Tag Archives: backbone

Functional Reactive Programming Concepts in Javascript on top of Backbone

Functional Reactive Programming, or FRP, is an elegant approach to “purely functional” event-driven programming with values that change over time. It is a change of perspective from the usual meaning of “event driven” in Javascript, and it is very, very cool.

There already exists a from-first-principles implementation of FRP in Javascript via the Flapjax compiler, a lot of related ideas are in knockout.js, and Asana says their Luna framework was inspired by FRP. But I want to demonstrate how simple it is to get a naive implementation of FRP off the ground by using the event-handling API provided by Backbone. Since we are in Javascript, the semantic work that has gone into FRP is pretty much out the window anyhow.

Let’s dive in; here’s the HTML shell I’m going to use:

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