React components for routing solution using router5 and mobx
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react-mobx-router5

Router5 integration with mobx and react.
Working Example: react-mobx-router5-example

Introduction

This package represents a routing alternative to react-router.
This is especially useful if you already use mobx and mobx-react in your react project.

To make this work in your project you should use router5 as routing library (independent from react) and the mobx-router5 plugin which exposes the router5's states as mobx observable variables.

The React Components exported by this package uses mobx-router5 as the source of truth. They observe the mobx-router5 observables and react when they change.

Requirements

  • react >= 16.0.0
  • mobx >= 5.0.0
  • mobx-react >= 5.2.0 - In order to be compatible with MobX > 5.0.0
  • router5 >= 6.1.0 - Version 7 not yet supported
  • mobx-router5 >= 4.3.0 - In order to be compatible with MobX > 5.0.0

These are considered peerDependencies that means they should exist in your installation, you should install them yourself to make this plugin work. The package won't install them as dependencies.

Notice Mobx@5 introduced breaking changes, please follow the migration guide

Installation

npm install react-mobx-router5

Configuration

In you application entry point you should configure and instantiate a new router and a mobx-router5 routerStore as described in the mobx-router5 documentation.

The routerStore instance is important as it exposes the router5 state as mobx observables. So the routerStore is indeed the source of truth for our components.

After the instantiation of the store we need to pass it to the components using the mobx-react Provider component. Internally the components exported by this package will use @inject to grab the routerStore.

An example would make this more clear:

//stores.js (mobx stores)
import tabStore from './TabStore';
import userStore from './UserStore';
import {RouterStore} from 'mobx-router5';

// Instantiate it directly or extend the class as you wish before invoking new
const routerStore = new RouterStore();

export {
  tabStore,
  userStore,
  routerStore
};
//create-router5.js
import {createRouter} from 'router5';
import loggerPlugin from 'router5/plugins/logger'; 
import browserPlugin from 'router5/plugins/browser';
import {mobxPlugin} from 'mobx-router5';
import routes from './routes';
import {routerStore} from './stores';

export default function configureRouter(useLoggerPlugin = false) {
  const router = createRouter(routes, {defaultRoute: 'home'})
    .usePlugin(mobxPlugin(routerStore)) // Important: pass the store to the plugin!
    .usePlugin(browserPlugin({useHash: true}));
  
  if (useLoggerPlugin) {
    router.usePlugin(loggerPlugin) ;
  }
  return router;
}
//app.js
import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import {Provider} from 'mobx-react';
import Layout from './components/Layout'
import * as stores from './stores'; //mobx stores
import createRouter from './create-router5';

const router = createRouter(true);

// Provider will add all the mobx stores (including the routerStore) in context.
const wrappedApp = (
  <Provider {...stores } >
    <Layout/>
  </Provider>
);

// Renders the entire app when the router starts
router.start((err, state) => {
  ReactDOM.render(
    wrappedApp,
    document.getElementById('app')
  );
});

From now on you can use all the components and HOC exported by this package without further steps. The components will always be in sync with the routerStore internal observables and react when they will change.

What does this package export?

Components for Routing and View Selection

  • routeNode: HOC for wrapping the 'route nodes' of your app
  • getComponent: Helper function to select what component to render from routes configuration
  • RouteView: Component to automatically select and render a component retrieved from the routes configuration

Components for Navigation and Routes Injections

  • withRoute: HOC to re-render any component on any route change and inject router's observables
  • BaseLink: Component to generate simple a element not aware of route's change
  • Link: Component resulting from BaseLink and withRoute composed together
  • withLink: HOC for creating custom wrappers around a <BaseLink/> component
  • NavLink: Component resulting from li element and withLink composed together

Components for Routing and View Selection

routeNode - HOC

Quoting the router5 documentation:

On a route change, you only need to re-render a portion of your app.

This is basically what routeNode is for: by wrapping a node component (a component associated with a route having children routes) we are telling to re-render only a portion of our app when there is a specific route change. This is probably the most important component of this package.

Signature

routeNode(nodeName, storeName='routerStore')(RouteComponent)

Params

  • nodeName: the name of route to associate to the component ('' if root node)
  • storeName (optional, default: 'routerStore'): the RouterStore name if it differs from the default
  • RouteComponent: the component to wrap

Return
The routeNode function returns another function routeNodeWrapper(RouteComponent) that in turn returns a RouteNode component: the actual HOC.
The final usage would be:

const RouteNodeInstance = routeNode(nodeName)(RouteComponent);

The newly created RouteNodeInstance HOC is a wrapper around RouteComponent and will:

  • forward all the props received to the wrapped RouteComponent
  • inject the route (observable), plainRoute (non-observable) and routerStore props to the RouteComponent
  • trigger a re-rendering of itself and of the wrapped RouteComponent only when the nodeName is the correct intersection node for the current route transition (see understanding router5 and the example below).

