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First step with datascript.

  • Transformation of the input is required, and transactions are not for free. Usually, it requires setting a schema and wrapping the keys for external entities into a datascript representation.

  • Quote the queries in d/q.

  • You can use the vector form ([:db/add], [:db/retract]) or the map form ({:user/id "my name"}, see datascript test for more example.

re-frame and datascript

Re-frame is one of the common state management library in ClojureScript. It is an event with publisher subscriber system. The advantage of adding datascript to re-frame is the ability to exploit the query language and the normalization layer.

There exist multiple package to couple the language but I found that the easiest way to leverage on datascript is to create immutable datascript database inside the re-frame database and to refer to them through subscription and us datascript.api/db-with to perform transactions.

Since the database is immutable, the subscription will react on any change to the datastore.

(require '[datascript.core :as d])
(require '[re-frame.core :as rf])

(def schema {:user/id {:db/unique :db.unique/identity}})

(def db-init {:ds (d/empty-db schema)})

 (fn [_ _ ] db-init))

 (fn [db [_ tx-data]] (update db :ds d/db-with tx-data)))

 (fn [db] (:ds db)))

 :<- [:ds]
 (fn [ds]
   (d/q '[:find (pull ?e [*])
          [?e :user/id]]

The users subscriptions will now be updated every time we transact a new users.

(rf/dispatch [:init]) ;; initialize the database

(rf/dispatch [:ds-transact [{:user/id "jean"}]])

@(rf/subscribe [:users])
;; => ([{:db/id 1, :user/id "jean"}])

(rf/dispatch [:ds-transact [{:user/id "logan"}]])

@(rf/subscribe [:users])
;; => ([{:db/id 1, :user/id "jean"}] [{:db/id 2, :user/id "logan"}])

The advantage of this methods is that we keep re-frame and datascript concepts separate: Re-frame events and subscriptions are the same as before (in contrast to posh/re-posh), and datascript queries and transactions are performed against an actual datascript database.


When queries are time expensive and multiple queries exist within a single view, all the subscription queries will run after any change in the datascript db.

To avoid this, one can/should use posh/re-posh. The library detects the data required for queries and rerun them only when the underlying data has been modified by the transaction.

The advantage of the library is obviously speed. The disadvantage is a new layer of complexity in the web app, as re-posh does not integrate seamlessly with re-frame.

The performance issue without re-posh, might be a concern in some context [e.g. live streaming or live data updating, and chatting], but these can be avoided by creating multiple store inside re-frame and also transacting data smartly.

See also (generated)