This is an homage to this absolute work of art by Shesh Babu.

What and why§ 

Rust's strong typing and fearless concurrency means we can skip virtual DOM differencing.

In the JavaScript world, avoiding the vDOM is the bread and butter of Svelte started by Rich Harris, which uses compile-time code generation to assist.

When I can't have static typing I love Clojure, and have spent some time reviewing and playing with the stupendous full-stack Clojure SPA framework Fulcro by Tony Kay (and associated back-end enabler Pathom by Wilker Lucio). It does use vDOM, leveraging Clojure immutable/concurrent data structures for time travel superpowers.

For me, the major innovation (among many) in Fulcro is the use of a browser-side normalised database which is queried to populate properties for components. This means that updating (mutating) a uniquely-keyed item results in the update trivially propagating to any and all components referencing the data through that identifier. In Shesh Babu's language: all state is App state.

This article, or series of articles, is going to share my findings and thinking on the state of the nation in Rust front-end frameworks which are avoiding the vDOM strategy.

There are actually two Rust front-end frameworks with significant progress already, and they are awesome:

Our lense: the React tutorial TicTacToe§ 

The official React site offers a guided introduction by progressively implementing a client-side tic-tac-toe game (also known as noughts and crosses). They don't explore a back-end, routing or forms, or many of the other SPA complexities.

For us, it is just enough to highlight the potential of the two Rust frameworks above and paint a picture of how those advanced extensions can be easily incorporated, and gives us a solid reference point from the old world.

Our approach§ 

This is the first in a series of articles showing how the two frameworks might attack the example application, and then show some code which extends the frameworks to incorporate Fulcro-like app state.

My code will concentrate on the ergonomics of the frameworks from the perspective of the SPA-writer.

Next up, I'll show an implementation of the game in Valerie.

On to the first code sample.