Edit2: Answering my own question: https://github.com/jhollingworth/marty/issues/13

Isomorphic apps are the next big challenge. Right now the biggest blocker is that everything's a singleton. I'm working on an internal container which should hopefully mean existing apps can be made isomoprhic without a change to the API

I've found that contexts are a good way to handle this - they're basically invisible props that get implicitly passed down the component tree, and mixins can whitelist which parts of the context they want to be able to use. They're undocumented, but they're used quite widely in React, so I doubt they're going anywhere. You can have a top-level component instantiate new dispatchers and stores and expose them as i.e. "this.context.userStore", "this.context.dispatcher" to mixins and component code. And this can be done concurrently in the same Node process without needing VMs/sandboxing. Your state mixin API might need to change a bit, but it can be substantially the same:

var UserState = Marty.createStateMixin({ listenTo: "UserStore", getState: function (UserStore) { return { users: UserStore.getAll() }; } });

A reference: https://www.tildedave.com/2014/11/15/introduction-to-context...

Fluxxor, FYI, bundles all of this in context.flux: https://github.com/BinaryMuse/fluxxor/blob/master/lib/flux_m...

General impression is the same. I'm using Reflux and quite happy with it, but this does seem pretty smart. Having built in rollback of actions is nice, and having the versatility of where-queries to invoke action handlers is interesting. Not sure if its worth the switch, there aren't really pain points to be solved here... but my next React project might use this.

One thing I would love to see some guidance on with Flux (and potentially with the patterns expressed in Marty.js) is how to handle the use case of Stores for a collection of items as well as a single item.

Right now, if I create a Store for a collection of Users and I want to be able to mutate these User objects then I create actions for each CRUD mutation and then plumb that change through to the in-memory object inside my collection as well as persist the change to my server.

But as soon as I click on a specific User and load up a new page for that User, for example, then I need to create an all new Store just for a single User, which has all of the same mutations/actions available to it as the previously-mentioned collection Store (except now I don't need to pass the ID to every action payload).

The best approach I've seen on this topic is in this example's Readme: https://github.com/gaearon/flux-react-router-example

Does this approach make sense/jive with the Marty.js way of handling Stores, State Sources, etc?

The method that you linked is the one I use currently.

Another way is to use a nested immutable data structure (something like immutable.js[1], react-cursor[2]), use only one store, and make all changes on this data structure and pass accordingly.

Even if you don't use immutable.js, I strongly suggest to use immutability with react update[3] or equivalent. Things get way easier that way.

[1]: https://github.com/facebook/immutable-js

[2]: https://github.com/dustingetz/react-cursor

[3]: https://facebook.github.io/react/docs/update.html

Thanks for the suggestions. I've looked at immutable data structure libs some, but I haven't seen any real comprehensive examples showing the behavior you describe within the Flux pattern. Do you happen to know of any such examples?

I ask because the examples I see for react-cursor, etc typically show data being mutated directly inside the React component without using Actions/Stores/etc. Going this route means we lose the advantages such as a unidirectional data flow & the ability to centralize logic for interacting with a Store around well-defined Actions.

So if we did merge the Flux idea with Cursors, I assume we would keep a single Cursor as the underlying state inside a Store, and then use the traditional Action/ActionCreator model to allow React components/server updates to mutate this Store?

What is the big win here then vs. traditional (non-immutable) Stores (other than performance gains by using === in shouldComponentUpdate)? It seems to me you would still have to make a separate Store for editing a single item vs editing a collection.

Out of curiosity, for those of you building stuff with Flux: Which library do you use? Or do you just use your own implementation?

We recently went with Reflux[1] for our first big React app after reading about it here[2], and I've been pretty happy with it so far.

[1] https://github.com/spoike/refluxjs

[2] https://reactjsnews.com/the-state-of-flux/

I've been using Fluxxor http://fluxxor.com/ for a relatively large application. Has been working well! When I started the project the flux concept was still very, very new and there were not many implementations. It took care of the basics and has gotten out of my way. I'm looking forward to trying marty out on a new app.

I started with reflux but wanted something that was actual flux. So I ended up with


which looks a bit like reflux in terms of terseness but it adds the ability to have snapshots and rollbacks, isomorphism, and it plays real well with ES6.

There's a few of the flux examples that compare flux to alt in the repo. And there are some good isomorphic examples in here https://github.com/goatslacker/iso/tree/master/examples

I'll be posting a write-up of all this pretty soon.

