What is Redux JS?

What is Redux JS

Many web developers ask us, What is Redux JS? Redux is an open source JavaScript library, which  makes it easier for developers to build custom user interfaces (UI) by maintaining the entire application state in a single and immutable state tree. The immutable state tree cannot be altered or manipulated directly. Each time the application state changes Redux creates a new object using specific functions. Redux takes inspiration from the functional programming language – Elm and Facebook’s application architecture for building UIs – Flux. The web application developers even have option to integrate Redux with several widely used JavaScript frameworks. However, Redux is still different from other JavaScript libraries and model-view-controller (MVC) frameworks.

What is Redux JS? Understanding Various Aspects of Redux JavaScript Library

Supports Functional Programming Concepts

As noted earlier, design of Redux takes influence from the functional programming language –Elm. It supports some of the widely used functional programming concepts – treat functions as first class objects, chain functions together, pass functions as arguments, and support user functions. The functional programming concepts help developers to write clean and modular code by creating smaller functions. The smaller functions enhance code reusability, along with accelerating web application testing, debugging, and maintenance.

Can be Used like Flux

In addition to supporting functional programming concepts, Redux is also influenced by Flux – the popular application architecture for building UIs developed by Facebook. Flux simplifies client-side web application development by supporting unidirectional data flow and creating understandable update paths for application data. The JavaScript programmers can use Redux in a manner similar to Flux. But Redux is still different from Flux. Flux changes application state through multiple stores and broadcast these changes through events. Unlike Flux, Redux does not use a dispatcher to transmit payloads to the registered callbacks.

Has Three Key Building Blocks

As per design, Redux is a simple and lightweight JavaScript library. But its three important building blocks – actions, reducers and store – make Redux an effective application state management tool. Redux uses actions just like events to send data from the application to the store. Actions send a variety of important information like user interaction, form submission, and internal events from the application to the store.

Store is designed as an object to hold the application state. The helper methods provided by store enable developers to access application state, register listeners, and dispatch actions. Reducer, on the other hand, is a collection of functions that decide how to change application state based on the data sent through action. It takes an action as an argument and then returns a new state. Hence, reducer is primary responsible for changing application state.

Uses Pure Functions Extensively

As Redux supports functional programming concepts, it becomes easier for developers to keep the code base concise, maintainable, and reusable by writing small functions. They even have option to keep the scope and logic in individual functions isolated. The programmers can also use a variety of functions – pure functions, anonymous functions, higher-order functions and closures. At the same time, Redux uses pure functions extensively. The pure functions return new values based on the argument passed to them without modifying the existing objects or values. They return new objects based on passed arguments regardless of the state. Hence, the pure functions become more predictable than other functions. While using Redux, a programmer can leverage pure functions to return the desired values without modifying the existing object and values.

Compatible with a Variety of View Libraries

A large percentage of web developers use Redux with AngularJS or ReactJS. But the open source JavaScript library is compatible with a number of view libraries in addition to AngularJS and ReactJS. Hence, JavaScript programmer can integrate Redux with widely used view libraries like Ember, Meteor, Vue.js, Polymer and Backbone.js. At the same time, they can also avail a number of boilerplates, middleware, and tools by taking advantage of the robust Redux ecosystem. Hence, a front-end developer can easily manage application state by extending the lightweight JavaScript library.

Simplifies Complex Web Application Development

Redux is currently more popular than other front-end libraries and tools. It makes it easier for programmers to write readable and reusable code by supporting functional programming concepts. At the same time, Redux keeps code consistent and understandable by requiring JavaScript programmers to follow strict code re-organization guidelines. The programmers can further speed up initial server rendering by transferring store from the server-side to the client-side. The developers can further take advantage of the third-party tools for Redux to monitor all aspects of the web application in real time.

Has Its Own Shortcomings

At present, Redux is one of the most widely used JavaScript libraries. One can know its effectiveness from the fact its user base includes Twitter, Uber and Khan Academy. However, Redux, like other JavaScript libraries, has its own shortcomings. For instance, it requires JavaScript programmers to write additional code to capture simple UI changes and user actions like button clicks. Many programmers even complain that reducers do not enable them to switch between tasks smoothly. However, the front-end developers can easily overcome the shortcomings of Redux by integrating with robust view libraries.

At present, Redux is being used widely by JavaScript developers to manage application state efficiently. At the same time, Redux helps developers to write concise, reusable, and maintainable code, along with simplifying testing and debugging. The JavaScript programmers can even integrate Redux with several widely used view libraries. Likewise, they can extend the lightweight JavaScript library by using a variety of third-party tools, middleware, and boilerplates.

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