A quick introduction to exploring how components can be created in several frameworks.
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README.md

component-check

A quick introduction to exploring how components can be created in several frameworks.

In this project I want to compare the usage and development of components in several frameworks. To test these frameworks I'll create multiple components from simple to complex to show the differences between these frameworks. I currently plan to look into the following frameworks:

Note: I'll only focus on creating components, because this is an important part of our daily business. I won't deep dive into every technical detail of the frameworks. I want to tell you just enough to understand what happens. Don't forget that Angular 2 is still in beta, Ember will introduce routable and angle brackets components soon, so there is always a little catch up game to play. We are in JS land, right?

Note 2: I will not look into Polymer which is very component-oriented and a good candidate for this comparison, because it doesn't support IE9 which is a requirement for our projects.

Note 3: I use Node v4.4.x and npm 3.9.x for my examples. There are reported problems with the build script (and a solution) for Node v6 here.

So what is a component? Let us keep the definition short and generic and treat them as reusable and composable pieces of HTML, CSS and/or JavaScript code which are mostly used for GUI elements.

#Table of contents

Goals

  • compare how components are written in the frameworks mentioned above
  • find generic skeletons and patterns for components
  • battle test a single tooling against these frameworks

Usage

I'll create an example for every component and every framework. You'll need to install the dependencies for these examples with $ npm install. You can then run an example with $ npm start and open http://localhost:8080/ in your browser.

A word about tooling

I recommend installing a recent version of Node and npm before you start. I'll try to not use Bower as a second package manager, because it is mostly superfluous nowadays. All frameworks mentioned above should be easily usable with npm only.

For frameworks using virtual DOM libraries I'll use JSX, which is a syntax extension to JavaScript which I personally find more readable than using the libraries directly. However I'll show an example without JSX first, before I'll introduce JSX. Recommending JSX is highly subjective. Some people like it, some people don't. Time will tell, if there is a place for it in the future.

We'll compile JSX with Babel which also offers us the opportunity to write our code in ES2015.

I really tried to use TypeScript in my examples, too. I like the idea behind it and that you'll catch bugs earlier and get a better auto-completion in editors. I think I tested TypeScript every year since its release in different projects and always hit a dead end somewhere. Be it the combination of JSX+TS+non-React-frameworks, old or false TypeScript definitions files, another package manager just for type definitions called tsd, a GitHub API rate limit which prevents me from downloading more type definitions... Just recently TypeScript added a way to add type definitions to your package.json with a typings property. This could kill tsd in the future... if just... I think TypeScript needs a loose mode which basically allows a module without a typings property in package.json to export everything as an any type. That way we could get rid of tsd and gradually get better type checks, if module authors add typings to package.json. But for now you would just get missing import errors...

All examples will be built with webpack. It is currently my favorite way to build applications.

Webpack allows the usage of CSS Modules which will keep us safe from global CSS class name clashes. Again... I don't recommend to use CSS Modules for your own projects (at least for now), but as this is a research project and I want to learn more about CSS Modules I'll use them here.

Note: I personally like JSX, Babel and CSS Modules as they make my code safer, easier to write and more readable. But don't forget that these are additional compilation steps which can introduce bugs or confuse new developers.

Introducing: webpack

Webpack is a tool which allows bundling and processing of dependencies. It can handle nearly any kind of dependency - code or non-code assets like images, fonts, etc. You can break down the dependency to a specific component, so we can declare which component needs a specific image, instead of loading all our needed images somewhere globally. The core concept behind this functionality is the so-called loader.

For our first example static components we mostly need one loader: babel-loader. This loader allows us to compile ES.next to ES.current features (e.g. you can use ES6 or ES7 features in browsers which only support ES5) with Babel. We install it with some peer dependencies to use a recent version of Babel:

$ npm install --save-dev babel-loader babel-core babel-preset-es2015

And we need a small config file called .babelrc for Babel, so it uses the ES2015 preset:

{
  "presets": [
    "es2015"
  ]
}

Of course we need to install webpack now to use this loader. Alongside with webpack we install webpack-dev-server. This server serves our app (surprise) and reloads the browser, if a code change is detected.

$ npm install --save-dev webpack webpack-dev-server

To use the modules we add two commands to our package.json in the "scripts" property:

{
  "scripts": {
    "start": "webpack-dev-server --inline",
    "build": "webpack"
  }
}

To run our app and use it in a browser on http://localhost:8080/ we'll call $ npm start, but be prepared: no app will be generated, because of --inline! At least not on the file system. The server compiles our app on the fly for faster changes. If you want to generate the app on the file system you must call $ npm run build.

You configure webpack in a file called webpack.config.js so it knows which loaders should be used. The file will be mostly identical between all frameworks, but I'll highlight differences.

There is just one last missing part: webpack works on the basis of JavaScript modules, but the entry point for a single page application is typically a index.html file. This is an open issue for webpack. For now we'll need another module called html-webpack-plugin to solve this problem:

$ npm install --save-dev html-webpack-plugin

Our generic webpack.config.js looks like this:

var HtmlWebpackPlugin = require('html-webpack-plugin');

module.exports = {
  entry: './src/app.js',
  output: {
    path: './dist',
    filename: 'app.js'
  },
  module: {
    loaders: [
      {
        test: /\.js$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        loader: 'babel'
      }
    ]
  },
  plugins: [
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      template: './src/index.html'
    })
  ],
  devtool: 'inline-source-map',
  devServer: {
    contentBase: './dist'
  }
};

We place our source code in a folder called src/ and our compiled app will be output in a folder called dist/. Our development server uses dist/ as its base. The entry point of our app will be a file called src/app.js. All JavaScript files are loaded by Babel and we'll generate a Source Map.

Alongside with our compiled JavaScript we generate a src/index.html. Its template looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <title>Framework • example</title>
</head>
<body>
  <main id="example-app">Loading...</main>

  {% for (var chunk in o.htmlWebpackPlugin.files.chunks) { %}
  <script src="{%= o.htmlWebpackPlugin.files.chunks[chunk].entry %}"></script>
  {% } %}
</body>
</html>

Static components

Angular 1

Let's start with a static component. I'll show examples in the order the frameworks are mentioned at the beginning of this article. That means we'll start with Angular 1 which of course deviates from our generic setup I just introduced. 😉

Inside our src/index.html you must change one line:

-<main id="example-app">Loading...</main>
+<main ng-app="example-app"><ng-view>Loading...</ng-view></main>

This is needed because the entry point for an Angular application is defined with the ng-app attribute and an application name like example-app as its value. You'll also see the <ng-view> element. Both - the ng-app attribute and <ng-view> element - are so-called directives, which is how components are called in Angular. ng-app comes with Angular core module, <ng-view> from the angular-route module. For a seasoned Angular developer it could look like overkill to use angular-route in this basic example which I need to show the entry template/view which holds our components (an easier way could be the ng-include directive), but I think this example can be easier compared to the other frameworks in that way. Now we need to install Angular 1 and angular-route:

$ npm install --save angular angular-route

With this out of the way we can start developing. Our src/app.js looks like this:

import angular from 'angular';
import ngRoute from 'angular-route';

angular.module('example-app', [
  ngRoute
]).config($routeProvider => {
  $routeProvider.when('/', {
    template: `<static-component></static-component>`
  });
});

We load angular and angular-route. We create our module called example-app (the value from the ng-app attribute) and say it depends on ngRoute. In our config callback we inject $routeProvider and say that it should render the <static-component> element, if you visit http://localhost:8080/. Try it with running $ npm start! You'll see that the "Loading..." text disappears... and nothing happens. That is expected, because we never declared a <static-component> element anywhere.

Create a new file src/static-component/index.js which looks like this:

import angular from 'angular';

export default angular.module('static-component', []).directive('staticComponent', () => {
  return {
    template: `<p>Static content.</p>`
  };
}).name;

Simple: We create a new module static-component, create a new directive staticComponent (camelCased so it is written as <static-component> in HTML) and return a plain object containing the template without logic. At the end our module name is exported, so it can be imported from our app and be used as a dependency.

Let's see our updated src/app.js:

import angular from 'angular';
import ngRoute from 'angular-route';
+import staticComponent from './static-component';

angular.module('example-app', [
  ngRoute,
+  staticComponent
]).config($routeProvider => {
  $routeProvider.when('/', {
    template: `<static-component></static-component>`
  });
});

The browser should be refreshed by now and instead of a blank page you should see the text "Static content." in a <p> element.

Note: As you can see Angular 1 uses its own module system and not just ES6 modules. You basically declare dependencies by passing module names, but these modules aren't loaded from the file system. We need ES6 modules for that (or a similar technique).

Angular 2

Angular 2 uses ES6/7 features heavily. Some features like decorators are still in flux (just like Angular 2 itself). Sadly decorators are broken in the current version of Babel, so we use a fallback which needs the reflect-metadata package. Because Angular 2 can also break easily, we use a specific version for our example (2.0.0-alpha.46). Just install both modules with this command:

$ npm install --save angular2@2.0.0-alpha.46 reflect-metadata

Just as with Angular 1 we need to slightly adapt our src/index.html, so change this line:

-<main id="example-app">Loading...</main>
+<main><example-app>Loading...</example-app></main>

<example-app> will be the entry point for our application. As you can see our application is treated like a component on its own. This will be our app skeleton:

import 'reflect-metadata';
import { Component, View, bootstrap } from 'angular2/angular2';

class ExampleApp {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'example-app'
      }),
      new View({
        template: `<static-component></static-component>`
      })
    ];
  }
}

bootstrap(ExampleApp);

Components are declared as classes which are written in PascalCase. You can name them like you want, so ExampleApp is not translated to <example-app> in our HTML. static get annotations is our fallback, because we can't use decorators. Decorators/annotations are used to configure the component. We create a new Component instance and set a selector. This selector refers to <example-app> in our index.html. We also create a new View instance which holds the same template as our previous example.