If you like reflux you'll like alt.

I'm using Reflux for now, though I'm tempted to switch to something more FRP like Bacon, f, or RxJS. I find that I end up making stores for both AllThings and CurrentThing, and it should be easier to express that relationship with FRP.

I've been using a "FilteredConnect" mixin that I wrote that's solved the "CurrentThing" store problem nicely.

I'd be very interested in a good approach to this as well.

Interesting. Link?

Still private — need to create a pull request against Reflux.

I really like Reflux as well. In a recent project I used Bacon.js[1] to create my own implementation that ended up looking similar to Reflux.

The project involved asynchronous requests triggered by the actions, and transforming & aggregating the returned data. Compared to Reflux, Bacon made it very easy to do this by composing small functions that are applied sequentially to a stream of actions.

[1] https://baconjs.github.io/

https://github.com/kjda/ReactFlux is really approachable, but not an entire framework. It has been a great starting point for what will become a fantasy draft app: https://github.com/rblakeley/fifa-heroes

I'm leading a mid-sized project that is using RefluxJS. We're very happy with it.

This looks great. The docs really are terrific, too.

Personally, I've been playing around with Bacon.js (or RxJS) instead of the Flux dispatcher. Using `Bacon.update` in conjunction with Facebook's Immutable.js seems really promising. The outcome is a far more functional approach.

A quick and dirty example: https://gist.github.com/rattrayalex/dee40d86813bcaa9de80

Thanks for posting that, I've just been trying to get something similar to work using Bacon, and was looking for some examples of how to approach it.

Interesting use of a bus for each action. I'm curious why you used @setProps() instead of just storing the person object in the component state? Modifying props seems a like non "Reactish".

Actually, I think you've changed my mind on this.

The reason is that I'm coming from a React/Backbone background (see [0]), where the Backbone Model was passed in as a prop, and then also listened-to within the component. So in that context it would make more sense for it to be `props` instead of `state`. In this case, you can't really pass the person object in as props and then listen to it for changes from within the component, since the object is different from the stream "emitting" it. When the emitter and the object are different things, it makes sense that the emitter comes from `props` (or is directly `require()`'d, which may be an anti-pattern?) and the object is set in `state`.

[0] http://www.toptal.com/front-end/simple-data-flow-in-react-ap...

Have you considered omniscient with Immutable.js? https://www.npmjs.com/package/omniscient

It was the inspiration for my current setup, actually!

Ultimately, pure-Bacon seems more functional, and I wanted to use something where all the "primitives" (Immutable, Bacon, etc) can be used directly, and are extremely well-supported. I may add a few abstractions (eg; a basic Mixin for event-binding, along the lines of [0]), but would prefer not to have a framework that "does too much" or has much magic, at least until it's very widely-used.

[0] https://www.npmjs.com/package/fluxbone

Last time I looked the combination of all of those frameworks is quite large (like 400k+ IIRC).

It took me a second for this to click but it looks fantastic. It'd be good to follow this up with a larger example - what are the issues you foresee?

I recently used React + Bacon + Immutable in a small project and I haven't come across any issues yet. I haven't seen any larger-scale examples yet, but this blog post[0] was interesting and has links at the bottom to implementations of todomvc and the flux-chat example.

[0] http://blog.hertzen.com/post/102991359167/flux-inspired-reac...

That post's code provided inspiration for this! Though I found their examples a bit over-engineered for my taste...

Hopefully you'll see a blog post from me on this in the coming weeks =)

I'm a little worried about finding a good answer to the Flux Dispatcher's elegant `waitFor`, but I have a few ideas that I think could handle that well. I'm also worried about "stream spaghetti", especially having streams defined outside of a central `Actions.js`. I'm not yet sure how to elegantly handle server-syncing, though again, I have a few ideas (and Marty seems to provide some too). Lastly, I don't know the performance characteristics of Bacon or RxJS.

I'm using react quite a lot, but with my own API / storage solutions. So far I'm not really familiar with flux, and also with this, just quickly looking at it, I don't understand if/why I would need it. I can't really wrap my head around what exactly all this allows me to do and can't bring up the effort to read all the docs. I think I'll read more about flux first at some point, and if I'll ever want to use that, come back and check Marty :) Happy to see active react development though

In your typical React component, you'll keep state in the parent, and pass them down as props to the children's subtrees. You also have to pass down handlers (`handleNameChange` for example) along with the props so that the child components can change the state. These handlers travel back to the parent, modify the state there, which triggers a re-render, and that travels from the parent down all the way to all the children again. This works for most use cases.

