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A local state approach to building simple to complex forms in React.
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README.md

Reforma

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A Local State Driven Approach to Forms in React

Reforma focuses on creating forms quickly and easily, by letting the developer worry about things like validation and server responses. Utilizing and easy to use plug-and-play API, Reforma makes building forms easy.

import Reforma, { InputField, CheckboxField } from 'react-reforma';

export default function LoginForm(props) {
  const { onSubmit, errors } = props;

  return (
    <Reforma
      className="reforma-form"
      onSubmit={this.onSubmit}
      errors={this.state.errors}>
      <h2>Login</h2>
      <InputField name="username" label="Username" />
      <br/>
      <InputField type="password" name="password" label="Password" /><br/>
      <CheckboxField
        label="Remember Me"
      />
      <br/>
      <button className="submit" type="submit">Login</button>
      <div className="login-links">
        <a href="/reset-password">Forgot Password?</a><br/>
        <a href="/register">New User? Register here</a>
      </div>
    </Reforma>
  );
}

This creates a simple form that looks like this: Login Form

  • No need to write onChange or determine value props for input fields, all that logic is handled for you.

  • No need to worry about the state of the form. The local state is handled and update for you using all the performance goodies of React.PureComponent.

  • No need to worry about 3rd party validation libraries either. Reforma uses only vanilla React 16.

  • Nest fields as deeply as you want, and style with container elements. Reforma intelligently clones all <*Field> elements and attaches onClick, value, and shows errors if the errors prop is shown.

  • Fields are built with React.Fragment, ensuring the fewest number of DOM nodes are rendered, maximizing performance and development speed, without making sacrifices for styling and container hierarchy.

Reforma is focused 100% on the construction and building of forms, leaving elements like validation and submit logic to the developer, not out of the box like other form libraries.

Why Reforma, and not Redux-Form or Formik?

Redux-Form and Formik are excellent and well written tools that make creating forms fast and easy, but I noticed that there's something missing from forms in React:

  • Redux-Form causes unnecessary re-renders - Whenever there's a change event in Redux-Form, the entire app from the Provider component emits three distinct actions, onKeyUp, onKeyDown, and onChange.

    • Redux-State is meant for ephemeral state to be shared between many components, not just one component. If the values of a form need to travel to many different components that don't have a parent-child relationship, Redux-Form is great! But otherwise, it's just not efficient and abusing Redux state.
  • Formik has all the bells and whistles with validation and submit logic. While I really like Formik and everything it has to offer, it can make your form look really big and bloated. I'm a firm believer in having errors passed in from the parent component's state, and values to live in the individual component's state

  • Reforma Focuses solely on the building of forms, and leaves whatever you want to use for validation and form submission to your own devices. Every server interprets data differently, handles errors and validation their own way, whether it's client-side or server-side, and does its own submit logic their own way.

In a nutshell, Reforma is completely agnostic to validation and submission. It only worries about building forms quickly and easily without styling.

Installation

You can install Reforma with some quick npm commands:

npm install react-reforma --save

Or if you're using yarn

yarn add react-reforma

Reforma Basics

The default export is the root Reforma element

import Reforma from 'react-reforma';

You can also import the form fields here as well:

import Reforma, {
  InputField,
  SelectField,
  RadioButtonField } from 'react-reforma';

Usage

All Reforma fields need to live as a child of <Reforma>

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import Reforma, {
  InputField,
  SelectField,
  RadioButtonField } from 'react-reforma'


class MyComponent extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);

    this.state = {
      errors: {}
    };

    this.onSubmit = this.onSubmit.bind(this);
    this.validate = this.validate.bind(this);
  }

  onSubmit(values) {
    // Your submit logic goes here!
  }

  validate(values) {
    // Your validation logic goes here!
    if (/* Some condition where email is invalid... */) {
      this.setState({
        errors: {
          email: 'Invalid email address'
        }
      });
    }
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <Reforma
        onSubmit={this.onSubmit}
        onValueChange={this.validate}
        errors={this.state.errors}>
        <InputField
          name="first_name"
          label="First Name"
          placeholder="Enter your name"
        />
        <InputField
          name="last_name"
          label="Last Name"
          placeholder="Enter your surname"
        />
        <InputField
          name="email"
          type="email"
          placeholer="name@example.com"
        />
        <button type="submit">Submit</button>
      </Reforma>
    );
  }
}

export default MyComponent;

