Skip to content
A lightweight library for creating reactive, state-based components and UI.
JavaScript HTML
Branch: master
Clone or download
Latest commit af20a92 Sep 10, 2019
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
.github Migrated workflow Sep 10, 2019
dist Fixed bug with properties not updating Sep 7, 2019
src Fixed bug with properties not updating Sep 7, 2019
.gitignore Initial commit Jul 19, 2018
.travis.yml Initial commit Jul 19, 2018
LICENSE.md Initial commit Jul 19, 2018
README.md Updated readme Aug 11, 2019
gulpfile.js v4.0.0 Aug 10, 2019
index.html v4.0.0 Aug 10, 2019
package-lock.json v4.0.0 Aug 10, 2019
package.json Fixed bug with properties not updating Sep 7, 2019

README.md

Reef Build Status

A lightweight library for creating reactive, state-based components and UI. Reef is a simpler alternative to React, Vue, and other large frameworks.

Getting Started | State Management | Advanced Components | Demos | What's New? | Browser Compatibility | License

Features:

  • Weighs just 2.5kb (minified and gzipped) with zero dependencies.
  • Simple templating with JavaScript strings or template literals.
  • Load it with a <script> element—no command line or transpiling required.
  • Updates only the parts of the DOM that have changed. Keep those form fields in focus!
  • Automatically encodes markup in your data to protect you from cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
  • Work with native JavaScript methods and browser APIs instead of custom methods and pseudo-languages.
  • Supported all the way back to IE9.

Ditch that bloated framework, and make web development fun and simple again!


Want to learn how to write your own vanilla JS plugins? Check out my Vanilla JS Pocket Guides or join the Vanilla JS Academy and level-up as a web developer. 🚀


Why use Reef?

Reef is an anti-framework.

It does a lot less than the big guys like React and Vue. It doesn't have a Virtual DOM. It doesn't require you to learn a custom templating syntax. It doesn't provide a bunch of custom methods.

Reef does just one thing: render UI.

Couldn't you just use some template strings and innerHTML? Sure. But Reef only updates things that have changed instead clobbering the DOM and removing focus from your form fields. It also automatically renders a new UI when your data updates, and helps protect you from XSS attacks.

If you're craving a simpler, back-to-basics web development experience, Reef is for you.

(And if not, that's cool too! Carry on.)

Getting Started

1. Include Reef on your site.

Direct Download

You can download the files directly from GitHub.

Compiled and production-ready code can be found in the dist directory. The src directory contains development code.

<script src="path/to/reef.min.js"></script>

CDN

You can also use the jsDelivr CDN. I recommend linking to a specific version number or version range to prevent major updates from breaking your site. Reef uses semantic versioning.

<!-- Always get the latest version -->
<!-- Not recommended for production sites! -->
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/cferdinandi/reef/dist/reef.min.js"></script>

<!-- Get minor updates and patch fixes within a major version -->
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/cferdinandi/reef@4/dist/reef.min.js"></script>

<!-- Get patch fixes within a minor version -->
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/cferdinandi/reef@4.0/dist/reef.min.js"></script>

<!-- Get a specific version -->
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/cferdinandi/reef@4.0.0/dist/reef.min.js"></script>

NPM

You can also use NPM (or your favorite package manager).

npm install reefjs

2. Add an element to render your component/UI into.

This is typically an empty div with a targetable selector.

<div id="app"></div>

3. Create your component

Create a new Reef() instance, passing in two arguments: your selector, and your options.

Provide a selector

The first argument is the selector for the element you want to render the UI into. Alternatively, you can pass in the element itself.

// This works
var app = new Reef('#app');

// This does too
var elem = document.querySelector('#app');
var app = new Reef(elem);

Provide a Template

The second argument is an object of options. It requires a template property, as either a string or a function that returns a string, to render into the DOM.

You can use old-school strings, or if you'd prefer, ES6 template literals.

// Your template can be a string
var app = new Reef('#app', {
	template: '<h1>Hello, world!</h1>'
});

// It can also be a function that returns a string
var app = new Reef('#app', {
	template: function () {
		return '<h1>Hello, world!</h1>';
	}
});

[Optional] Add State/Data

As an optional property of the options argument, you can include state for your component with the data property.