This however forces you to keep all your model logic (computation, transformation, validation and server-communication) in the parent view component. So you'll extract a Model out of it, in which you keep all this data and logic. All the handler methods in the parent component would then call the mutation methods in this model instead of changing the component state directly. But now you need to ensure that the component state is consistent with the model state, for which you hook into the Model's onChange callback in the component's `componentDidMount` method. This means whenever the Model mutates, the component state changes accordingly. For example, if you have a `setPageTitle` method in the Store (that's what we call our Models in Flux), the store would mutate the value when `setPageTitle` is invoked, and call its own `emitChange` method, which triggers the `onChange` callback on the component which was registered during its `componentDidMount`.

See: https://github.com/facebook/flux/blob/master/examples/flux-c.... You use EventEmitter (I prefer EventEmitter3) on the Store to make it an observable. See: https://github.com/facebook/flux/blob/master/examples/flux-c....

The first step in Flux is this: a simple View-Model separation using an EventEmitter store. Apart from the View-Model separation, this lets you share global state between multiple components. (Global state is bad for programmers, but the real world doesn't care. There are instances where you need to share the same data between multiple components and have them all update automatically)

In the ThreadStore example I linked to above, the `emitChange` method is called only through the Dispatcher at the bottom. This is the next step: we do not let any component modify the store values directly. Everything is channeled through a uni-directional dispatcher. The reason to do this is to avoid one Store talking to another Store talking to another, and each of these causing cascading state changes in the components that observe them. So instead of having multiple intertwined paths to the Store, you force the entire application to go through a single-channel dispatcher that process each Action in sequence.

The Actions are simply constants that are available globally to invoke specific behaviour across one or many stores. Each Store watches out for the Actions (a constant pushed into its mesage bus) they are interested in, and calls the appropriate method in its body. You push the Actions into the dispatcher, who is responsible for sending it to each Store.

The dispatcher uses the same EventEmitter observable pattern to bind each Store to the actions they are interested in.

Written in a hurry, but I hope it helps. The flux-chat repo (https://github.com/facebook/flux/blob/master/examples/flux-c...) is a great place to understand the entire pattern.

this is really helpful. I was looking for a short from-typical-react-to-flux-example compact enough to read through at once. I get it much better now, and actually I have already a framework with models with 'global' state and use react to visualise them and have been wondering what would be the best way to do this (copy the models data into state, or try to skip state and use the model data directly). So I guess I'll have to have a better look soon. Thank you for pulling me over the line

I found this react-flux implementation much more approachable: https://github.com/kjda/ReactFlux

I've added an isomorphic design to it as a starting point for what will eventually be a fantasy draft application: https://github.com/rblakeley/fifa-heroes

If you haven't seen it yet, they have a nice Flux write-up in the docs: http://martyjs.org/guides/flux/index.html. (I apologize if you've already seen it, though.)

This looks to be a well-put-together implementation of flux. I recently looked over around 20 or so flux libraries to use for a react app I had started, and found only a couple that I liked. I would put this one near the top, but the one I ended up choosing has been great, but no one seems to know about it!

If anyone is interested: https://github.com/kjda/ReactFlux

It's very similar, but I think I like how Actions and subscriptions to actions are handled with it better.

I also decided to use ReactFlux after looking around at the flux implementations. It kind of suffers from the fact no one knows about it but it feels a lot better to use than the other implementations I looked at. I forked the library to support nested objects in the store state and I'm pretty happy with it now.

But I may switch to Marty since I'm not far along with the project and the dev tools look super helpful.

Funny... I actually created some store mixins to do the exact same thing.

I've done it slightly different than you... rather than using `mergeDeep` in `this.setState`, I created some other methods such as `this.setStateAtPath(path, value)` and `this.mergeState` (the latter would use `mergeDeep`)

I'm going to submit a PR to allow for store mixins to be a little more 1st-class: https://github.com/kjda/ReactFlux/issues/4

In Marty: since you attach a Store to a React via a Mixin that looks for a singleton, can you have a dynamic number of stores when you have a dynamic number of React components of the same type?

