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A Signal is the sync version of an Observable. It contains a value that can be read at any time, and, just like Observables, it is capable of notifying interested consumers when that value changes.

A Signal is extremely similar to a MulticastReplayLastSource, however, it works with specific functions designed especially for them (these functions do magic stuff to make signals appearing sync).

This usually greatly simplify the design of your applications. However, this pattern is still in early stage and requires special attention to avoid misuse.


// create a writable signal
const counter = signal(0);

// create a computed signal
const isEven = computed(() => counter() % 2 === 0);

// computed properties are signals themselves
const color = computed(() => (isEven() ? 'red' : 'blue'));

// log the values of our signals, and log them again when either (or all) changes.
effect(() => {
console.log('counter', counter(), 'isEven', isEven(), 'color', color());

// create an observable triggered on a click on the window
fromEventTarget(window, 'click')(() => {
// update signal's value based on the current one
counter.update((currentValue) => currentValue + 1);

Click here to see the live demo


Easier to use

As you may notice, using Signals is usually easier than using Observables. Developers are generally used to sync code and development (ECMAScript even introduced async/await to mimic sync code). In consequence, many of them usually struggle playing with pure async pieces of code, causing rejection of great frameworks.

It's not a shame, Observables introduce a very different approach and manner of thinking, that requires a lot of time and efforts to master. Something that is not easy to learn or integrate, especially transitioning from pure sync code to pure async code.

To solve this issue, Signals help to bridge the gap between reactivity and sync code. You get sync access, with async notifications to their observers.

Glitch free

The Observables are not glitch-free by nature.

Let's expose this with an example:

const [$counter, counter$] = let$$(0);

const isEven$ = map$$(counter$, (value) => value % 2 === 0);

const message$ = map$$(
combineLatest([counter$, isEven$]),
([counter, isEven]) => `${counter} is ${isEven ? 'even' : 'odd'}`


Running this example gives the output which shows the glitch:

0 is even
1 is even
1 is odd

In asynchronous code, glitches are not typically an issue because async operations naturally resolve at different times. However, in some case, these inconsistent intermediate results can have unwanted or dangerous consequences for the application (like expensive and unnecessary operations, or soft lock). This may be fixed in various ways, like using function$$, but this is another discussion.

Because Signals are sync, they must be and are glitch-free in this implementation.



Signals introduce some "magic" as their related functions have important side effects.

If not well understood, the Signals could be misused, which may lead to code with bugs really hard to inspect and fix.

One common error consists of creating an unwanted "reactive loop": a signal A that updates another one, and from a hidden loop and chain of other Signals, ends by updating the signal A itself. This causes an infinite loop of updates, crashing the application.

Hopefully the framework provides some protections against such cases: it will try to warn you, and throw errors when necessary. However, it cannot cover all possibilities, but the more the framework is used and tested, the more it will be improved and will cover such complex cases and prevent such errors.

In consequences, it is suggested to read carefully this tutorial to avoid "dangerous" practices or patterns.

Slightly less performant

Using Signals adds a little extra layer of complexity that slightly reduces performance against pure Observables. So if performances are critical for you, you may consider using Observables only. However, in most situations, you won't notice any performances' degradation.

Complement not replacement

Finally, Signals are a complement to the Observables, not a replacement.

A Signal is similar to a classic variable with the capacity to subscribe to its changes. Nothing more.

In consequence:

  • to get async data (like mouse events, api fetch, etc.), you still want to use some Observables. For exemple, using fromFetch, fromAsyncIterable or fromEventTarget.
  • a Signal cannot be cancelled, because this is not a pull source (where the subscriber ask for data), but a push source (where an emitter send data). So, if the data set into a Signal come from an async source, this source will have to be cancelled by yourself.

That means that is you have to play with stream of data, or purely async data, Observables are the proper answer.