Preact Releases Signals

The Preact team released signals. As someone who doesn’t like the complexity/uniqueness of Hooks, it feels a lot more like the simplicity of Svelte. It also reminds me of Robert Penner of easing equation fame’s Signals library for ActionScript 3 he modeled after C#’s event handling.

I think this does 2 things: continues the tradition of Preact being fast but still providing a simple API which is extremely hard for good performance; they often don’t go hand in hand like this. Second, it does move Preact further away from React architecturally. You have people today who think you shouldn’t use classes in React, which is misinformed, but I get why they say that. Hooks and Classes are the supported, and encouraged architecture to utilize and Preact’s Signals move intentionally away from that, further defining them as a unique framework, NOT a “React add on”.

We’ve seen this framework forking happen a lot as good ideas are remixed like Aurelia via Angular, Derw via Elm, Restify via Express, and Spring Boot via Spring to name a few. It’s interesting to me this obsession with performance that Preact has with their ability to provide a simple API. That said, I am in no way convinced this’ll solve the architecture problem. Without at least guidance, or more importantly, a framework + docs on how to utilize Signals at scale, you’ll just end up with a random mess. Still, it’s awesome how far they’ve come, and it’s neat to see them still innovating years later.