This sounds like a line from a movie for a character which is the nerd/genius in the movie.

I'm not very technical, by the way.

I try to do my best to follow the trends in JavaScript development and do mostly develop with JavaScript and even I can't keep up with the new terminology these days. When looking at marty.js documentation, I was constantly trying to map the new concepts to the ones I already know about.

Would make sense given Marty is a reference to Marty McFly from Back to the Future; having to do with state management through time and, of course, Flux capacitors.

And it wouldn't be the first time: https://github.com/kenwheeler/mcfly

I've contributed to this project on the state sources.

For me Marty is the best Flux implementation available right now. When reviewing other frameworks I found them to be either too restrictive by imposing non-flux limitations or the complete opposite by not implementing the flux principles well enough.

I've been using fynx[1], and it seems to work for me so far.

What attracted me to fynx was that it uses Facebook's immutable-js[2] for its stores.

It would be nice to get an updated version of this comparison of available flux libraries[3].

1: http://foss-haas.github.io/fynx/ 2: https://github.com/facebook/immutable-js 3: https://reactjsnews.com/the-state-of-flux/

This seems very similar to Fluxxor, but solves some of the pain points.

Stores need to be extendable, and the Mixin concept (as used in React Elements) are a very useful way to do it. In this way, one can easily implement Marty's "State Sources" concept. I released a fork of Fluxxor a while ago with Mixin support [1] but it is unlikely to make it until 2.0.

The other nice parts to my eyes are:

State Mixins - sort of a hybrid between Fluxxor's StoreWatchMixin and Fluxxor-autobind [2]

Constants - This is a new one, I like it. Will have to play with it to see if it truly solves any problems; I've found that when I need to know what actions are available, I scan my actions files, simple as that.

Marty seems a little more "batteries included" than the other Flux implementations on the scene. This is a good thing, so long as it is easy to extend. Unfortunately I still don't see Mixins in Marty Stores either. In my opinion they are required for non-trivial apps.

1. https://github.com/STRML/fluxxor/tree/storeMixins

2. https://github.com/STRML/fluxxor-autobind

Author here: Marty stores do have mixins, think I forgot to add them to the docs

Great! That's a big plus for me.

Nice documentation. But I don't see anything groundbreaking here. The whole rationale for Flux is to unidirectional state flow, and it does that quite well. A lot of library creators have focused on the tiny quibbles with "ease of use" around stores and constants –– "state management" is a good euphemism for this need –– but that's not really a bottleneck for me. I can manage my constants manually with Flux, and add listeners myself. If I need to indicate a dependency between to stores, I can use a waitFor in the switch/case block. It's that simple. Why should I learn a bunch of abstractions that make only an incremental difference?

My only pet peeve with Flux is that it does not let me dispatch from within an ongoing dispatch, which is not a huge deal yet because you can just defer the callback to the next event loop, but it's not allowing me to pipeline actions as I thought it should. I have to wait for the stack to empty out before I can dispatch a new action, which sucks. Also, there is no indication as to when a dispatch is over, so I am deferring dispatches by instinct –– or wrapping them in a promise might be the same thing.

Hey, author here. This is a repeat of my answer below but it's right down the bottom so might be missed:

I found that no other Flux implementation really helped with fetching data in a Fluxy way. There tended to be a lot of boiler plate code for binding stores to components. Furthermore, there was a lack of tooling for debugging. Marty helps combat these issues by introducing a number of new things:

- Fetch API for fetching data asynchronously without callbacks http://martyjs.org/guides/stores/fetching-data.html - State Mixins for binding stores to views http://martyjs.org/api/state-mixin/ - State sources for syncing state from heterogeneous sources http://martyjs.org/guides/state-sources/index.html - Chrome Developer extension (beta) for visualising the data flow and state of stores http://martyjs.org/devtools/

You're right about the boilerplate. I use a wrapper around React.createClass to take care of that. Kinda similar to Marty.createStateMixin, but it's just a component factory.

The Chrome plugin looks very nice, but you can do the same thing with console.log() outputs in your store. It's a nice to have, but not filling a need for me.

> The Chrome plugin looks very nice, but you can do the same thing with console.log() outputs in your store.

by that logic, you don't need a debugger with breakpoints and stack traces either.

i mean... you could use a spoon for driving nails into wood instead of a hammer, too.

I could also use a jackhammer, but that's not what jackhammers are for.

