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A pure ES6 fork of the Reflux data flow library similar to Facebook Flux

A pure ES6 fork of the Reflux data flow library similar to Facebook Flux

Airflux

A ES6/ES7 implementation of Facebook Flux.

You can read an overview of Flux here, however the gist of it is to introduce a more functional programming style architecture by eschewing MVC like pattern and adopting a single data flow pattern.

╔═════════╗       ╔════════╗       ╔═════════════════╗
║ Actions ║──────>║ Stores ║──────>║ View Components ║
╚═════════╝       ╚════════╝       ╚═════════════════╝
     ^                                      │
     └──────────────────────────────────────┘

Installation

npm install airflux

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Yet another Flux library

The Airflux project is a ES6 class-based fork of Reflux.
The goal is to allow to create new projects entirely based on ES6 classes, both on the React side and Flux side.

Having a class based approach allows to have a cleaner implementation of both the airflux library and the final application stores.
As such, this project aims to be used only by React 0.13 ES6 style components and drops the support for mixins completely.

The project is completely typed with Flow.

Similarities with Flux

Some concepts are still in Airflux in comparison with Flux:

  • There are actions
  • There are data stores
  • The data flow is unidirectional

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TL;DR

import * as airflux                                     from 'airflux';


const search = new airflux.Action().asFunction;

// loadElements will have the same signature as the function passed to AsyncResultAction.
// Flow will render an error otherwise
const loadResults = new airflux.AsyncResultAction(
    ( search: string, max: number ) => fetch( `/results/search/${search}/${max}` ).then( r => r.json() )
).asFunction;

/**
 * A store that will hold the current search being done by the user.
 */
class SearchStore extends airflux.Store {
    state: { search: string } = { search: '' };

    constructor() {
        super();
        this.listenTo( search, search => this.setState( { search } ) );
    }
}

const searchStore = new SearchStore();


class ResultsStore extends airflux.Store {
    state: { results: Result[], resultsFiltered: Result[] } = {
        results         : [],
        resultsFiltered : []
    };

    constructor() {
        super();
        this.listenTo( search, search => loadResults( search, 50 ) );
        this.listenTo( loadResults.completed, this.resultsLoaded );
    }

    resultsLoaded( results: Result[] ) {
        const resultsFiltered = results.filter( r => r.matchesCritiria( this.state.searchStore.search ) );
        this.setState( { results, resultsFiltered } );
    }
}

const resultsStore = new resultsStore();


@airflux.FluxComponent
class Results extends React.Component {
    state: { searchStore: $PropertyType< SearchStore, 'state' >, resultsStore: $PropertyType< ResultsStore, 'state' > };


    constructor( props: *, context: * ) {
        super( props, context );
        this.connectStore( searchStore, 'searchStore' );
        this.connectStore( resultsStore, 'resultsStore' );
    }

    get resultsFiltered() : Result[] { return this.state.resultsStore.resultsFiltered; }

    componentWillMount() {
        search( 'a search' );
    }

    render() {
        return (
            <div>
                <input type="text" value={ this.state.searchStore.search } onChange={ search } />
                The search is : { this.state.searchStore.search }
                { this.resultsFiltered.map( r => <ResultLine result={ r } /> ) }
            </div>
        );
    }
}

More Examples

TODO

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Actions

There are two main categories of action:

  • Action
  • AsyncResultAction

Action are asynchronous actions dispatched inside your application: they have no result type, and the caller cannot know whether the action has been processed.

AsyncResultAction are actions that wrap a function returning a Promise.
The return of the Promise will be piped to two children actions:

  • completed
  • failed

Creating Action

Create an action by creation an object from the class airflux.Action.

const statusUpdateAction = new airflux.Action();

An action can then be transformed to a functor that can be invoked like any function.

const statusUpdate: ( data: Object ) => void = statusUpdateAction.asFunction;
statusUpdate( data ); // Invokes the action statusUpdate

You can choose to either create directly the action as a functor, or use .exec to execute the action directly.
At this moment, functor are not completely typed with Flow. Therefore you will probably receive an error when attempting to access .completed on a functor for instance.

Asynchronous actions

For actions that represent asynchronous operations (e.g. API calls), a few separate dataflows result from the operation. In the most typical case, we consider completion and failure of the operation.
To create related actions for these dataflows, which you can then access as attributes, use .withChildren.

