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There are legitimate use cases for null components or logical components.

A component has a lifecycle, local state, packs side-effects into useEffect, memoizes calculations in useMemo, orchestrates async ops with suspense, communicates via context, maintains fast response with concurrency. And of course — the entire React ecosystem is available.

Nothing to see here ...

Quite so. This package allows you to bring React's high-level component abstraction to Node or wherever you need it. Why not manage your REST endpoints like routes on the client, users as components with mount/unmount lifecycles, self-contained separation of concern, and clean side effects? Suspense for requests, etc.

You can try a small demo here:

How does it work?

The following renders a logical component without a view, it renders nothing, but it has a real lifecycle and is managed by React regardless.

import * as React from 'react'
import { render } from 'react-nil'

function Foo() {
  const [active, set] = React.useState(false)
  React.useEffect(() => void setInterval(() => set((a) => !a), 1000), [])

  // false, true, ...

render(<Foo />)

We can take this further by rendering made-up elements that get returned as a reactive JSON tree from render.

You can take a snapshot for testing via act which will wait for effects and suspense to finish.

import * as React from 'react'
import { act, render } from 'react-nil'

function Test(props) {
  const [value, setValue] = React.useState(-1)
  React.useEffect(() => setValue(, [])
  return <timestamp value={value} />

const container = await act(async () => render(<Test />))

// { type: 'timestamp', props: { value: number }, children: [] }