The Flux pattern contains too much boilerplate and indirection for small or quick one-of web apps. If Marty helps to abstract some of that out, it's more than welcome to me.

Frankly, for small apps, I think you can get 90% of the benefit of Flux by using the pubsub solution of your choice and taking care about only subscribing from top-level components and passing state change down to their children. Immutable cursors are also a nice solution for small apps.

I get that for large teams working on massive code bases, and possibly even for smaller apps, Flux is a big plus. But I'm glad that projects like Marty are working on abstracting out all the boilerplate. Less code for me to worry about.

I find that small apps tend to turn into big apps over time, and Flux lets us build with the confidence that, as new features are developed, our apps won't have to be deeply rewritten. New, unexpected features tend to fall into place with Flux, with a minimum of effort. I have seen this time and time again in working with Flux.

Even if HN readers are getting tired of all the new "Javascript librairie de jour", it's really exciting to see how new techniques are refined and improved in a fast tempo. Keep them libraries coming!

I really want to use React in my next application, but I'm lost on how to do visual things like animation (like a carousel), drag-drop, typeahead.

Do you have any suggestion on the best practice on doing those heavy DOM stuff in React?

I know I can use jQuery for that, but it feels wrong to me.

Also how do you handle integrating React with command based JS library, where your only interface to it is to call mutating functions, such that you cannot blindly rerender the whole things.

Suggestions on these two issues would help me greatly.

In http://martyjs.org/guides/flux/index.html it says

> thanks to action types being strings you have a loosely coupled Law of Demeter architecture which is easy to grow without increasing the complexity of the code base.

I don't see the connection between cause and effect, unless this is saying "since everything is in the global state there is no coupling". Seems odd.

This looks really neat, and the documentation does seem nice. What I would absolutely love (and I'm sure many others as well) is a tutorial that shows how to build a very simple app from scratch... like a list of records and then click on a record to bring up an edit form (something super basic, but a tad more complex than TodoMVC). The problem I have is wrapping my head around how I put all the pieces together. Thanks!

I hope all the virtual-DOM based library comes to concensus with one based virtual-DOM library, or that it becomes part of the browser standard.

I don't mean the whole React library, I mean just "this a the DOM before, here's the change, now patch it" part.

More and more framework and UI library are going to be built around vritual-DOM concept. I don't want integration nightmare of UI-libraries working only on some React-like library.

Does marty.js support the concept of an app context? The only implementation i know of is Yahoo's fluxible (https://github.com/yahoo/fluxible). This is mainly useful when you're trying to render your flux app on the server.

Not right now but isomorphisim is the next big feature I'm going to be working on

Awesome, i have been in search for a good solution for isomorphic flux implementations.

Slightly OT but has anyone tried Marionette + React as a combo? Would be very interested to hear how smoothly (or not) it went.

Can't see a difference between marty and fluxxor.

The examples look for me the same, except some additional functions to declare things.

Author here. I found that no other Flux implementation really helped with fetching data in a Fluxy way. There tended to be a lot of boiler plate code for binding stores to components. Furthermore, there was a lack of tooling for debugging. Marty helps combat these issues by introducing a number of new things:

- Fetch API for fetching data asynchronously without callbacks http://martyjs.org/guides/stores/fetching-data.html - State Mixins for binding stores to views http://martyjs.org/api/state-mixin/ - State sources for syncing state from heterogeneous sources http://martyjs.org/guides/state-sources/index.html - Chrome Developer extension (beta) for visualising the data flow and state of stores http://martyjs.org/devtools/

Like many others, I've been using Reflux because it seems to be the easiest to understand and to work with by reducing the surface area of concepts you need to understand to just:

1) actions

2) stores.

In Reflux, a store is effectively just a variable you want your component(s) to be able to access and an action is a function that tells the store what to change about its state. For instance, I might have a CurrentUser store that tracks who the current user is and notifies my Profile component when that changes. I might also have a switchUser action that tells CurrentUser to change its state to user #30. That's all you need to understand to use Reflux.

It's certainly interesting to have data fetching baked into Marty, but it also introduces so many concepts. I think it'd be really helpful for people coming from other libraries if you had a big glossary that says what each thing is and why you felt a need to include it. What's a Marty constant and why is it different than an action creator? What purpose does the dispatcher serve? etc.

You'd have a better time recruiting and training new users with a diagram that shows how all these concepts fit together and why you need so many of them.

