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HOC-based Spatial Navigation (key navigation) solution for React
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predikament and asgvard Slight improvements in throttle implementation (#18)
* Added throttling options and key up now calls .cancel instead of .flush

* New build

* Bumped minor version to reflect changes (v2.5.0 -> v2.6.0)

* New version and changes reflected in CHANGELOG.md
Latest commit c3895da Jul 10, 2019

README.md

react-spatial-navigation

npm version

Motivation

The main motivation to create this package was to bring the best Developer Experience and Performance when working with Key Navigation and React. Ideally you wouldn't want to have any logic to define the navigation in your app. It should be as easy as just to tell which components should be navigable. With this package all you have to do is to initialize it, wrap your components with the HOC and set initial focus. The spatial navigation system will automatically figure out which components to focus next when you navigate with the directional keys.

Article

Smart TV Navigation with React

Changelog

CHANGELOG.md

Table of Contents

Example

Spatial Navigation example

Testbed Example

Installation

npm i @noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation --save

Usage

Initialization

// Somewhere at the root of the app

import {initNavigation, setKeyMap} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

initNavigation();

// Optional
setKeyMap({
  'left': 9001,
  'up': 9002,
  'right': 9003,
  'down': 9004,
  'enter': 9005
});

Making component focusable

import {withFocusable} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

...

const FocusableComponent = withFocusable()(Component);

Using config options

import {withFocusable} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

...

const FocusableComponent = withFocusable({
  trackChildren: true,
  forgetLastFocusedChild: true
})(Component);

Using props on focusable components

import {withFocusable} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

...

const FocusableComponent = withFocusable()(Component);

const ParentComponent = (props) => (<View>
  ...
  <FocusableComponent
    trackChildren
    forgetLastFocusedChild
    focusKey={'FOCUSABLE_COMPONENT'}
    onEnterPress={props.onItemPress}
    onArrowPress={props.onArrowPress}
    onBecameFocused={props.onItemFocused}
  />
  ...
</View>);

Using props inside wrapped components

Basic usage

import {withFocusable} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

const Component = ({focused, setFocus}) => (<View>
  <View style={focused ? styles.focusedStyle : styles.defaultStyle} />
  <TouchableOpacity 
    onPress={() => {
      setFocus('SOME_ANOTHER_COMPONENT');
    }}
  />
</View>);

const FocusableComponent = withFocusable()(Component);

Setting initial focus on child component, tracking children

import React, {PureComponent} from 'react';
import {withFocusable} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

...

class Menu extends PureComponent {
  componentDidMount() {
    // this.props.setFocus(); // If you need to focus first child automatically
    this.props.setFocus('MENU-6'); // If you need to focus specific item that you know focus key of
  }

  render() {
    return (<View style={hasFocusedChild ? styles.menuExpanded : styles.defaultStyle}>
      <MenuItemFocusable />
      <MenuItemFocusable />
      <MenuItemFocusable />
      <MenuItemFocusable />
      <MenuItemFocusable />
      <MenuItemFocusable focusKey={'MENU-6'} />
    </View>);
  }
}

const MenuFocusable = withFocusable({
  trackChildren: true
})(Menu);

Using in Native environment

Since in native environment the focus is controlled by the native engine, we can only "sync" with it by setting focus on the component itself when it gets focused. Native navigation system automatically converts all Touchable component to focusable components and enhances them with the callbacks such as onFocus and onBlur. Read more here: React Native on TVs.

import {withFocusable} from '@noriginmedia/react-spatial-navigation';

const Component = ({focused, stealFocus}) => (<View>
  <View style={focused ? styles.focusedStyle : styles.defaultStyle} />
  <TouchableOpacity
    onFocus={stealFocus}
  />
</View>);

const FocusableComponent = withFocusable()(Component);

API

Top level

initNavigation: function

Function that needs to be called to enable Spatial Navigation system and bind key event listeners. Accepts Initialization Config as a param.

initNavigation({
  debug: true,
  visualDebug: true
})

