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README.md

@culli/store

npm

Concise and familiar (at least for Redux users) way to manage your application state and storage without need to worry about the performance.

Motivation

The "classical Cycle state management" relies on local state encoded into streams. This enables very simple and elegant implementations of simple applications. However, when application's complexity increases and parent-child-parent dependencies are required, the traditional state management easily turns to very complex and cumbersome. The goal of @culli/store is to provide familiar and straightforward way to manage your Cycle application state in a way that scales from a tiny counter app to enterprise portals with tens of thousands of LOC!

How does it work?

If you've used redux or my previous work stanga, you should be familiar with this package as well. The design principles of @culli/store are:

  • State is separated from application logic. In @culli/store, application state "lives" outside the app. Application can read the state by using Store source, provided by main, and update the state by dispatching actions via Store sink. It's irrelevant to the component whether the state comes from Store driver or parent component, from memory or from the server.

  • Component defines itself, how it modifies the state. Although the state lives physically outside the component, component defines itself how and when it modifies its state. The state modifications are done in exactly same and familiar way as they are done in Redux, by using the reducer pattern. Component defines a reducer function (state, action) => state which receives the current state and the dispatched action and calculates the new state based on them.

  • Component can slice its state. Many times it's wise to split your component into smaller sub-components. However, in order to make those sub-components generic and reusable, the can't operate over the whole state. That's why @culli/store stores have easy and concise way to focus on certain sub-state so that the focused sub-state has exactly same features as the parent store, but it can access only the focused part of the state. This focused sub-state (or sub-store) can be then passed to child components as a store sink (remember that the origin of Store is irrelevant to the components!).

  • Store is only an interface for the actual data storage. "@culli/store does not have any side-effects, so it can't be a driver!", enthusiastics might yell. That is not actually true. To be precise, Store is a meta-driver. It's agnostic about how the state is stored: instead it takes a Storage function that defines how the state is persited. In some cases in-memory persistence is enough, whereas in another cases there might be need for local storage or even more sophisticated state synchronization with server or other clients (e.g. by using WebSockets). So @culli/store can have side-effects.

How does it differ from cycle-onionify?

Global state based Cycle state management gained some momentum lately when cycle-onionify was released. Although @culli/store and cycle-onionify may seem very similar at first glance (and both have their own pros and cons), they have some fundemental differences:

  • @culli/store dispatches action objects to component sink, whereas cycle-onionify dispatches reducer functions (although @culli/store could dispatch reducers as well)
  • @culli/store needs a way to identify list objects due to performance and compatibility reasons when creating child components, whereas cycle-onionify doesn't
  • @culli/store is unopinionated how/where the state is stored (it is just an interface for your application state), whereas cycle-onionify stores the state always in memory
  • @culli/store is a driver whereas cycle-onionify is a higher-order component
  • @culli/store uses manual state splicing whereas cycle-onionify uses @cycle/isolate
  • In @culli/store, the initial state must be defined outside the component (during the driver initilization at top level), whereas in cycle-onionify, the initial state is created with an initial reducer

When to choose cycle-onionify?

You should choose cycle-onionify when:

  • You want to use @cycle/isolate to manage the state splitting
  • You don't want to use ids or other identities for your child state items (for lists)
  • Your lists are not big and/or you don't need to worry about performance
  • You need only in-memory state
  • You are using xstream
  • You don't have any components using "classical Cycle state management" that you want to use in your app (it depends on the component whether it's possible to use it with cycle-onionify or not)

When to choose @culli/store?

You should choose @culli/store when:

  • You are familiar with Redux style state management and single reducer
  • You want a fine-grained way to manage the state splicing (athough a bit more verbose than when using @cycle/isolate)
  • You have big/medium sized lists and you don't want to worry about your application's performance
  • You want to use other streaming library than xstream (all Cycle Diversity supported stream libraries are supported)
  • You need to (re-)use components that are still using the "classical Cycle state management" (@culli/store list handling doesn't loose the component's local state even if the list changes)
  • You want to keep an option for more complex state storage (like hot-reloadable memory, local storage or server/websockets)
  • You want to benefit from Redux's rich ecosystem

Some code, please!

