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What do you dislike about React Native? #64

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cpojer opened this issue Dec 6, 2018 · 145 comments
Closed

What do you dislike about React Native? #64

cpojer opened this issue Dec 6, 2018 · 145 comments

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@cpojer
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@cpojer cpojer commented Dec 6, 2018

Edit: See our reply here: #104.

We, the React Native team at Facebook, would like to get a current list of all the things that people in the community are having problems with when using React Native. There are many discussions out there, and this has been done in the past, but let's have a fresh start and make a collection of things that we can then consider looking at in 2019. For now, we'll just make a list. Please don't expect any of these things to be prioritized and fixed right away. For me personally, this is helpful to learn more as I just joined the React Native team.

Please reply with all the issues that you are having with React Native. Keep your descriptions short and ideally link to other places with more context. Feel free to mention not just technical things but rather any issue that can be ascribed to the React Native project. Add hashtags if you like for easier categorization.

Please do not troll, rage, rant or insult people. Please do not comment here asking to merge your PRs or fix your issues right now. Open source discussions can get heated, but being angry about things won't help anyone make progress. If something has been mentioned already, please use the upvote/emoji buttons instead of repeating the same thing so that it's easier to see how many people care about each issue. Please make one comment per topic so that people can upvote just one thing at a time.

Hypothetical Example:

Not enough emoji

The React Native CLI barely prints any emoji and it reduces my satisfaction with React Native. I know that other members of the team have said they would enjoy using more emoji as well. Here is an issue that references emoji: facebook/react-native#22463 #emoji

@janhesters
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@janhesters janhesters commented Dec 6, 2018

Upgrading requires a lot (too much?) effort
Upgrading from one version to another is hard and requires a lot of work. Especially when you have fallen a couple of versions behind and have to manually upgrade from yours to the latest version by version. #upgrading

@slorber
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@slorber slorber commented Dec 6, 2018

Debugging exceptions

I dislike that it's often not really easy to find the root cause of an exception. The stack trace in Chrome debugger console often leads to ExceptionManager and not the original place, which lead to time consuming debugging. Using componentDidCatch does not really help.

image

Surprisingly, when we add a console.error() in our code, we are actually able to get a correct stacktrace and find the root cause easily. It would be very convenient keep this behavior even inside componentDidCatch.

#dx #debugging

@slorber
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@slorber slorber commented Dec 6, 2018

Not resilient to crashes

It happens very often to me that I did something wrong and the app crashes (at least on Android) without a lot of informations about the cause. When it happens, adb logcat can be helpful to find the cause.

Some examples:

  • Using style={{width: "100"}} and forgetting the %
  • Using this.props.number && (<View/>) in JSX when number=0
  • Probably a lot other cases I can't remember

I think it would be nice if RN was more resilient to these kind of errors, did warn with a clear error message and did not crash the app.

#dx #debugging #crash

@slorber
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@slorber slorber commented Dec 6, 2018

Hot reloading

Hot reload does not work great with Stateless Functional Components (SFC) currently. It would be awesome to be able to hot reload reliably any RN code without reloading the app, showing the splash screen etc... Tools like react-navigation persistance and storybook help to improve DX on restart, but having a functional hot reload would be the best. Not sure how hot reload will work with SFC including hooks but if classes disappear from codebase this may make the things worse. Doesn't it make sense to build a babel plugin to transform SFC to class in __DEV__?

#dx #hotreload

@roydipti23
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@roydipti23 roydipti23 commented Dec 6, 2018

Automatic Scroll on addition of elements at index 0 of ScrollView / Flatlist

Adding messages on both sides of ScrollView/Flatlist shouldnot allow automatic scrolling. There should be a prop onPause to allow developers use it so as to disable automatic scrolling and remain on the same viewport on addition of messages at index 0.
There is one support for ios maintainVisibleContentPosition in the scrollview, can we have it for android as well to solve the same use case as mentioned for this, that is chats; and have a proper documentation around it.

maintainVisibleContentPosition : When set, the scroll view will adjust the scroll position so that the first child that is
currently visible and at or beyond minIndexForVisible will not change position. This is useful for lists that are loading content in both directions, e.g. a chat thread, where new messages coming in might otherwise cause the scroll position to jump. A value of 0 is common, but other values such as 1 can be used to skip loading spinners or other content that should not maintain position.

