Reactive UIs

Essentially this means your UI responds immediately to any change to the system state, and it does so automatically.

It doesn’t require the user to manually refresh the screen… it doesn’t even require the developer to “manually” refresh the screen (using techniques like polling, or refreshing things from the onResume() callback for example).

When setup correctly, the UI layer can become extremely simple, all it needs to do is synchronize it’s UI with whatever state the system has. In a reactive UI, it does that in milliseconds, whenever it’s told that something has changed

“Any changes of state in your underlying model, get automatically represented in your view.”

So if your shopping basket model is empty: the checkout button on your view needs to be invisible or disabled. And as soon as your shopping basket model has something in it, your checkout button needs to reflect that by being enabled. This concept is decades old, and in UI frameworks is generally implemented with some form of Observer pattern.

Lately it’s been applied to other (non UI) areas of code very successfully under the name of reactive programming. Back at the UI layer, you could say that the view is reacting to changes in the model (i.e. the view layer does not need to explicitly check the model to see if it has changed).

fore Observables

To get the best out of fore, the models are usually Observable, and the Views are mostly doing the Observing.

By extending ObservableImp / implementing Observable in the case of java, or delegating to ObservableImp in the case of kotlin like this, the models gain the following characteristics:

Connecting Views and Models

The easiest way is to use fore’s lifecycleObserver

lifecycle.addObserver(LifecycleObserver(this, wallet))

This will also enable you to observe multiple models if required

lifecycle.addObserver(LifecycleObserver(this, wallet, account, inbox))

Connecting Views and Models in Compose

For Compose UIs, simply use fore’s observerAsState() extension function

val walletState by wallet.observeAsState { wallet.state }

How connecting views and models works

For a non compose UI, even if you don’t use the lifecycle observer, it’s still quite easy to setup the observers manually. Somewhere in the view layer (Activity/Fragment/View) you need a piece of code like this:

Observer observer = this::syncView;

val observer = Observer { syncView() }

And in line with android lifecycle methods (of either the Activity, the Fragment or the View), this observer needs to be added and removed accordingly (in this case we are observing two models: wallet and account, and we are using Fragment lifecycle methods to do it):

protected void onStart() {
    syncView(); //  <- don't forget this

protected void onStop() {

override fun onStart() {
    syncView() //  <- don't forget this

override fun onStop() {

That’s everything you need to do to get bullet proof reactive UIs in your app, everything now takes care of itself, no matter what happens to the state of the model or the rotation of the device.

“The point of all these techniques is to reduce view layer code to its absolute fundamentals: what things look like”

Integrating a ViewModel

A common set up is a Fragment or Activity class observing the ViewModel state, and the ViewModel in turn, observing whatever Domain models it needs. Typically, you’ll add those observers in the onStart and remove them in the onStop.

The easiest way to do that is to use fore’s ViewModelObservability to add this behaviour to your ViewModel as follows:

class MyViewModel(
    private val accountModel: AccountModel,
    private val networkInfo: NetworkInfo,
    private val emailInBox: EmailInBox,
    private val weatherRepository: WeatherRepository
) : ViewModel(), SyncableView, ViewModelObservability by ViewModelObservabilityImp(
    accountModel, networkInfo, emailInBox, weatherRepository
) {

    var viewState = MyViewState()
        private set

    init {

    // this gets called whenever our domain models' state changes
    override fun syncView() {
        // Here you might create an immutable view state
        // to pass to your fragment (based on the state of
        // the various models that you're observing)
        viewState = MyViewState(

Take a look at the clean architecture app for example use