That's what I tried to do with this page http://martyjs.org/guides/flux/index.html. Let me know how I could improve it

I see a Get Started Now button on the home page (I didn't see it the first time through). I'd add a How It Works button right next to it that links to that Flux page. It's definitely helpful, although the constants and dispatchers feel like implementation details that most developers shouldn't have to think about.

You switch between "actions" and "action creators" in this paragraph, which makes it hard to follow:

> Action Creators are where any changes to your applications state starts. Actions are functions that are responsible for coordinating changes to local and remote state. Actions have a type which is a string describing the action (e.g. "UPDATE_USER_EMAIL").

I thought the Action Creator was a function and the Action was the act of invoking it, but that's not clear in the quoted section.


I think your documentation is a bit hard to follow because you're using JavaScript in unexpected ways. For instance, it's a bit weird that your constants are invokable:

    updateUserEmail: UserConstants.UPDATE_USER_EMAIL(function (userId, email) {
and I think the line after it mixed constants and action creators:

> In the above scenario, UserConstants.UPDATE_USER_EMAIL creates an action creator which, when invoked, will create an action with type UPDATE_USER_EMAIL.


You're missing a ( here:

    UserActionCreators.updateUserEmailthis.props.userId, email);

In the next example, you use the method name as a key and the constant that triggers it as a value:

    handlers: {
      updateEmail: UserConstants.UPDATE_USER_EMAIL
Since the convention in all the libraries I've seen is to use type as the key and the callback as the value, most developers are going to be immediately tripped up by this unless you call it out in the documentation.


Marty has some interesting ideas. Thanks for sharing them, and for taking the time to make a website explaining them.

Thanks, i will have a closer look.

The integrated data fetching and data flow extension sounds interesting, at the moment i use superagent with the mentioned callbacks and events to visualize (it is not comfortable).

A first look at the examples for both projects would give you that impression.

Some areas that Marty differs in: - State sources: http://martyjs.org/api/state-sources/index.html - Contants are handled more intelligently: http://martyjs.org/api/constants/index.html - Dev tools: http://martyjs.org/devtools/

Congrats, the site looks really nice and the devtools feature is great!

This looks fantastic. Great work on the documentation too!

Make for building — interesting.

I like ReactJS, but I think Flux is overhyped. One-way dataflow is much better handled via RxJS or BaconJS and as with Om thru cursors. Writing stores and dispatchers and actions is a poor substitute for FRP.

shrug They address different problems. Reactive systems are great but they aren't an overall architectural approach. You have to come up with that yourself.

Flux is an architecture.

I used BaconJS and I found that my overall page event and data flow ended up being reactive spaghetti. Architecture is not my strong suit. One of the great things about flux is having extremely strong conventions about where everything goes:

- All interactions are through actions.

- All state is in stores.

- No mutable state in the actual UI.

- etc.

What's your overall dataflow architecture look like using RxJS or BaconJS?

There is nothing stopping you using a flux-like architecture with RxJS or BaconJS. For example, instead of action creators you can push to a Bacon.Bus that is listened to by your store, which can be a Bacon.Property.

I found using BaconJS much nicer if I needed to transform data from asynchronous requests because you end up with a much more functional approach.

A few questions:

- What is the equivalent of the global action bus in Flux?

- How do you handle consuming data from multiple rest endpoints?

- Suppose you want to restructure the components in the app into a different hierarchy, how much refactoring is involved?

- Is there any open source example code of an app built this way that is more complex than a simple todo or simple async example? (I think the biggest challenge with these kinds of apps comes at that next tier of complexity... it's trivial to do a clean TODO implementation that doesn't do anything with server data in nearly any framework).

In flux, all the data are stored in stores.

When a component needs data, it subscribes to the relevant stores, and updates itself on data changes.

When you want to mutate the data, you call an action, which in turns mutate the data in the store. Since the components are subscribed to stores, they get the new data automatically.

Stores subscribe to a central dispatcher, listening to all actions. When an action fires, they look the action's data, and mutate their data if it is relevant to them.

The data flow is action-> dispatcher-> store -> component -> action.

When you want to get data from a rest endpoint, you fire an action from the component. The action fetches the data, and pushes it to dispatcher.

I know how this works in Flux, but wondering how it works using the approach w cursors.

Obligatory Bacon.js and RxJS are not FRP but merely RP statement.

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