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Note: the discussion for this proposal is in reactjs/rfcs#63. It has since been renamed to
Details of bundled changes.
The goal was to make components easier to optimize. There are many ways to optimize, memoization based on shallow equality is just one possible optimization you can make.
Functions already have less overhead since 16 (less property checks and memory usage), and they're also much more optimizable by compilers. Unfortunately our compilation experiments are still very early.