Basic usage

Here is the traditional counter app written with @culli/store (and with most but @culli/store is compatible with any Cycle Diversity supported streaming library):

import * as O from "most"
import {run} from "@cycle/most-run"
import {makeDOMDriver as DOM, h} from "@cycle/dom"
import Store, {Memory} from "@culli/store"

run(main, {
  DOM: DOM("#app"),
  Store: Store(Memory({num: 0}))
})

function main({DOM, Store}) {
  const {dispatch, props} = model(Store)
  const vdom = view(props)
  const actions = intent(DOM)

  return {
    DOM: vdom,
    Store: dispatch(actions)
  }


  function model({actions, value}) {
    const dispatch = actions.reduce((state, action) => {
      switch (action.type) {
        case "INC":
          return {...state, num: state.num + 1}
        case "DEC":
          return {...state, num: state.num - 1}
        default:
          return state
      }
    })

    return {
      dispatch,
      props: {
        num: value.map(v => v.num)
      }
    }
  }

  function view({num}) {
    return num.map(num =>
      h("div", [
        h("h1", [`Counter: ${num}`]),
        h("div", [
          h("button.inc", "Increment"),
          h("button.dec", "Decrement")
        ])
      ]))
  }

  function intent(DOM) {
    const incrementActions = DOM.select(".inc")
      .events("click")
      .map(() => ({type: "INC"}))
    const decrementActions = DOM.select(".dec")
      .events("click")
      .map(() => ({type: "DEC"}))

    return O.merge(incrementActions, decrementActions)
  }
}

Let's look at the code line by line.

import Store, {Memory} from "@culli/store"

Here we import all dependencies that are needed to initilize the store driver. @culli/store provides a driver factory function as its default import. It also provides some built-in storages that can be used for state persistence. In this example we are using in-memory Memory storage.

run(main, {
  DOM: DOM("#app"),
  Store: Store(Memory({num: 0}))
})

Here we initialize the drivers and start the app just like any other CycleJS application. A new store driver can be initialized by calling the driver factory function we imported few lines above and giving a valid storage to it. Storages are basically just functions (Observable<Action>) => Observable<State>. Now we create an in-memory storage and give an initial value to.

function main({DOM, Store}) {
  ...

Because we defined Store as a driver, we can now access its utilities from sources. And thanks to Cycle Diversity, those utilities are available for your favourite streaming library as well!

function model({actions, value}) {
  ...

Store driver's source has two public properties: actions and value. actions is an object that represents the actions belonging to this component. value is just a normal Observable that represents the current state of the store, thus you can use this observable like you'd use any other observable in your Cycle app.

const dispatch = actions.reduce((state, action) => {
  ...
})

This is where you define how the component state is be modified. If you've used Redux before, you can notice that the pattern is exactly same as described in Redux docs ({dispatch} = createStore(reducer) vs. dispatch = actions.reduce(reducer)). The reducer function of actions.reduce is invoked every time when your component dispatches an action. We've now used the traditional Redux boilerplate with action.type but it doesn't necessary need to be like that - @culli/store is unopinionated how the actions and reducers are implemented.

You may also notice that actions.reduce returns a dispatch function. This is also similar to its Redux counterpart: you must dispatch the component actions by using this function (explained later in detail).

return {
  dispatch,
  props: {
    num: value.map(v => v.num)
  }
}

After defining the reducer function, we must define the actual data model. If you've used React+Redux before, you've probably passed some props to your render method. Essentially, view in Cycle apps is same as render in React. Thus let's return some "props" from our model as well!

As we've learned before, store's value is just like any other observable so we can map or filter or debounce it (or do anything that your streaming library supports). Because the counter state has schema {num: <int>}, we must extract the raw number by using .map.

Finally we can return both props and dispatch function that we got from actions.reduce.

function view({num}) {
  return num.map(num => 
    h("div", ...))
}

If you've read Cycle tutorials, there is absolutely nothing new here! We're just using the obsevable state to build component's virtual dom stream.

function intent(DOM) {
  const incrementActions = DOM.select(".inc")
    .events("click")
    .map(() => ({type: "INC"})
  const decrementActions = DOM.select(".dec")
    .events("click")
    .map(() => ({type: "DEC"})

  return O.merge(incrementActions, decrementActions)
}

Although we've already defined the reducer function, the state can't be changed without the actions. Like everything else in Cycle, also @culli/store actions are modelled (surprise!) as streams. @culli/store is unopinionated how those action streams are generated: they can come from DOM events, WebSocket events or keyboard/mouse events.