If you run $ npm start you will see the "Loading..." text disappear. We have to define our <static-component> again.

To do so create a new file src/static-component/index.js:

import { Component, View } from 'angular2/angular2';

export default class StaticComponent {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'static-component'
      }),
      new View({
        template: `<p>Static content.</p>`
      })
    ];
  }
}

As you can see we export this component class. Our application needs to import this component definition and use it in its template. Just add a directive property to your view configuration holding an array of component classes, which should be used.

import 'reflect-metadata';
import { Component, View, bootstrap } from 'angular2/angular2';
+import StaticComponent from './static-component';

class ExampleApp {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'example-app'
      }),
      new View({
+        directives: [ StaticComponent ],
        template: `<static-component></static-component>`
      })
    ];
  }
}

bootstrap(ExampleApp);

Save your changes. You should now see the text "Static content." in your browser.

Ember

Ember is a framework which focuses a lot on productivity and conventions in multiple projects. Upside: If you're an Ember developer you can easily switch between multiple Ember projects. Downside: If you have heterogeneous projects or a lot of developers coming from other frameworks it can be troublesome to understand the internal logic which is sometimes hidden by Embers conventions. (At least in my opinion.)

If you want to start an Ember project do yourself a favor and use ember-cli! It is the official build tool for Ember which is used by everyone in the Ember community. For this research however I tried to use Ember with webpack. I personally find that easier to use (nearly the same build process for any framework) and easier to compare to other frameworks. Besides that I learned a lot about Ember by not using ember-cli.

Note: Ember will soon introduce angle brackets components, so you can write a component like this: <static-component></static-component>. I couldn't create a running example, because angle brackets components can only be used in canary builds of Ember. In these examples we use traditional curly braces components written as {{static-component}}. They will not just differ in syntax, but also in functionality. Angle brackets components will use one-way data-binding by default.

Because Ember uses Handlebars templates (or more precisely HTMLBars) for views, we'll need to add a new loader to our webpack.config.js. (Note: This is exactly the job which ember-cli solves. You don't need to create your own build config. This is great! But if you want to reuse an existing build config as in our case, this can be troublesome.)

First install ember-templates-loader:

$ npm install --save-dev ember-templates-loader

And add a the new loader for Handlebars templates to webpack.config.js:

var HtmlWebpackPlugin = require('html-webpack-plugin');

module.exports = {
  entry: './src/app.js',
  output: {
    path: './dist',
    filename: 'app.js'
  },
  module: {
    loaders: [
      {
        test: /\.js$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        loader: 'babel'
      },
+      {
+        test: /\.hbs$/,
+        loader: 'ember-templates'
+      }
    ]
  },
  plugins: [
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      template: './src/index.html'
    })
  ],
  devtool: 'inline-source-map',
  devServer: {
    contentBase: './dist'
  }
};

Now we will install Ember itself. Sadly Ember is the only framework in this list, which doesn't use npm officially. However we can use the build created for Bower by using the tarball directly:

$ npm install --save https://github.com/components/ember/tarball/2.2.0

This will also download jQuery which is a dependency of Ember. Because Ember doesn't use npm we need to create small shims to easily import Ember. First create a src/jquery-shim.js:

import jQuery from 'jquery';
window.jQuery = jQuery;

Now create a src/ember-shim.js:

import './jquery-shim';
import 'components-ember';
export default window.Ember;

If you now import Ember from './ember-shim'; both Ember and jQuery are correctly imported and can be treated like the other frameworks in this list.

This is how our initial src/app.js will look like:

import Ember from './ember-shim';
import applicationTemplate from './templates/application.hbs';

// register templates
Ember.TEMPLATES.application = applicationTemplate;

const ExampleApp = Ember.Application.create({
  rootElement: '#example-app',
  ready() {
    document.getElementById('example-app').innerHTML = '';
  }
});

And we need src/application.hbs as our initial template:

{{static-component}}

In this small code example you'll already see some of Embers conventions. Ember expects a template called application as the initially rendered template. We need to manually add it to Ember.TEMPLATES, because we use webpack. This would be done automatically if we would use ember-cli. We then create a new Ember.Application. Our application will be rendered as a child element into #example-app as configured with rootElement. But we need to remove our loading message in #example-app manually, when our application is ready.

As always: our application loads, "Loading..." disappears... and nothing happens. We still need our static component which is rendered as {{static-component}}.

It looks like this (src/static-component/index.js):

import Ember from '../ember-shim';
import template from './template.hbs';

Ember.TEMPLATES['components/static-component'] = template;
export default Ember.Component.extend({});

And has this template (src/static-component/template.hbs) which needs to be manually added to Ember.TEMPLATES, too:

<p>Static content.</p>

Now add your newly created component to your src/app.js like this:

import Ember from './ember-shim';
import applicationTemplate from './application.hbs';
+import StaticComponent from './static-component';

// register templates
Ember.TEMPLATES.application = applicationTemplate;

const ExampleApp = Ember.Application.create({
  rootElement: '#example-app',
  ready() {
    document.getElementById('example-app').innerHTML = '';
  }
});

+// register components
+ExampleApp.StaticComponentComponent = StaticComponent;

Like our templates we need to register the component to our application. Again - this is something which happens automatically, if you use ember-cli. To register a component you add its name (in this case StaticComponent) with a Component suffix to ExampleApp. So yeah... You need to name it StaticComponentComponent.

Call $ npm start now. "Loading..." disappears and "Static content." is rendered.

Cycle.js

Cycle.js is a framework which introduces several concepts which deviate from the MVC frameworks from the last year. I recommend reading the documentation of Cycle.js before you start, because I can't explain them here in detail. It is a relatively small framework so you don't have to learn a lot of code, but you need to learn a new paradigm to write a good Cycle application.

I'll try to break down the general idea:

A Cycle application has a main function which accepts a sources object and returns a sinks object. These objects can hold several observables which are provided by or passed to drivers. You can think of an observable as an "asynchronous immutable array". Drivers are "side-effectful functions with Observables as input (for reading from the external world) and Observables as output (for writing side effects)" (source).

A practical explanation could sound like this: You have a DOM driver which passes events created by the user (like click events on a button) as an observable to the main function. The main function reads these observables and computes an output (like the markup for a button which is disabled after the first click) which is returned as an observable. The DOM driver now renders the output.

For a basic app skeleton we need three modules:

  • @cycle/core: This package has just one function called run which connects our main function with drivers.
  • @cycle/dom: This is a driver which allows our main function to interact with the DOM.
  • rx: RxJS is a library written around observables. If you write a Cycle application, you'll really write RxJS code 90% of the time.
$ npm install --save rx @cycle/core @cycle/dom

This time we don't need to change our src/index.html. We can look directly into our src/app.js:

import { run } from '@cycle/core';
import { makeDOMDriver, div } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';

function main(sources) {
  const vtree = div();
  const vtree$ = Observable.just(vtree);
  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

const drivers = {
  DOM: makeDOMDriver('#example-app')
};

run(main, drivers);

We create a main function and a drivers object. Both are passed to run. The drivers object holds a DOM driver instance which uses the element with the ID example-app as the entry point to our application. The main function gets a sources object which we don't use right now, but it holds an DOM object and it returns a sinks object, which also holds a DOM object. sources.DOM and sinks.DOM are the input and output observables we pass to our DOM driver instance as explained earlier. But what is this?:

  const vtree = div();
  const vtree$ = Observable.just(vtree);

As we work solely on observables, we don't generate DOM markup directly (which is the job of @cycle/dom). Instead we use the function div (or h2, h3, ul, li, etc, each corresponding to their respective DOM elements) which allows us to create a virtual DOM (using the virtual-dom library). In this case div() creates an empty <div></div>. This virtual DOM is often called vtree. The DOM driver however needs an observable to operate on, not just the virtual DOM. So we wrap our vtree into an observable with Observable.just. This function returns an observable which we call vtree$. The $ suffix is an hungarian notation which is used in the Cycle community to mark observables.

If you run $ npm start now you see the "Loading..." text disappear. Success! Now we need to create our static component. This step deviates from other frameworks as a component is just a function. You will not find any <static-component> markup here. Again: Cycle comes with a lot of new concepts and paradigms. These are quite powerful (e.g. a single function can be easily tested), but you need to learn more to get started. Anyway... let's try it.

Create a file src/static-component/index.js:

import { p } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';

export default function StaticComponent(sources) {
  const sinks = {
    DOM: Observable.just(
      p('Static content.')
    )
  };
  return sinks;
}

This looks nearly identical to our application skeleton, but instead of creating an empty <div> we create <p>Static content.</p>. We even pass sources to our component even though we don't use it (yet). However this will be needed by future components.

Our src/app.js now looks like this:

import { run } from '@cycle/core';
import { makeDOMDriver, h } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
+import StaticComponent from './static-component';

function main(sources) {
-  const vtree = div();
-  const vtree$ = Observable.just(vtree);
+  const staticComponent = StaticComponent(sources);
+  const vtree$ = staticComponent.DOM.map(staticVTree => div(staticVTree));
  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

const drivers = {
  DOM: makeDOMDriver('#example-app')
};

run(main, drivers);

We import StaticComponent and create a new component by calling it. We then map over staticComponent.DOM which will be called every time our markup changes (which is just once, because it is a static component) and place our virtual DOM from the component into a <div>.

