react

Handling Errors with Error Boundary

Thinking and building in React involves approaching application design in chunks, or components. Each part of your application that performs an action can and should be treated as a component. In fact, React is component-based and, as Tomas Eglinkas recently wrote, we should leverage that concept and err on the side of splitting any large chunking into smaller components.

Splitting inevitably introduces component hierarchies, which are good because they bloated components and architecture. However, things can begin to get complicated when an error occurs in a child component. What happens when the whole application crashes?! Seriously, React, why do the parent and sibling components have to pay for the sins of another component? Why?

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An Almost Ideal React Image Component

Yes, this is a React component, but regardless if you care about that part or not, the "ideal image component" part could be of interest. There is a lot to consider with how we put images on web pages these days. This deals with:

  • Placeholder space (and then flexible responsive styles after loading)
  • Low-quality placeholder images
  • Responsive images syntax (srcset)
  • Image formats (e.g. using WebP when you can)
  • Click-to-load on bad network connections
  • Better UX for loading errors, with translatable copy

That's not even all of it. So much to think about with poor little <img>. I enjoyed Alejandro Sanchez's response:

Digging Into React Context

You may have wondered lately what all the buzz is about Context and what it might mean for you and your React sites. Before Context, when the management of state gets complicated beyond the functionality of setState, you likely had to make use of a third party library. Thanks to recent updates by the awesome React team, we now have Context which might help with some state management issues.

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Managing State in React With Unstated

As your application becomes more complex, the management of state can become tedious. A component's state is meant to be self-contained, which makes sharing state across multiple components a headache. Redux is usually the go-to library to manage state in React, however, depending on how complex your application is, you might not need Redux.

Unstated is an alternative that provides you with the functionality to manage state across multiple components with a Container class and Provider and Subscribe components. Let's see Unstated in action by creating a simple counter and then look at a more advanced to-do application.

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How React Reconciliation Works

React is fast! Some of that speed comes from updating only the parts of the DOM that need it. Less for you to worry about and a speed gain to boot. As long as you understand the workings of setState(), you should be good to go. However, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with how this amazing library updates the DOM of your application. Knowing this will be instrumental in your work as a React developer.

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What’s wrong with CSS-in-JS?

Brad Frost thinks it's:

  1. Lack of portability
  2. Context Switching
  3. Flushing best practices down the toilet

In the spirit of good-ol-fashioned blog-and-response, here's:

I'd like to point out that "CSS-in-JS" is an umbrella term, and that there are lots of takes on actual implementations of this. It's possible to like one approach and not another.

My guess is we'll end up with a split down the middle as a best practice someday.

When we write styles, we will always make a choice. Is this a global style? Am I, on purpose, leaking this style across the entire site? Or, am I writing CSS that is specific to this component? CSS will be split in half between these two. Component-specific styles will be scoped and bundled with the component and used as needed.

Understanding React `setState`

React components can, and often do, have state. State can be anything, but think of things like whether a user is logged in or not and displaying the correct username based on which account is active. Or an array of blog posts. Or if a modal is open or not and which tab within it is active.

React components with state render UI based on that state. When the state of components changes, so does the component UI.

That makes understanding when and how to change the state of your component important. At the end of this tutorial, you should know how setState works, and be able to avoid common pitfalls that many of us hit when when learning React.

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