Usage

Given for example a route name 'users' associated with a component UsersComp having children routes users.list and users.detail then the route 'users' should be considered a route node for the application.
Its associated component UsersComp should be the one responsible for selecting and re-rendering the components associated with its children routes.

const UsersCompNode = routeNode('users')(UsersComp);

Example

In the following example when navigating from 'users.list' -> 'users.detail' then 'users' is the intersection node.
Wrapping the UserComp with RouteNode ensures that during this transition the UserComp will re-render and so it will be able to determine which component to show (associated to one of its sub-routes).

If then we navigate from 'users.list' -> 'home' then the intersection node is '' (the root node) and so UsersComp will not re-render.
In this case it's the root node responsibility (for example a Main component wrapped with routeNode) to re-render.

Note

The logic on how to select and render the correct sub-component is up to you, in the example it is used a simple switch.
See the Rendering Route Views section below for alternative implementations.

import React from 'react';
import { routeNode } from 'react-mobx-router5';
import { UserView, UserList, NotFound } from './components';

function UsersComp(props) {
    // These are injected by routeNode HOC
    const { routerStore, route, plainRoute } = props; 

    switch (route.name) {
        case 'users.detail':
            return <UserDetail/>;
        case 'users.view':
            return <UserView/>;
        default:
            return <NotFound/>;
    };
}

export default routeNode('users')(UsersComp); 

Rendering Route Views

At this point only the components wrapped with routeNode are associated with some of the app routes, so what about all the other components and routes?

[...] rather than the router updating the view, it is up to the view to listen / bind / subscribe to route changes in order to update itself.
[...] The router is unaware of your view and you need to bind your view to your router's state updates.

In the above example the sub-components of a component wrapped with routeNode are selected with a simple switch statement. This is a possible implementation.

In this section I present two (opinionated) personal implementations:

  • getComponent function helper
  • RouteView Component

Be warned:

  • these are not the only ones, you are free to implement your own
  • hot reloading might not work
  • these implementations are optional, you can use this package without them (and use a simple switch for example)

Routes configuration

For both solutions to work we need to use the router5' Nested arrays of routes config introducing an additional component field for associating a component with a route.

Example

//routes.js
import {Home} from './components/Home';
import {Index} from './components/Index';
import {Login} from './components/Login';
import Sections from './components/Nodes/Sections';
import Subsections from './components/Nodes/Subsections';

export default [
  // children of the root routeNode ''
  { name: 'home', path: '/', component: Home}, // Notice the extra `component` field
  { name: 'login', path: '/login', component: Login},
  { name: 'index', path: '/index/:id', component: Index},
  { name: 'section', path: '/section', component: Sections, children: [ 
    // children of 'section' routeNode
    { name: 'home', path: '/home', component: Home },
    { name: 'login', path: '/login', component: Login },
    { name: 'index', path: '/index/:id', component: Index },
    { name: 'subsection', path: '/subsection', component: Subsections, children: [
      // children of 'section.subsection' routeNode
      { name: 'home', path: '/home', component: Home },
      { name: 'login', path: '/login', component: Login },
      { name: 'index', path: '/index/:id', component: Index },
    ]}
  ]}
];

Notice that the component associated with a route node (the ones having children, for example Sections) should already be wrapped with routeNode. In other words the Sections component should be exported like this:

export default routeNode('section')(Sections);

Also notice that by associating a route with a component might apparently break the router5's principle

The router is unaware of your view

but as I will show this isn't true because the component field is not used by the router but by our views!

getComponent - Helper function

When using the above routes configuration this helper is used for selecting the correct component to render for a given route and a routeNodeName. This represents an alternative to the switch statement.

Signature

getComponent(route, routeNodeName, routesConfig)

Params

  • route: either the routerStore.route object or the route name as a string. Usually it's the currently active route
  • routeNodeName: the name of the route associated with the React component from where to re-render (Node Component)
  • routesConfig: nested routes configuration array (with the extra component as shown above)

Return

It returns a React.Component: the component to be rendered extracted from the routes configuration.

