No Food for Thought

RxJS: unexpectedly reactive

admin Friday November 11, 2022

I'm not the first one to observe that Reactive Extensions For JavaScript have quite a learning curve. It's likely that you will discover RxJS at the same time as you discover "Observables", reactive programming, Angular, and whatever software project using those you'll actually work on. Good luck. And you may also have to understand where your colleagues used RxJS correctly or incorrectly.

One would expect you could do better than your colleagues consulting documentation. Unfortunately, while that documentation exists, it was already criticized in 2017, even before going through a difficult rewrite.

So how many more years will this last? Judging from my own attempt at mitigating, quite a few.

Oh, RxJS surely is quite reactive. The same day I reported 3 bugs in the documentation, RxJS core team member OJ Kwon had already reacted to the reports. Unfortunately, more than a year later, to my knowledge, all of these issues persist. The one excuse provided? RxJS is free.

Well, unfortunately for RxJS and its "millions" of users, my time is not free. My employer certainly can't afford to waste any more resources in that way, so this will remain my last contribution to RxJS.

I honestly don't know if there is a superior alternative to RxJS. But if you are evaluating it, don't rely on its issue tracker to evaluate its status. Believe it or not, as if GitHub's Issues feature was not bad enough already, RxJS now has a Report issues other than bug[sic] discussion category... good luck filtering the outdated from that.

And if you have courage extensive enough to adopt and fix it, be aware you will first have to tame a surprisingly reactive—and in some aspects quite unreactive—community.

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