*DEPRECATED* React application controller to manage top-level React components according to window.location
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README.md

react-app-controller

DEPRECATION WARNING: This is not maintained anymore, please use react-router-component instead.

Application controller component for React.

It keeps track of window.location (via History API) and renders UI according to its routes table. It can be used both on client and server.

Installation

Install via npm:

% npm install react-app-controller

You certainly will need to install React itself:

% npm install react

Creating a controller

You can use react-app-controller to control how components are rendered in browser according to window.location:

var React = require('react');
var createController = require('react-app-controller');

var MainPage = React.createClass({
  ...
});

var AboutPage = React.createClass({
  ...
});

var controller = createController({
  routes: {
    '/': MainPage,
    '/about': AboutPage
  }
});

Instantiated controller is essentially a React component (one you would usually create with React.createClass(...) function).

Client side usage

When we are ready to start our controller in a browser we use its .render() static method instead of React.renderComponent.

controller.render(document.body, function(err, controller) {
  // controller instantiated and rendered into DOM
});

Now controller is fully functional, it listens to popstate event and react accordingly.

Transitions to different routes

Method .navigate(url) can be used to navigate to a specified URL:

controller.navigate('/about');

Another method .navigateQuery(obj) can be used to update just the current query string values:

controller.navigateQuery({search: 'term'});

Both these methods call window.pushState(..) internally so browser location will be updated accordingly.

You probably would want to use these methods when some event occurs like clicking an anchor element.

Server side usage

The same controller can be used to pre-generate UI markup on a server:

var createController = require('react-app-controller');

var controller = createController({
  routes: {
    '/': MainPage,
    '/about': AboutPage
  }
});

Method .renderToString(url, cb) takes a URL and produces corresponding markup asynchronously:

controller.renderToString('/about', function(err, markup) {
  // serve markup to a client
});

Handling NotFoundError

When no route is matched for a specified URL you can define renderNotFound() method to generate UI for this case:

var controller = createController({
  routes: {
    ...
  },

  renderNotFound: function() {
    return (
      <div className="NotFound">
        Sorry, no item could be found for a specified request.
      </div>
    );
  }
});

If no renderNotFound() was defined and condition occurs then NotFoundError will be thrown.

Overriding .render() method

Controllers are React components but they have .render() method implemented by default. It looks like this:

render: function() {
  return React.DOM.div(null, this.state.page);
}

Note the this.state.page, it is the currently active component according to window.location and routing table (routes attribute you passed as a part of a controller specification in createController).

In case there were no matches for a current URL then this.state.page will be null. You should handle this case according your needs.

You can override the .render() by own implementation, just pass it as a part of controller specification into createController.