War against Learning Curve of Rx Java 2 + Java 8 Stream [ Android RxJava2 ] ( What the hell is this ) Part4

Rx confusions / Rx learning curve ( by Hafiz Waleed Hussain )

WOW, we got one more day so its time to make this day awesome by learning something new.ūüôā

Hello guys, hope you are doing good. This is our fourth¬†post in series of RxJava2 Android [¬†part1, part2, part3¬†]. Good news is, at last, we are ready to start work with Rx. We already completed¬†our prerequisites. I will use Java 8 streams for reactiveness before using Rx Java 2 Android Observables. I think we should know Java 8 and I have a feeling by using Java 8 stream API’s, the learning curve of Rx Java 2 Android will be easier.

Motivation:
Motivation¬†is same which I share with you in part1. When I started Rx Java 2 Android at that time I don’t know how and where I will use¬†Rx Java Android.
Now we know prerequisites but at that time I don’t know anything. So at that time first I started, how to create an Observable from any data or object. Then I learned about which¬†interfaces or maybe I can say callbacks called when something happens in Observable data. That is going well theoretically but the day when I¬†start working with Rx practically. I am gone. I saw a lot of marble diagrams which make sense¬†theoretically but when¬†I try to use, nothing make sense for me :). The biggest issue for me, I am not able to make my thinking as Reactive or Functional Reactive. My background is working with Imperative and OOP languages so that it is difficult for me. I am always asking these questions. Where I will implement and how I will implement. In this post, if you follow I can give you 100% guarantee. You will know. How to convert imperative code into Rx not optimized but you will know where to start.

Revision:
I want to revise all those concepts which we already learn in first three posts[ part1, part2, part3]. Because today we will use all these concepts. In part1 we learned Observer Pattern. In part2 we learned Pull vs Push & Imperative vs Reactive. In part3 we learned Functional Interfaces, Default Methods, Higher Order Functions, Side Effects in Functions, Pure Functions, Lambda Expression and Functional Programming. I am going to write (boring material) their definitions. If you already remembered you can skip next part.
Functional Interface is an interface having one abstract method.
In Java 8 we can define methods in interface these are called Default Methods.
A function with at least one parameter of type function or a function that returns function is called a Higher Order Function.
Pure Function is a function, where the return value is only determined by its input values, without observable side effects.
Lambda expression in computer programming also called anonymous function, a function (or a subroutine) defined, and possibly called, without being bound to an identifier.

Introduction:
Today we are going to declare a war against Rx Java learning curve. In the end, I am 100% sure we will win.
War Strategy:
1. Java 8 Stream ( That give us a very fast start + we know Java 8 as Android Developer )
2. Java 8 Stream to Rx Observable
3. Rx Java 2 Android Example
4. Tips, how to convert imperative code to Rx Java 2 Android code

It’s time to do an ATTACK according to our strategy. Soldiers ATTACK.

1. Java 8 Stream:
Currently, I am using IntelliJ IDE for Java 8 stream. Maybe you are thinking why I am going to use Java 8 stream which we are not able to use in Android. All those soldiers who are thinking like this. I am using Java 8 stream due to two reasons. First I know after some years Java 8 is a first-class citizen for Android development. So you should know this stream API’s also anybody can ask you in an interview. Then Java 8 stream is same like Rx Observable in perspective of concept. So why not we learn both things in one go. Second I have a feeling lot of soldiers who are like me dump or lazy or not able to grasp concept very easily they will get that concept in minutes. Again I am giving you 100% guarantee.¬†By learning Java 8 stream you will learn Rx in minutes. It’s time to start.

Stream:
Classes to support functional-style operations on streams of elements, such as map-reduce transformations on collections (docs.oracle).

First question. What is a stream in the English language?
Answer: a small, narrow river. Or a continuous flow of liquid, air, or gas.
In programming, I want to convert my data in the form of a stream. Its mean if I have a string but I want to do a work with that as a stream what I need to do. I need to create a mechanism in which I will get my data according to definition “a continuous flow of liquid, air, or gas {or data}”. Now the question is why I want my data as a stream. Hmm, I am giving you one dump example.
I have a blue color water in a glass with mix up of small and big stones as shown below. (Sorry for drawing skills ūüôā )

Now according to our stream definition. I am going to convert that water into a stream as shown below.