The state data is automatically passed into your template function, so that you can use it to customize your template. Reef also encodes any markup in your data before passing it into your template to reduce your risk of cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

// Some data
var app = new Reef('#app', {
	data: {
		greeting: 'Hello',
		name: 'world'
	},
	template: function (props) {
		return '<h1>' + props.greeting + ', ' + props.name + '!</h1>';
	}
});

4. Render your component

You can render your component by calling the .render() method on it.

app.render();

Try the demo on CodePen →

State Management

Reef provides two different ways to manage your state: reactive and manual.

Data Reactivity

Data reactivity means that the UI "reacts" to changes in your data. Update your data, and the UI automatically renders any required updates based on the new state.

You can get an immutable clone of your current state using the getData() method. This lets you make any updates or changes you want without affecting the actual state of your component.

var data = app.getData();
data.greeting = 'Hi there';

When you're ready to update your state, use the setData() method to update the state and cause the UI to render (if anything has changed).

The setData() method accepts an object with your changed state as an argument. You don't need to pass in the whole state again---only what's changed.

// Pass in an entirely new state
app.setData({
	greeting: 'Hi there',
	name: 'universe'
});

// Or update just one key
app.setData({greeting: 'Hi there'});

Try data reactivity on CodePen →

Manual State

Sometimes, you want more manual control over when your UI renders again.

You can update your component's state by directly accessing the data property of the component. After updating your state, run the .render() method again to update the DOM.

app.data.greeting = 'Hi there';
app.data.name = 'universe';
app.render();

Try manual state management on CodePen →

Advanced Components

HTML in your data

Reef automatically encodes any markup in your data before passing it into your template to reduce your risk of cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

You can disable this feature by setting the allowHTML option to true.

Important! Do NOT do this with third-party or user-provided data. This exposes you to the risk of cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

var app = new Reef('#app', {
	data: {
		greeting: '<strong>Hello</strong>',
		name: 'world'
	},
	template: function (props) {
		return '<h1>' + props.greeting + ', ' + props.name + '!</h1>';
	},
	allowHTML: true // Do NOT use with third-party/user-supplied data
});

Try allowing HTML in your data on CodePen →

Nested Components

If you're managing a bigger app, you may have components inside components.

Reef provides you with a way to attach nested components to their parent components. When the parent component is updated, it will automatically update the UI of its nested components if needed.

Associate a nested component with its parent using the attachTo key in your options. This accepts an array of components to attach your nested component to. You only need to render the parent component. It's nested components will render automatically.

You can access a parent component's state from a nested component by assigning the parent component data property to the data key in your nested component's options.

// Parent component
var app = new Reef('#app', {
	data: {
		greeting: 'Hello, world!',
		todos: [
			'Buy milk',
			'Bake a birthday cake',
			'Go apple picking'
		]
	},
	template: function (props) {
		var html =
			'<h1>' + props.greeting + '</h1>' +
			'<div id="todos"></div>';
		return html;
	}
});

// Nested component
var todos = new Reef('#todos', {
	data: app.data,
	template: function (props) {
		var html = '<h2>Todo List</h2><ul>';
		props.todos.forEach(function (todo) {
			html += '<li>' + todo + '</li>';
		});
		html += '</ul>';
		return html;
	},
	attachTo: [app]
});

app.render();

Try nested components on CodePen →

Attaching and Detaching Nested Components

You can attach or detach nested components at any time using the attach() and detach() methods. Both methods accept both individual components or arrays of components as arguments.

// Attach components
app.attach(todos);
app.attach([todos]);

// Detach components
app.detach(todos);
app.detach([todos]);

Try attaching nested components on CodePen →

Shared State

There are two ways to handle shared state with Reef when your components (in addition to the nested component/parent component relationship documented above).

Source of Truth Object

You can associate a named data object with multiple components.

