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Subscribe to a path in your redux state atom


$ npm install redux-subscribe


redux-subscribe is a modular primitive to providing a context-like abstraction in a component framework. It gives you the ability to dispatch an action in response to the change of a path in your global state atom. This allows you to create a Context component which will dispatch an action that updates its own local state in response to a change in the global state atom. The context component may then pass down that piece of state to its children, e.g.

function render ({props}) {
  return (
    <Context path='url'>
        url => <a href={props.href} class={{active: url === href}}>{props.text}</a>

Example <Context/> implementation (in vdux)

import {subscribe, unsubscribe} from 'redux-subscribe'

 * Setup the subscription on create, so that it dispatches a local STORE_VALUE
 * action anytime the path we're interested in changes.

function onCreate ({props, key, local}) {
  return subscribe(props.path, key, local(storeValue))

 * Render all children that are functions by passing them the current value
 * of the path we're watching

function render ({children, state}) {
  return => isFunction(child) ? child(state.value) : child)

 * If the path we want to watch changes, cancel the old subscription
 * and create a new one

function onUpdate (prev, next) {
  return [
    unsubscribe(prev.props.path, prev.key),
    subscribe(next.props.path, next.key, local(storeValue))

 * Preserve the global value in our local state

function reducer (state, action) {
  if (action.type === 'STORE_VALUE') {
    return {
      value: action.payload

  return state

function storeValue (path, prev, next) {
  return {
    type: 'STORE_VALUE',
    payload: next

 * Remove the subscription when the component is removed

function onRemove ({props, key}) {
  return unsubscribe(props.path, key)

export default {

Comparison to redux-watch

redux-watch is a similar redux-related utility, but with two important differences:

  • Performance. The most natural ways to use redux-watch in your components would create one watcher for each component instance. This scales very poorly as your component tree grows large. redux-subscribe maintains a map of all current subscriptions, so only has to lookup the values and compare them once per unique subscription, which scales very well in most applications.
  • redux-subscribe is a middleware whereas redux-watch wraps your store. This allows redux-subscribe to sit in the middle and setup/teardown subscriptions in response to actions, which lets you keep everything pure and internal to redux.


The performance of redux-subscribe is proportional to the number of unique paths that are subscribed to. This means that it scales very well, provided you aren't subscribing to lots (as in hundreds or thousands) of different things. Each time the state updates, each unique path that has been subscribed to is checked for a change, if it has been changed, the listeners are called and their results dispatched.