Monday, November 22, 2010

“Exploring Reactive Extensions”

LessThanDot - Exploring Reactive Extensions - IObservable and IObserver

“A while ago, a coworker (Jon) showed us a presentation over lunch that he had given at the local user group on the Reactive Extensions for .NET. I was pretty unfamiliar with the subject, but once I got the lowdown from this presentation it was quite clear that this was something I'd need to explore. At the most basic level, the reactive extensions are about setting up your objects to react to something they are subscribed to. In the presentation, he used an analogy of a reversed, or push-based IEnumerable, and I like that a lot. There is a ton of cool stuff in this library that I hope to get into later, but it all hinges on that idea.

I've only recently been getting back into windows desktop development (coming from a more web-centric environment) so it is possible that I'm overreacting to the pain of dealing with events in windows forms, but this paradigm really appeals to me. It gives you a way to call methods on your observers from the object they are observing, through a standard set of interfaces. The simpler parts are possible using the normal event mechanisms found in .net, but keeping the interaction limited to a standard set of interfaces (and explicitly calling the code from a central location) feels much simpler to me.


The Reactive Extensions is something I’d like to learn more about. From what I’ve seen, it looks interesting…

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