Redux Vs. Mobx – What Should I Pick For My Web App?

Redux Vs. Mobx – What Should I Pick For My Web App?

State management is a hard problem to solve in large applications. Redux and Mobx are both external libraries that are popularly used to solve state management problems.

State management is a hard problem to solve in large applications. Redux and Mobx are both external libraries that are popularly used to solve state management problems.

Redux vs. Mobx

This article assumes that you have a basic idea on how state management works within your web app. Keep in mind that these libraries are not restricted to React, although they work well with React. You could use them with Angular, Vue and other frameworks too.

Redux

Redux is a popular state management solution that is a combination of both Flux and Functional Programming concepts. Some of the core principles of Redux are:

  • Redux has a single store – Single source of truth.
  • The state in the store is immutable.
  • Actions invoke changes to the store.
  • Reducers update state.
Mobx

Mobx solves the same problem that Redux does – State management. It helps in managing the local state within your app. Conceptually, Mobx treats your application like a spreadsheet.

Now let’s compare some of the key features of Redux vs. Mobx to see what suits your needs better.

Store

The store is where we will keep the local data. It holds the entire application’s state. The store holds the application’s state in a huge json object.

Redux

In Redux, there is only one store and it is the single source of truth. The state in the store is immutable. This makes it easier for us to know where to find the data/state from. There will always be one source of truth which is the single store.

Mobx

Mobx on the other hand, allows multiple stores. You can logically separate stores, so all the application’s state is not stored in one store.

Winner – Redux

It is hard to determine, who is a winner based on this aspect. I personally like the one store concept of Redux, which makes it obvious to me on where to find the state of my application.

Data Structure

Redux

Redux uses plain JavaScript objects as data structures to store the state. While using Redux, updates have to be tracked manually.

Mobx

Mobx uses observable data. This helps in automatically tracking changes through implicit subscriptions. In Mobx, the updates are tracked automatically. Therefore, making it easier for the developer.

Winner – Mobx 

Pure vs. Impure

Redux

In Redux the state in the store is immutable (cannot be changed). This means that all of the states are read-only. Actions in Redux can invoke changes to state and the reducers can replace the previous state with a new state. This is one of the core principles of Redux.

This makes Redux pure. If you are interested in learning more about pure functions and how they operate in Redux, you can read this article for a better understanding.

Mobx 

In Mobx the state is mutable (can be overwritten). You can simply update the state with new values. This makes Mobx impure.

Winner – Redux

Because Redux store is pure, it is more predictable and it is easy to revert state updates. Whereas, if not done right, Mobx state updates could make it harder to debug.

Boilerplate Code

Redux

One of the biggest complaints about Redux, is the amount of boilerplate code that it comes with. And when you integrate React with Redux, that results in even more boilerplate code. This is because Redux is explicit in nature and a lot of the capabilities have to be explicitly coded.

Mobx

Mobx is more implicit and does not require a lot of special tooling. It comes with much lesser boilerplate code in comparison to Redux. This makes Mobx, easier to learn and setup.

Winner – Mobx

Learning Curve

Redux

In my experience, Redux is not very easy to grasp and learn real quick. It takes some time to understand its patterns and paradigms. It is a combination of the Flux architecture and functional programming concepts. If you are a functional programmer, you may find it easier to grasp Redux.

Learning Redux, also means you need to learn about Redux middleware like Thunks or Sagas, therefore adding on to the learning mix.

Mobx

Mobx is known to be much easier to grasp when compared to Redux. Most of the JavaScript developers are well versed in Object Oriented Programming, which makes learning Mobx simpler. Also, there is a lot of things that are done behind the scenes in Mobx, creating a better learning experience for the developers.

Winner – Mobx

Developer Tools

On this aspect, there is no debate since Redux wins hands down. Redux comes with the “Redux Dev Tools” that is used by thousands of developers. It offers amazing support for debugging Redux code. Mobx tools do not have the same quality of debugging support that Redux provides. Hence, the winner is Redux.

Winner – Redux

Scalability

Since, Redux is more opinionated and expects the reducer functions to be pure, it is easier to scale than Mobx. The opinionated and pure nature of Redux, enables scalability of the apps.