Run $ npm start now and you see the "Static content.".

React

At this time you would probably expect an introduction to Redux, which is a framework for handling state changes in an application. Because we only look into static components for now - which don't have state changes - we can focus on React and will introduce Redux at a later step.

First install react and react-dom:

$ npm install --save react react-dom

Our app skeleton is very easy. This is our src/app.js:

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';

render(
  React.DOM.div(null, ''),
  document.getElementById('example-app')
);

React.DOM has several helper functions to create (virtual) DOM elements like a div. The first argument is an object to set attributes on the DOM element (in this case we pass null, because the generated <div> has no attributes), the second argument is the content of the element (in this case an empty string). Then we say render the configured element into #example-app.

If you run $ npm start now the "Loading..." text will disappear. So let us create a static component with React now in a new file src/static-component/index.js. It is literally a one-liner:

import React from 'react';

export default () => React.DOM.p(null, 'Static content.');

We create a new stateless functional component by creating a function which just returns our static markup and export this as our component. We now import this component into our src/app.js and create an element from it.

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';
+import StaticComponent from './static-component';

render(
-  React.DOM.div(null, ''),
+  React.createElement(StaticComponent),
  document.getElementById('example-app')
);

Call $ npm start and... Success! You'll see "Static content.".

Introducing: JSX

For all frameworks using a virtual DOM library I'll use JSX in the next examples. As said earlier JSX has pros and cons. It is quite popular in the React and Redux community, but the Cycle community actually recommends to use the hyperscript-helpers available through the DOM driver (e.g. div(), p()). I personally find JSX easier to read and I'll use it for this research project, but this is not a general recommendation. Anyway... let us recreate the static components examples for Cycle.js and React with JSX.

First we need to enable Babel to read and transform JSX syntax. Install these two Babel plugins:

$ npm install --save-dev babel-plugin-syntax-jsx babel-plugin-transform-react-jsx

And change the .babelrc:

{
+  "plugins": [
+    "transform-react-jsx"
+  ],
  "presets": [
    "es2015"
  ]
}

Let us first look into our React example. With JSX this is how our new src/static-component/index.js looks like:

import React from 'react';

-export default () => React.DOM.p(null, 'Static content.');
+export default () => <p>Static content.</p>;

And this our app.js:

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';
import StaticComponent from './static-component';

render(
-  React.createElement(StaticComponent),
+  <StaticComponent />,
  document.getElementById('example-app')
);

And now to our Cycle.js example. Install the same Babel plugins, but now modify your .babelrc to look like this:

{
  "plugins": [
-    "transform-react-jsx"
+    [ "transform-react-jsx", { "pragma": "hJSX" } ]
  ],
  "presets": [
    "es2015"
  ]
}

This change is necessary, because transform-react-jsx expects React as the default library for our virtual DOM (hence the name).

Our src/static-component/index.js now looks like this:

-import { p } from '@cycle/dom';
+import { hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';

export default function StaticComponent(sources) {
  const sinks = {
    DOM: Observable.just(
-      p('Static content.')
+      <p>Static content.</p>
    )
  };
  return sinks;
}

And this our src/app.js:

import { run } from '@cycle/core';
-import { makeDOMDriver, div } from '@cycle/dom';
+import { makeDOMDriver, hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
import StaticComponent from './static-component';

function main(sources) {
  const staticComponent = StaticComponent(sources);
-  const vtree$ = staticComponent.DOM.map(staticVTree => h('div', staticVTree));
+  const vtree$ = staticComponent.DOM.map(staticVTree => <div>{staticVTree}</div>);
  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

const drivers = {
  DOM: makeDOMDriver('#example-app')
};

run(main, drivers);

Introducing: CSS Modules

The next thing will we setup before we move on are CSS Modules. I think no one would deny that styling is an integral part of component development, but it hasn't got the attention it needed in the last years. CSS styling can be quite hard and the main reason for this is, that CSS styling is done globally. If you have two components using the same CSS class names, you'll probably get styling errors. Shadow DOM can help with that (CSS is scoped to a single component), but it has its own problems (no server-side rendering, lack of support, etc.). Most JS frameworks only focus on the behavior of a component and not on its look, so we need a little bit of tooling on this side. Meet CSS Modules!

With CSS Modules two components can use the same CSS class name without styling errors, because every CSS class name is hashed in a unique way. This happens when a component imports a CSS file. Importing a CSS file into a JS file? That sounds like a job for webpack! To do that we need to install two new modules:

  • css-loader: This module loads our CSS files, hashes the CSS class names and generates Source Maps.
  • extract-text-webpack-plugin: This webpack plugin extracts every loaded CSS file and bundles the styles into a single CSS file.
$ npm install --save-dev css-loader extract-text-webpack-plugin

To use these modules we need to configure our webpack.config.js to load CSS files and save them in a single file:

var HtmlWebpackPlugin = require('html-webpack-plugin');
+var ExtractTextPlugin = require('extract-text-webpack-plugin');

module.exports = {
  entry: './src/app.js',
  output: {
    path: './dist',
    filename: 'app.js'
  },
  module: {
    loaders: [
      {
        test: /\.js$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        loader: 'babel'
      },
+      {
+        test: /\.css$/,
+        loader: ExtractTextPlugin.extract('css?sourceMap&modules&importLoaders=1&localIdentName=[name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5]')
+      }
    ]
  },
  plugins: [
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      template: './src/index.html'
    }),
+    new ExtractTextPlugin('styles.css')
  ],
  devtool: 'inline-source-map',
  devServer: {
    contentBase: './dist'
  }
};

As you can see the css-loader module is configured via query parameter and the localIdentName value determines our hash pattern ([name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5] - with name as the file name of the CSS file and local as the CSS class name).

We also need to change our src/index.html template to load our CSS files just like it loads our JS files:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <title>Framework • example</title>

+  {% for (var css in o.htmlWebpackPlugin.files.css) { %}
+  <link href="{%= o.htmlWebpackPlugin.files.css[css] %}" rel="stylesheet">
+  {% } %}
</head>
<body>
  <main id="example-app">Loading...</main>

  {% for (var chunk in o.htmlWebpackPlugin.files.chunks) { %}
  <script src="{%= o.htmlWebpackPlugin.files.chunks[chunk].entry %}"></script>
  {% } %}
</body>
</html>

You can create a src/static-component/static-component.css file now, which looks identically for every framework:

.p {
  color: red;
}

We use the generic class name .p which will style our <p> element we used in all of our static components, so its text color becomes red. Even if we would create a second component using the same class name and a text color of blue, our static component would still have red text, because our .p becomes hashed to something like .static-component__p___3YbjK. That's why I recommend naming your CSS file exactly like your component, because the name shows up in your hashed class name which is easier to read. But even you name your file to something generic like style.css you'll have great Source Map support, which always shows you the original file.

Even though the CSS file looks the same for every framework, the way it is loaded is slightly different every time. So let us try to break it down and begin with Angular 1 and its src/static-component/index.js:

import angular from 'angular';
+import styles from './static-component.css';

export default angular.module('static-component', []).directive('staticComponent', () => {
  return {
-    template: `<p>Static content.</p>`
+    template: `<p class="${styles.p}">Static content.</p>`
  };
}).name;

This is Angular 2 and its src/static-component/index.js:

import { Component, View } from 'angular2/angular2';
+import styles from './static-component.css';

export default class StaticComponent {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'static-component'
      }),
      new View({
-        template: `<p>Static content.</p>`
+        template: `<p class="${styles.p}">Static content.</p>`
      })
    ];
  }
}

This is Ember and its src/static-component/index.js and its src/static-component/template.hbs :

import Ember from '../ember-shim';
import template from './template.hbs';
+import styles from './static-component.css';

Ember.TEMPLATES['components/static-component'] = template;
-export default Ember.Component.extend({});
+export default Ember.Component.extend({ styles });
-<p>Static content.</p>
+<p class="{{styles.p}}">Static content.</p>

This is Cycle and its src/static-component/index.js:

import { hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
+import styles from './static-component.css';

export default function StaticComponent(sources) {
  const sinks = {
    DOM: Observable.just(
-      <p>Static content.</p>
+      <p className={styles.p}>Static content.</p>
    )
  };
  return sinks;
}

This is React and its src/static-component/index.js:

import React from 'react';
import styles from './static-component.css';

-export default () => <p>Static content.</p>;
+export default () => <p className={styles.p}>Static content.</p>;

Awesome! Thank you for reading so far and thank yourself, too! You now have a very nice setup for creating great components. We can now move on to examples showing you how to create more complex components.

Dynamic components

Before we move on: all of the future examples use the same webpack.config.js, .babelrc and src/index.html dependent on the frameworks as before. The directory structure is always very similar to the current structure, we just rename files or directories like static-component to dynamic-component, etc. Our dynamic components use this CSS file for all examples (src/dynamic-component/dynamic-component.css):

.container {
  background: #eee;
  padding: 10px 5px;
  border-radius: 5px;
  margin-bottom: 10px;
}

The goal of this example is to create a component which counts seconds starting with a random value between 1 and 100. We do that so we can create two instances of this component and see that they run independently.

