What is Phoenix LiveView? To answer that, in this 4-minute animation we compare LiveView to other common approaches to building interactive, real-time features so you see how they match up.

In summary, LiveView offers some unique features:

  • Since live views are server-rendered, the initial request is just a regular HTTP request. So the client gets a fast initial response of static HTML which has the added benefit of making it SEO friendly without a need for extra complexity.

  • LiveView uses a persistent websocket connection after the initial request so LiveView applications react almost instantly to user events. Changes on the server can also be pushed to multiple clients. That’s really important for building distributed, real-time applications.

  • While other technologies that perform server-side rendering often send the whole page on every user event, LiveView knows exactly what changed and it sends clients only the changed values.

  • LiveView is built on top of the battle-tested Phoenix platform so it can reliably handle millions of concurrent websocket connections.

The results are dramatic and game-changing:

  • both client and server in sync, always and seamlessly
  • persistent connections highly-optimized for web scale
  • robust and resilient UIs so you can rock and roll
  • a unified code base that’s easier to maintain
  • no custom JavaScript or external dependencies

Oh yeah, and LiveView also has a simple (almost addictive) programming model which makes it a really fun library to use. We enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we couldn’t stop using it to build all sorts of interactive UI features that traditionally require custom JavaScript. And we were blown away by the results!

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