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Reactive state management for Python

Project description

PyPI version CI status

Observ 👁

Observ is a Python port of Vue.js' computed properties and watchers. It is event loop/framework agnostic and has only one pure-python dependency (patchdiff) so it can be used in any project targeting Python >= 3.6.

Observ provides the following two benefits for stateful applications:

  1. You no longer need to manually invalidate and recompute state (e.g. by dirty flags):
    • computed state is invalidated automatically
    • computed state is lazily re-evaluated
  2. You can react to changes in state (computed or not), enabling unidirectional flow:
    • state changes lead to view changes (e.g. a state change callback updates a UI widget)
    • the view triggers input events (e.g. a mouse event is triggered in the UI)
    • input events lead to state changes (e.g. a mouse event updates the state)


from observ import reactive, computed, watch

  • state = reactive(state)

Observe nested structures of dicts, lists, tuples and sets. Returns an observable proxy that wraps the state input object.

  • watcher = watch(func, callback, deep=False, immediate=False)

React to changes in the state accessed in func with callback(old_value, new_value). Returns a watcher object. delelete it to disable the callback.

  • wrapped_func = computed(func)

Define computed state based on observable state with func and recompute lazily. Returns a wrapped copy of the function which only recomputes the output if any of the state it depends on becomes dirty. Can be used as a function decorator.

Note: The API has evolved and become more powerful since the original creation of this README. Track issue #10 to follow updates to observ's documentation.

Quick start and examples

Install observ with pip/pipenv/poetry:

pip install observ

Check out examples/ for a simple example using observ.

Check out examples/ for a simple example using the included undo/redo-capable Store abstraction.


Observ keeps references to the object passed to the reactive in order to keep track of dependencies and proxies for that object. When the object that is passed into reactive is not managed by other code, then observ should cleanup its references automatically when the proxy is destroyed. However, if there is another reference to the original object, then observ will only release its own reference when the garbage collector is run and all other references to the object are gone. For this reason, the best practise is to keep no references to the raw data, and instead work with the reactive proxies only.

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