Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.

RX – Don’t Start Here

I’ve been working on a project that uses RX for several months now and its a really incredible technology, but annoyingly undocumented.  I finally decided I’d watch the videos and stop complaining that there’s no book or guide that will take me from intro through all the functionality with lots of properties and methods explained.image

Then again, the videos aren’t exactly informative.  Wes and Eric have made a total fetish out of describing IObservable in terms of the dual of IEnumberable and you’ll see that in a bunch of videos.  I’d prefer a more solution oriented approach explaining what you can do and common scenarios and then when you understand things, it might be interesting to get that aha when you see that this is the dual of IEnumerable, but introducing it with a deep dive into its duality, while it must be a geek coup, does nothing to help my understanding.  Then again, these guys are much smarter than I am, so who am I to argue.

This video is similarly abstruse.  This “in depth” video is only one minute and forty seven seconds long.  I get the impression I’m missing an hour of what I’m looking for.

This blog post, in addition to having some cool simple examples, led me in the right direction.  This video seems to be what I’m looking for, some actual code with explanations.  Too bad my media player only has a 4” screen.  Can’t wait till the new one comes.

Looks like I’m right on time, the hands on lab was just published the other day.


July 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Hi Aaron, I totally agree that Rx is not always the easiest technology to learn. In trying to learn it, I’ve been working on a library to merge MVVM-style WPF/Silverlight coding with some of the principles of Rx, and it looks like you’re really interested in both technologies.

    I’d love your feedback on it (what works, what sucks, etc), while I’ve got certain scenarios down pretty well, it’s always hard to write something so general-purpose without a lot of people taking a look at it.

    The code is at and you can find samples and blog posts about some of the different classes (as well as my thoughts about how to use Rx as a whole) at

    Comment by Paul Betts | July 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. I also agree that Rx has ben confusing to get to grips with. Am thinking about applying it to an event-based time series system that I am currently working with, but not entirely sure where to start…

    Your colleague (?) Lee Campbell’s series on Rx is another really good resource:

    Comment by James Webster | July 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] from yesterday, the Tech Tock blog posting on RX that surfaces through lab49.  That was my first introduction to RX – the reactive framework […]

    Pingback by Misc Comments From Yesterday | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. In my opinion the best resource on Rx (both when you start and as you learn more) is the RxSandbox tool –

    Comment by Omer Raviv | December 14, 2011 | Reply

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