NOTE: This example is pretty simple because action streams are generated from DOM events only. However, in more complex cases the action stream generation may require also access to the current state. Luckily this is not a problem: note that we can access also props from this point.

return {
  DOM: vdom,
  Store: dispatch(actions)
}

The final step in your component is to dispatch the action streams so that they can be sent to the reducer function. This is done by using the dispatch function we received before: dispatch takes the action stream and converts it to a stream that can be sent to the Store driver via sink.

Child components

Components should be small and have only one responsibility. But how to keep components small when the state grows. Luckily, @culli/store provides a simple solution that makes possible to slice the state into smaller sub-states. And those sub-states can be given to child components so that the child components don't need to know the whole application state!

Let's go through how to slice your application state with @culli/store:

import * as O from "most"
import isolate from "@cycle/isolate"
import {run} from "@cycle/most-run"
import {makeDOMDriver as DOM} from "@cycle/dom"
import Store, {Memory} from "@culli/store"

import {main as Counter} from "./previous-example"


run(main, {
  DOM: DOM("#app"),
  Store: Store(Memory({text: "", a: {num: 0}, b: {num: 0}}))
})


function main({DOM, Store}) {
  const {dispatch, props} = model(Store)
  const {vdom, childActions} = view(props)
  const actions = intent(DOM)

  return {
    DOM: vdom,
    Store: O.merge(dispatch(actions), childActions)
  }


  function model({actions, value}) {
    const dispatch = actions.reduce((state, action) => {
      switch (action.type) {
        case "SET_TEXT":
          return {...state, text: action.payload}
        default:
          return state
      }
    })

    return {
      dispatch,
      props: {
        a: value.select("a"),
        b: value.select("b"),
        text: value.select("text")
      }
    }
  }

  function view({a, b, text}) {
    const counterA = isolate(Counter)({DOM, Store: a})
    const counterB = isolate(Counter)({DOM, Store: b})

    return {
      childActions: O.merge(counterA.Store, counterB.Store),
      vdom: O.combineArray((aDOM, bDOM, txt) =>
        h("div", [
          h("h1", ["Hello: ", txt]),
          aDOM,
          bDOM,
          h("hr"),
          h("input.text", {props: {value: txt}})
        ]), [counterA.DOM, counterB.DOM, text.value])
    }
  }

  function intent(DOM) {
    return DOM.select(".text")
      .events("input")
      .map(e => ({
        type: "SET_TEXT",
        payload: e.target.value
      }))
  }
}

Again, let's go through the code line by line.


import {main as Counter} from "./previous-example"

Because our components are fractal, we can use the counter component from the previous example as it is.

run(main, {
  DOM: DOM("#app"),
  Store: Store(Memory({text: "", a: {num: 0}, b: {num: 0}}))
})

Nothing new here, we're just creating a little bit more complex state with a text property and two counters, a and b.

function model({actions, value}) {
  const dispatch = actions.reduce((state, action) => {
     switch (action.type) {
       case "SET_TEXT":
         return {...state, text: action.payload}
       default:
         return state
     }
   })

  return {
    dispatch,
    props: {
      a: value.select("a"),
      b: value.select("b"),
      text: value.select("text")
    }
  }
}

Looks pretty same as in the previous example, huh? Note that because the parent component wants to update only text property, we are reacting only to SET_TEXT actions in the reducer.

There should be nothing new in the code, except these three lines:

a: value.select("a"),
b: value.select("b"),
text: value.select("text")

Although the store's values are normal observables, @culli/store adds one extra method to them, select. This method takes one argument which represents property name in the state. select returns a new Store source (action and value) that is "focused" on the given property - the returned store can access (read/write) only to the focused property. If the store updates the focused value, changes are also synchronized with parent store automatically. Same applies to parent store: if parent store changes the focused value, the changes are synchronized with the focused store.

NOTE: if the parent state is an array, select accepts also integer representing the index of the focused item.

function view({a, b, text}) {
  const counterA = isolate(Counter)({DOM, Store: a})
  const counterB = isolate(Counter)({DOM, Store: b})

  return {
    childActions: O.merge(counterA.Store, counterB.Store),
    vdom: O.combineArray((aDOM, bDOM, txt) =>
      h("div", ...), [counterA.DOM, counterB.DOM, text.value])
  }
}

Here comes the interesting part: now that our focused stores have identical features as the parent store, we can use them as the Store source in our child components! Then we can use child components' return values (DOM and Store in this case) like we'd use them in traditional Cycle apps. Also note that because text.value is a normal observable, you can use it with any other combinators like combineArray.

