Episode 412

JSJ 407: Reactive JavaScript and Storybook with Dean Radcliffe


November 12th, 2019

44 mins 9 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Dean is a developer from Chicago and was previously on React Round Up 083. Today he has come over to JavaScript Jabber to talk about reactive programming and Storybook. Reactive programming is the opposite of imperative programming, where it will change exactly when needed instead of change only when told to. Reactivity existed long before React, and Dean talks about his history with reactive programming. He illustrates this difference by talking about Trello and Jira. In Trello, as you move cards from swimlane to another swimlane, everyone on the board sees those changes right away. In Jira,  if you have 11 tabs open, and you update data in one tab, probably 10 of your tabs are stale now and you might have to refresh. Reactive programming is the difference between Trello and Jira.

The panel discusses why reactive JavaScript is not more widely used. People now tend to look for more focused tools to solve a particular part of the problem than an all in one tool like Meteor.js. Dean talks about the problems that Storybook solves. Storybook has hot reloading environments in frontend components, so you don’t need the backend to run. Storybook also allows you to create a catalogue of UI states. JC and Dean talk about how Storybook could create opportunities for collaboration between engineers and designers. They discuss some causes of breakage that automation could help solve, such as styles not being applied properly and internationalization issues. Dean shares how to solve some network issues, such as having operators in RxJs. RxJs is useful for overlapping calls because it was built with cancelability from the beginning. 

Dean talks about his tool Storybook Animate, which allows you to see what the user sees. Storybook is an actively updated product, and Dean talks about how to get started with it. The show concludes with Dean talking about some things coming down the pipe and how he is actively involved in looking for good general solutions to help people write bulletproof code. 


  • JC Hiatt

With special guest: Dean Radcliffe



"The MaxCoders Guide to Finding Your Dream Developer Job" by Charles Max Wood will be out on November 20th on Amazon.  Get your copy on that date only for $1.



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