DRY code with fieldProps

The <Reforma> Component also takes in a fieldProps Object, which allows you to cut down on some repeated code:

Instead of:

<Reforma>
  <InputField className="input-field" name="first_name" placeholder="First Name" />
  <InputField className="input-field" name="last_name" placeholder="Last Name" />
  <InputField className="input-field" name="address1" placeholder="Address Line 1" />
  <InputField className="input-field" name="address2" placeholder="Address Line 2" />
</Reforma>

You can cut out the repeated "className" prop by using fieldProps

<Reforma fieldProps={{ className: 'input-field' }}>
  <InputField name="first_name" placeholder="First Name" />
  <InputField name="last_name" placeholder="Last Name" />
  <InputField name="address1" placeholder="Address Line 1" />
  <InputField name="address2" placeholder="Address Line 2" />
</Reforma>

If an individual component has a className prop on it and fieldProps with a className is passed in, Reforma will respect this and make sure that the individual component gets both the className from its own className prop and fieldProps

<Reforma fieldProps={{ className: 'input-field' }}>
  <InputField className="highlight-red" name="first_name" placeholder="First Name" />
  <InputField name="last_name" placeholder="Last Name" />
  <InputField name="address1" placeholder="Address Line 1" />
  <InputField name="address2" placeholder="Address Line 2" />
</Reforma>

The example above will have 4 elements with the "input-field" class on it, and the "first_name" input field will also have both "input-field" and "highlight-red" as its class attributes.

The <Reforma> Component

<Reforma> Component props:

Prop Type Required? Description Default Value
className String No className to pass into the root <form> element undefined
onSubmit Function Yes Function to use for submitting the form. Returns a ValuesObject. More on that later Required
onValueChange Function No A function that fires whenever a form's field value has been changed. Empty function
fieldProps Object No Adds object as props to <*Field> components {} Empty Object
initialValues ValuesObject No The initial values for when the form constructs. {} Empty Object
errors ErrorsObject No Creates Errors. More on this later {} Empty Object

ValuesObject and ErrorsObject

A form that looks like this:

<Reforma onSubmit={this.onSubmit}>
  <InputField name="first_name" />
  <InputField name="middle_name" />
  <InputField name="last_name" />

  <InputField name="email" type="email" />
</Reforma>

Will yield a ValuesObject that looks like this:

{
  first_name: "Smiggles",
  middle_name: "The",
  last_name: "Dolphin"
}

Where the name of the field is the key, and the value is the field's value.

If you want to send in some errors to the form you can send an ErrorsObject as the errors prop:

const errorsObject = {
  last_name: 'How did a Dolphin type into this form? Does the ocean have wifi now?'
};

<Reforma onSubmit={this.onSubmit} errors={errorsObject}>
  <InputField name="first_name" />
  <InputField name="middle_name" />
  <InputField name="last_name" />

  <InputField name="email" type="email" />
</Reforma>

In practice, it's normal to keep the errorsObject in the parent component's state, then pass the parent Component's this.state.errors into <Reforma>

<Reforma onSubmit={this.onSubmit} errors={this.state.errors}>
  <InputField name="first_name" />
  <InputField name="middle_name" />
  <InputField name="last_name" />

  <InputField name="email" type="email" />
</Reforma>

<*Field> components

Reforma comes with a handful of field components:

  • <InputField> for <input /> fields.
  • <SelectField> for <select /> fields.
  • <RadioButtonField> for <input type="radio" /> fields.
  • <CheckboxField> for <input type="checkbox" /> fields.
  • <TextAreaField> for <textarea /> fields.

