We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Reactive Programming?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Reactive programming is a computer science concept that describes the properties of a computer programming language focused on automatically maintaining the state of an application as the data used in the program change. One of the main features of a reactive programming language is that declared and calculated variables are constantly re-evaluated as other variables used in their calculation change. This means the language reacts to the changes in the state of the data, as opposed to using more imperative commands to manage the state, the way many traditional programming languages do. The theoretical result of an application employing reactive programming philosophies would be a program that constantly and automatically changes the display or other factors based on the changing data that is flowing into the program. Although several imperative programming models can be used to achieve the same results as reactive programming, the goal of creating a reactive language would be to have native support for reactive changes at the primitive level, instead of at an object level.

One way to help clarify how reactive programming works is to compare it to imperative programming. When two numbers are added in an imperative language, the result of the addition usually is stored in a given memory location. The operation takes place the moment the command is executed, and the result is decoupled from the two numbers that were added to create the sum. This means that, if either of the two numbers that were added change after the addition takes place, the value of the sum would not change because it already is stored in memory and separate from the original operands.

When a reactive programming language adds two variables to create a sum and one of the two variables changes at some point in the future, then the sum also will change. This implies that a reactive program has the ability to monitor the state of the data being used and to react automatically to changes, potentially changing the overall state of the entire application. There are several models in imperative programming, including event-based programming and observer data models, that can perform the same tasks by creating structures that monitor data changes, but a reactive language would have built-in mechanisms to do this.

The use for a reactive programming language could be in areas in which real-time interpretation of arbitrary data streams is needed. This could include scientific visualization, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), or even real-time communications in which the program is constantly changing based on the data stream being received. It should be noted, however, that there really are no fully implemented, independent reactive programming languages. Most working implementations of the concept take the form of external libraries for more traditional imperative or functional languages.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.