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Higher order... mixin!TypeScript
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DEPRECATED in favor of react hooks

React Hooks are the best solution to this problem. Hence, rending this project obsolete.


React Mixout

npm Build Status

Using React's mixins is known to be an anti-pattern. But they do provide better performance than a higher order component (HOC) chain. This library tends to bring the two approaches closer.

Mixout is a higher order component which can have an arbitrary number of features.

Imagine you have 3 concerns:

  1. shouldComponentUpdate
  2. get values from context
  3. externalize state

These concerns don't overlap, they can be easily implemented inside a single higher-order-component. But that won't scale very well, and sometimes you want to pick 1 or 2 for a particular component. You can have 3 HOCs for this purpose. But that would also mean 3 extra instances for React to track and call render on.

After some discussion that happened on material-ui we realized, the best approach would be this:

A single higher-order-component that can host specific features.

Well, that's like a mixin. Except that it doesn't pollute the component's logic. They reside inside a single wrapper outside the component's life cycle methods.

This repository is a monorepo consisting of the main package react-mixout and some included features that you can use out of box.

TL;DR

Mixout n. Mixin that lives outside the component to keep the component's logic simple.

Simply put, it's not React's deperecated mixin, it's a plugin system inspired by mixins and HOCs.

Installation

You can install this package with the following command:

npm install react-mixout

Also some included features:

# Forwards context properties as props.
npm install react-mixout-forward-context

# Forwards imperative method calls to its wrapped 
# child, useful for ReactTransitionGroup and focus.
npm install react-mixout-forward-method

# Bind component methods to global events with memory management.
npm install react-mixout-listen

# Memoize derived data and recalculate only when inputs change.
npm install react-mixout-memoize

# Passes down context calculated from props pass to the component.
npm install react-mixout-pass-context

# Proxy imperative method calls down the tree through React's ref callback.
npm install react-mixout-proxy

# Shallow compares context and props implementing shouldComponentUpdate.
npm install react-mixout-pure

# Helps provide both controlled and uncontrolled behaviors for a component.
# You will only need to implement the controlled behavior using this mixout.
npm install react-mixout-uncontrol

You may find more mixouts in the wild here.

How does it Work?

It works by providing hooks, injectors and an isolated state to each feature. Those features can then use the API provided by mixout to implement their logic. The API is very strict and tries to make sure plugins play nicely with each other. When these plugins are bundled with a call to mixout(plugin1, plugin2, ...) they will all reside inside a single component to avoid performance issues with HOC chains. It will then invoke appropriate hooks like componentDidMountHook and call injectors throughout its lifecycle.

Word of Caution

This library does not enforce class components to be wrapped, function components can be wrapped too. But if there is a mixout that relies on ref you might need to turn your function component into a class one.

Examples

These examples will give you a brief overview of how this library is used:

Simple Usage

This example uses 2 of the mixouts included in this repository.

import mixout from 'react-mixout';
import pure from 'react-mixout-pure';
import forwardContext from 'react-mixout-forward-context';

const MyComponent = ({themeFromContext}) => <input /*...*/ />;

// This will result in a HOC that implements shouldComponentUpdate that checks context
// and props and also gets theme from context and passes it down as themeFromContext.
// All done within a single component, no HOC chain overhead :D
export default mixout(pure, forwardContext('theme', { alias: 'themeFromContext' }))(MyComponent);

Common Features

If you have features in your application and need to put them in all of your components without having to import and call mixout for every one of them like:

import feature1 from 'react-mixout-feature1';
import feature2 from 'react-mixout-feature2';
import feature3 from 'react-mixout-feature3';
import feature4 from 'react-mixout-feature4';

// Component ...

export default mixout(feature1, feature2, feature3, feature4)(Component);

You can combine features and make a feature combination. Feature combinations can be used alongside other features and will all be flatten with a mixout call:

myPackedFeatures:

import {combine} from 'react-mixout';
import feature1 from 'react-mixout-feature1';
import feature2 from 'react-mixout-feature2';
import feature3 from 'react-mixout-feature3';
import feature4 from 'react-mixout-feature4';

export default combine(feature1, feature2, feature3, feature4);

Component:

import mixout from 'react-mixout';
import myPackedFeatures from './myPackedFeatures';
import {forwardReactTransitionGroupMethods} from 'react-mixout-forward-method';

// AnimatedComponent

export default mixout(forwardReactTransitionGroupMethods, myPackedFeatures)(AnimatedComponent);

Direct Render

It's possible to provide a minimal render implementation to use instead of wrapping. It's useful for when your actual component is small and it isn't necessary to have another instance for react to track.

import mixout, {remix} from 'react-mixout';
import pure from 'react-mixout-pure';

const ComponentRemix = remix(props => <span>Hello World!</span>);

export default mixout(pure)(ComponentRemix);

You can also override the displayName;

import mixout, {remix} from 'react-mixout';
import pure from 'react-mixout-pure';

const MyRemixedComponent = remix('HelloWorld', props => <span>Hello World!</span>);

export default mixout(pure)(MyRemixedComponent);

You will be practically building components with this feature. Since you will only have access to the passed props, this is no more than an optimization.

Write Your Own Mixout

The included features only use the public API of react-mixout. You can implement your own set of features and publish to npm so others can use too. You can read more about how you can implement your own mixout here.

API Reference

react-mixout

Included Features

Typings

The typescript type definitions are also available and are installed via npm.

Thanks

Great thanks to material-ui team and specially @nathanmarks for providing valuable insight that made this possible.

License

This project is licensed under the MIT license.