Initialization Config

debug: boolean

Enable console debugging

  • false (default)
  • true
visualDebug: boolean

Enable visual debugging (all layouts, reference points and siblings refernce points are printed on canvases)

  • false (default)
  • true
nativeMode: boolean

Enable Native mode. It will block certain web-only functionality such as:

  • adding window key listeners
  • measuring DOM layout
  • onBecameFocused callback doesn't return coordinates
  • coordinates calculations when navigating
  • down-tree propagation
  • last focused child
  • preferred focus key

Native mode should be only used to keep the tree of focusable components and to sync the focused flag to enable styling for focused components. In Native mode you can only stealFocus to some component to flag it as focused, normal setFocus method is blocked because it will not propagate to native layer.

  • false (default)
  • true
throttle: integer

Enable to throttle the function fired by the event listener.

  • 0 (default)

setKeyMap: function

Function to set custom key codes.

setKeyMap({
  'left': 9001,
  'up': 9002,
  'right': 9003,
  'down': 9004,
  'enter': 9005
});

withFocusable: function

Main HOC wrapper function. Accepts config as a param.

const FocusableComponent = withFocusable({...})(Component);

Config

trackChildren: boolean

Determine whether to track when any child component is focused. Wrapped component can rely on hasFocusedChild prop when this mode is enabled. Otherwise hasFocusedChild will be always false.

  • false (default) - Disabled by default because it causes unnecessary render call when hasFocusedChild changes
  • true
forgetLastFocusedChild: boolean

Determine whether this component should not remember the last focused child components. By default when focus goes away from the component and then it gets focused again, it will focus the last focused child. This functionality is enabled by default.

  • false (default)
  • true

Props that can be applied to HOC

All these props are optional.

trackChildren: boolean

Same as in config.

forgetLastFocusedChild: boolean

Same as in config.

focusKey: string

String that is used as a component focus key. Should be unique, otherwise it will override previously stored component with the same focus key in the Spatial Navigation service storage of focusable components. If this is not specified, the focus key will be generated automatically.

onEnterPress: function

Callback function that is called when the item is currently focused and Enter (OK) key is pressed.

Payload: All the props passed to HOC is passed back to this callback. Useful to avoid creating callback functions during render.

const onPress = ({prop1, prop2}) => {...};

...
<FocusableItem 
  prop1={111}
  prop2={222}
  onEnterPress={onPress}
/>
...

onArrowPress: function

Callback function that is called when the item is currently focused and an arrow (LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN) key is pressed.

Payload:

  1. The directional arrow (left, right, up, down): string
  2. All the props passed to HOC is passed back to this callback. Useful to avoid creating callback functions during render.

Prevent default navigation: By returning false the default navigation behavior is prevented.

const onPress = (direction, {prop1, prop2}) => {
  ...
  return false;
};

...
<FocusableItem 
  prop1={111}
  prop2={222}
  onArrowPress={onPress}
/>
...

onBecameFocused: function

Callback function that is called when the item becomes focused directly or during propagation of the focus to the children components. For example when you have nested tree of 5 focusable components, this callback will be called on every level of down-tree focus propagation.

Payload: Component layout object is passed as a first param. All the component props passed back to this callback. Useful to avoid creating callback functions during render. x and y are relative coordinates to parent DOM (not the Focusable parent) element. left and top are absolute coordinates on the screen.

const onFocused = ({width, height, x, y, top, left}, {prop1, prop2}) => {...};

...
<FocusableItem 
  prop1={111}
  prop2={222}
  onBecameFocused={onFocused}
/>
...