I shifted my water from one glass to another by converting into a stream. Now I want to remove all big stones from my water. So now I am going to make one filter which will help me to remove these big stones. A big stone filter as shown below.



Now I am going to apply that filter on my water stream. So I will get water without big stones as shown below.



Hurray. Next, I want to clean my water from both small and big stones. For that, I have a big stone filter but I need to create a new filter for small stones. A small stone filter as shown below.



It’s time to apply both filters on my water stream as shown below.


Wow. I have a feeling now you guys are getting my point what type of benefit we can get from a stream in programming. Next, I want to change my color from blue to black. For that, I need to create a watercolor converter (mapper) as shown below.



It’s time to implement that converter with my filters as shown below.



Now by converting my water into a stream, I did a lot of things. I remove big stones using a filter, small stone by using a filter and in the end, I converted my watercolor from blue to black using a converter (map).

This is the same benefit I will get in our programming when I will convert my data into the stream. But now I am going to convert our this example into code. The code now I am going to show you is real code. Maybe this will not work in the example but operator and API’s which I am going to use are real which we will use in the later real example. So guys focus on concepts, not on the compilation. By doing this example I have a feeling we will grasp¬†the concepts very easily. One important point I am using Java 8 stream API in this example, not Rx API’s. I don’t want¬†to make things difficult but later I will use Rx also.

Image Water + Water in code:


public static void main(String [] args){
    Water water = new Water("water",10, "big stone", 1 , "small stone", 3);
    // 10 litre water with 1 big and 3 small stones.
    for (String s : water) {
        System.out.println(s);
    }
}

Output:
water
water
big stone
water
water
small stone
water
small stone
small stone
water
water
water
water
water

Image Water stream + Water stream in code:


public static void main(String[] args) {
    Water water = new Water("water", 10, "big stone", 1, "small stone", 3);
    // 10 litre water with 1 big and 3 small stones.
    water.stream();
}
Output will be same as above one.

Image big stone filter + big stone filter in code:



Guys need your attention here.
Here in Java 8 Stream, we have one Functional Interface its name is called Predicate. So when I want to do a filter I need to give this Functional Interface to stream filter function. Now I am going to show you how I will create a BigStoneFilter in our code.

private static Predicate<String> BigStoneFilter  = new Predicate<String>() {
    @Override
    public boolean test(String s) {
        return !s.equals("big stone");
    }
};

As we already know in part3 any Functional Interface can be converted into Lambda expression. So going to convert this code into Lambda Expression.

private static Predicate<String> BigStoneFilter  = s -> !s.equals("big stone");

Image big stone filter on Water stream + in code.


public static void main(String[] args) {
    Water water = new Water("water", 10, "big stone", 1, "small stone", 3);
    water.stream().filter(BigStoneFilter)
    .forEach(s-> System.out.println(s));

}

private static Predicate<String> BigStoneFilter  = s -> !s.equals("big stone");

Here I am using forEach method. For the time being, take this function as a for loop on a stream. I am using here only to show you output. Otherwise, without this function, we already achieved what we are showing an image. Now its time to show you output.

water
water
water
water
small stone
water
small stone
small stone
water
water
water
water
water

There is no big stone. Its mean we filter our water successfully.

