RxJS library implements the Observable primitive and adds operators to enable more efficient workflows when dealing with streams of asynchronous events. While Observable is the foundation, operators allow composing and transforming streams of data in a declarative manner.

    Operators are chained together using pipe method that is available on Observable. Here’s a basic example that transforms and filters a stream of mouse clicks to only notify a subscriber if the click happens inside an element:

    const rect = document.querySelector('.rect').getClientRects(); function isEventInElement(rect, clientX, clientY) { if (clientX < rect.left || clientX >= rect.right) return false; if (clientY < || clientY >= rect.bottom) return false; return true; } fromEvent(document, 'click').pipe( map((event: MouseEvent) => { return {x: event.clientX, y: event.clientY}; }), filter(({x, y}) => { return isEventInElement(rect[0], x, y); }) ).subscribe(() => console.log('inside'));

    There are many different categories of operators. Here are some of the most common operators placed under their respective categories:

    An operator is a function that takes a source observable, creates a new observable inside and connects both observables through a subscription. This new observable is returned from the operator function and passed down an operators chain. The signature for an operator function looks like this:

    (source: Observable<T>) => Observable<R>

    Here’s a super simple operator that simply connects a source observable with a observer (subscriber) and passes the value along the chain:

    function operator(source) { return new Observable(observer => { source.subscribe((value) => {; }); }); }

    This operator would be used like this:

    fromEvent(document, 'click').pipe( operator ).subscribe((value: MouseEvent) => console.log(value.clientX));

    It’s not a complete implementation since we don’t handle complete and error events. Nevertheless, this implementation clearly demonstrates the essence of operators. We have a new Observable created and returned and the subscription to the source is established.

    In RxJS library all operators are implemented as higher-order functions that can take parameters and return an operator function. For example, the map operator takes a function this transforms a value that goes through the operator.

    We can easily turn our custom operator from above into a higher-order function take takes a transformation function similar to the map operator:

    function customOperator(transform) { return (source) => { return new Observable(observer => { source.subscribe((value) => { const transformed = transform(value);; }); }); }; }

    That will be used like this:

    fromEvent(document, 'click').pipe( customOperator((event) => event.clientX) ).subscribe((value: MouseEvent) => console.log(value));

    To learn more about building your own operators check out this article.