Exploratory work on a minimal version of React
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
examples
src
.gitignore
LICENSE
README.md
package.json

README.md

Exploring notReact

This is an exploratory work to determine how a minimal reimplementation of React, called notReact, can succeed in replicating the basic behavior of React. It is so minimal that only accepts pure functional "not-react" components.

The (revised) minimal notReact implementation is in src/not-react.js. It only has 140 bytes long! And could even be reduced to 44 bytes if willing to go all the way down :D

var notReactDOM={render(h,e){e.innerHTML=h}}

Usage

Check out the examples folder. The examples follow the Quick Start guide of React.

Install

If you ever dare using this library for anything, you can npm install not-react-dom, link to unpkg hosted version at https://unpkg.com/not-react-dom or just copy the file! That's it!

The library is conveniently wrapped in an UMD loader so it can be safely loaded using RequireJS, Node.js' require() or just an <script> tag that will expose the global notReactDOM object.

Conclusions

The most relevant finding of this exercise is that the lib's code needed to implement the "hello world" example did not need a single change to later implement all the other examples, no matter how complex the example was. This is a clear difference with any other framework or library, that needs more and more code to support additional use cases.

Perhaps that characteristic is good enough to forgive some negative aspects found along the way:

  • Mapping a list of components into HTML needs .join('') at the end to avoid JavaScript to join the array of strings with commas. Not bad considering the final size of the library.

  • Event handling is not "elegant" as handler calls are plain text and handlers need to be global. Fixing that would have required tons of additional logic!

  • State? Global state!? Well... if there only are functional components, the state has to be somewhere. And that "somewhere" has to be accessible by the global event handlers.

  • Rendering large pages would be really slow as the whole DOM tree is rewritten on each state change. For small pages or document trees it would work pretty well anyway.

  • And, no, no fancy stuff. No error checking, sanitization, security, nothing. Only suitable for Perfect Programmers (TM) and Lovely Users (TM).

License

Unlicense