DFlex implements its own new API. It doesn't clone/append/remove DOM elements or manipulate a ghost one. Instead, it matches positions and triggers the function(s) related to the movement. It follows the very basic implementation of the domino effect: moving one element triggers functions executed on a given threshold to manipulate registered elements based on the new locations.
Basically, because of user experience. The best user experience is to have a fully transitional element where the user can see the movement and its flow on the layout. But more importantly, is to have a responsive layout that's not restricted to a limited number of elements. With all the progress that's happening with the frontend, it's time to introduce a new API that manages the transition away from the data flow. Instead of thinking of caching let's define a layout where the movement is related to the functions that change positions without refreshing the entire layout to start each time from the beginning. If the battle now is about how to optimize DOM reconciliation, how about starting transforming instead of brute force element positions for a simple click. Or maintain the element state when updating the layout painting.
This is an entirely new concept that opens a wide range of accessible and movable elements at a low cost. Doing lists is the first experimental test to monitor how the dragging can affect the rest of the elements. It’s not restricted to drag and drop. However, it’s a case where one element can affect all the siblings according to the direction. That’s how the API deals with the list. There are different cases in the future where it is possible to show more of what DFlex does. The priority right now is to make sure the current API design is robust and can deal with all scenarios related to one list. Once it’s ready, DFlex can then move to the next phase of movable layout and actions.
Introducing new ideas are always considered risky. A lot of “what’s wrong with the usual implementations” where skepticism reaches the point that pushes you to stop. The answer to the first point is easy, it’s a way of new ideas that’s why websites have shifted from using jQuery to depend more and more on modern JS frameworks. While to guarantee sustainable work and improvement I chose a dual license.
Trying to show what's the future is not easy. However, there are different showcases that demonstrate what DFlex can do. So if you find a bug be patient and remember this is a new project.