Angular 1

Our src/app.js is nearly unchanged. Just a little bit of renaming and we use our component two times:

import angular from 'angular';
import ngRoute from 'angular-route';
import dynamicComponent from './dynamic-component';

angular.module('example-app', [
  ngRoute,
  dynamicComponent
]).config($routeProvider => {
  $routeProvider.when('/', {
    template: `
      <dynamic-component></dynamic-component>
      <dynamic-component></dynamic-component>
    `
  });
});

And this is our new <dynamic-component> in src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import angular from 'angular';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

export default angular.module('dynamic-component', []).directive('dynamicComponent', () => {
  return {
    scope: true,
    controller($interval) {
      this.seconds = Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100);
      $interval(() => this.seconds++, 1000);
    },
    controllerAs: 'ctrl',
    template: `<div class="${styles.container}">I count {{ ctrl.seconds }} seconds.</div>`
  };
}).name;

Let us break this down. First we set a scope property to true. This is Angulars way to say, that every <dynamic-component> will have its own unique state. If you omit this line every <dynamic-component> will show the same value, because they share the same state. After that we add a controller to our directive which will hold and manipulate the component state. We inject the $interval service (you remember injection?) into the controller. $interval is a service offered by Angular itself. It is similar to the native setInterval, but will automatically update Angulars data-binding. The callback we pass to $interval will be called every 1000 ms and will count up the variable this.seconds with this being the controller. this.seconds is initialized with a random value between 1 and 100. After that we give the controller the name ctrl with controllerAs. This is needed to access the controller in our template. We can now access our variable this.seconds inside our template with {{ ctrl.seconds }}. The {{}} notation is Angulars way to say Every time {{ ctrl.seconds }} changes, re-render our template.

Angular 2

Our src/app.js looks like this:

import 'zone.js';
import 'reflect-metadata';
import { Component, View, bootstrap } from 'angular2/angular2';
import DynamicComponent from './dynamic-component';

class ExampleApp {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'example-app'
      }),
      new View({
        directives: [ DynamicComponent ],
        template: `
          <dynamic-component></dynamic-component>
          <dynamic-component></dynamic-component>
        `
      })
    ];
  }
}

bootstrap(ExampleApp);

Note that we imported zone.js in the first line. This is a dependency of Angular 2 so you should already have this installed. I think it is a little bit hard to explain what a Zone is. The docs say: "A Zone is an execution context that persists across async tasks." What that means is, that we can use a regular setInterval, something which knows nothing about Angular 2 (and the other way around, too), but Angular 2 can determine when an async setInterval callback is executed thanks to a "safe execution context", so it can update its state. This happens automatically if import zone.js and use setInterval, so we don't need a specific service like $interval.

Our src/dynamic-component/index.js looks like this:

import { Component, View } from 'angular2/angular2';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

export default class DynamicComponent {
  constructor() {
    this.seconds = Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100);
    setInterval(() => this.seconds++, 1000);
  }

  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'dynamic-component'
      }),
      new View({
        template: `<div class="${styles.container}">I count {{ seconds }} seconds.</div>`
      })
    ];
  }
}

We use the constructor of our DynamicComponent class to specify our logic. This is basically what controller does in our Angular 1 example, but without $interval. We can then access our this.seconds variable in our template with {{ seconds }}. Note that Angular 2 doesn't use a scope concept anymore - every component has its own state by default.

Call $ npm start and you see the seconds increment.

Ember

Our src/app.js are nearly unchanged. We just need to rename all occurrences of static to dynamic and use {{dynamic-component}} twice in our src/application.hbs.

This is our src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import Ember from '../ember-shim';
import template from './template.hbs';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

Ember.TEMPLATES['components/dynamic-component'] = template;
export default Ember.Component.extend({
  styles,
  init() {
    this._super(...arguments);
    this.set('seconds', Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100));
    this.count();
  },
  count() {
    Ember.run.later(this, () => {
      this.set('seconds', this.get('seconds') + 1);
      this.count();
    }, 1000);
  }
});

init is a special function which will be called automatically when our component will be created. We need to call this._super(...arguments); inside init to pass any arguments to _super which handles any default initialisation logic. We use this.set and this.get to write and read properties like seconds in our component. These are available, because we extend from Ember.Component and they notify Ember about our state changes. That way we can initialize seconds with a random value between 1 and 100. We also call count which does what you think: it counts up seconds. You'll notice that we use Ember.run.later instead of setInterval which is recommended by the docs to avoid any strange effects.

Our src/dynamic-component/template.hbs looks like this:

<div class="{{styles.container}}">I count {{seconds}} seconds.</div>

Cycle.js

To handle multiple components more easily we install a small helper called combineLatestObj.

$ npm install --save rx-combine-latest-obj

This will collect the most recent state of all components in one object, so we know, when we need to re-render our application. We use it like this in our src/app.js:

import { run } from '@cycle/core';
import { makeDOMDriver, hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
import combineLatestObj from 'rx-combine-latest-obj';
import DynamicComponent from './dynamic-component';

function main(sources) {
  const componentVtrees$ = combineLatestObj({
    dynamicComponent1$: DynamicComponent(sources).DOM,
    dynamicComponent2$: DynamicComponent(sources).DOM
  });

  const vtree$ = componentVtrees$.map(vtrees =>
    <div>
      {vtrees.dynamicComponent1}
      {vtrees.dynamicComponent2}
    </div>
  );

  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

const drivers = {
  DOM: makeDOMDriver('#example-app')
};

run(main, drivers);

As you can see combineLatestObj collects multiple streams and collects them in one object (here componentVtrees$). We then return a new single vtree via componentVtrees$.map every time a component changes its own vtree.

This is our src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import { hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

export default function DynamicComponent(sources) {
  const seconds$ = Observable.interval(1000)
    .startWith(Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100))
    .scan(seconds => seconds + 1);

  const vtree$ = seconds$.map(seconds =>
    <div className={styles.container}>
      I count {seconds} seconds.
    </div>
  );

  return {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
}

As said earlier you'll be writing more RxJS code in a Cycle application than Cycle-specific code itself. The hardest thing to understand in this code snippet is probably seconds$ - especially if you never used observables before. First we create an observable which is triggered every second (Observable.interval(1000)), then we prepend to it a random number between 1 and 100 (.startWith(Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100))). Now we have an observable with an initial value which can do something every second. The do part will be counting up which is done with scan. With scan we can operate on a previous value. E.g. we use our random start value and after a second we increment it. After another second we get our random start value which was incremented once and increment it again. Now it is incremented twice. This step is repeated every second and this stream of values is saved in seconds$. Now we produce new markup if seconds$ gets a new value with seconds$.map.

Redux

Finally we arrived at Redux. Probably the most popular framework in conjunction with React right now. Like Cycle Redux has a very unique way of designing an app. The code in the following example may seem a little bit verbose for displaying two random counters, but this approach really shines when your app grows.

So, what do you need to know about Redux? Instead of declaring some components and set the state of each component separately, we declare the state first and dependent on the state what components should be rendered. We also don't have a state for every component, but a global state ("global" = inside one Redux application). This global state is called store. But of course we don't want to manage a big, complex single state for our application. With reducers we can manage only small slices of our store. They will update our state by creating a new one, because our state is immutable. That is important to keep in mind. We can't update an old state, we can only create a new one. This allows will give us nice debugging features and performance gains, because states can be compared by pointer references instead of by value. The reducers are triggered by dispatching actions.

An action describes our state change. The reducer will make this change. The store holds the state. A reducer therefore has a very simple signature: it accepts a state and an action and returns a new state ((state, action) -> newState).

While Redux is often used with React, it doesn't have to. It is a standalone framework to manage state in an app. But because React is only concerned about our view and not our state they complement each other very well. So take the React example for static components and install Redux itself as well as a small helper package to use Redux more easily with React:

$ npm install --save redux react-redux

This our app skeleton in src/app.js:

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';
import { createStore } from 'redux';
import { Provider } from 'react-redux';
import reducers from './reducers';
import ExampleApp from './example-app';

const store = createStore(reducers);

render(
  <Provider store={store}>
    <ExampleApp />
  </Provider>,
  document.getElementById('example-app')
);

Uups! A bunch of things we've never seen. As said a store holds our application state. It is created with createStore (surprise!) and by passing our reducers, we'll soon look into. Don't forget: a reducer changes the state by creating a new one. The store is passed to a component called <Provider> offered by react-redux. With <Provider> we can access our store inside a child component no matter how deeply nested it is. One child component is <ExampleApp /> which is a smart container. A smart container is a React component which knows about Redux and our store - they control a part of our view logic and are more coupled to our app. The other type of React component we'll use are dumb component which don't know about Redux and our state and just render the data we give them. They aren't coupled to our app. You'll soon see a dumb component. Separating your app into smart containers and dumb containers is a very common concept in Redux application (and React in general). But note that this is a soft convention and these two types of React components are not strictly needed to create a Redux application. They just help you to organize your app. They can also overlap - you can have a React component which is mostly smart, but also contains a little bit of dumb rendering logic.

Before we look into <ExampleApp /> we'll look into our reducers, because as I said earlier the state determines what will be rendered.

This is our src/reducers.js:

import { combineReducers } from 'redux';
import { INCREMENT_SECOND } from './constants';

function randomSecond() {
  return Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100);
}

const initialState = [ randomSecond(), randomSecond() ];

function seconds(state = initialState, action) {
  switch (action.type) {
    case INCREMENT_SECOND:
      return [
        ...state.slice(0, action.index),
        state[action.index] + 1,
        ...state.slice(action.index + 1)
      ];
    default:
      return state;
  }
}

export default combineReducers({
  seconds
});

And the small src/constants.js:

export const INCREMENT_SECOND = 'INCREMENT_SECOND';

combineReducers is a helper from Redux which allows us to augment multiple small reducers to a single one, because Redux expects a single reducer working on a single store. For our example we just create one reducer called seconds which will operate on a property called seconds on our store. We default seconds to initialState which is an array with two random values between 1 and 100. The reducer determines what to do with action.type. For now our reducer only knows one action.type: INCREMENT_SECOND. If an action with this type is encountered, we return a new array of seconds (new because our store is immutable) containing all seconds we already have and incrementing the second value specified by action.index. (You'll soon see how the action itself is created.) If our reducer encounters an unknown action.type we just return the old state.

