Introduction to React

Do we really need yet another JavaScript framework?

What is React, and what does it actually solve?

Open Source

A JAVASCRIPT LIBRARY FOR BUILDING USER INTERFACES

What React isn't

  • MVC framework
  • Templating library
  • 2-way data-binding

Basically just the V in MCV

  • But not really
  • Another way of thinking about stateful UI
  • Facilitates some interesting patterns
  • Powerful abstractions
  • Supports universal rendering OOTB

Stateful UI's

  • Can be a pain to reason about
  • Imperative mutative API's </3

Imperative API

Application

DOM

mutate state

mutate state

read state

read state

:(

Declarative UI's

  • Describe your UI at any point in time
  • Changes => toss everything => re-render (conceptually)
  • Tell your UI what to look like
    - not how to get there

Declarative API

React

(virtual DOM)

(JavaScript)

DOM

(browser)

Application

state

patch DOM

patch DOM

props

change

How this is viable

  • Virtual DOM (JavaScript)
  • Efficient diffing algorithm
  • No state kept in DOM

Using React to make awesome stuff

A Closer Look

const HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({
  render() {
    return (
      <div className="some-style">
        <p>Hello World</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
});

Components

const HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({
  render() {
    return (
      React.createElement("div", { className: "some-style" },
        React.createElement("p", null, "Hello World");
      );
    );
  }
});

Without JSX

ReactDOM.render(
  <HelloWorldComponent/>,
  document.querySelector('#mountNode');
);

Mouting into the DOM

That's all nice

But what about state, changes and everything that makes my app dynamic?

Props and State

Using Props

const HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({
  render() {
    return (
      <div className="some-style">
        <p>{this.props.greeting}</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
});

Passing Props

<HelloWorldComponent greeting='Hello World' />
<HelloWorldComponent greeting={'Hello ' + 'World'} /> 
<HelloWorldComponent greeting={getGreeting()} />

State

Initial State

const HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({

  getInitialState() {
    return {
      count: 0
    };
  },

  render() {
    return (
      <div className="some-style">
        <p>{this.props.greeting}</p>
        <p>{this.state.count}</p>
      </div>
    );
  }

});

Updating State

const HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({
  
  getInitialState() {
    return {
      count: 0
    };
  },

  handleClick() {
    this.setState({
      count: this.state.count + 1
    });
  },

  render: ...
});

Events

  • Synthetic
  • Declarative

Event Handlers

const HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({
  getInitialState: ...

  handleClick: ...

  render() {
    return (
      <div onClick={this.handleClick} className="some-style">
        <p>{this.props.greeting}</p>
        <p>{this.state.count}</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
});

Event Handling

var HelloWorldComponent = React.createClass({
  getInitialState: ...

  handleClick: function (event) {
    event.preventDefault();

    this.setState({
      count: this.state.count + 1
    });
  },

  render: ...
});

Event Types

Lifecycle Methods

Lifecycle Methods

First render call

Subsequent

render calls

Updating state

getDefaultProps

getInitialState

componentWillMount

render

componentDidMount

componentWillReceiveProps

shouldComponentUpdate

componentWillUpdate

render

componentDidUpdate

shouldComponentUpdate

componentWillUpdate

render

componentDidUpdate

Lifecycle Methods

Being removed from the DOM

componentWillUnmount

Lifecycle Methods

var MyComponent = React.createClass({
  // lifecycle methods
  getDefaultProps: ...
  getInitialState: ...
  componentWillMount: ...
  componentDidMount: ...
  componentDidUpdate: ...
  componentWillReceiveProps: ...
  componentWillUnmount: ...
  shouldComponentUpdate: ...

  // custom methods
  handleThis: ...
  handleThat: ...
  computeThis: ...
  computeThat: ...

  // rendering
  render: ...
});

Composition

Composition

<ChatApp />

<FriendList />

<MessageList />

<Friend />

<Friend />

<Friend />

<Friend />

<Message />

<Message />

<Message />

<MessageInput />

Composition

var ChatApp = React.createClass({
  ...

  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <FriendList friends={this.state.friends} />
        <MessageList messages={this.state.messages} />
        <MessageInput handleInput={this.handleInput} />
      </div>
    );
  }

});

Composition

var MessageList = React.createClass({
  render: function() {
    var messages = this.props.messages.map(function(message) {
      return (
        <Message
          content: message.content,
          from: message.from
        />
      );
    });

    return <ul>{messages}</ul>;
  }
});

Composition

var Message = React.createClass({
  render: function() {
    return (
      <li>
        <span>From: {this.props.from}</span>
        <span>Content: {this.props.content}</span>
      </li>
    );
  }
});

Composition

<ChatApp />

<FriendList />

<MessageList />

<Friend />

<Friend />

<Friend />

<Friend />

<Message />

<Message />

<Message />

<MessageInput />

this.state.friends

this.state.messages

this.handleInput

this.props.friends

this.props.messages

this.props.handleInput

Flux / Redux

Unidirectional Data Flow

Flux / Redux

Integration with existing libraries

Targeting other platforms

React Canvas

React Canvas

<Surface>
<Layer>
<Group>
<Text>
<Image>
<ListView>

<div>
<span>
<p>
<ul>
<li>
<table>

vs.

React Native

React Native

<Image>
<ListView>
<MapView>
<Navigator>
<ScrollView>
<Text>
<TextInput>
<View>
<WebView>

...

<div>
<span>
<p>
<ul>
<li>
<table>

vs.

Other Targets

  • Desktop
  • Terminal (blessed)
  • ThreeJS

Pretty much anything!

Learn once - Write anywhere

Write once - Deploy anywhere

React Introduction

By Eirik Langholm Vullum

React Introduction

Introtalk to React

  • 625
Loading comments...

More from Eirik Langholm Vullum