Each field can be passed in the following props:

Prop Type Required? Description Default Value
label String or JSX No Creates a <label> element before the field. Can use JSX. Useful for Radio buttons or checkbox elements undefined
labelProps Object No Props to pass in to the <label> element {} (empty Object)
className String No The field's className undefined
placeholder String No Placeholder prop to pass in for <input> elements undefined
name String Yes Name to use as the key or identifier for the element
injectOnChange Boolean No If false, Reforma will ignore this field and let you control it with your own onChange and value props true

Any additional props passed on a <*Field> element can take in additional props, like data-*, id, etc.

Field Specific props

<InputField />

  • mask - Adds input masking to the element. Uses react-input-mask for ease of use. For more details on how to use this prop, Read up here

  • type - defines the "type" prop for the <input> field. Defaults to "text", but can be "password" "email" "tel" "url" or "number".

<SelectField />

  • children - Can be either <option> elements, or a function that returns <option> elements.

Using plain <option> elements

<SelectField name="year">
  <option value="">Select a year</option>
  <option value="2018">2018</option>
  <option value="2019">2019</option>
  <option value="2020">2020</option>
  <option value="2021">2021</option>
  <option value="2022">2022</option>
</SelectField>

Using a function

const currentYear = (new Date()).getFullYear();
return (
  <SelectField name="year">
    { () => {
      return [...Array(5).keys()].map(val => {
        const displayValue = val + currentYear;
        return <option value={displayValue}><{displayValue}</option>;
      });
    }}}
  </SelectField>
);

Or... Why not both?

<SelectField name="year">
  <option value="">Select a year</option>
  { () => {
      return [...Array(5).keys()].map(val => {
        const displayValue = val + currentYear;
        return <option value={displayValue}><{displayValue}</option>;
      });
  }}}
</SelectField>

<RadioButtonField>

If you need a group of three radio buttons, create 3 fields with different radioValue props, but with the same name:

<RadioButtonField
  name="card_type"
  label="Visa"
  radioValue="Visa"
/>
<RadioButtonField
  name="card_type"
  label="Mastercard"
  radioValue="mastercard"
/>
<RadioButtonField
  name="card_type"
  label="American Express"
  radioValue="amex"
/>

Custom Radio Button Labels

If you're hiding the default browser UI for radio buttons and want to use something in the <label>, you will need to pass in a unique id prop to <RadioButtonField>, since Reforma cannot use name and must resort to an id to handle click events.

Tips and Tricks

Using refs

Reforma doesn't have to be a form. You can use it as a store of key/value pairs for user entry by using React refs.

class MyComponent extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);

    this.reformaForm = React.createRef();
    this.onSubmit = this.onSubmit.bind(this);
    this._internalSecretMethod = this._internalSecretMethod.bind(this);
  }

  onSubmit(values) {
    // Submit logic goes here
  }

  _internalSecretMethod() {
    console.log(this.reformaForm.values); // =>
  /*
    {
      plant: 'Orchid',
      rock: 'Rocky'
    }
   */

  }

  render() {
    return (
      <Reforma ref={this.reformaForm} onSubmit={this.onSubmit}>
        <InputField name="plant" label="Favorite Plant" />
        <InputField name="rock" label="Favorite Rock" />
      </Reforma>
    )
  }
}

Notice the lack of a "submit" button. This approach is good for combining the values inside of reforma with other forms that don't use <Reforma>

NOTE:

If you attach a ref: make sure:

  1. You are accounting for undefined or null when attempting to access this.reformaForm or whatever you decide to name your ref.
  2. Do not attempt to manually set the state of <Reforma> or force re-renders.
  3. Use the ref as a read-only property.

Retrieving just values (with a ref)

If you want to access the forms ValuesObject, you can use:

this.reformaForm.values;

And it will return all the values in a ValuesObject.

This project was made with <3 by @MrBenJ - Proudly hosted on GitHub, and happy to be an OSS project.

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