Skip to content
Permalink
Branch: master
Find file Copy path
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
198 lines (151 sloc) 8.38 KB

Descriptors

The library provides define function, which under the hood calls Custom Element API (read more in Definition section). Because of that, the library has all control over the parameters of the custom element definition. It creates class wrapper constructor dynamically, applies properties on its prototype, and finally defines custom element using customElements.define() method.

The property definition is known as a property descriptor. The name came from the third argument of the Object.defineProperty(obj, prop, descriptor) method, which is used to set those properties on the prototype of the custom element constructor.

Structure

The descriptor structure is similar to what Object.defineProperty() requires for getter/setter property:

const MyElement = {
  propertyName: {
    get: (host, lastValue) => { ... },
    set: (host, value, lastValue) => { ... },
    connect: (host, key, invalidate) => {
      ...
      // disconnect
      return () => { ... };
    },
    observe: (host, value, lastValue) => { ... },
  },
};

However, there are a few differences. Instead of using function context (this keyword), the first argument of all methods is the instance of an element. It allows using arrow functions and destructuring function arguments.

The second most change is the cache mechanism, which controls and holds current property value. By the specs, getter/setter property requires an external variable for keeping the value. In the hybrids, cache covers that for you. Additionally, the library provides a mechanism for change detection and calls observe method, when the value of the property has changed (directly or when one of the dependency changes).

Despite the factories and translation concepts, you can always define properties using descriptors. The only requirement is that your definition has to be an object instance (instead of a function reference, an array instance or primitive value).

Defaults

The library provides a default method for get or set if they are omitted in the definition. The fallback method returns last saved value for get, and saves passed value for set. If the get method is defined, the set method does not support fallback to default (it allows creating read-only property).

const MyElement = {
  defined: {
    get: () => {...},
    set: () => {...},
  },
  readonly: {
    get: () => {...},
  },
  defaultGet: {
    // get: (host, value) => value,
    set: () => {...},
  },
  defaultsWithConnect: {
    // get: (host, value) => value,
    // set: (host, value) => value,
    connect: () => {...},
  },
  defaultsWithObserve: {
    // get: (host, value) => value,
    // set: (host, value) => value,
    observe: () => {...},
  },
}

Methods

get

get: (host: Element, lastValue: any) => {
  // calculate current value
  const value = ...;

  // return it
  return value;
}
  • arguments:
    • host - an element instance
    • lastValue - last cached value of the property
  • returns (required):
    • nextValue - a value of the current state of the property

It calculates the current property value. The returned value is cached by default. The cache mechanism works between properties defined by the library (even between different elements). If your get method does not use other properties, it won't be called again (the only way to update the value then is to assert new value or call invalidate from connect method).

Cache mechanism uses equality check to compare values (nextValue !== lastValue), so it enforces using immutable data, which is one of the ground rules of the library.

In the following example, the get method of the name property is called again if firstName or lastName has changed:

const MyElement = {
  firstName: 'John',
  lastName: 'Smith',
  name: {
    get: ({ firstName, lastName }) => `${firstName} ${lastName}`,
  },
};

console.log(myElement.name); // calls 'get' and returns 'John Smith'
console.log(myElement.name); // Cache returns 'John Smith'

set

set: (host: Element, value: any, lastValue: any) => {
  // calculate next value
  const nextValue = ...;

  // return it
  return nextValue;
}
  • arguments:
    • host - an element instance
    • value - a value passed to assertion (ex., el.myProperty = 'new value')
    • lastValue - last cached value of the property
  • returns (required):
    • nextValue - a value of the property, which replaces cached value

Every assertion of the property calls set method (like myElement.property = 'new value'). If returned nextValue is not equal to lastValue, cache of the property invalidates. However, set method does not trigger get method automatically. Only the next access to the property (like const value = myElement.property) calls get method. Then get takes nextValue from set as the lastValue argument, calculates value and returns it.

The following example shows the power property, which uses the default get, defines the set method, and calculates the power of the number passed to the property:

const MyElement = {
  power: {
    set: (host, value) => value ** value,
  },
}

myElement.power = 10; // calls 'set' method and set cache to 100
console.log(myElement.power); // Cache returns 100

If your property value only depends on other properties from the component, you can omit the set method and use the cache mechanism for holding property value (use only the get method).

connect

connect: (host: Element, key: string, invalidate: Function) => {
  // attach event listeners, etc...
  cb = () => {...};
  host.addEventListener('transitionend', cb);

  // return disconnect callback
  return () => {
    // clean up listeners
    host.removeEventListener('transitionend', cb);
  }
}
  • arguments:
    • host - an element instance
    • key - a property key name
    • invalidate - a callback function, which invalidates cached value
  • returns (not required):
    • disconnect - a function (without arguments)

When you insert, remove or relocate an element in the DOM tree, connect or disconnect is called synchronously (in the connectedCallback and disconnectedCallback callbacks of the Custom Elements API).

You can use connect to attach event listeners, initialize property value (using key argument) and many more. To clean up subscriptions, return a disconnect function, where you can remove attached listeners and other things.

If the third party code is responsible for the property value, you can use invalidate callback to notify that value should be recalculated (within next access). For example, it can be used to connect to async web APIs or external libraries:

import reduxStore from './store';

const MyElement = {
  name: {
    get: () => reduxStore.getState().name,
    connect: (host, key, invalidate) => reduxStore.subscribe(invalidate),
  },
};

👆 Click and play with redux integration on ⚡StackBlitz

In the above example, a cached value of name property invalidates if reduxStore changes. However, the get method is called if you access the property.

observe

observe: (host: Element, value: any, lastValue: any) => {
  // Do side-effects related to value change
  ...
}
  • arguments:
    • host - an element instance
    • value - current value of the property
    • lastValue - last cached value of the property

When property cache invalidates (directly by the assertion or when one of the dependency invalidates) and observe method is set, the change detection mechanism adds the property to the internal queue. Within the next animation frame (using requestAnimationFrame) properties from the queue are checked if they have changed, and if they did, observe method of the property is called. It means, that observe method is asynchronous by default, and it is only called for properties, which value is different in the time of execution of the queue (in the requestAnimationFrame call).

The property is added to the queue (if observe is set) for the first time when an element instance is created (in the constructor() of the element). Property value defaults to undefined. The observe method will be called at the start only if your get method returns other value than undefined.

You can’t perform that action at this time.