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An Explanation of the Flux Pattern

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve mentioned that I’ve been learning React JS.  First in the article “Reaction to React JS and Associated Bits” and then last week in my article “Test Driven Learning”.  In the first article,  I mentioned that if you use React JS, you’ll probably end up using the Flux design pattern and since there are multiple ways of implementing flux, getting a clear definition of what it is and how it should work can be confusing.  At least, I found it confusing.

And now that I’ve figured it out, I thought it might be helpful both to myself and to the programming community at large if I offered my own Explanation of the Flux Pattern.  At the very least, it will give me one more way of solidifying the concept in my own brain.  Maybe it will be helpful to you as well.

Flux
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Test Driven Learning – An Experiment

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been learning React JS over the last month or so. Up until the start of this project, I would learn a new framework, and then I would try to paste in Test Driven Development after the fact.  I would use the excuse that because I didn’t know the framework well enough, I wouldn’t be able to properly write tests for it.

But this time, I decided to do something different.  What if I wrote tests for my demo application as I was learning this new framework?  My reasoning was that learning how to test code written in the framework was just as important as learning the framework.

What follows are the lessons I learned from this wildly successful experiment.

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Reactions to React JS and Associated Bits

I’ve been learning React JS over the last several weeks.  Currently, I now know 4 of the major JavaScript frameworks: Angular 1, Angular 2, EXTjs (4.2 – 6.0.1), and now React JS.  To be clear, I also know Knockout and JQuery.  But I don’t consider these frameworks so much as libraries.  They’ve helped me understand the principles used in the frameworks, but they are not frameworks.  What follows is a summary of what I consider React’s strengths and weaknesses.

React JS
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JavaScript Object Fields

Last week as I was discussing the basics of JavaScript Objects, I kept referring to the members of the object as “fields.”  Never did I call them properties or methods.  This is because all members that are hanging off of an object are treated the same, from a membership perspective.  It is the type of data it contains that makes it behave as what we would normally refer to as a property or a method.

This is an important distinction. In a strongly typed system, we can say that a member of our object is a property or method simply because it was defined as one or the other when we defined our class.

In JavaScript we have neither classes where we can define what something is, nor strong typing. So, how something functions is determined by the type of variable it is pointing to at run time.

JavaScript Fields

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JavaScript Objects — What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

I’m assuming that anyone reading this blog has probably been using JavaScript for a while.  Many of you have used a number of the many frameworks that are available and most have used jQuery.  For the most part, you get what needs to be done, done.

But, I would also say that most of you have no idea how JavaScript works.  This is why I’ve written about JavaScript Variables, JavaScript Functions, and now JavaScript – Objects.

So, let’s start with the most basic of JavaScript questions.

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