@slorber
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@slorber slorber commented Dec 6, 2018

Style, StyleSheet and optimizations

Many of us think that StyleSheet API does optimize styles. But it never did and since 0.55 it's an identity function. It's not really clear to me how to write future proof styles today as I don't know the internal FB discussions about this API.

Also want to mention that a lot of people do like to write styles inline, colocated to the markup, like the css prop of emotion of style props of glamorous-native. I think it would be nice to offer today an alternative to StyleSheet API for these people, and ensure this inline API will benefit the future style optimizations.

#dx #styles

@tomduncalf
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@tomduncalf tomduncalf commented Dec 6, 2018

Debugging

Debugging by running the JS in Chrome is a clever solution, but quite clunky. For example, it requires restarting the app, it causes problems with some native modules (e.g. react-native-gl cannot be included in an app you want to debug), and is not that useful for debugging performance issues as the JS is being debugged running on a different machine. Ideally there would be some way to connect directly to the JS running on the device while still using the great debugging tools provided by Chrome.

@IljaDaderko
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@IljaDaderko IljaDaderko commented Dec 6, 2018

ObjC / Java vs Swift / Kotlin

I'm sure this one comes up a lot and I understand the scale of work that is needed to rewrite rn in these languages, however I found Swift and Kotlin much friendlier for people familiar with JavaScript. This can lead to more OSS contributions and custom native modules from JS devs, since learning curve of Swift / Kotlin is not as steep as ObjC / Java.

Another side effect of adopting these as main languages is that documentation and new third party repositories will likely utilise them, so in general ecosystem becomes a bit more understandable for js devs.

#dx

@thecachedbyte
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@thecachedbyte thecachedbyte commented Dec 6, 2018

No support for Ram bundle by any OTA platform

Ram bundle is supported by latest react native versions but currently, it is not supported by any OTA platform like codepush. It will be great if we can have a more connected community and community-based feature prioritisation including third party libraries.

@thecachedbyte
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@thecachedbyte thecachedbyte commented Dec 6, 2018

Real time crash and performance monitoring tool

Lack of official or community adopted real-time crash and performance monitoring tool, we do have tools like Newrelic mobile, react-native-sentry, bugsnag but none of them solves all the use-cases.

@Gregoirevda
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@Gregoirevda Gregoirevda commented Dec 6, 2018

Support of React Native team

Would be nice to see a bigger involvement from react-native team to the community. #communitySupport

Examples:

  • many github issues are unanswered
  • blog posts on good practices for advanced problems
@matt-oakes
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@matt-oakes matt-oakes commented Dec 6, 2018

Documentation for library developers

Currently there is not much documentation to help library developers aside from the introduction guides (iOS, Android). It would be good to have documentation for the full native API to make it clearer what classes and methods are available to use. These could be generated using JavaDoc and AppleDoc.

@matt-oakes
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@matt-oakes matt-oakes commented Dec 6, 2018

Open Source Contribution Process
Having the Github repo be a mirror of an internal Facebook repository complicates the process for third-party developers to contribute to the React Native core. The process from submitting a PR, getting it approved, then merged into the internal FB repo, and then finally released is quite often a long process.

The would work ok if releases were regularly made from the master branch, however, until the 0.58 release comes out the release process involves an additional step of asking for a cherry pick to be performed in the react-native-releases repository.

For the casual contributor, this is not an obvious process and could lead to confusion and frustration about when a fix with an approved and merged PR is actually available in a release. This is compounded by the fact that the changeling doesn't directly reference the PR numbers and no comment is left on the PRs to say which release they are now available in.