The Redux code is easier to test, since testing pure functions are predictable and simple. This results in maintainable code that eventually scales.

Winner – Redux

Conclusion

So who won? Although, it is hard to determine one way or the other, there are questions you can ask yourself before you pick one of the two libraries.

If your application is simple and small, you can pick Mobx. It is easier to learn and comes with less boilerplate code. On the other hand, if you are building a large scalable application with a large team of coders, Redux could play well.

Thanks for reading ❤

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React Web Development: A Guide to Develop Progressive Web Applications

React Web Development: A Guide to Develop Progressive Web Applications

Outperform your competition with progressive web development and React.

Progressive web applications (PWAs) quickly gained popularity because they are web performance applications based on fast performance, streamlined to provide a mobile app-like experience. PWAs are built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a level of availability and performance equivalent to that of native mobile applications. They respond quickly, consume less data, store more space, and support push notifications and offline use in the browser.

Building a progressive web application has now become the web development trend that every business wants to follow. Significant players like Twitter and Flipboard have recently rolled out their progressive web apps to provide a mobile experience for users, without requiring them to install the app. In this article, you will learn how to build a progressive web application using React. Let's get started.

Step One — Set up the React Application

First, create a React application with create-react-app. To do so, you need to run the following commands:

  • npm install -g create-react-app
  • create-react-app pwa-app

Now, install React Router:

You need to replace the content of src / App.js using the code below to get a basic template with navigation.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { Router, browserHistory, Route, Link } from 'react-router';
import './App.css';

const NavBar = () => (
<div className="navbar">
<Link to="/">Feed</Link>
<Link to="/profile">Profile</Link>
</div>
);

const Template = ({ title }) => (
<div>
<NavBar />
<p className="page-info">
This is the {title} page.
</p>
</div>
);

const Feed = (props) => (
<Template title="Feed"/>
);

const Profile = (props) => (
<Template title="Profile"/>
);

class App extends Component {
render() {
return (
<Router history={browserHistory}>
<Route path="/" component={Feed}/>
<Route path="/profile" component={Profile}/>
</Router>
);
}
}
export default App;

Now, you'll have to update the default styles by replacing your src/App.css with the styles below to make your application look clean.

.navbar {
background-color: #01C8E5;
text-align: center;
}

.navbar a {
display: inline-block;
padding: 10px;
color: #fff;
text-decoration: none;
}

.page-info {
text-align: center;
font-weight: bold;
}

Then, run npm start to test the application in the browser. It is basically an application with two routes. Now, you will convert it to PWA.

Step Two — Lighthouse Setting and Auditing

Lighthouse is an automated open-source tool for testing applications against PWA checklists. It facilitates audits for accessibility, performance, and more.

Check your application with Lighthouse. Click the Lighthouse icon from the top right corner in Chrome and then click the "Create Report" button. The generated report will look like this:

Creating a report to test your PWA with Lighthouse

Fix all failed audits.

Step 3 — Sign Up for a Service Staff

Service employees are proxy servers that connect the application and the network. With Service Worker, you will have to block network requests and save cached files. It allows your application to work even with an unavailable system.

Create an empty worker.js file in your application's general directory and add the following code to that file.

// Flag for enabling cache in production
var doCache = false;

var CACHE_NAME = 'pwa-app-cache';

// Delete old caches
self.addEventListener('activate', event => {
const currentCachelist = [CACHE_NAME];
event.waitUntil(
caches.keys()
.then(keyList =>
Promise.all(keyList.map(key => {
if (!currentCachelist.includes(key)) {
return caches.delete(key);
}
}))
)
);
});

// This triggers when user starts the app
self.addEventListener('install', function(event) {
if (doCache) {
event.waitUntil(
caches.open(CACHE_NAME)
.then(function(cache) {
fetch('asset-manifest.json')
.then(response => {
response.json();
})
.then(assets => {
// We will cache initial page and the main.js
// We could also cache assets like CSS and images
const urlsToCache = [
'/',
assets['main.js']
];
cache.addAll(urlsToCache);
})
})
);
}
});

// Here we intercept request and serve up the matching files
self.addEventListener('fetch', function(event) {
if (doCache) {
event.respondWith(
caches.match(event.request).then(function(response) {
return response || fetch(event.request);
})
);
}
});

Now, check if the browsers support service staff and then register worker.js. To do this, you need to add the following script to the file public/index.html (note that shrink-to-fit=no in the viewport meta tag has been deleted).

