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Discussion on: React's Odd Obsession With Declarative Syntax

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bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

You're absolutely correct, but the question of when/if the props change kinda misses my point. That's on me. I'm sure I didn't do a strong-enough job of describing the central concept I was trying to illustrate.

I only created those arbitrary rules for the sake of illustration. What I was trying to say is that: There are times when you want AlgorithmX to only run one time. Or other times when you only want AlgorithmX to run in response to a very specific event. But sooooo much of the React ecosphere that I run into takes the general approach of, "Just drop this component into the render()/return() and it'll all be fine. But it's not fine. That approach hands over the control of your logic to the virtual-DOM-update process.

That's why, further down, I gave a more concrete use-case with regard to API/GraphQL/Apollo calls. With regard to API calls, I never want to leave their execution in the hands of React's re-rendering cycle. I know when I want an API call to run - and I only want it to run at that time.

In the other comments, Isaac Hagoel summarized it better than I did. It's a matter of time. A declarative syntax is like programming without regard to when a given call takes place. In many scenarios, that works wonderfully and can make your code much cleaner. But for some functions/algorithms/whatever, it's absolutely the wrong approach.