I want to shortly explain this code snippet, if you're unfamiliar with ES2015:

[
  ...state.slice(0, action.index),
  state[action.index] + 1,
  ...state.slice(action.index + 1)
];

This creates a new array ([]). It contains all values (...) from 0 to the index specified by action.index (state.slice(0, action.index)). It counts up one value specified at action.index (state[action.index] + 1). It contains all values (...) after action.index (state.slice(action.index + 1)).

Now look into our <ExampleApp /> specified in src/example-app/index.js:

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { bindActionCreators } from 'redux';
import { connect } from 'react-redux';
import DynamicComponent from '../dynamic-component';
import { incrementSecond } from '../action-creators';

class ExampleApp extends Component {
  render() {
    const { seconds, actions: { incrementSecond } } = this.props;
    return (
      <div>
        {seconds.map((second, index) => (
          <DynamicComponent
            key={index}
            index={index}
            second={second}
            incrementSecond={incrementSecond} />
        ))}
      </div>
    );
  }
}

function mapStateToProps(state) {
  return {
    seconds: state.seconds
  };
}

function mapDispatchToProps(dispatch) {
  return {
    actions: bindActionCreators({ incrementSecond }, dispatch)
  };
}

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(ExampleApp);

We create a new ExampleApp class extending from Reacts Component. It has a render function which will be called by React on state changes. This render function will create a <div> and two dumb components called <DynamicComponent />. This component is dumb, because we pass all data it needs to know directly into the component as properties. (Note that key is a property needed by React, not something we need for our application.) We pass index which will be the action.index we already saw in our reducer. We pass second which is the value our <DynamicComponent /> should render. And we pass incrementSecond. This is a function which will create an action and is therefor called an action creator.

After our ExampleApp class you'll see two functions: mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps. Remember that we wrapped our <ExampleApp> in a <Provider> earlier? The <Provider> allows us to access our store in <ExampleApp>, but we want to control exactly what data can be accessed, because our store can become really big in a complex app. This is what mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps do. We can specify exactly what parts of the store can be accessed in our <ExampleApp>. In this case it is just state.seconds (see mapStateToProps). And we can specify which actions we want to eventually dispatch in our <ExampleApp>. In this case it is the incrementSecond action (see mapDispatchToProps). This mapping is connected with our ExampleApp class with the connect helper offered by react-redux which makes our React Component aware of our Redux store.

Our action creator is very simple (src/action-creators.js):

import { INCREMENT_SECOND } from './constants';

export function incrementSecond(index) {
  return {
    type: INCREMENT_SECOND,
    index
  }
}

As said earlier an action creator is just a function returning an action and an action is just a simple JavaScript object. This object has a type by convention to identify it. In this case our incrementSecond action creator returns an action with the type set to INCREMENT_SECOND. It just has one other property index. With the index specified our reducer knows which second should be incremented. We already saw that.

There is just one missing piece now: our dumb component <DynamicComponent> created in src/dynamic-component/index.html.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

class DynamicComponent extends Component {
  componentDidMount() {
    const { incrementSecond, index } = this.props;
    setInterval(() => incrementSecond(index), 1000);
  }

  render() {
    const { second } = this.props;
    return (
      <div className={styles.container}>
        I count {second} seconds.
      </div>
    )
  }
}

export default DynamicComponent;

You'll notice that this component isn't connected with Redux by using mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps. This is a good indicator to distinguish dumb components from smart containers. The only interesting thing in this DynamicComponent class is componentDidMount. This is part of Reacts lifecycle for Components and it is called once when a Component was correctly setup (aka mounted, immediately after the first rendering). We call setInterval here to call incrementSecond every second. Because we passed index from our <ExampleApp> to our <DynamicComponent> earlier, we can now pass it to our action so our reducers know which second should be incremented.

And this is our working Redux example! You can see it by running $ npm start. Again... this example may seem a little bit verbose, but it scales well to more complex ones. If you need more data on your store you create a new reducer which also sets a default value to your data. You can access this data in smart containers which are basically React Components connected to a Redux store. Then the data is passed from smart containers to dumb components which are React Components not connected to a Redux store, so they can be rendered.

Interactive components

In our interactive components example we'll create a component containing two buttons and a value starting with 0. A click on one button will decrement our value while a click on the other button will increment our value.

We'll reuse the same CSS file, but rename it from src/dynamic-component/dynamic-component.css to src/interactive-component/interactive-component.css.

Angular 1

Our src/app.js is straightforward and nearly unchanged to the previous example. Just a little bit of renaming:

import angular from 'angular';
import ngRoute from 'angular-route';
import interactiveComponent from './interactive-component';

angular.module('example-app', [
  ngRoute,
  interactiveComponent
]).config($routeProvider => {
  $routeProvider.when('/', {
    template: `
      <interactive-component></interactive-component>
      <interactive-component></interactive-component>
    `
  });
});

This is how <interactive-component> is implemented in src/interactive-component/index.js:

import angular from 'angular';
import styles from './interactive-component.css';

export default angular.module('interactive-component', []).directive('interactiveComponent', () => {
  return {
    scope: true,
    controller() {
      this.value = 0;
      this.decrement = () => this.value--;
      this.increment = () => this.value++;
    },
    controllerAs: 'ctrl',
    template: `
      <div class="${styles.container}">
        <button ng-click="ctrl.decrement()">Decrement</button>
        Current value: {{ ctrl.value }}
        <button ng-click="ctrl.increment()">Increment</button>
      </div>
    `
  };
}).name;

This is very similar to our previous example. Inside our controller we initialize this.value with 0. We also add two functions: decrement and increment. They will manipulate this.value accordingly. The interesting part is how you call these functions. This is done on our two <button>s by using a special directive called ng-click, which is offered by Angular itself. This will call decrement or increment on every click and the state change is immediately reflected in our view.

Angular 2

For Angular 2 the src/app.js is also nearly untouched:

import 'zone.js';
import 'reflect-metadata';
import { Component, View, bootstrap } from 'angular2/angular2';
import InteractiveComponent from './interactive-component';

class ExampleApp {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'example-app'
      }),
      new View({
        directives: [ InteractiveComponent ],
        template: `
          <interactive-component></interactive-component>
          <interactive-component></interactive-component>
        `
      })
    ];
  }
}

bootstrap(ExampleApp);

And this is <interactive-component> in src/interactive-component/index.js:

import { Component, View } from 'angular2/angular2';
import styles from './interactive-component.css';

export default class InteractiveComponent {
  constructor() {
    this.value = 0;
    this.decrement = () => this.value--;
    this.increment = () => this.value++;
  }

  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'interactive-component'
      }),
      new View({
        template: `
          <div class="${styles.container}">
            <button (click)="decrement()">Decrement</button>
            Current value: {{ value }}
            <button (click)="increment()">Increment</button>
          </div>
        `
      })
    ];
  }
}

The constructor is identical to our controller in Angular 1. The difference is how you call decrement and increment. In Angular 2 you no longer use a directive called ng-click. Event handling is more of a language feature now. To set a click handler in Angular 2 you use (click) on an element. Yes, this is valid HTML. If you don't like it you can use the alternative syntax on-click, but all official examples will use the canonical (click).

Ember

Again... src/app.js is also nearly untouched as well as src/application.hbs. I'll not write them again. Let's dive straight into src/interactive-component/index.js:

import Ember from '../ember-shim';
import template from './template.hbs';
import styles from './interactive-component.css';

Ember.TEMPLATES['components/interactive-component'] = template;
export default Ember.Component.extend({
  styles,
  value: 0,
  actions: {
    decrement() {
      this.decrementProperty('value');
    },
    increment() {
      this.incrementProperty('value');
    }
  }
});

We use the helper methods this.incrementProperty and this.decrementProperty to update our value. The important part is, that our decrement and increment functions are methods on a special object called actions. This way we can use them with the {{action}} helper in our src/interactive-component/template.hbs template:

<div class="{{styles.container}}">
  <button {{action "decrement"}}>Decrement</button>
  Current value: {{value}}
  <button {{action "increment"}}>Increment</button>
</div>

Cycle.js

For Cycle.js our src/app.js is nearly unchanged, too. Other than the typical renaming of our component, we also introduced a new module, @cycle/isolate. This will keep our component instances independent to each other, as we will see.

import { run } from '@cycle/core';
import { makeDOMDriver, hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
+import isolate from '@cycle/isolate';
import combineLatestObj from 'rx-combine-latest-obj';
-import DynamicComponent from './dynamic-component';
+import InteractiveComponent from './interactive-component';

function main(sources) {
  const componentVtrees$ = combineLatestObj({
-    dynamicComponent1$: DynamicComponent(sources).DOM,
-    dynamicComponent2$: DynamicComponent(sources).DOM
+    interactiveComponent1$: isolate(InteractiveComponent)(sources).DOM,
+    interactiveComponent2$: isolate(InteractiveComponent)(sources).DOM
  });

  const vtree$ = componentVtrees$.map(vtrees =>
    <div>
-      {vtrees.dynamicComponent1}
-      {vtrees.dynamicComponent2}
+      {vtrees.interactiveComponent1}
+      {vtrees.interactiveComponent2}
    </div>
  );

  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

const drivers = {
  DOM: makeDOMDriver('#example-app')
};

run(main, drivers);

isolate(Component) takes a Component function and returns a new component function, which is now "isolated". What isolation means will make sense later on when we capture user events.