Example

//Main.jsx: the root routeNode ('')
import React, {createElement} from "react";
import {routeNode, getComponent} from "react-mobx-router5";
import routes from "../../routes";

class Main extends React.Component {
  render(){
    // injected by routeNode HOC
    const { routerStore, route, plainRoute } = this.props; 
    
    // This will extract the correct component amongst the children of '' for the current route 
    // Notice that the ComponentToRender could also be another "node component", that is associated with another routeNode, for example `Section`
    const ComponentToRender = getComponent(route, '', routes);
    // Passing the route prop will ensure that the ComponentToRender will be re-rendered for each new route
    return createElement(ComponentToRender, {route: route}); 
  }
}

// higher-order component to wrap a route node component.
export default routeNode('')(Main);
//Section.jsx: the `section` routeNode
import React, {createElement} from "react";
import {routeNode, getComponent} from "react-mobx-router5";
import routes from "../../routes";

class Section extends React.Component {
  render(){
    // injected by routeNode HOC
    const { route, routerStore, plainRoute } = this.props; 
    
    // in this case I use the route name (stirng)
    const ComponentToRender = getComponent(route.name, 'section', routes);
    return createElement(ComponentToRender, {route: route}); 
  }
}

export default routeNode('section')(Section);

RouteView - Component

The getComponent solution introduces some repetition, that is, you always need to grab the component to render and then render it:

const ComponentToRender = getComponent(route, 'section', routes);
return createElement(ComponentToRender, {route: route}); 

The RouteView component does these two operations for you.

Props

All props not listed below will be passed trough to the new generated component additionally forwarding the route prop.

  • route: a route object (required). It might be better to pass the non-observable plainRoute injected by routeNode rather than routerStore.route to avoid possible inconsistencies if the subcomponents are observers of route (TODO: This use case needs more study)
  • routeNodeName: the name of the route for the React component from where to re-render (route node)
  • routes: nested routes configuration array (with the extra component field for each route)
  • errorMessage: a string for custom message to display inside an h1 in case of error during the component selection. Optional, default: 'Something went wrong.'
  • errorStyle: a style object to be applied to the h1 error description. Optional, default: {color: 'rgb(217, 83, 79)'

Notice that the RouteView component is internally wrapped with an Error Boundary Component (introduced in react 16), this ensure that in case of exception while selecting the component to display the entire app won't crash and an error message will be displayed instead. The error message is rendered inside an h1, it is customizabile using the errorMessage and errorStyle props passed to routeView.

Example

//Main.jsx: the root routeNode ('')
import React, {createElement} from "react";
import {routeNode, RouteView} from "react-mobx-router5";
import routes from "../../routes";

const routeNodeName = '';

class Main extends React.Component {
  render(){
    const {route, routerStore} = this.props;
    return <RouteView 
      route={route} 
      routeNodeName={routeNodeName} 
      routes={routes} 
      // other props
      otherProp='hello' 
      myOtherProp='bye' />;
  }
}

export default routeNode('')(Main);

Notice in the above example that the newly generated component will receive these props: otherProp, myOtherProp and the extra route.

Components for Navigation and Routes Injections

withRoute - HOC

Function that generates an higher-order component to wrap any component that need to re-render on route changes.

Signature

withRoute(BaseComponent, storeName='routerStore')

Params

  • BaseComponent: the component to be wrapped
  • storeName (optional, default: routerStore): the RouterStore name if it differs from the default

Return

It returns a ComponentWithRoute that wraps BaseComponent.

Usage

const MyCompWithRoute = withRoute(MyComp);

Any component wrapped by this HOC:

  • receives all the props passed to the wrapper
  • is injected with these extra props coming from mobx-router5: routerStore, route
  • is injected with these computed extra props: isActive and className (see below)
  • re-renders on any route change

Injected computed props (isActive and className)

Some special props passed to the wrapper are used to compute other extra props that will be injected in the wrapped component.

The following props are used to compute a new prop isActive (bool) injected into the wrapped BaseComponent:

  • routeName (string): name of the route that should be associated with the BaseComponent
  • routeParams (obj) default {}: the route params
  • activeStrict (bool) default false: whether to check if routeName is the active route, or part of the active route

Also if a routeName prop is passed then an activeClassName (default 'active') will be added to the className when the component is isActive and the newly computed prop className (string) is injected into the wrapped BaseComponent:

  • className (string) default '': prop forwarded
  • activeClassName (string) default 'active': the name of the class to apply when the element is active

Example

In the following example the MyComp used within Container will re-render on any route change.

When the current route is home:

  • a className 'hello hyperactive' will be applied
  • the prop isActive will be true
// MyComp.jsx
import React from 'react';
import { withRoute } from 'react-mobx-router5';

function MyComp(props) {
  // these are injected by withRoute
  const { route, isActive, className } = props;
  
  return (
    <div className={className}>
      I am {isActive: 'active' ? 'inactive' } <br/>
      The current route is {route}
    </div>
  )	

}
export default withRoute(MyComp);
// Container.jsx
import React from 'react';
import MyComp from './MyComp';

function Container(props) {
  return (
    <div>
      <MyComp
        routeName='home'
        className='hello'
        activeClassName='hyperactive' />
    </div>
  )	

}
export default Container;

BaseLink - Component

It generates an anchor a tag with href computed from props.routeName.
Note: This component won't re-render on route change.

