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README.md

meiosis-routing

Meiosis is a pattern, not a library. Nevertheless, in response to popular demand and for your convenience, here are some reusable snippets of code that help setup and use Meiosis. This module provides support for routing in two modules:

  • state: provides functions that help manage routing state

  • router-helper: provides support for configuring routes and creating a router. Out-of-the-box support is provided for these router libraries:

You can also plug in another router library of your choice.

Benefits!

Meiosis Routing gives you programmable routes which you manage in application state, with the following benefits:

  • Simple route configuration
  • No hardcoded paths in links
  • Parent and child routes, and reusable child routes
  • Relative navigation: navigate to a parent, sibling, or child route
  • Redirect to a route after an action
  • Authenticate / authorize before going to a route
  • Load data (synchronously or asynchronously) when arriving at a route
  • Clean up state when leaving a route
  • Trigger arriving and leaving a route based on route and query parameters
  • Prevent leaving a route to e.g. warn user of unsaved data

Because routing is managed in application state, you don't need a complex router with support for all of the above. The actual router is just a thin layer that matches URLs to routes. You can use one of the routers mentioned above, or plug in your own. feather-route-matcher is a nice example of how you only need a lightweight router library.

Installation

Using npm:

npm i meiosis-routing

Using a script tag:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/meiosis-routing"></script>

Using the script tag exposes a Meiosis global, under which the helper functions are provided:

  • state.*
  • routerHelper.*

Using meiosis-routing

PLEASE NOTE that this is a summary of how to use meiosis-routing. Refer to this tutorial for a more detailed explanation. Also refer to the tutorial to use meiosis-routing with Mithril.

Create Route Segments

Meiosis Routing is based on the idea of route segments, which are plain objects of the form { id, params }. Then, a route is an array of route segments:

[{ id: "User", params: { name: "duck" }, { id: "Profile" } }]

Using an array of route segments opens up some nice possibilities:

  • Navigating to parent, sibling, or child route
  • Creating reusable child routes
  • Managing pages and transitions independently of route paths

For convenience, meiosis-routing/state provides the createRouteSegments to which you provide an array of strings that correspond to the route segments of your application:

import { createRouteSegments } from "meiosis-routing/state";

const Route = createRouteSegments([
  "Home",
  "Login",
  "User",
  "Profile",
  "Preferences"
]);

Route.Home()
// returns { id: "Home", params: {} }

[Route.User({ name: "duck" }), Route.Profile()]
// returns [{ id: "User", params: { name: "duck" } }, { id: "Profile", params: {} }]

Now that we can create route segments and routes (arrays of route segments), let's use routing to manage them.

Use Routing

We'll store the current route in the application state, under route.current:

{ route: { current: [Route.Home()] } }

Next, from our top-level component, we'll create an instance of Routing, passing in the current route. The routing instance we get has these properties and functions:

  • localSegment: Route
  • childSegment: Route
  • next(): routing
  • parentRoute(): route
  • childRoute(route): route
  • siblingRoute(route): route

We can now render the top-level component according to the localSegment id. We can use a simple stringComponent map to look up the corresponding component:

import { Routing } from "meiosis-routing/state";
import { Home, Login, User } from "./our-components";

const componentMap = { Home, Login, User };

const Root = ({ state }) => {
  const routing = Routing(state.route.current);
  const Component = componentMap[routing.localSegment.id];

  return (
    <div>
      {/* ... */}
      <Component /* other props... */ routing={routing} />
      {/* ... */}
    </div>
  );
};

Then in the Component, we can use routing.localSegment.params to retrieve any params. Again we can use a component map, now using routing.childSegment.id. We can do this for as many levels as we want, taking care to pass routing.next() down to the child component so that we "advance" the routing instance:

import { Profile, Preferences } from "./our-components";

const componentMap = { Profile, Preferences };

const User = ({ state, routing }) => {
  const params = routing.localSegment.params;
  const Component = componentMap[routing.childSegment.id];

  return (
    <div>
      {/* ... */}
      <Component /* other props... */ routing={routing.next()} />
      {/* ... */}
    </div>
  );
};

To navigate to a route, we can use a simple action that updates the state's route.current property:

// You can also import { navigateTo, Actions } from "meiosis-routing/state"
const navigateTo = route => ({
  route: { current: route }
});

const Actions = update => ({ navigateTo: route => navigateTo(route) });

const update = ...;
const actions = Actions(update);

// ...

<a href="#" onClick={() => actions.navigateTo(
  [Route.User({ id: userId }), Route.Profile()]
)}>
  User Profile
</a>

We can also navigate to a parent route, child route, and sibling route:

// Say we are in [Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()].
// This navigates to [Route.User({ name })]
<a href="#" onClick={() => actions.navigateTo(
  routing.parentRoute()
)}>
  User
</a>

// Say we are in [Route.User({ name })].
// This navigates to [Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()]
<a href="#" onClick={() => actions.navigateTo(
  routing.childRoute(Route.Profile())
)}>
  Profile
</a>

// Say we are in [Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()].
// This navigates to [Route.User({ name }), Route.Preferences({ name })]
<a href="#" onClick={() => actions.navigateTo(
  routing.siblingRoute(Route.Preferences({ name }))
)}>
  Preferences
</a>

Note that you can also pass an array of route segments to childRoute and siblingRoute.