The component itself is totally restructured. I changed the directory and file structure to a more canonical pattern:

src/interactive-component/index.js
src/interactive-component/intent.js
src/interactive-component/model.js
src/interactive-component/view.js

This structure follows the Model-View-Intent architecture (or short: MVI) which is heavily used in Cycle.js applications. You probably know model and view from MVC. So what is an intent? An intent is an "interpreted DOM event as the user's intended action". This is done by querying DOM events.

To say it in different words: Check if element Foo was clicked (= intent) and if it was clicked change our state (= model), so the user sees a result (= view).

That's also the reason why I introduce MVI in our interactive component example: no interaction, no intent.

So how does it look like? See our src/interactive-component/index.js:

import intent from './intent';
import model from './model';
import view from './view';

export default function InteractiveComponent(sources) {
  const actions = intent(sources);
  const state$ = model(actions);
  const vtree$ = view(state$);

  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

This component skeleton will be very similar in all components you'll write in Cycle. The sources is passed to our intent. Inside intent we query for DOM events in our component and interpret them as actions which is returned by intent. The actions are passed to model to change our state$ which is returned as an observable by model. We pass state$ to our view to render our state$ in our component template. view returns vtree$ which itself can be used in our application. Let's look into intent, model and view now.

src/interactive-component/intent.js is the only real new concept here:

export default function intent({ DOM }) {
  return {
    decrement$: DOM.select('.decrement').events('click').map(event => -1),
    increment$: DOM.select('.increment').events('click').map(event => +1)
  };
}

As I said we query our DOM by events. This is done with basic CSS selectors (.decrement and .increment). These events are turned into observables describing the intended action (decrement$ and increment$).

Since this gives us all click events that happen on every '.decrement' and '.increment' element on the DOM, the first component would be getting clicks from the second component, and vice versa. That is why we used isolate() in src/app.js. The two interactive components can now safely query for .select('.decrement').events('click') knowing that it will only give events from the current component instance.

This is src/interactive-component/model.js:

import { Observable } from 'rx';

export default function model(actions) {
  return Observable.just(0)
    .merge(actions.decrement$)
    .merge(actions.increment$)
    .scan((value, delta) => value + delta);
}

We just create a new Observable initialized with 0. We then merge our two action streams decrement$ and increment$ into this other stream and increment or decrement the value accordingly (.scan((value, delta) => value + delta)).

And this is src/interactive-component/view.js:

import { hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import styles from './interactive-component.css';

export default function view(state$) {
  return state$.map(value =>
    <div className={styles.container}>
      <button className="decrement">Decrement</button>
      &nbsp;
      Current value: {value}
      &nbsp;
      <button className="increment">Increment</button>
    </div>
  );
}

Nothing fancy here. You'll also notice the use of &nbsp;. Because JSX normalizes whitespace differently than HTML, you need to explicitly declare a non-breaking space. (You can either see this as a benefit or downside of JSX. It is up to you.)

Redux

src/app.js is completely unchanged. But we define two new action types in src/constants.js:

export const DECREMENT = 'DECREMENT';
export const INCREMENT = 'INCREMENT';

Our src/action-creators.js are updated accordingly:

import { DECREMENT, INCREMENT } from './constants';

export function decrement(index) {
  return {
    type: DECREMENT,
    index
  };
}

export function increment(index) {
  return {
    type: INCREMENT,
    index
  };
}

Our src/reducers.js should look very similar too. We initialize our state as an array with two 0s and act upon incoming actions.

import { combineReducers } from 'redux';
import { DECREMENT, INCREMENT } from './constants';

const initialState = [ 0, 0 ];

function values(state = initialState, action) {
  switch (action.type) {
    case DECREMENT:
      return [
        ...state.slice(0, action.index),
        state[action.index] - 1,
        ...state.slice(action.index + 1)
      ];
    case INCREMENT:
      return [
        ...state.slice(0, action.index),
        state[action.index] + 1,
        ...state.slice(action.index + 1)
      ];
    default:
      return state;
  }
}

export default combineReducers({
  values
});

The src/example-app/index.js is also very similar to the previous example, besides we are managing two actions now:

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { bindActionCreators } from 'redux';
import { connect } from 'react-redux';
import InteractiveComponent from '../interactive-component';
import { decrement, increment } from '../action-creators';

class ExampleApp extends Component {
  render() {
    const { values, actions: { decrement, increment } } = this.props;
    return (
      <div>
        {values.map((value, index) => (
          <InteractiveComponent
            key={index}
            index={index}
            value={value}
            decrement={decrement}
            increment={increment} />
        ))}
      </div>
    );
  }
}

function mapStateToProps(state) {
  return {
    values: state.values
  };
}

function mapDispatchToProps(dispatch) {
  return {
    actions: bindActionCreators({ decrement, increment }, dispatch)
  };
}

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(ExampleApp);

And this is our dumb component <InteractiveComponent /> in src/interactive-component/index.js:

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import styles from './interactive-component.css';

class InteractiveComponent extends Component {
  render() {
    const { index, value, decrement, increment } = this.props;
    return (
      <div className={styles.container}>
        <button onClick={() => decrement(index)}>Decrement</button>
        &nbsp;
        Current value: {value}
        &nbsp;
        <button onClick={() => increment(index)}>Increment</button>
      </div>
    )
  }
}

export default InteractiveComponent;

The click hander is set by onClick which will just call decrement or increment (passed by <ExampleApp /> to <InteractiveComponent />) passing an index to identify the component.

Composable components

In our last example we build a complex widget composed out of two components. One will be our <dynamic-component> which we'll slightly adapt and the other one will be <composable-component> which will be a little bit like <interactive-component>, but instead of decrementing or incrementing a counter we'll add or remove instances of <dynamic-component>. Because <dynamic-component> can be destroyed at runtime I'll show you how to clean-up your component correctly. In this case we'll need to cancel our interval correctly. I also remove the random start value from <dynamic-component> and just start at 0 seconds.

<composable-component> will use this CSS style. It looks very similar to the container class we used earlier, just with a different background. That way you can easily distinguish the <dynamic-component> instances inside <composable-component>. You'll also see that the styles won't clash with each other even though both use container as a class name. Thank you CSS modules! 💕

.container {
  background: #ddd;
  padding: 10px 5px;
  border-radius: 5px;
  margin-bottom: 10px;
}

Angular 1

Let us start by look into our src/app.js. Nothing interesting so far:

import angular from 'angular';
import ngRoute from 'angular-route';
import composableComponent from './composable-component';

angular.module('example-app', [
  ngRoute,
  composableComponent
]).config($routeProvider => {
  $routeProvider.when('/', {
    template: `
      <composable-component></composable-component>
    `
  });
});

The interesting part is our src/composable-component/index.js:

import angular from 'angular';
import dynamicComponent from '../dynamic-component';
import styles from './composable-component.css';

var id = 0;

export default angular.module('composable-component', [
  dynamicComponent
]).directive('composableComponent', () => {
  return {
    scope: true,
    controller() {
      this.ids = [];
      this.removeDynamicComponent = (index) => this.ids.splice(index, 1);
      this.addDynamicComponent = () => this.ids.push(id++);
    },
    controllerAs: 'ctrl',
    template: `
      <div class="${styles.container}">
        <button ng-click="ctrl.addDynamicComponent()">Add dynamic component</button>
        <hr>
        <div ng-repeat="id in ctrl.ids">
          <dynamic-component></dynamic-component>
          <button ng-click="ctrl.removeDynamicComponent($index)">Remove dynamic component</button>
          <hr ng-if="!$last">
        </div>
      </div>
    `
  };
}).name;

As said earlier we want to add and remove instances of <dynamic-component>. To do that we need a way to display a component multiple times in a dynamic way. This is typically done with a directive called ng-repeat which repeats the element on which it is used n-times. Sadly we can't tell ng-repeat directly to run n-times, but instead use an array with the length of n. For performance reasons ng-repeat needs a way to track the values in the array. The default behavior of ng-repeat to do this is to not allow duplicated values in our array. So we create a new id for every <dynamic-component> which is added. This id is saved in an array called ids. You can see how this is done in the controller. ng-repeat can now use this array like this: ng-repeat="id in ctrl.ids".

Inside ng-repeat we have access to multiple special variables. Two of them are $index which behaves exactly like an index inside a [].map function and the other one is $last which is a boolean to indicate if the last component is currently rendered. We pass $index to our removeDynamicComponent function declared in our controller so we know which component should be removed. We use $last to place a <hr> between every <dynamic-component> except the last one. This is done with another directive called ng-if. If you pass a truthy value to ng-if the element on which it is used will be rendered. If the value is falsy the element will not be placed inside the DOM. It looks like this: <hr ng-if="!$last">.

But don't forget to look inside src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import angular from 'angular';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

export default angular.module('dynamic-component', []).directive('dynamicComponent', () => {
  return {
    scope: true,
-    controller($interval) {
-      this.seconds = Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100);
-      $interval(() => this.seconds++, 1000);
+    controller($interval, $scope) {
+      this.seconds = 0;
+      const intervalId = $interval(() => this.seconds++, 1000);
+      $scope.$on('$destroy', () => $interval.cancel(intervalId));
    },
    controllerAs: 'ctrl',
    template: `
      <div class="${styles.container}">I count {{ ctrl.seconds }} seconds.</div>
    `
  };
}).name;

We inject the $scope object into our controller which holds our state. A special event called $destroy is triggered on this object when our component is removed, so we can do some clean-up work. When calling $interval an intervalId is returned. If this intervalId is passed to $interval.cancel the interval will be correctly canceled, so our seconds aren't counted forever without anyone seeing them.