Children are created on the parent action as Action.
They're created on the functor of the parent action as functor themselves.

var loadAction = new airflux.AsyncResultAction();

var load = loadAction.asFunction;

// when 'load' is triggered, call async operation and trigger related actions
load.listen( () => {
    // By default, the listener is bound to the action
    // so we can access child actions using 'this'
    someAsyncOperation()
        .then( this.completed ) // here completed if the functor of the .completed action
        .catch( this.failed );
});

There is a shorthand to define the completed and failed actions in the typical case: .asyncResult. The following are equivalent:

new airflux.Action().withChildren( [ 'progressed', 'completed', 'failed' ] );

new airflux.Action().asyncResult().withChilren( [ 'progressed ' ] );

There are a couple of helper methods available to trigger the completed and failed actions:

  • #listen(callback) - Expects a function which can return a promise object. If it does, #promise() is called with the returned promise object.

Therefore, the following are all equivalent:

var asyncResultAction = new airflux.Action().asyncResult().asFunction;

asyncResultAction.listen( ( arguments ) =>
    someAsyncOperation( arguments )
        .then( asyncResultAction.completed )
        .catch( asyncResultAction.failed );
);

asyncResultAction.listen( ( arguments ) => asyncResultAction.promise( someAsyncOperation( arguments ) ) );

asyncResultAction.listen( someAsyncOperation );

.asyncResult can take the listen function as a parameter. Therefore, the declaration before can be simplified as:

const asyncResultAction = new airflux.AsyncResultAction( someAsyncOperation );

Actions as functor

In order to be used easily, actions should be converted to a functor using either asFunction or asSyncFunction.
Every functor contains an attribute .action in order to get the original action object.
Action or Functor can be passed to listenTo, with the same result.

var action = new airflux.Action().asFunction;

// trigger the action, using the default asynchronous functor
action();


var syncActionFn = new airflux.Action().asSyncFunction;

// trigger the action, synchronously
syncActionFn();


var actionObject = new airflux.Action();
var actionObjectFn = new airflux.Action().asFunction;

actionObjectFn.action === actionObject;

Asynchronous actions as Promises

Asynchronous actions can be used as promises, which is particularly useful for server-side rendering when you must await the successful (or failed) completion of an action before rendering.

Suppose you had an action + store to make an API request:

// Create async action with `completed` & `failed` children
const makeRequest = new airflux.AsyncResultAction();

class RequestStore extends airflux.Store {
    constructor() {
        super();
        this.listenTo( makeRequest, this.onMakeRequest );
    }

    onMakeRequest( url ) {
        fetch( url ).then( response => {
            if( response.ok ) {
                makeRequest.completed( response.body );
            } else {
                makeRequest.failed( response.error );
            }
        })
    }
};

Then, on the server, you could use promises to make the request and either render or serve an error:

makeRequest.triggerPromise('/api/something').then( ( body ) => {
    // Render the response body
}).catch( ( err ) => {
    // Handle the API error object
});

Stores

Creating stores

Creating stores is done by extending the airflux.Store class.
Stores are a lot similar to the React.Component:

  • they have a state, which you should always declare with a type
  • have a setState method to publish the state
class StatusStore extends airflux.Store {
    state: { ready: boolean } = {
        ready: false
    };

    constructor() {
        super();
        this.listenTo( statusUpdate, ready => this.setState( { ready }) );
    }
}

In the above example, whenever the action is called, the state is updated with the new status, which was passed as an argument to statusUpdate.

Listening to Stores

Since stores can also be listened too, they can publish data.
The method setState always publishes the value of state to all listeners, after having updated the state with the partial data passed.

const changeMessage = new Action().asFunction;

class MessageStore extends airflux.Store {
    state: { message: string } = {
        message: '';
    }

    constructor() {
        super();
        this.listenTo( changeMessage, this.setState( { message } ) );
    }

    anAction() {
        this.setState( { message: 'Hello world!' } );
    }
}


// this will change the `message` in the Store state and broadcast it to everyone.
changeMessage( 'Hello World!' );

Using it with React

Using airflux inside your React component can be done in three ways:

  • by using the FluxComponent annotation
  • using Capacitor component
  • manually

FluxComponent with callbacks

The FluxComponent annotation allows you to transform any of your component, regardless of its superclass, to a component listening to actions or stores.
The annotation was created in order for you to be able to transform one class to a Flux one, even if its superclass never needs Flux.

FluxComponent will add the following method to the class prototype:

  • connectStore( store: Store, stateKey: string )
  • listenTo( publisher: Action | Store, handler: Function )
const theMessageStore = new MessageStore();

@airflux.FluxComponent
class Status extends React.Component {
    connectStore: ( store: Store< * >, stateKey: string, initialState?: boolean = false ) => void;
    listenTo: ( publisher: Store< * > | Action< * >, callback: Function ) => void;

    state: {
        ready       : boolean;
        messageStore: $PropertyType< MessageStore, 'state' >;
    };

    constructor( props: *, context: * ) {
        super( props, context );

        this.listenTo( updateStatus, status => this.setState( { status } ) );
        this.connectStore( theMessageStore, 'messageStore' );
    }

    render() {
        // render specifics
        return (
            <div>
                The status is { this.state.ready } to scream { this.state.messageStore.message }
            </div>
        );
    }
});

connectStore will automatically set the state of your component with the state of the Store.
By default, this is done in componentWillMount, which will be then available for the first rendering.
This is done as to be bulletproof as to where you will set your initial state: after or before connectStore.
You can pass a third argument initialState to true if you wish to have right after connectStore.

