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Redux vs RxJS: What are the differences?

Both Redux and RxJS are popular libraries used in JavaScript web development, but they serve different purposes and offer different functionalities. Let's explore the key differences between Redux and RxJS:

  1. State Management vs. Reactive Programming: The primary difference between Redux and RxJS lies in their core functionalities. Redux is a state management library that provides a predictable and centralized approach to managing application state. On the other hand, RxJS is a reactive programming library that allows developers to work with asynchronous and event-based data streams.

  2. Immutable vs. Mutable State: Redux follows an immutable data pattern, where the state is read-only and can only be modified through pure functions called reducers. This ensures a consistent and predictable state management process. In contrast, RxJS does not enforce immutability on its own. Developers are responsible for handling mutable state and managing state changes through operators and stream transformations.

  3. Unidirectional Data Flow vs. Reactive Data Flow: Redux follows a strict unidirectional data flow, where actions trigger state updates through reducers, and components subscribe to these state changes. This creates a predictable flow of data, making it easier to reason about application state changes. In RxJS, data flows reactively through observables. Components can subscribe to observables and react to changes as they occur, providing a more flexible and dynamic data flow.

  4. UI-focused vs. General-purpose Data Handling: Redux is primarily focused on handling application state for UI-related concerns. It provides a centralized store for managing state changes and facilitates UI updates accordingly. RxJS, on the other hand, is a general-purpose library that enables reactive programming for various types of data streams, not limited to UI-related events.

  5. Middleware vs. Operators: Redux offers middleware as a way to extend its functionality and introduce additional behavior in the data flow process. Middleware can intercept actions, perform side effects, and modify the payload before reaching the reducers. RxJS, however, provides operators that allow developers to transform, filter, combine, and manipulate data streams in a reactive manner, without the need for middleware.

  6. Library vs. Language Extension: Redux is a standalone library that can be used with any JavaScript framework or library. It provides its own set of concepts and abstractions for managing state. On the other hand, RxJS is an extension of the ReactiveX family of libraries, available in multiple programming languages. It brings the power of reactive programming to JavaScript, allowing developers to work with observables and leverage its functional programming capabilities.

In summary, Redux is a state management library focused on providing a predictable and centralized approach to managing application state, while RxJS is a reactive programming library that enables developers to work with asynchronous and event-based data streams.

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Pros of Redux
Pros of RxJS
  • 191
    State is predictable
  • 150
    Plays well with React and others
  • 126
    State stored in a single object tree
  • 79
    Hot reloading out of the box
  • 74
    Allows for time travel
  • 14
    You can log everything
  • 12
    Great tutorial direct from the creator
  • 7
    Endorsed by the creator of Flux
  • 7
    Test without browser
  • 6
    Easy to debug
  • 3
    Enforces one-way data flow
  • 3
    Granular updates
  • 2
    Blabla
  • 6
    Easier async data chaining and combining
  • 3
    Steep learning curve, but offers predictable operations
  • 2
    Observable subjects
  • 2
    Ability to build your own stream
  • 2
    Works great with any state management implementation
  • 2
    Easier testing
  • 1
    Lot of build-in operators
  • 1
    Simplifies state management
  • 1
    Great for push based architecture
  • 1
    Documentation

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Cons of Redux
Cons of RxJS
  • 13
    Lots of boilerplate
  • 6
    Verbose
  • 5
    Steep learning curve
  • 5
    Design
  • 4
    Steeper learning curve than RxJs
  • 4
    Steeper learning curve than MobX
  • 3
    Steep learning curve

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What is Redux?

It helps you write applications that behave consistently, run in different environments (client, server, and native), and are easy to test. t provides a great experience, such as live code editing combined with a time traveling debugger.

What is RxJS?

RxJS is a library for reactive programming using Observables, to make it easier to compose asynchronous or callback-based code. This project is a rewrite of Reactive-Extensions/RxJS with better performance, better modularity, better debuggable call stacks, while staying mostly backwards compatible, with some breaking changes that reduce the API surface.

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What are some alternatives to Redux and RxJS?
Cycle.js
A functional and reactive JavaScript framework for predictable code
MobX
MobX is a battle tested library that makes state management simple and scalable by transparently applying functional reactive programming (TFRP). React and MobX together are a powerful combination. React renders the application state by providing mechanisms to translate it into a tree of renderable components. MobX provides the mechanism to store and update the application state that React then uses.
Flux
Flux is the application architecture that Facebook uses for building client-side web applications. It complements React's composable view components by utilizing a unidirectional data flow. It's more of a pattern rather than a formal framework, and you can start using Flux immediately without a lot of new code.
React
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
Apollo
Build a universal GraphQL API on top of your existing REST APIs, so you can ship new application features fast without waiting on backend changes.
See all alternatives