The biggest downside to this approach is that it's non-reactive. You need to manually run the render() method on any component that needs to be updated when you update the state.

var sourceOfTruth = {
	greeting: 'Hello, world!',
	todos: [
		'Buy milk',
		'Bake a birthday cake',
		'Go apple picking'
	]
};

// Parent component
var app = new Reef('#app', {
	data: sourceOfTruth,
	template: function (props) {
		var html =
			'<h1>' + props.greeting + '</h1>' +
			'<div id="todos"></div>';
		return html;
	}
});

// Nested component
var todos = new Reef('#todos', {
	data: sourceOfTruth,
	template: function (props) {
		var html = '<h2>Todo List</h2><ul>';
		props.todos.forEach(function (todo) {
			html += '<li>' + todo + '</li>';
		});
		html += '</ul>';
		return html;
	},
	attachTo: [app]
});

// Initial render
app.render();

// Update the state
sourceOfTruth.greeting = 'Hi, universe';

// Re-render the DOM
app.render();

Try working with a single source of truth on CodePen →

Create a Lagoon

A lagoon is a Reef instance that's only purpose is to store shared data.

It doesn't render any UI in the DOM, but allows you to reactively update state using the setData() method. You can automatically trigger renders in other components by attaching them to your lagoon.

Create a lagoon by setting the lagoon option to true when creating your Reef instance.

var sourceOfTruth = new Reef(null, {
	data: {
		greeting: 'Hello, world!',
		todos: [
			'Buy milk',
			'Bake a birthday cake',
			'Go apple picking'
		]
	},
	lagoon: true
});

// Parent component
var app = new Reef('#app', {
	data: sourceOfTruth.data,
	template: function (props) {
		var html =
			'<h1>' + props.greeting + '</h1>' +
			'<div id="todos"></div>';
		return html;
	},
	attachTo: [sourceOfTruth]
});

// Nested component
var todos = new Reef('#todos', {
	data: sourceOfTruth.data,
	template: function (props) {
		var html = '<h2>Todo List</h2><ul>';
		props.todos.forEach(function (todo) {
			html += '<li>' + todo + '</li>';
		});
		html += '</ul>';
		return html;
	},
	attachTo: [sourceOfTruth, app]
});

// Initial render
app.render();

// Reactively update state
sourceOfTruth.setData({greeting: 'Hi, universe'});

Try creating a lagoon on CodePen →

Custom Events

Whenever Reef updates the DOM, it emits a custom render event that you can listen for with addEventListener().

The render event is emitted on the element that was update, and bubbles, so you can use event delegation if you'd prefer.

document.addEventListener('render', function (event) {
	if (event.target.matches('#app')) {
		// Do something...
	}
}, false);

Try the render event on CodePen →

Debugging

By default, Reef fails silently. You can put Reef into debugging mode to expose helpful error message in the Console tab of your browser's Developer Tools.

Turn debugging mode on or off with the Reef.debug() method. Pass in true to turn it on, and false to turn it off.

// Turns debugging mode on
Reef.debug(true);

// Turns debugging mode off
Reef.debug(false);

Demos

What's new?

Version 4.0 adds better performance and XSS protection:

  • Data is once again automatically encoded to help protect you from cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
  • Changes to diffing and rendering reduce reflows and improve performance.
  • Support pushed back even further to IE9.
  • Deprecated: Custom sanitizer methods were removed in favor of built-in, automated HTML encoding. You can still add custom sanitization within template functions.

Version 3.0 removes built-in sanitization:

  • Automatic sanitization has been removed. HTML templates are unsanitized by default.
  • Two new hooks to add sanitization to your components have been added. This provides more developer flexibility and keeps Reef as lightweight as possible.

Version 2.0 adds a better sanitizing engine and markup support:

  • DOMPurify is now the template sanitizing engine.
  • The attribute exceptions feature has been removed in favor of DOMPurify's configuration options. The addAttributes() and removeAttributes() methods no longer exist.
  • Reef now offers a smaller unsafe version for UIs that don't use any third-party or user-provided content. It does not sanitize templates before rendering, so use with caution.
  • SVGs are now properly supported and will render correctly.

Version 1.0 removed polyfill dependencies:

  • All polyfills have been removed and are no longer needed. This is a breaking change, as the .polyfill versions of scripts no longer exist.

Version 0.2 introduced some big new features:

  • Data reactivity and automatically updating UI
  • Support for nested components
  • Shared state support (with data reactivity!)
  • Custom attribute exceptions for your templates

Browser Compatibility

Reef works in all modern browsers, and IE 9 and above.

License

The code is available under the MIT License.

You can’t perform that action at this time.