Material Motion Exploring solutions that will empower creators with the tools needed to describe and implement rich, interactive motion on any platform. Edit this page · History

Observable pattern

The observer pattern is a software design pattern in which an object, called the subject, maintains a list of its dependents, called observers, and notifies them automatically of any state changes, usually by calling one of their methods.

Source: Wikipedia

The ReactiveX community provides one of the largest applications of the Observer pattern, with implementations spanning many platforms and languages. Material Motion makes use of the Observer pattern to build motion that is tweakable, reactive, and highly-coordinated.

Why not make use of ReactiveX implementations?

Material Motion is designed to be a lightweight solution for building powerful, reactive motion in an application. For this reason, any external dependencies must be carefully considered and justified.

So that we minimize binary dependency size

The existing ReactiveX implementations are often many thousands of lines of code and represent hundreds of kilobytes of minified source. By comparison, our IndefiniteObservable implementations are each under 100 lines of code and, on the web, can be minified to under 140 bytes (the entire implementation fits in a tweet).

So that we only provide features we need

The ReactiveX implementations of the Observer pattern are designed with transactional data flow in mind. Three actions can occur on a ReactiveX stream: emission, completion, and failure. For example, an array turned into a stream will emit each item in the array, followed by a completion event.

Motion design is a similar sort of data flow, but it is not transactional in nature. For example: a gesture recognizer might start and stop at any point in time - it doesn’t complete, merely comes to rest.

For this reason we created the IndefiniteObservable type. An IndefiniteObservable is an Observable that may never complete in any permanent way.

So that we avoid intellectual dependencies

The reactive core of Material Motion not only represents a binary dependency, but also an intellectual dependency. People should be able to use Material Motion without having to first learn reactive programming. It is for this reason that we have higher-order APIs like Interactions and Transitions.