this article is still under development
I think the problem is that languages confuse Reactive with Functional. Just because you have to react to an event doesn’t mean you should be passing closures to asynchronous functions!.
Take for example this article: https://www.stackbuilders.com/news/concurrent-haskell-in-the-real-world
“Concurrent programming feels just a little bit more imperative than the rest of Haskell, because you compose actions that actually mutate something”.
Imperative is Simpler
In an imperative language code is executed from top to bottom, one statement (expression actually) after another.
file = File.read!("my_file.txt") strs = String.split(file, " ", trim: true) subs = Enum.map(strs, fn str -> if str == "tom" do "Tom" else "Tom" end) joined = Enum.join(subs, ",") Database.write(joined) #just an example IO.puts "done"
More processes => less reactive code
If Elixir is functional, then where are the callbacks, promises, awaits, etc? In Elixir I don’t care if File.read is run in my process or asynchronous in another process - I need the result of the File.read before I can do the next thing. So I can write code simply and imperatively. What enables this?
Processes (and threads) were invented for two purposes:
- Wite code simply and imperatively (for humans)
- Run more efficiently, i.e. concurrently or in parallel (for computers)
In Elixir there really is no difference between concurrent and parallel https://tomjoro.github.io/2017-02-03-why-reactive-fp-sucks/. Anything that is done with processes can either be run concurrently or in parallel with other processes because of immutability and local state. Processes are lightweight and are used like as any other language construct.
Processes use dependent imperative steps to accomplish a task. Imperative code is easy to understand and makes programs more reliable. And you don’t need mutation to do this.
This “style” of programming might have historically been impractical in many contexts, but has suddenly become relevant and practical (Why? See my other Blog https://tomjoro.github.io/2017-01-31-world-changed/ _Hint: distributed and parallel are no longer special cases.
Async / await
Continuations in C# can run in any thread. This is the same approach in C++.
I don’t understand this. Now all my logic is broken up to arbitrary places. Why didn’t I just write it on another thread in the first place.
Reactive programming is a nice pattern. However, if you are using Reactive programming as a technique to share threads then you might be overcomplicating the logic.