Congratulate yourself! You've created a complex component in Angular 1.

Angular 2

Again src/app.js hasn't changed much:

import 'zone.js';
import 'reflect-metadata';
import { Component, View, bootstrap } from 'angular2/angular2';
import ComposableComponent from './composable-component';

class ExampleApp {
  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'example-app'
      }),
      new View({
        directives: [ ComposableComponent ],
        template: `
          <composable-component></composable-component>
        `
      })
    ];
  }
}

bootstrap(ExampleApp);

This is our src/composable-component/index.js:

import { Component, View } from 'angular2/angular2';
import DynamicComponent from '../dynamic-component';
import styles from './composable-component.css';

var id = 0;

export default class ComposableComponent {
  constructor() {
    this.ids = [];
    this.removeDynamicComponent = (index) => this.ids.splice(index, 1);
    this.addDynamicComponent = () => this.ids.push(id++);
  }

  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'composable-component'
      }),
      new View({
        directives: [ DynamicComponent ],
        template: `
        <div class="${styles.container}">
          <button (click)="addDynamicComponent()">Add dynamic component</button>
          <hr>
          <div *ng-for="#id of ids; #$index = index, #$last = last">
            <dynamic-component></dynamic-component>
            <button (click)="removeDynamicComponent($index)">Remove dynamic component</button>
            <hr *ng-if="!$last">
          </div>
        </div>
        `
      })
    ];
  }
}

This component is similar to the Angular 1 version, but the built-in directives like ng-repeat and ng-if have slightly changed. ng-repeat is now called ng-for and you don't pass a value like foo in foos, but #foo of foos. This matches the for-of loop used in JavaScript. The # is needed to create a new local variable. You can also use $index and $last with ng-for, but they aren't accessible by default like in Angular 1. You explicitly say to use them which allows you to rename them, if you like: #$index = index, #$last = last. Again # is needed to create the variables. The last gotcha is an * before ng-for. This is needed to mark this part of the template as dynamic. The same is needed for ng-if, because it is dynamic, too. (Sometimes a <hr> is placed in the DOM, sometimes not.)

-<div ng-repeat="id in ctrl.ids">
+<div *ng-for="#id of ids; #$index = index, #$last = last">

-<hr ng-if="!$last">
+<hr *ng-if="!$last">

Now look into src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import { Component, View } from 'angular2/angular2';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

export default class DynamicComponent {
  constructor() {
-    this.seconds = Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100);
-    setInterval(() => this.seconds++, 1000);
+    this.seconds = 0;
+    this.intervalId = setInterval(() => this.seconds++, 1000);
  }

+  onDestroy() {
+    clearInterval(this.intervalId);
+  }

  static get annotations() {
    return [
      new Component({
        selector: 'dynamic-component'
      }),
      new View({
        template: `<div class="${styles.container}">I count {{ seconds }} seconds.</div>`
      })
    ];
  }
}

We learned earlier that Angular 2 doesn't use scopes anymore, so we don't have a $scope object on which a $destroy event could be triggered. Instead we just declare a onDestroy method on our DynamicComponent which will be automatically called, when <dynamic-component> is removed from the DOM. Because we don't use $interval in Angular 2, we use JavaScripts native methods to cancel the interval.

Ember

Don't forget to register both components in src/app.js:

import Ember from './ember-shim';
import applicationTemplate from './application.hbs';
import ComposableComponent from './composable-component';
import DynamicComponent from './dynamic-component';

// register templates
Ember.TEMPLATES.application = applicationTemplate;

const ExampleApp = Ember.Application.create({
  rootElement: '#example-app',
  ready() {
    document.getElementById('example-app').innerHTML = '';
  }
});

// register components
ExampleApp.DynamicComponentComponent = DynamicComponent;
ExampleApp.ComposableComponentComponent = ComposableComponent;

This is src/composable-component/index.js and src/composable-component/template.hbs:

import Ember from '../ember-shim';
import template from './template.hbs';
import styles from './composable-component.css';

var id = 0;

Ember.TEMPLATES['components/composable-component'] = template;
export default Ember.Component.extend({
  styles,
  init() {
    this._super(...arguments);
    this.set('ids', []);
  },
  actions: {
    removeDynamicComponent(index) {
      this.set('ids', this.get('ids').filter((_, i) => index !== i));
    },
    addDynamicComponent() {
      this.set('ids', [ ...this.get('ids'), id++ ]);
    }
  }
});
<div class="{{styles.container}}">
  <button {{action "addDynamicComponent"}}>Add dynamic component</button>
  <hr />
  {{#each ids as |id index|}}
    {{dynamic-component}}
    <button {{action "removeDynamicComponent" index}}>Remove dynamic component</button>
  {{/each}}
</div>

We create an ids array here, very similar to the Angular examples, but using Embers get and set helper. The removeDynamicComponent and addDynamicComponent methods are added to actions again.

We use the built-in Handlebars plugin {{#each}} to loop over the ids array. Like Angular we can access an index inside {{#each}}{{/each}}.

One additional thing to notice is the way params are passed to action handlers: {{action "removeDynamicComponent" index}}.

Now to the changes in src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import Ember from '../ember-shim';
import template from './template.hbs';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

Ember.TEMPLATES['components/dynamic-component'] = template;
export default Ember.Component.extend({
  styles,
  init() {
    this._super(...arguments);
-    this.set('seconds', Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100));
+    this.set('seconds', 0);
    this.count();
  },
  count() {
    Ember.run.later(this, () => {
+      if (!this.isDestroyed) {
        this.set('seconds', this.get('seconds') + 1);
        this.count();
+      }
    }, 1000);
  }
});

We haven't used setInterval in Ember, but Ember.run.later. I don't think it is possible to cancel the callback, so we need to check if our component was destroyed with if (!this.isDestroyed), before we make changes in our state and call count again.

As you may noticed we haven't put an <hr /> between our {{dynamic-component}}s. Sadly there is no equivalent to Angulars $last in Ember. We need to write a helper to identify our last item inside {{#each}}{{/each}}. A helper is like function which can be called inside a template. It is very easy. Create a new file src/helpers/is-last.js:

import Ember from '../ember-shim';

export default Ember.Helper.helper(function(params) {
  var length = params[0];
  var index = params[1];

  return length === (index + 1);
});

It is just a function which we can pass arbitrary params. In this case our helper will get the length of an arry as the first param and the current index of our item as the second param, so we can check if the item is the last item of the array. The helper can be registered by adding the returned value from Ember.Helper.helper to ExampleApp and giving it a name and a Helper suffix (similar to the Component suffix for components):

import Ember from './ember-shim';
import applicationTemplate from './application.hbs';
import ComposableComponent from './composable-component';
import DynamicComponent from './dynamic-component';
+import isLastHelper from './helpers/is-last';

// register templates
Ember.TEMPLATES.application = applicationTemplate;

const ExampleApp = Ember.Application.create({
  rootElement: '#example-app',
  ready() {
    document.getElementById('example-app').innerHTML = '';
  }
});

// register components
ExampleApp.DynamicComponentComponent = DynamicComponent;
ExampleApp.ComposableComponentComponent = ComposableComponent;

+// register helpers
+ExampleApp.IsLastHelper = isLastHelper;

Now use our helper in our src/composable-component/template.hbs:

<div class="{{styles.container}}">
  <button {{action "addDynamicComponent"}}>Add dynamic component</button>
  <hr />
  {{#each ids as |id index|}}
    {{dynamic-component}}
    <button {{action "removeDynamicComponent" index}}>Remove dynamic component</button>
+    {{#unless (is-last ids.length index)}}
+      <hr />
+    {{/unless}}
  {{/each}}
</div>

{{#unless}}{{/unless}} is a built-in Handlebars plugin and will include our <hr /> as long as is-last is not true (hence unless). We pass ids.length and index to our is-last helper as described earlier.

Great. Our Ember example is complete.

