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Phoenix LiveView

Actions Status

Phoenix LiveView enables rich, real-time user experiences with server-rendered HTML.

Visit the https://livebeats.fly.dev demo to see the kinds of applications you can build, or see a sneak peek below:

Phoenix.LiveView.LiveBeats.Demo.mp4

After you install Elixir on your machine, you can create your first LiveView app in two steps:

$ mix archive.install hex phx_new
$ mix phx.new demo --live

Features

  • Use a declarative model to render HTML on the server over WebSockets with optional LongPolling fallback

  • A rich templating language, called HEEx, with support for function components, slots, HTML validation, and more

  • Smart change tracking - once connected, LiveView sends only what changed to the client, skipping the template markup and reducing the payload. This makes LiveView payloads much smaller than server-rendered HTML and on par with fine-tuned SPA applications

  • Live form validation with file upload support

  • A rich integration API with the client with phx-click, phx-focus, phx-blur, phx-submit, etc. phx-hook is included for the cases where you have to write JavaScript

  • Perform optimistic updates and transitions via JavaScript commands (Phoenix.LiveView.JS)

  • Code reuse via stateful components, which break templates, state, and event handling into reusable bits, which is essential in large applications

  • Live navigation to enrich links and redirects to only load the minimum amount of content as users navigate between pages

  • A latency simulator so you can emulate how slow clients will interact with your application

  • Testing tools that allow you to write a confident test suite without the complexity of running a whole browser alongside your tests

Official announcements

News from the Phoenix team on LiveView:

Learning

See our existing comprehensive docs and guides for more information.

Installation

There are currently two methods for installing LiveView. For projects that require more stability, it is recommended that you install using the installation guide on HexDocs. If you want to use the latest features, you should follow the instructions given in the markdown file here.

What makes LiveView unique?

LiveView is server-centric. You no longer have to worry about managing both client and server to keep things in sync. LiveView automatically updates the client as changes happen on the server.

LiveView is first rendered statically as part of regular HTTP requests, which provides quick times for "First Meaningful Paint", in addition to helping search and indexing engines.

Then LiveView uses a persistent connection between client and server. This allows LiveView applications to react faster to user events as there is less work to be done and less data to be sent compared to stateless requests that have to authenticate, decode, load, and encode data on every request.

When LiveView was first announced, many developers from different backgrounds got inspired by the potential unlocked by LiveView to build rich, real-time user experiences. We believe LiveView is built on top of a solid foundation that makes LiveView hard to replicate anywhere else:

  • LiveView is built on top of the Elixir programming language and functional programming, which provides a great model for reasoning about your code and how your LiveView changes over time.

  • By building on top of a scalable platform, LiveView scales well vertically (from small to large instances) and horizontally (by adding more instances). This allows you to continue shipping features when more and more users join your application, instead of dealing with performance issues.

  • LiveView applications are distributed and real-time. A LiveView app can push events to users as those events happen anywhere in the system. Do you want to notify a user that their best friend just connected? This is easily done without a single line of custom JavaScript and with no extra external dependencies (no extra databases, no extra message queues, etc.).

  • LiveView performs change tracking: whenever you change a value on the server, LiveView will send to the client only the values that changed, drastically reducing the latency and the amount of data sent over the wire. This is achievable thanks to Elixir's immutability and its ability to treat code as data.

Browser Support

All current Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and MS Edge are supported. IE11 support is available with the following polyfills:

$ npm install --save --prefix assets mdn-polyfills url-search-params-polyfill formdata-polyfill child-replace-with-polyfill classlist-polyfill new-event-polyfill @webcomponents/template shim-keyboard-event-key core-js

Note: The shim-keyboard-event-key polyfill is also required for MS Edge 12-18.

// assets/js/app.js
import "mdn-polyfills/Object.assign"
import "mdn-polyfills/CustomEvent"
import "mdn-polyfills/String.prototype.startsWith"
import "mdn-polyfills/Array.from"
import "mdn-polyfills/Array.prototype.find"
import "mdn-polyfills/Array.prototype.some"
import "mdn-polyfills/NodeList.prototype.forEach"
import "mdn-polyfills/Element.prototype.closest"
import "mdn-polyfills/Element.prototype.matches"
import "mdn-polyfills/Node.prototype.remove"
import "child-replace-with-polyfill"
import "url-search-params-polyfill"
import "formdata-polyfill"
import "classlist-polyfill"
import "new-event-polyfill"
import "@webcomponents/template"
import "shim-keyboard-event-key"
import "core-js/features/set"
import "core-js/features/url"

import {Socket} from "phoenix"
import {LiveSocket} from "phoenix_live_view"
...

Contributing

We appreciate any contribution to LiveView.

Please see the Phoenix Code of Conduct and Contributing guides.

Running the Elixir tests:

$ mix deps.get
$ mix test

Running the Javascript tests:

$ cd assets
$ npm run test
# to automatically run tests for files that have been changed
$ npm run test.watch

JS contributions are very welcome, but please do not include an updated priv/static/phoenix_live_view.js in pull requests. The maintainers will update it as part of the release process.