Props

In order to work it is mandatory to pass at least one of these props to the component:

  • router={routerInstance} the router5 instance object.
  • routerStore={routerStore} the mobx-router5 routerStore. If passed will take precedence over router prop
  • onClick={onClickCB} when passed the navigation will be prevented (the above 2 props become both unnecessary) and the onClickCB function will be executed instead.

Props needed to compute the correct href (when passing either router or routerStore):

  • routeName="home" route to navigate to when the component is clicked
  • routeParams={routeParamsObj} optional, default {}
  • routeOptions={routeOptionsObj} optional, default {}

Example

import React from 'react';
import { BaseLink } from 'react-mobx-router5';

function logMeIn(e) {
  e.preventDefault();
  console.log('clicked');
}

function Menu(props) {
  return (
    <nav>
      <BaseLink routerStore={props.routerStore} routeName='home' routeOptions={{reload: true}}>Home</Link>
      <BaseLink router={props.router} routeName='home'>About</Link>
      <BaseLink onClick={logMeIn} >Login</Link>
    </nav>
  );
}

export default Menu;

Link - Component

The Link component is BaseLink and withRoute composed together.
This means that Link will re-render on any route change and an 'active' class will be applied to it when the current route is props.routeName.


withLink - HOC

Function that generates a higher-order component to create custom wrappers around a <BaseLink/> component.
Useful for creating any sort of wrappers that will be aware of route changes, for example for creating navigation menus.

Signature

withLink(LinkWrapper, storeName='routerStore')

Params

  • LinkWrapper: the component used to wrap the inner BaseLink
  • storeName (optional, default: routerStore): the RouterStore name if it differs from the default

Return

The function creates a new WithLink higher-order component that wraps the passed LinkWrapper.
The LinkWrapper is in turn a wrapper around the BaseLink.
This composed element is then passed to withRoute(WithLink).
The final returned component would then be a ComponentWithRoute

Props

The final composed component accepts all the props accepted by the WithRoute component with an extra special
linkClassName prop.

All props passed to the composed component (including the one injected by withRoute) will be forwarded to the inner BaseLink except for className.
In fact the (computed 'active') className will be applied to the LinkWrapper while the extra linkClassName (unmodified) will be applied to the inner BaseLink.

Also all the children of the final composed component will become children of the inner BaseLink.

Example

const MyLinkWrapper = withLink('div');
  • This produces a div that wraps a BaseLink component. Then this result is passed to withRoute.
  • The 'active' className will be applied to the div not the on BaseLink (so not on the generated a).
  • If we pass an linkClassName then it will become the className of the inner BaseLink (so of the generated a)

See the NavLink component.


NavLink - Component

The NavLink component is the li element and withLink composed together.

const NavLink = withLink('li');

Example:

import {NavLink} from 'react-mobx-router5'

function MyComponent(props) {
  return (
    <NavLink 
      className="hello" 
      linkClassName="goodbye"
      routeName="home">
      HOME
    </NavLink>
  )
}

Will produce something like this (pseudo-code):

<li className={props.className} >
  <BaseLink { ...props } className={props.linkClassName} >
    {props.children}
  </BaseLink>
</li>

That is indeed very similar to what Link looks like, except this will apply the 'active' className to the li and the linkClassName to the internal BaseLink (and so to the generated an a tag)


Production Build

As recommended by React and MobX make sure to substitute process.env.NODE_ENV = "production" in your build process.

Remove PropTypes

The components are shipped with prop-types checks (prop-types is dependencies of this package).
If you want to remove them from your build you could use babel-plugin-transform-react-remove-prop-types.

You could for example add this to your babel config:

{
  "env": {
    "production": {
      "plugins": [
        "transform-react-remove-prop-types", {
          "mode": "wrap"
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

or

{
  "env": {
    "production": {
      "plugins": [
        ["transform-react-remove-prop-types", {
          "mode": "remove",
          "removeImport": true
          "ignoreFilenames": ["node_modules"]
        }]
      ]
    }
  }
}

Check the doc of the plugin for choosing the correct configuration.

Contributing

PR, suggestions and help is appreciated, please make sure to read the CONTRIBUTING.md file. For development a version of node >=8.11 is needed as some dev packages require it (for example semantic-release), see .nvmrc

Acknowledgments