We now have an application that uses routing and works just fine without a router and without paths. To add paths, we can plug in a simple router library.

Create and use a Router

Adding a router gives us the ability to generate paths and put them in the href attribute of our links. The path will show in the browser's location bar, users can use the back and forward buttons, bookmark links, and so on.

What's nice is that we can continue using programmatic routes as we've done so far. Route paths are generated from routes, so we never have to hardcode paths or mess with them in our application's routing logic.

Route Configuration

First, we create a route configuration. This is a plain object with idconfig mappings, where id is the id of the route segment, and config can either be:

  • a string: the route path
  • an array: [ path, (optional) array of parameters from the parent, nested route config ]

For example:

const routeConfig = {
  Home: "/",
  User: ["/user/:name", {
    Profile: "/profile",
    Preferences: ["/preferences", ["name"]]
  }]
}

This gives us the following path → route mappings:

  • /[Route.Home()]
  • /user/:name[Route.User({ name })]
  • /user/:name/profile[Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()]
  • /user/:name/preferences[Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile({ name })]

Create the Router

Next, we create a router. The router libraries mentioned at the top of the page are supported out-of-the-box. Let's use feather-route-matcher:

import createRouteMatcher from "feather-route-matcher";
import { createFeatherRouter } from "meiosis-routing/router-helper";

const routeConfig = { ... };

const router = createFeatherRouter({
  createRouteMatcher,
  routeConfig,
  defaultRoute: [Route.Home()]
});

Use the Router

This gives us a router with:

  • router.initialRoute: the initial route as parsed from the browser's location bar. We can use this in our application's initial state, { route: { current: router.initialRoute } }
  • router.start(): a function to call at application startup. We pass a navigateTo callback for route changes: router.start({ navigateTo: actions.navigateTo })
  • router.toPath(route): converts a route into a path. For example, router.toPath([Route.Home()]) or a relative route such as router.toPath(routing.parentRoute()).
  • router.locationBarSync(): a function to call to keep the location bar in sync. Every time the state changes, we call router.locationBarSync(state.route.current).

Now that we have router.toPath, we no longer need to have href="#" and onClick={...} in our links. Instead, we can use router.toPath() in href:

// Say we are in [Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()].
// This navigates to [Route.User({ name })]
<a href={router.toPath(routing.parentRoute())}>
  User
</a>

// Say we are in [Route.User({ name })].
// This navigates to [Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()]
<a href={router.toPath(routing.childRoute(Route.Profile()))}>
  Profile
</a>

// Say we are in [Route.User({ name }), Route.Profile()].
// This navigates to [Route.User({ name }), Route.Preferences({ name })]
// Notice that we don't have to specify ({ name }) in Route.Preferences(),
// since it is a parameter that is inherited from the parent route segment.
<a href={router.toPath(routing.siblingRoute(Route.Preferences()))}>
  Preferences
</a>

(Optional) Use Query Strings

We can use query strings by plugging in a query string library such as:

Note that query strings work out-of-the-box with Mithril. Refer to the routing tutorial for information on using meiosis-routing with Mithril.

To use a query string library, we just need to specify it as queryString when creating the router:

import createRouteMatcher from "feather-route-matcher";
import qs from "qs";

const router = createFeatherRouter({
  createRouteMatcher,
  queryString: qs,
  routeConfig,
  defaultRoute: [Route.Home()]
});

Then, we specify query string parameters in our route configuration using ? and/or &:

const routeConfig = {
  Home: "/",
  User: ["/user/:name?param1", {
    Profile: "/profile?param2&param3",
    Preferences: ["/preferences", ["name"]]
  }]
};

The parameters will be available in our route segments just like path parameters.

Use Transitions

It's often desirable to load data when arriving at a route, clear data when leaving a route, guard a route to restrict access, and so on. We can do them with route transitions.

meiosis-routing provides a routeTransition function that takes the current route state and returns the updated route state. You can use this function in an accept function, in a Redux reducer, and so on.

As an accept function, it looks like this:

// You can also import { accept } from "meiosis-routing/state"
const routeAccept = state => ({ route: routeTransition(state.route) });

With this, state.route will contain leave and arrive properties with the routes that we left and arrived to. We can then use the convenience functions that meiosis-routing provides, findRouteSegment and whenPresent, to perform any actions we want when leaving from or arriving to a route:

import { findRouteSegment, whenPresent } from "meiosis-routing/state";

// in accept function, reducer, service, etc.

function cleanup(state) {
  if (findRouteSegment(state.route.leave, Route.User())) {
    // leaving User route segment, cleanup...
  }
}

function loadDataForUser(state) {
  // whenPresent is a convenience function to get the matching route segment
  // so that we can have its params
  whenPresent(
    findRouteSegment(state.route.arrive, Route.User()),
    arrive => {
      const name = arrive.params.name;
      // load data for user according to the value of 'name'...
    }
  );
}

For More Details

As mentioned above, you will find a more in-depth tutorial in the Meiosis Routing documentation.

More details are also available in the API documentation.

Credits

Many thanks to Stephan Thon for experimenting with early versions, testing and reporting bugs, and providing feedback and suggestions. Your help is very valuable and much appreciated!


meiosis-routing is developed by foxdonut (@foxdonut00) and is released under the MIT license.

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