This default comportment might change in the future to true, if more people are setting the state directly on the property declaration, instead of in the constructor.

listenTo will need a handler to work. As usual, this works on both actions and stores.

In order to be Flow compliant, you need to include the declaration of the two functions that will be added by FluxComponent.
This is a point that will probably be changed in the future once we find a better alternative.

Manually

The React component needs to start listening on componentDidMount and stop listening on componentWillUnmount.

class Status extends React.Component {
     onStatusChange(status) {
          this.setState({
               currentStatus: status
          });
     }
     componentDidMount() {
          this.unsubscribe = statusStore.listen(this.onStatusChange);
     }
     componentWillUnmount() {
          this.unsubscribe();
     }
     render() {
          // render specifics
     }
}

Listening to changes in other stores

A store may listen to another store's change, making it possible to safely chain stores for aggregated data without affecting other parts of the application. A store may listen to other stores using the same listenTo() function as with actions:

class StatusHistoryStore extends airflux.Store {
    state: { statusStore: StatusStoreState };

    constructor() {
        super();
        this.connectStore( statusStore, 'statusStore' );
    }
}

Advanced usage

Switching EventEmitter

Don't like to use the EventEmitter provided? You can switch to another one, such as node.js's own like this:

// Do this before creating actions or stores
airflux.setEventEmitter(require('events').EventEmitter);

Switching nextTick()

Whenever action functors are called (except via Action#triggerSync()), they return immediately through the use of setTimeout() (nextTick() function) internally.

You may switch out for your favorite setTimeout(), nextTick(), setImmediate(), et al implementation:

// node.js env
airflux.nextTick(process.nextTick);

For better alternative to setTimeout(), you may opt to use the setImmediate() polyfill, setImmediate2 or macrotask.

Joining parallel listeners with composed listenables

The Airflux API contains join*() methods that makes it easy to aggregate publishers that emit events in parallel. This corresponds with the waitFor() mechanism in Flux.

Argument tracking

A join is triggered once all participating publishers have emitted at least once. The callback will be called with the data from the various emissions, in the same order as the publishers were listed when the join was created.

There are four join methods, each representing a different strategy to track the emission data:

  • joinLeading(): Only the first emission from each publisher is saved. Subsequent emissions by the same publisher before all others are finished are ignored.
  • joinTrailing(): If a publisher triggers twice, the second emission overwrites the first.
  • joinConcat(): An array of emission arguments are stored for each publisher.
  • joinStrict(): An error is thrown if a publisher emits twice before the join is completed.

The method signatures all look like this:

airflux.join*(...publisher, callback)

Once a join is triggered, it will reset, and thus it can trigger again when all publishers have emitted anew.

Using the listener instance methods

All objects using the listener API (stores, React components using ListenerMixin, or other components using the ListenerMethods) gain access to the four join instance methods, named after the argument strategy. Here's an example saving the last emission from each publisher:

class GainHeroBadgeStore extends airflux.Store {
    constructor() {
        this.joinTrailing(
            actions.disarmBomb,
            actions.saveHostage,
            actions.recoverData,
            this.trigger
        );
    }
}

var gainHeroBadgeStore = new GainHeroBadgeStore();

actions.disarmBomb('warehouse');
actions.recoverData('seedyletter');
actions.disarmBomb('docks');
actions.saveHostage('offices', 3);
// `gainHeroBadgeStore` will now asyncronously trigger `[[ 'docks' ], [ 'offices', 3 ], [ 'seedyletter' ]]`.

Differences with Flux

Airflux has refactored Flux to be a bit more dynamic and be more Functional Reactive Programming (FRP) friendly:

  • The singleton dispatcher is removed in favor for letting every action act as dispatcher instead.
  • Because actions are listenable, the stores may listen to them. Stores don't need to have big switch statements that do static type checking (of action types) with strings
  • Stores may listen to other stores, i.e. it is possible to create stores that can aggregate data further, similar to a map/reduce.
  • waitFor() is replaced in favor to handle serial and parallel data flows:
  • Aggregate data stores (mentioned above) may listen to other stores in serial
  • Joins for joining listeners in parallel
  • Action creators are not needed because Airflux actions are functions that will pass on the payload they receive to anyone listening to them

GitHub