Cycle.js

Our src/app.js:

import { run } from '@cycle/core';
import { makeDOMDriver, hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
import isolate from '@cycle/isolate';
import combineLatestObj from 'rx-combine-latest-obj';
import ComposableComponent from './composable-component';

function main(sources) {
  const componentVtrees$ = combineLatestObj({
    composableComponent$: isolate(ComposableComponent)(sources).DOM
  });

  const vtree$ = componentVtrees$.map(vtrees =>
    <div>
      {vtrees.composableComponent}
    </div>
  );

  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

const drivers = {
  DOM: makeDOMDriver('#example-app')
};

run(main, drivers);

Now the src/composable-component/index.js with its ./intent.js, ./model.js and ./view.js:

import intent from './intent';
import model from './model';
import view from './view';

export default function ComposableComponent(sources) {
  const actions = intent(sources);
  const state$ = model(actions);
  const vtree$ = view(state$);

  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}
import DynamicComponent from '../dynamic-component';

export default function intent(sources) {
  return {
    addDynamicComponent$: sources.DOM.select('.addDynamicComponent')
      .events('click')
      .map(() => DynamicComponent(sources).DOM),
    removeDynamicComponent$: sources.DOM.select('.removeDynamicComponent')
      .events('click')
      .map(event => parseInt(event.target.value))
  };
}
import { Observable } from 'rx';

export default function model({ addDynamicComponent$, removeDynamicComponent$ }) {
  return Observable.just([])
    // map `addDynamicComponent$` values to a callback which adds `vtree$` to existing `vtree$s`
    .merge(addDynamicComponent$.map(
      vtree$ => vtree$s => [ ...vtree$s, vtree$ ]
    ))
    // map `removeDynamicComponent$` values to a callback which removes the `vtree` matching the index
    .merge(removeDynamicComponent$.map(
      index => vtree$s => vtree$s.filter((_, i) => index !== i)
    ))
    // call callback (either returned from `addDynamicComponent$` or `removeDynamicComponent$`) and pass `vtree$s`
    .scan((vtree$s, callback) => callback(vtree$s));
}
import { hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import styles from './composable-component.css';

export default function view(state$) {
  return state$.map(dynamicComponents =>
    <div className={styles.container}>
      <button className="addDynamicComponent">Add dynamic component</button>
      <hr />
      {dynamicComponents.map((dynamicComponent, index) =>
        <div>
          {dynamicComponent}
          <button value={index} className="removeDynamicComponent">Remove dynamic component</button>
          {index + 1 !== dynamicComponents.length ? <hr /> : null}
        </div>
      )}
    </div>
  );
}

This is quite complex. I'll try to break it down. The sources are passed to intent. We query the DOM for click events on .addDynamicComponent and .removeDynamicComponent to generate the streams addDynamicComponent$ and removeDynamicComponent$. addDynamicComponent$ contains a new vtree$ of a DynamicComponent for every click (DynamicComponent(sources).DOM) while removeDynamicComponent$ contains the index parsed with parseInt(event.target.value) from the clicked element.

The two actions are then passed to our model. We basically want our state$ to be an array containing all vtree$s of our DynamicComponents. It is an array containing streams, that's why I called it vtree$s. (A stream containing an array would be foos$ and a stream containing other streams would be foo$$, just to make things clearer by using conventions.) We merge addDynamicComponent$ and removeDynamicComponent$ into our state$ - but not directly! Instead the return (with map) a callback function to add a new vtree$ to our vtree$s array or to remove a vtree$ from our vtree$s array. These callbacks are used inside scan, which passes vtree$s (initialized as an empty array) to the callback (which is either the callback from addDynamicComponent$ or removeDynamicComponent$).

The usage in the view is simple. We just map over our array (dynamicComponents) and place the vtree$s ({dynamicComponent}) in our virtual DOM.

Note that we conditionally dislay the <hr /> between every DynamicComponent in this line: {index + 1 !== dynamicComponents.length ? <hr /> : null}.

The changes to src/dynamic-component/index.js are a little bit more complicated this time. Thank you @laszlokorte for helping me here.

import { hJSX } from '@cycle/dom';
import { Observable } from 'rx';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

export default function DynamicComponent(sources) {
-  const seconds$ = Observable.just(Math.ceil(Math.random() * 100))
-    .merge(Observable.interval(1000))
-    .scan(seconds => seconds + 1);

+  const timer$ = Observable.timer(0, 1000).publish();
+  timer$.connect();

+  const seconds$ = timer$.shareReplay(1).scan(seconds => seconds + 1);

  const vtree$ = seconds$.map(seconds =>
    <div className={styles.container}>
      I count {seconds} seconds.
    </div>
  );

  const sinks = {
    DOM: vtree$
  };
  return sinks;
}

A concept of observables I haven't explained is hot and cold observables. Hot observables produce values even if no one is subscribed on them. Cold observables produce values only if someone has subscribed on them. An observable is cold by default. The way we handle our vtree$s leads to a re-subscription every time we add or remove a DynamicComponent. (I don't fully understand why this happens. I only know that it happens and what it implies.) Because of this re-subscription every DynamicComponent would be reset to 0, if we add or remove a DynamicComponent. So we need a hot observable. This is done with publish and connect on a separate observable I called timer$ which produces a new value every second. With shareReplay the same sequence of emitted values will be shared even if the subscription happens after the first values have been emitted. That way our DynamicComponent won't be reset to 0 even after a re-subscription.

Redux

Our src/app.js is untouched. Let's start by looking into src/constants.js in which our action types are defined. They should be self-explanatory:

export const ADD_SECOND = 'ADD_SECOND';
export const REMOVE_SECOND = 'REMOVE_SECOND';
export const INCREMENT_SECOND = 'INCREMENT_SECOND';

Our src/action-creators.js. Also pretty straightforward:

import { ADD_SECOND, REMOVE_SECOND, INCREMENT_SECOND } from './constants';

export function addSecond(index) {
  return {
    type: ADD_SECOND
  };
}

export function removeSecond(index) {
  return {
    type: REMOVE_SECOND,
    index
  };
}

export function incrementSecond(index) {
  return {
    type: INCREMENT_SECOND,
    index
  };
}

And the src/reducers.js:

import { combineReducers } from 'redux';
import { ADD_SECOND, REMOVE_SECOND, INCREMENT_SECOND } from './constants';

const initialState = [];

function seconds(state = initialState, action) {
  switch (action.type) {
    case ADD_SECOND:
      return [ ...state, 0 ];
    case REMOVE_SECOND:
      return state.filter((_, i) => action.index !== i);
    case INCREMENT_SECOND:
      return [
        ...state.slice(0, action.index),
        state[action.index] + 1,
        ...state.slice(action.index + 1)
      ];
    default:
      return state;
  }
}

export default combineReducers({
  seconds
});

Nothing fancy so far. All in all we have a state containing an array called seconds which is initially empty. On an ADD_SECOND action we'll add a new value to seconds which is 0 by default. Seconds can be incremented on INCREMENT_SECOND or removed on REMOVE_SECOND with a given index.

This time the src/example-app/index.js is extremely simple, because all the logic is placed in our <ComposableComponent />:

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import ComposableComponent from '../composable-component';

class ExampleApp extends Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <ComposableComponent />
    );
  }
}

export default ExampleApp;

This is src/composable-component/index.js:

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { bindActionCreators } from 'redux';
import { connect } from 'react-redux';
import DynamicComponent from '../dynamic-component';
import * as actionCreators from '../action-creators';
import styles from './composable-component.css';

class ComposableComponent extends Component {
  render() {
    const { seconds, actions: { addSecond, removeSecond, incrementSecond } } = this.props;
    return (
      <div className={styles.container}>
        <button onClick={() => addSecond()}>Add dynamic component</button>
        <hr />
        {seconds.map((second, index) => (
          <div key={index}>
            <DynamicComponent
              index={index}
              second={second}
              incrementSecond={incrementSecond} />
            <button onClick={() => removeSecond(index)}>Remove dynamic component</button>
            {index + 1 !== seconds.length ? <hr /> : null}
          </div>
        ))}
      </div>
    );
  }
}

function mapStateToProps(state) {
  return {
    seconds: state.seconds
  };
}

function mapDispatchToProps(dispatch) {
  return {
    actions: bindActionCreators(actionCreators, dispatch)
  };
}

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(ComposableComponent);

Many things are happening here, but it is not that different from <ExampleApp /> actually. With mapStateToProps we say that ComposableComponent wants to read seconds in our state and with mapDispatchToProps we say that ComposableComponent wants to access all actionCreators. We map over seconds in the render function to create <DynamicComponent /> instances and pass all properties it needs.

And this is src/dynamic-component/index.js:

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import styles from './dynamic-component.css';

class DynamicComponent extends Component {
  componentDidMount() {
    const { incrementSecond, index } = this.props;
-    setInterval(() => incrementSecond(index), 1000);
+    this.intervalId = setInterval(() => incrementSecond(index), 1000);
  }

+  componentWillUnmount() {
+    clearInterval(this.intervalId);
+  }

  render() {
    const { second } = this.props;
    return (
      <div className={styles.container}>
        I count {second} seconds.
      </div>
    )
  }
}

export default DynamicComponent;

This is really the only new part for Redux (or more precisely React) in this example. To clear your interval you add a method called componentWillUnmount to your Component. It will be called shortly before your Component will be destroyed.

Wow! Great. We actually finished all of our examples.

Conclusion

So what is the best framework to write components? No, really. I ask you. What do you think is the best framework? It probably depends a lot on your projects and your experience. I can't make a recommendation for you. Don't forget that these are very small examples. I know from my own experiences how hard managing state in Angular 1 components gets as your app grows. This is actually the number one reason why I look into other frameworks. We didn't look into many important parts of writing components like testability, animations, i18n, etc. It is not possible to look deeply into every framework. But by now you should have a good overview how it could be to write bigger components in one of our frameworks.

Thank you for reading.

I hope you learned something. I did! And I'll conclude with what I learned:

  • I like TypeScript, but I can't integrate it easily in my daily workflow. I hope this changes in the future.
  • I like webpack, Babel and CSS modules. Really good for building applications!
  • I still prefer JSX, but it wouldn't be mandatory for me.
  • Angular 1 in ES6 isn't that bad.
  • Angular 2 is okay. I'm not entirely sold to its concepts and syntax. zone.js seems a little bit magical.
  • You can write Ember applications without ember-cli! This is really nice. But it has edges...
  • Cycle.js is conceptionally maybe the best framework currently. "Best" in the sense of bug free, testability and logical structure. But for me it is really hard to write and understand. Too hard actually. I hope this changes in the future, too.
  • React and Redux were nice to use. A little bit verbose in the beginning, but very readable. I will look more into Redux in the future, because it was the framework I was most productive with.