Image Small stone filter + small stone filter in code:


private static Predicate<String> SmallStoneFilter  = s -> !s.equals("small stone");

Appending small stone filter on Water stream + in code.


public static void main(String[] args) {
    Water water = new Water("water", 10, "big stone", 1, "small stone", 3);
    water.stream()
            .filter(BigStoneFilter)
            .filter(SmallStoneFilter)
    .forEach(s-> System.out.println(s));
}

private static Predicate<String> BigStoneFilter  = s -> !s.equals("big stone");
private static Predicate<String> SmallStoneFilter  = s -> !s.equals("small stone");

I am not going to explain SmallStoneFilter. Implementation is just like BigStoneFilter. Only here I am going to show you output.

water
water
water
water
water
water
water
water
water
water

Image Water color converter + water color converter in code:



Guys need your attention here.
Here in Java 8 Stream, we have one Functional Interface its name is called Function. So when I want to do a conversion I need to give this Functional Interface to a stream map function. Now I am going to show you how I will create a Water color converter in our code.

private static Function<String, String > convertWaterColour = new Function<String, String>() {
    @Override
    public String apply(String s) {
        return s+" black";
    }
};

That is a functional interface. So I can convert into a lambda.

private static Function<String, String > convertWaterColour = s -> s+" black";

Basically, first String in Function <generic> is the value which I will get from water and second String in Function <generic> means what I am returning. For more clarification, I am writing one converter which will convert an integer into String.

private static Function<Integer, String > convertIntegerIntoString = i -> i+" ";

Coming back to our original example.

Image appending water color converter on Water stream + in code.


public static void main(String[] args) {
    Water water = new Water("water", 10, "big stone", 1, "small stone", 3);
    water.stream()
            .filter(BigStoneFilter)
            .filter(SmallStoneFilter)
            .map(convertWaterColour)
            .forEach(s -> System.out.println(s));
}

private static Predicate<String> BigStoneFilter = s -> !s.equals("big stone");
private static Predicate<String> SmallStoneFilter = s -> !s.equals("small stone");
private static Function<String, String> convertWaterColour = s -> s + " black";

Output:
water black
water black
water black
water black
water black
water black
water black
water black
water black
water black

Done. Now I am going to revise some things again.
filter: In stream, we have a method. Which always take a Functional Interface is called Predicate. In which we will write our logic, which will be applied to our data.
map: In stream, we have a method.Which always take a Functional Interface is called Function. In which we will write our logic to convert our data according to our requirement.

Before going to next topic. I am going to explain you one more thing which confuses me a lot. Like when I say stream() on any data how that work. So for that, I am going to take one example. I have a list of integers. I want to show that on a console.

public static void main(String [] args){
    List<Integer> list = new ArrayList<>();
    list.add(1);
    list.add(2);
    list.add(3);
    list.add(4);
}

Using imperative approach data shown on a console:

public static void main(String [] args){
    List<Integer> list = new ArrayList<>();
    list.add(1);
    list.add(2);
    list.add(3);
    list.add(4);

    for (Integer integer : list) {
        System.out.println(integer);
    }
}

Using Stream or Rx approach data shown on a console:

public static void main(String [] args){
    List<Integer> list = new ArrayList<>();
    list.add(1);
    list.add(2);
    list.add(3);
    list.add(4);

    list.stream().forEach(integer -> System.out.println(integer));

}

Now if you compare both codes. What is the difference?
In simple words in first code. I am managing for loop on my own.

for (Integer integer : list) {
        System.out.println(integer);
    }

but in second example stream (or later I will show you Observable in Rx) will taking care of my loop.

list.stream().forEach(integer -> System.out.println(integer));

I think a lot of things are clear its time to go on a real example by using Rx. In this example, I will show you stream code and Rx code both together so you can easily grasp the concept in both domains.

2. Java 8 Stream to Rx Observable:
I have a list which contains data “Hello World”. In images, I am taking as a String but In the code example, I am going to take as a List which is easy to explain on this point.


In code Java 8 Streams:

public static void main(String [] args){

    List<String> list = new ArrayList<>();
    list.add("H");
    list.add("e");
    list.add("l");
    list.add("l");
    list.add("o");
    list.add(" ");
    list.add("W");
    list.add("o");
    list.add("r");
    list.add("l");
    list.add("d");
    list.stream(); // Java 8
}

In Android:

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        List<String> list = new ArrayList<>();
        list.add("H");
        list.add("e");
        list.add("l");
        list.add("l");
        list.add("o");
        list.add(" ");
        list.add("W");
        list.add("o");
        list.add("r");
        list.add("l");
        list.add("d");

