Summer Coding with Rocket.Chat - #1 | The Async Conundrum


Coding begins, How Do I handle this much of asynchronicity 🌀🌀🌀, Functional Reactive Programming to the Rescue.

Summer of Code with Rocket Chat

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.Viktor E. Frankl

As I mentioned, Earlier in June (Sorry to take so long for this next post 😅), I got into Rocket.Chat after this turnaround and started laying out the plan for coding the React App for Rocket.Chat’s Progressive Web App Client with my Mentors Karl Prieb and Guilhermme Gazzo.

Everything was going well (Atleast that is what I thought at that time, I didn’t know what storm was brewing out there.)

I thought, how hard could it be to build a Chat Application. I went at it, initializing a pretty React App Starter of my own (I have a weird OCD of making things from scratch, that way I always know what is going on, with every line of code written). Finished this task of starter app easily, A piece of cake, then there was this next Card on trello board saying Implementation of Interface to Rocket.Chat’s Realtime API for interactions with the Rocket.Chat’s Server. I thought, “How hard Could it be?”

But (there’s always a but ), When I saw the list of methods and responses and subscriptions and events, I knew it isn’t going to be a piece of cake.

  • Handling the Asynchronous Behaviour of WebSockets.
  • Building a Redux Middleware, that would handle the State of the App.
  • Building somekind of wrapper to abstract the RealTime API.
  • and Doing all the stuff simultaneously.

Karl asked me to checkout, Rx (Reactive Extensions). I did, and I was baffled 🌀🌀🌀 by the long chain of operators one after another, and the All new Reactive Programming Paradigm.

Watched some online conferences and I was surprised how little code in Rx could do stuff that required 100s of LOC in Callbacks.

What is Rx?

Think of RxJS as Lodash for events. –RxJS Documentation

ReactiveX combines the Observer pattern with the Iterator pattern and functional programming with collections to fill the need for an ideal way of managing sequences of events.

Not getting what I said, checkout the documentation of RxJS where it explains Observables

Rx sure has some learning curve but once you get your hands dirty with some Observables, You’ll love it.

Rx + Redux + React 😍😍😍

RxJS is pretty much the only thing needed for handling everything, Angular 2 + has RxJS built in for everything, That’s when I thought there must be something to couple Rx and React, and found out Redux Observables ( the Three Ducks 🦆🦆🦆 ) Observables as guys from Rx like to call it.

Redux Observables is a Redux middleware that solves managing states and the async behaviors with so called “Epics”, an Epic is Stream of redux actions which return a stream of actions. That sounds familiar, right ?. Yes, an Epic is an Observable of redux actions.

Redux-Observable makes handling states on the async actions slick !!!

Redux Observables was the last missing bit, I was searching for.

Learning all the bits of RxJS and Redux Observables required, I made a wrapper to handle the Methods and Subscriptions of the Rocket.Chat’s Real Time API, with help of mentors at Rocket.Chat published an npm package called Rocket.Chat.RealTime.API.RxJS 🌈🌈🌈. It’s being used by Me and Other fellow Rocketeers in their projects.

It’s fun learning so many new things, I hope to learn a lot more in upcoming weeks. Wondering what kind of challenges are waiting ahead. I never give up… I never go back on my word… that’s my ninja way! #Naruto

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