Props passed to Wrapped Component

focusKey: string

Focus key that represents the focus key that was applied to HOC component. Might be null when not set. It is recommended to not rely on this prop ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

realFocusKey: string

Focus key that is either the focusKey prop of the HOC, or automatically generated focus key like sn:focusable-item-23.

parentFocusKey: string

Focus key of the parent component. If it is a top level focusable component, this prop will be SN:ROOT

preferredChildFocusKey: string

Focus key of the child component focused during the focus propagation when the parent component is focused the first time or has forgetLastFocusedChild set

focused: boolean

Whether component is currently focused. It is only true if this exact component is focused, e.g. when this component propagates focus to child component, this value will be false.

hasFocusedChild: boolean

This prop indicates that the component currently has some focused child on any depth of the focusable tree.

setFocus: function

This method sets the focus to another component (when focus key is passed as param) or steals the focus to itself (when used w/o params). It is also possible to set focus to a non-existent component, and it will be automatically picked up when component with that focus key will get mounted. This preemptive setting of the focus might be useful when rendering lists of data. You can assign focus key with the item index and set it to e.g. first item, then as soon as it will be rendered, that item will get focused. In Native mode this method is ignored (noop).

setFocus(); // set focus to self
setFocus('SOME_COMPONENT'); // set focus to another component if you know its focus key

stealFocus: function

This method works exactly like setFocus, but it always sets focus to current component no matter which params you pass in. This is the only way to set focus in Native mode.

<TouchableOpacity 
  onFocus={stealFocus}
/>

pauseSpatialNavigation: function

This function pauses key listeners. Useful when you need to temporary disable navigation. (e.g. when player controls are hidden during video playback and you want to bind the keys to show controls again).

resumeSpatialNavigation: function

This function resumes key listeners if it was paused with pauseSpatialNavigation

Development

Dev environment

This library is using Parcel to serve the web build.

To run the testbed app locally:

npm start

This will start local server on localhost:1234

Source code is in src/App.js

Dev notes

General notes

  • Focusable component are stored as a Tree structure. Each component has the reference to its parent as parentFocusKey.
  • Current algorithm calculates distance between the border of the current component in the direction of key press to the border of the next component.

withFocusable HOC

  • realFocusKey is created once at component mount in withStateHandlers. It either takes the focusKey prop value or is automatically generated.
  • setFocus method is bound with the current component realFocusKey so you can call it w/o params to focus component itself. Also the behaviour of this method can be described as an attempt to set the focus, because even if the target component doesn't exist yet, the target focus key will be stored and the focus will be picked up by the component with that focus key when it will get mounted.
  • parentFocusKey is propagated to children components through context. This is done because the focusable components tree is not necessary the same as the DOM tree.
  • On mount component adds itself to spatialNavigation service storage of all focusable components.
  • On unmount component removes itself from the service.

spatialNavigation Service

  • New components are added in addFocusableand removed in removeFocusable
  • Main function to change focus in web environment is setFocus. First it decides next focus key (getNextFocusKey), then set focus to the new component (setCurrentFocusedKey), then the service updates all components that has focused child and finally updates layout (coordinates and dimensions) for all focusable component.
  • getNextFocusKey is used to determine the good candidate to focus when you call setFocus. This method will either return the target focus key for the component you are trying to focus, or go down by the focusable tree and select the best child component to focus. This function is recoursive and going down by the focusable tree.
  • smartNavigate is similar to the previous one, but is called in response to a key press event. It tries to focus the best sibling candidate in the direction of key press, or delegates this task to a focusable parent, that will do the same attempt for its sibling and so on.
  • In Native environment the only way to set focus is stealFocus. This service mostly works as a "sync" between native navigation system and JS to apply focused state and keep the tree structure of focusable components. All the layout and coordinates measurement features are disabled because native engine takes care of it.

Contributing

Please follow the Contribution Guide

TODOs

  • Unit tests
  • Refactor with React Hooks instead of recompose.
  • Native environment support
  • Add custom navigation logic per component. I.e. possibility to override default decision making algorithm and decide where to navigate next based on direction.
  • Implement mouse support. On some TV devices (or in the Browser) it is possible to use mouse-like input, e.g. magic remote in LG TVs. This system should support switching between "key" and "pointer" modes and apply "focused" state accordingly.

License

MIT Licensed

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