        Observable.fromIterable(list);
                
    }
}

Guys here I am showing you both Java 8 and Android code. From now I will show you only Reactive code from Java 8 and Android, not all class code. At the end of the blog post, I will share all code.
Again for example:

    list.stream(); // Java 8
    Observable.fromIterable(list); // Android

So both will give you the same result. Now I am going to output integer list.

list.stream()
        .forEach(s-> System.out.print(s)); // Java 8
Observable.fromIterable(list)
        .forEach(s-> Log.i("Android",s)); // Android
Output in Java 8: 
     Hello World
Output In Android:
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: H
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: e
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: l
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: l
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: o
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: 
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: W
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: o
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: r
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: l
03-12 15:55:33.561 6094-6094/async.waleed.rx I/Android: d

Now its time to compare both.

list.stream().forEach(s-> System.out.print(s)); // Java 8

Observable.fromIterable(list).forEach(s-> Log.i("Android",s)); // Android

So in Java 8 anything, I want as a stream. I will use a stream API but in Android, I will convert that data into Observable and will get data as a stream.
Next, we need to do a filter Hello World data by¬†‘l’ like as shown below.

In code:

list.stream()
        .filter(s -> !s.equals("l"))
        .forEach(s-> System.out.print(s)); //Java 8

Observable.fromIterable(list)
        .filter(s->!s.equals("l"))
        .forEach(s-> Log.i("Android",s)); // Android

Output in Java 8: 
     Heo Word

Output In Android:
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: H
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: e
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: o
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: 
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: W
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: o
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: r
03-12 16:05:58.558 10236-10236/async.waleed.rx I/Android: d

Good. Now its time to say bye to Java 8 Stream API.

3. Rx Java 2 Android Example:

I have one array of Integers. I want to take a square of all members of this array.
In image form as shown below.

In Android:

@Override
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

    Integer[] data = {1,2,3,4};

    Observable.fromArray(data)
            .map(value->value*value)
            .forEach(value-> Log.i("Android",value+""));
}

Output:
03-12 16:13:32.432 14918-14918/async.waleed.rx I/Android: 1
03-12 16:13:32.432 14918-14918/async.waleed.rx I/Android: 4
03-12 16:13:32.432 14918-14918/async.waleed.rx I/Android: 9
03-12 16:13:32.432 14918-14918/async.waleed.rx I/Android: 16

.map(value->value*value)

That is really simple. The same concept which we already used. I gave one Functional Interface into a map. Which basically doing a square of the given value and return that square value.

.forEach(value-> Log.i("Android",value+""));

As we know we only can show String in logs. So I converted value integer into String by appending +”” as shown above.

Wow. I can see one more use of map in my example. Guys as you know I am converting my integer into String for showing into Logcat. But now I am going to write a one more Functional Interface for a map. Which will convert my integer into String? So its mean no need to append +”” as shown below.

Observable.fromArray(data)
        .map(value->value*value)
        .map(value-> Integer.toString(value))
        .forEach(string-> Log.i("Android",string));

4. How to convert imperative code to Rx Java 2 Android code:
Here I am going to use a one real-world app imperative code block which I will convert into Reactive using Rx Observable. So you can easily know how you can start with Rx in your project. An important point that may be a not good approach but you should start so you feel comfortable. I also know I am using some functions like fromArray, fromIterable which I never explained. So for that please try to use as how I am using in examples. I will explain in detail when I will publish my next post of Rx Android. Try to do a hands-on practice a lot.

Example:
In one of my project. I am using OnBoarding screen. According to UI, I need to show dots on my all OnBoarding screens like shown below.


If you saw carefully in an image. In ViewPager I need to give black solid dot to the selected screen.
In Imperative code:

private void setDots(int position) {
    for (int i = 0; i < mCircleImageViews.length; i++) {
        if (i == position)
            mCircleImageViews[i].setImageResource(R.drawable.white_circle_solid_on_boarding);
        else
            mCircleImageViews[i].setImageResource(R.drawable.white_circle_outline_on_boarding);
    }
}

In Rx:

public void setDots(int position) {

    Observable.fromIterable(circleImageViews)
            .subscribe(imageView ->
                    imageView.setImageResource(R.drawable.white_circle_outline_on_boarding));
    circleImageViews.get(position)
            .setImageResource(R.drawable.white_circle_solid_on_boarding);

}

In this setDots function. Basically, I am going through from every Image and setting a white empty circle and after that, I am setting again solid circle on the selected ImageView.

