2021-07-15
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#redux
Adhithi Ravichandran
2320
Jul 15, 2021 ⋅ 5 min read

Redux vs. MobX: Which performs better?

Adhithi Ravichandran Software consultant, Pluralsight author, speaker, React Native/React/GraphQL dev, and Indian classical musician. You can find me online at adhithiravichandran.com.

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13 Replies to "Redux vs. MobX: Which performs better?"

  1. True. I would simplify this to:
    1. You learning for getting a job as a dev ASAP? Learn Redux + Saga/Thunk.
    2. Want to build something for yourself? MobX is out of competition.
    3. Just want to get started with React for hobby purposes, or just have a lot of time to learn? MobX, then Redux.

  2. Rerendering performance on state change is important category. Mobx tracks what segments of the state are used by what component and updates only those. However, there is even faster tracker for state management. Have a look into Hookstate https://github.com/avkonst/hookstate – no boilerplate at all, incredible performance, eg. update a table with 10000 cells at the speed of 1 cell per every millisecond: https://hookstate.netlify.com/performance-demo-large-table (disclaimer: I am an author of the project)

  3. Agree with Andrew that a huge benefit of MobX is precise tracking of dependency trees, meaning that re-rendering is kept to the absolute minimum required for the given changes, which yields performance gains.

    When I started using Redux a few years ago, I assumed it would be “fast enough” even without dependency tracking. Fast forward to now, and I now wish I had gone with MobX. Instead, I ended up having to spend dozens of hours building a dependency tracking system on top of Redux, just to get the performance of Redux acceptable within the large and complex app I was building. (main portion here: https://github.com/Venryx/vwebapp-framework/blob/593be0a1ed2f1a0f46e6d33d37bb5fa4faf55244/Source/Utils/Store/PathWatchManager.ts)

    It was only recently that I realized that what I’d built up, in the end, amounted to an equivalent of MobX! I then realized that, while I had improved performance, I had deviated so far from the Redux base that my system now worked closer to MobX than Redux. Because of this, I’ve decided to now transition all my half dozen live websites from Redux to MobX, so I can hook into the MobX community, and contribute what I can to it, instead of “building my own” that no one will ever know about.

    The biggest concerns I have with this upcoming change are:
    1) The MobX dev-tools are less mature than the Redux dev-tools. (main deficiency: it doesn’t have a time-travel UI built-in)
    2) I’ll have to rebuild a set of libraries on top of MobX that accomplish what the libraries I used with Redux used to do. (particularly, the library react-redux-firebase, and my extensions to it)

    The two points above I plan to resolve by building MobX versions of them myself. Unfortunately, that will take a lot of effort! But in the end, I think it’s the right choice since right now the performance of Redux is unsatisfactory. (it’s far, far better with my dependency-tracking system than without it, but it’s still not as fast as I would like) At least my efforts will then be able to benefit other MobX users as well, though, instead of just my projects.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out — we’ll try getting in touch with that blog’s editor. It looks like our post was published several months before theirs.

  4. Respectfully, your article is highly subjective and speculative. Being “pure” or “impure” does not mean a tool will scale or not scale. One can use either type of tool well or poorly.
    These days, MobX is used in many large, performant, highly transactional web apps without hitches. Also, I’ve worked for many agencies and startups and have literally *never* heard of someone being dissatisfied with MobX after using it on a real project. Most Redux developers love the the code they *don’t* have to write. They love the paradigm and wonder why they hadn’t switched earlier. That is the typical response.

    By contrast, I’ve heard many peoples’ frustration with Redux, especially in contexts where it tends to produce “overbuilt” solutions. I was interviewing a senior developer last week, and in a 2 hour coding exercise, he spent the first 1:15 just setting up all the Redux stores! This is for a simple scheduling app! What he did wasn’t “wrong” but it was too much and added complexity that had very little pay-off.

    I’ve used both, and IMV, MobX is far superior for the vast, vast majority of web apps. It’s conceptually simpler, has far less boilerplate, and “just works”. There are only a few extreme cases where Redux might be a better tool. Namely fin-tech apps that require a lot of “middleware” and cross-cutting concerns. Thankfully most of us don’t write apps like that.

  5. I don’t claim to be a Redux nor a MobX guru. But I tried to write small to medium React apps with both. MobX is a clear time winner and much, much simpler to understand and utilize. Time-to-deliver is critical for any developer and the boilerplate needed to write Redux apps simply outweighs the “assumed” benefits.

  6. Hello, Andrew! I was reading this article, and here find your project, Hookstate. I saw it and looks really great and very performant indeed. I view your Github project and the website, hookstate.js.org. I have only a question, because I couldn’t find explicitly, neither in the Github readme or the website: Hookstate is only to be used in React and Preact apps, or Hookstate is framework agnostic? Can be Hookstate used with another frameworks, like Svelte, Angular, even plain Javascript? Thank you so much and please, keep your good work!!!

  7. Honestly, if someone spent 1:15 setting up redux they don’t know redux. It takes less than 5 minutes to configure a store and provider with react-redux.

    I also wouldn’t consider someone that spends that much time in an interview setting up an overbuilt solution a senior developer. Overbuilt engineering is bad engineering when it comes to software.

    I hope you didn’t hire them as a senior developer.

  8. The fact that there are people in Facebook start a new state management project called Recoil even after they are hiring Dan Abramov say it all about Redux. The concept of Redux is great, but in practice it is a pain to deal with. While is not always true, more code is generally more chance to mess up, and it’s very true to Redux. I have consulted several companies and most developers I have ever worked with never want to touch Redux again once they used Mobx.

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