NOTE: In case you're wondering why we're using isolate here - we need to isolate DOM events (clicks) from the sibling counters a and b. Isolation has no effect to @culli/store stores.

return {
  DOM: vdom,
  Store: O.merge(dispatch(actions), childActions)
}

Finally we must merge the actions coming from the child components with the action coming from the parent component (like we must do to all other cycle sinks as well, e.g. HTTP).

That's it!

Dynamic lists

Let's go through how we can split our application into smaller components when we have a list of data that might change over time:

import * as O from "most"
import isolate from "@cycle/isolate"
import {run} from "@cycle/most-run"
import {makeDOMDriver as DOM, h} from "@cycle/dom"
import Store, {Memory} from "@culli/store"

import Counter from "./Counter"

let id = 0
const newId = () => ++id

run(main, {
  DOM: DOM("#app"),
  Store: Store(Memory({items: [{id: newId(), num: 0}, {id: newId(), num: 0}]}))
})


function main({DOM, Store}) {
  const {dispatch, props} = model(Store)
  const {vdom, childActions} = view(props)
  const actions = intent(DOM)

  return {
    DOM: vdom,
    Store: O.merge(dispatch(actions), childActions)
  }


  function model({actions, value}) {
    const dispatch = actions.reduce((state, action) => {
      switch (action.type) {
        case "ADD":
          return {...state, items: [...state.items, {id: newId(), num: 0}]}
        default:
          return state
      }
    })

    return {
      dispatch,
      props: {
        items: value.select("items")
      }
    }
  }

  function view({items}) {
    const children = items.value.mapChildren((counter, id) => {
      const Component = isolate(Counter, id)
      return Component({DOM, Store: counter})
    }, {values: ["DOM"], events: ["Store"]})

    return {
      childActions: children.Store,
      vdom: children.DOM.map(childDOMs => h("div", [
        h("h1", "Counter list"),
        h("div", childDOMs),
        h("hr"),
        h("button.add", "Add new counter")
      ]))
    }
  }

  function intent(DOM) {
    return DOM.select(".add")
      .events("click")
      .map(e => ({type: "ADD"}))
  }
}

And yet again, let's go through the code line by line...


run(main, {
  DOM: DOM("#app"),
  Store: Store(Memory({items: [{id: newId(), num: 0}, {id: newId(), num: 0}]}))
})

Here we initialize the state with an initial list of counters. In order to work efficiently, @culli/store needs some kind of way to identify individual items. By default, id property is used for the job, hence we need to also give unique ids to your list items.

const children = items.value.mapChildren((counter, id) => {
  const Component = isolate(Counter, id)
  return Component({DOM, Store: counter})
}, {values: ["DOM"], events: ["Store"]})

Here we go! This is basically all you need to do when processing dynamic lists with @culli/store. Store's value has mapChildren which iterates and invokes the given transform function for each list item. Transform function receives two arguments: item which is a Store instance focused on the specific item (same as we did with select previously) and an identity of the item. By using these values, you can call the child component and return its sinks to mapChildren. Notice that again you can use the focused store as a store in the child component!

The return value of mapChildren is a CycleJS sink object that emits values from the created child components. But unfortunately there is a catch: mapChildren doesn't know the extracted sinks beforehand. That's why you must give a {values, events} specification which defines the names of the extracted value and event sinks (if you're not familiar with observable values and events, please see this). Value sinks are extracted by using combine combinator (resulting an observable with signature Observable<Array<V>>). Event sinks are extracted by using merge combinator (resulting an observable with signature Observable<E>).

NOTE: if your items don't have id field, store has also mapChildrenBy which takes an additional key function, which can be used to define the identity for items by using other means than id:

const customIdentity = item =>
  item.otherKey
  
const children = items.value.mapChildrenBy(customIdentity, (item, key) => {
  // now: key === otherKey
  ...
}, {values: ..., events: ...})

Now you can use e.g. the child vdom nodes to build your parent component's virtual dom:

return {
  childActions: children.Store,
  vdom: children.DOM.map(childDOMs => h("div", [
    ...
  ]))
}

Some persistence thx!

TODO...

What else?

Congrats! There is nothing new to learn. You known how to read, write and slice the application state: the basic ingredients that can be used to build any kind of app, let it be small or big. Happy coding!

All runnable tutorial codes are available here.

API

API docs can be found from here

License

MIT