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Reactjs is a turing complete programming language

Note: Uses react canary (19)

Our App.tsx here calculates factorial of a number, fibonacci sequence and does a bit of arithmetics but it does all that using react (not JS). What I mean by that is:

  • No function recursion
  • No loops
  • No if-else/?: ternaries/&& || ternaries
  • No switch-case
  • No arithmetic operators

So every bit of computation in this repo (as much as possible) is done using react only.



Here's how the factorial component looks like:

const Factorial: FC<any> = React.memo(({ n }) => {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(n);
  const [result, setResult] = useState(<One />);


  return (
      Calculating factorial of {n}...
      <IfElse condition={count <= 1}>
        <CallElement key={count} fn={
          <EvaluateAll fns={[
            <Multiply a={result} b={numberToNode(count)} />
          ]} />
          {([newCount, newResult]) => <CallFunction fn={() => {
          }} />}

const App = () => {
  return (
    <CallElement fn={<Factorial n={5} />}>
      {result => (<div>5! = {result}</div>)}

How it works

Not that anyone needs this information but here it is anyway...


Just a forever loop created by updating a state inside a useEffect with a dependency on the state itself. (Has a tiny delay to get the render to run reliably)


Removing some of the noise, the core of what happens looks like this:

    <Suspense fallback={<Return.Provider>{computation}</Return.Provider>}>

Suspense wraps the computation where AwaitResource is waiting for some promise to resolve. So react renders the fallback. Return context provides a function inside your computation which is meant to be invoked when the computation is done. When the function is invoked, it resolves the promise which the AwaitResource component is waiting for. This then renders the AwaitResource along with the result of the computation.


Just a useEffect that calls the function when rendered.


Nothing fancy. Renders the first child if the condition is true, otherwise renders the second child.

Index of child picked = Number(!condition)

Natural numbers

Numbers are represented as react elements.

  • 0 is <></>
  • 1 is <div data-type="nat" />
  • 2 is <><div data-type="nat" /><div data-type="nat" /></>
  • ...

So, the number of the nat dom nodes is what represents our number.

  • Addition, is a combination of 2 nat react elements that represent natural numbers <><One /><One /><One /></>.
  • Multiplication is just the react element for the second number repeated the first number of times.
  • Decrement removes the data-type attribute from one of the nodes. (No subtraction implemented yet but it'd be this multiple times)

Note: Add component also doubles as a natural number node to number converter.

Sort of cheating here by using dom nodes so if anyone knows a way to do arithmetics without the dom, please let me know!


Just CallElement for each react element in the array. Essentially Promise.all for react elements.

How to run it?

Why would you want to do something like that? But if you're sure you want to...

  • Clone this thing
  • Install dependencies bun i (Uses bun because I'm cool like that)
  • bun run dev
  • Open localhost:5173 in your browser


Proving react is a turing-complete programming language by making it do things it wasn't meant to do








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