Reactive programming vs. Reactive systems

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Landing on a set of simple reactive design principles in a sea of constant confusion and overloaded expectations.

Since co-authoring the Reactive Manifesto in 2013, we’ve seen the topic of Reactive go from being a virtually unacknowledged technique for constructing applications—used by only fringe projects within a select few corporations—to become part of the overall platform strategy in numerous big players in the middleware field. This article aims to define and clarify the different aspects of «Reactive» by looking at the differences between writing code in a Reactive Programming style, and the design of Reactive Systems as a cohesive whole.

Reactive is a set of design principles

One recent indicator of success is that Reactive has become an overloaded term and is now being associated with several different things to different people—in good company with words like «streaming», «lightweight», and «real-time».

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