OR

public void setDots(int position) {

        Observable.range(0, circleImageViews.size())
                .filter(i->i!=position)
                .subscribe(i->circleImageViews.get(i).setImageResource(R.drawable.white_circle_outline_on_boarding)));
        circleImageViews.get(position)
                .setImageResource(R.drawable.white_circle_solid_on_boarding);
}

In this setDots function. I set to all Imageviews white empty circle except the one which is a selected one.
Later I set the solid circle for the selected Imageview.

4. Tips how to convert imperative code to Rx code:
I am going to write some tips. So you can start work with Rx easily in your current code.
1. If we have any loop in code convert that loop into Observable.

for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {

}

to

Observable.range(0,10);

2. If we have any if condition in imperative code replaced with a filter in Rx.

for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    if(i%2==0){
        Log.i("Android", "Even");
    }
}

to

Observable.range(0,10)
        .filter(i->i%2==0)
        .subscribe(value->Log.i("Android","Event :"+value));

3. If we need to transform some data form into another data form. I can do that by using map.

public class User {
    String username;
    boolean status;

    public User(String username, boolean status) {
        this.username = username;
        this.status = status;
    }
}

List<User> users = new ArrayList<>();
users.add(new User("A",false));
users.add(new User("B",true));
users.add(new User("C",true));
users.add(new User("D",false));
users.add(new User("E",false));

for (User user : users) {
    if(user.status){
        user.username = user.username+ "Online";
    }else {
        user.username = user.username+ "Offline";
    }
}

In Rx, there are a lot of ways to achieve above code.
By using two streams.

Observable.fromIterable(users)
        .filter(user -> user.status)
        .map(user -> user.username + " Online")
        .subscribe(user -> Log.i("Android", user.toString()));
Observable.fromIterable(users)
        .filter(user -> !user.status)
        .map(user -> user.username + " Offline")
        .subscribe(user -> Log.i("Android", user.toString()));

By using If else in a map:

Observable.fromIterable(users)
        .map(user -> {
            if (user.status) {
                user.username = user.username + " Online";
            } else {
                user.username = user.username + " Offline";
            }
            return user;
        })
        .subscribe(user -> Log.i("Android", user.toString()));

4. If we have some nested loops in our code.

for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    for (int j = 0; j < 10; j++) {
        System.out.print("j ");
    }
    System.out.println("i");
}

to

Observable.range(0, 10)
        .doAfterNext(i-> System.out.println("i"))
        .flatMap(integer -> Observable.range(0, 10))
        .doOnNext(i -> System.out.print("j "))
        .subscribe();

Here I used one new operator flatMap. Only try to use in the same way how I used in my example. I will explain that in next post.

Conclusion:
Good work soldiers. Today we try to make our self-comfortable with Rx Android. We started from diagrams, then we used Java 8 stream API’s. Later we converted Java 8 stream to Rx Java 2 Android Observable. Then we try to saw some real-world examples¬†where¬†I show you, how you can start work with Rx in your existing¬†project. In the end, I gave you some tips how to convert loop into Rx, if into a filter, data transformation using map, nested loop converted by using flatMap. Next post¬†Dialogue between Rx Observable and a Developer (Me) [ Android RxJava2 ] ( What the hell is this ) Part5.
Hope you enjoy. OK, guys BYE BYE.

Codes:
1. Water Stream Example
2. HelloWorldStream using Java 8 stream API
3. HelloWorldStream using Rx Java2 Android | project level gradle | app level gradle
4. ArrayOfIntegers using Rx Java2 Android | project level gradle | app level gradle
For all other examples, you can use the same snippets from a post.

 

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