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<meta name="theme-color" content="#000000">
<link rel="manifest" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/manifest.json">
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/favicon.ico">
<title>React App</title>
</head>
<body>
<noscript>
You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.
</noscript>
<div id="root"></div>
<script>
if ('serviceWorker' in navigator) {
window.addEventListener('load', function() {
navigator.serviceWorker.register('worker.js').then(function(registration) {
console.log('Worker registration successful', registration.scope);
}, function(err) {
console.log('Worker registration failed', err);
}).catch(function(err) {
console.log(err);
});
});
} else {
console.log('Service Worker is not supported by browser.');
}
</script>
</body>
</html>

You must restart your application and reload the browser after which you will see the Successful registration of member workers on the developer console. Now, recreate the Lighthouse report.

Step 4 - Improve the Progressive Nature of the Application

Your application will display an original blank div until the JavaScript loads and React hooks the original route. You must make sure your application works without downloading JS and displaying a bit of CSS and HTML before React takes effect. Your updated Index.html will look like this:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<meta name="theme-color" content="#000000">
<link rel="manifest" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/manifest.json">
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/favicon.ico">
<title>React App</title>
<style type="text/css">
body {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
font-family: sans-serif;
}
.navbar {
background-color: #01C8E5;
text-align: center;
}
.navbar a {
display: inline-block;
padding: 10px;
color: #fff;
text-decoration: none;
}
.page-info {
text-align: center;
font-weight: bold;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<noscript>
You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.
</noscript>
<div id="root">
<div class="navbar">
<a href="/">Feed</a>
</div>
<p class="page-info">
Loading an awesome app...
</p>
</div>
<script>
if ('serviceWorker' in navigator) {
window.addEventListener('load', function() {
navigator.serviceWorker.register('worker.js').then(function(registration) {
console.log('Worker registration successful', registration.scope);
}, function(err) {
console.log('Worker registration failed', err);
}).catch(function(err) {
console.log(err);
});
});
} else {
console.log('Service Worker is not supported by browser.');
}
</script>
</body>
</html>

Now, use Lighthouse to retest your application, and you'll see an improvement in the performance of the application.

Step 5 - Add the Splash Icon

You are required to add a 512x512 icon to display on the screen. To do so, you will have to update the manifest.json file and add the t0 icon to the public directory.

{
"short_name": "React App",
"name": "Create React App Sample",
"icons": [
{
"src": "icon-192x192.png",
"sizes": "192x192",
"type": "image/png"
},
{
"src": "icon-512x512.png",
"sizes": "512x512",
"type": "image/png"
}
],
"start_url": "/",
"display": "standalone",
"theme_color": "#000000",
"background_color": "#ffffff"
}

Also, use the following meta tags to allow the browser to determine that your application is a PWA.

<!-- Tell the browser it's a PWA -->
<meta name="mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">
<!-- Tell iOS it's a PWA -->
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">
Step 6 — Implement PWA

Now, only HTTPS is missing, and the cache can be fixed after you deploy the application. Update the doCache flag with true in the worker.js file. Create a new project in the firebase dashboard and name it "Pwa Application." Then, run the following command in the project directory:

npm install -g firebase-tools
firebase login
firebase init

Your Firebase.json will look like this:

{
"hosting": {
"public": "build",
"rewrites": [
{
"source": "**",
"destination": "/index.html"
}
]
}
}

After initializing, building and deploying your application.

  • npm run build
  • firebase deploy

You will see results after you test the application using Lighthouse on the deployed URL.

Final product with Lighthouse

Finally, you have created your first progressive web application with React.js!

Originally published by Manoj Kumar Bardhan at  dzone.com

=======================================================

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