Chapter 1. Stop listening!
This chapter covers
- What FRP is
- What events are, and how they cause trouble
- What FRP is for: the problem we’re trying to solve
- The benefits of FRP
- How an FRP system works
- A different way of thinking that underlies FRP
Welcome to our book! We love functional reactive programming (FRP). Many people like the idea too, yet they aren’t entirely clear what FRP is and what it will do for them. The short answer: it comes in the form of a simple library in a standard programming language, and it replaces listeners (also known as callbacks) in the widely used observer pattern, making your code cleaner, clearer, more robust, and more maintainable—in a word, simpler.
It’s more than this: FRP is a very different way of doing things. It will improve your code and transform your thinking for the better. Yet it’s surprisingly compatible with the usual ways of writing code, so it’s easy to factor into existing projects in stages. This book is about the concepts of FRP as they apply to a range of FRP systems and programming languages.
FRP is based on ideas from functional programming, but this book doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of functional programming. Chapter 1 will lay down some underlying concepts, and in chapter 2 we’ll get into the coding. So stop listening, and start reacting!