re: Why the React community is missing the point about Web Components VIEW POST

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re: I think you'll find there's plenty of things that are very hard to do with an imperative abstraction like vanilla WC APIs. Would you mind expandi...
 

Big fan of your tweets :D Thanks for your measured comment.

"Imperative abstraction," in the context you're using it and without further explanation, seems like functional-purist FUD.

I'm not sure we're on the same page here. React has always been on the pragmatic side of FP — full of imperative escape hatches. We're definitely not purists. Some people in the community are, but they're a minority and don't reflect how React is being used by most folks in practice.

One of my concerns with the emerging "functional React" default is the way it encourages folks to give their entire page over to a global state, rather than having components maintain their own boundaries.

This sounds like a misconception about React to me. React doesn't have a concept of global state, and emphasizes component local state very strongly. That's all you'll find in our documentation, for example: reactjs.org/docs/state-and-lifecyc.... We strongly encourage to keep component state isolated, and to pull it down to the place where it's actually needed instead of hoisting it all on the top:

There should be a single “source of truth” for any data that changes in a React application. Usually, the state is first added to the component that needs it for rendering. Then, if other components also need it, you can lift it up to their closest common ancestor.

(This is a quote from the React docs.)

In my experience, separating out "API data state," component-level state, and route-based state really simplifies and clarifies SPAs. I suspect you have a different perspective here, which is fine. But I don't think that that different perspective justifies spreading FUD over "imperative" (object-oriented) code.

No, we're fully in agreement here. Again, I think you might be confusing React with something else. (Or perhaps, with some highly opinionated way of writing React.)

I don't consider local state "imperative" in that sense. I was only reflecting on the imperative nature of DOM API (node.property = value), as opposed to a declarative one (return { property: value }) — although even that is allowed in React for some use cases like focus or media playback.

I also realize the words "imperative" and "declarative" have subtle meanings, so to clarify, I'm only talking about the difference of mutating views vs describing what should be rendered.

We consider local state to be the most important feature of React. We are considering moving to a slightly more functional way to express it (conference talk if you're curious: youtube.com/watch?v=dpw9EHDh2bM) but it's still entirely local and has all the necessary imperative escape hatches. (Ironically most of the criticism of our proposal focuses on it being not "pure".)

It's not at all clear to me what the "things" that you think are "hard to do" with "imperative abstractions" are

In the beginning of this year, I gave a talk about the next things we're working on with React: reactjs.org/blog/2018/03/01/sneak-... (it's a different one from what I linked earlier in this comment). And here's another talk by my colleague Andrew: youtube.com/watch?v=ByBPyMBTzM0.

I think they capture those exact things so if you're curious, please take a look and let me know what you think. In short: I'm talking about non-blocking rendering ("time slicing") and declarative loading states ("suspense") without committing results to the DOM until they're ready. This is something you can't do if node.property = value is your only primitive. But you can do it if your abstraction lets you describe changes without immediately applying them. (Display locking DOM proposal is a step in the right direction.)

Hope this makes some sense. Really sorry you got the impression we're purists from my post. Not my intention at all! In fact purists usually scoff at React for being too "impure".

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