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README.md

Searching Quranic Verse

This react app explores basics of react app creation and its purpose is to be a tutorial documenting the typical steps. All codes are available in this github repo.

First, we create the scaffolding using npx as follows:

npx create-react-app verse-search

building the basic scaffolding

Next, I will delete all the contents inside the src folder and intead create index.js file with the following contents.

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import App from './component/App';

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.querySelector('#root'));

Then, we create a folder under src called component and create App.js file with the following content.

import React from "react";

class App extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <div>React started successfully...</div>;
  }
}

export default App;

After that we can start the app by yarn start (or npm start), and head over to

http://localhost:3000/

Semantic UI

I am going to use Semantic UI as styling engine. For that I search cdn site and get it from the following link and insert it in the public/index.html file.

https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/semantic-ui/2.4.1/semantic.min.css

Search Verse Component

The plan is as follows. We will create a Stateful component called SearchVerse which will contain input form for searching verses by a key word. The results array of verses that has that keywords is returned to the parent App which will then send them as props to another child that will DisplayVerse. The verses will be searched through an API.

Given this understanding let us first create our SearchVerse structure as follows.

import React from "react";

class SearchVerse extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div className="ui segment">
        <form className="ui form">
          <div className="field">
            <label>Enter search term:</label>
            <input type="text" />
          </div>
        </form>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

export default SearchVerse;

Also, a little bit of Semantic UI in the App file as follows:

class App extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div className="ui container" style={{ marginTop: "10px" }}>
        <SearchVerse />
      </div>
    );
  }
}

State system and passing information back and forth

Now comes the tricky parts. First, we will create a state inside SearchVerse that would hold the value of input form as the user types some term inside the search bar. This is achieved by the followng code which will just display whatever the user types:

//insie the SearchVerse.js file

class SearchVerse extends React.Component {
  state = { term: "" };

  render() {
    return (
      <div className="ui segment">
        <form className="ui form">
          <div className="field">
            <label>Enter search term:</label>
            <input
              type="text"
              onChange={e => {
                this.setState({ term: e.target.value });
              }}
            />
          </div>
        </form>
        <p>You are searching for: {this.state.term}</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

Next, what happens after the submit which occurs after pressing enter? We want two things to happen

  1. first, we do NOT want to refresh the page by trying to send the form over server, that means we want to prevent default i.e., event.preventDefault().
  2. We want somehow to pass the search term to the parent, i.e., App.js. How to do that?

For that, two steps are needed: a. In the App pass a prop which is a function to the child as follows:

class App extends React.Component {
  onFormSubmit = term => {
    console.log(`we are searching for ${term}`);
  };
  render() {
    return (
      <div className="ui container" style={{ marginTop: "10px" }}>
        <SearchVerse onSubmit={this.onFormSubmit} />
      </div>
    );
  }
}

b. in the child we implement the handler function and pass the internal state (which we already populated at the time of input search onChange handler) to the props called onSubmit in the App, as follows:

class SearchVerse extends React.Component {
  state = { term: "" };
  onFormSubmit = e => {
    e.preventDefault();
    this.props.onSubmit(this.state.term);
  };

  render() {
    return (
      <div className="ui segment">
        <form onSubmit={this.onFormSubmit} className="ui form">
          <div className="field">
            <label>Enter search term:</label>
            <input
              type="text"
              onChange={e => {
                this.setState({ term: e.target.value });
              }}
            />
          </div>
        </form>
        <p>You are searching for: {this.state.term}</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

API

We will install axios to work with getting API request

yarn add axios

Next, we need to study the documentation of our API provider, which is available at: https://alquran.cloud/api

Inside the App we need to make an async and await construct with axios.get as follows. Note that our extraction of data from response is highly depended on the nature of API response and could vary from a provider to another.

So, in our case, a typical resutls would be like the following:

{
  "code": 200,
  "status": "OK",
  "data": {
    "count": 72,
    "matches": [
      {
        "number": 131,
        "text": "And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, \"Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.\" [Abraham] said, \"And of my descendants?\" [Allah] said, \"My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.\"",
        "edition": {
          "identifier": "en.sahih",
          "language": "en",
          "name": "Saheeh International",
          "englishName": "Saheeh International",
          "type": "translation"
        },
        "surah": {
          "number": 2,
          "name": "سورة البقرة",
          "englishName": "Al-Baqara",
          "englishNameTranslation": "The Cow",
          "revelationType": "Medinan"
        },
        "numberInSurah": 124
      }
      //next record
    ]
  }

Here is the code that uses axios to fetch data asynchroneously.

onFormSubmit = async term => {
  const url = `http://api.alquran.cloud/v1/search/${term}/all/en.sahih`;
  const response = await axios.get(url);
  console.log(response.data.data.matches);
  const tmp = [];
  response.data.data.matches.forEach(d => {
    tmp.push(d.text);
  });
  console.log(tmp);

  this.setState({
    count: response.data.data.count,
    verses: tmp
  });
};

Now, we pass the resutls stored in our states to another component for the purpose of displaying DisplayVerses.

Next, you will find ways to handle conditional rendering based on if no search term is found.

See how we achieve that in the render function of App.

render() {
    let message = null;
    if (this.state.count === 0) {
      message = (
        <p className="termnotfound">
          No Results for {this.state.term}. Try again.{" "}
        </p>
      );
    } else if (this.state.count > 0) {
      message = (
        <DisplayVerses
          count={this.state.count}
          verses={this.state.verses}
          term={this.state.term}
        />
      );
    } else {
      message = null;
    }

    return (
      <div className="ui container" style={{ marginTop: "10px" }}>
        <SearchVerse onSubmit={this.onFormSubmit} />

        {this.state.loading ? (
          <Spinner text="Wait..I am finding the verses" />
        ) : (
          message
        )}
      </div>
    );
  }

Also, above you will notice that I have introduced a component called Spinner that gives a nice waiting feature for the convinience of users while the axios is fetching data. Here is the Spinner component:

import React from "react";

const Spinner = props => {
  return (
    <div className="ui active dimmer">
      <div className="ui text loader">{props.text}</div>
    </div>
  );
};

Spinner.defaultProps = {
  text: "Wait..I am finding verses"
};

export default Spinner;

You can expand this with so many other styling aspects, but let me turn to deployment issues.

Deployment

What is the value of such an app without exposing it to the world. So, I have my DigitalOcean droplet and I have registered my domain name (playquran.com) and served it through nginx engine. So, now I want to deploy this react app to the site so it should be available in a location like playquran.com/search. This method basically builds the project and serves the built folder as static content through nginx router. I descibed this process in an earlier post in my site, from which you can take over the rest of the process.

The other way is to keep the app running on a port in the server through a background process engine like pm2 and create the appropriate nginx construct as described in this article.

Thanks for your attention.

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