Related discussions:

@slorber
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@slorber slorber commented Dec 6, 2018

Metro follow symlinks

Currently Metro does not follow symlinks, which makes it harder for the community to:

  • use monorepo tools like LernaJS
  • iterate on internal RN libraries, when the project is split on multiple packages (using npm link)
  • contribute to RN open-source libraries and actually testing your own changes in an example project

Related issue:

#dx #packaging #symlinks #metro

@Gregoirevda
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@Gregoirevda Gregoirevda commented Dec 6, 2018

Native and React Lifecycle event mismatch

Often have the issue while bridging that the ReactJS lifecycle events on the JS thread, are not consistent with the Native lifecycle events. We need more documentation on advanced and specific bridging issues. #bridge #documentation

  • Android RN Module: Native module lifecycle event onHostResume needs to call JS function, but ReactJS lifecycle didn't register eventListener yet. (Solution was to call from JS componentDidMount the native initialiser)
  • Android RN view: Javascript renders a custom native view. Bridge calls createViewInstance which needs to inflate a view and call a factory method to initialise it, but because it is called from render it's too soon. Had to be called onActivityStarted on app level (RN package level was too soon)
  • IOS: in the scenario where the app has been opened, a cast session started and the app has been closed, you want to attach to the already opened cast session when the app opens again.
    You do this, but a RCT_EXPORT_MODULE init method will be called before viewDidLoad, so hasConnectedCastSession will be called too early and be false.

Having a 1/1 on RN view/(ios-scene/android-activity) would probably fix this issue (and provide native navigation support?)

@fakenickels
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@fakenickels fakenickels commented Dec 6, 2018

Not having better official tooling for motion based interface

User nowadays expect a lot more from apps than when RN was originally released and yet we still need to recur to the community or build from scratch solutions for motion based interfaces like shared element animation transitioning.

#ux #animations #dx

@slorber
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@slorber slorber commented Dec 6, 2018

Missing documentation

I feel like there are many hidden advanced features inside RN that are only documented in issues and that usage is found only in advanced libraries, without knowing if the API is official or stable. As a library author it could be helpful to have at least some doc on these APIs. I'm thinking of ScrollResponder, UIManager etc. Even a simple link to the implementation code would be helpful, because navigating the RN native codebase using Github interface is not so easy for a JS dev.

#dx #documentation

@subtleGradient
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@subtleGradient subtleGradient commented Dec 6, 2018

View Recycling

React Native sometimes feels like it disrespects the platform by reimplementing basic functionality instead of providing a super thin layer to the mature underling platform stuff.

For example, scrolling lists with view recycling.

Android and iOS handle this differently. But both platforms do handle it. When writing a mobile app, I want to feel confident that I'm using the highest perf most mature stuff.

That being said, I haven't used React Native for a while. For all I know, there may be some awesome view recycling built in for free now. It certainly could theoretically do a great job at that. And come to think of it I do vaguely remember something about that from however long ago.

So maybe this is just a marketing/documentation thing?

@subtleGradient
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@subtleGradient subtleGradient commented Dec 6, 2018

General Uncertainty. Lack of confidence

The vibe I'm getting from some clients [citation needed] is general terror about the future viability of React Native.

Some decision makers at some companies seem to be holding off on any investment in React Native. They've heard that it's being "rewritten". To them, that means that the current status quo is to be avoided like the plague.

Seems like there needs to be some clarity in the messaging. Something to build confidence and certainty about the status quo and the long term viability of the platform. Some ammunition that engineers can use to get decision makers on board.

@assertchris
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@assertchris assertchris commented Dec 6, 2018

Android emulation is bad

It is a slow and ugly process to run an app through the Android emulator. The Android toolchain is a great effort, by much better developers than myself; but it's still slow and prohibitively expensive (in SSD space).

I don't know what the solution is, here. Deeper and/or faster links to hosted emulation? Free devices for all? Who knows.

Edit: this seems to be an unpopular opinion. I should clarify that; when compared to the speed, stability, and easy of setup of iOS simulator; Android emulation is years behind. I'm not saying this to be cruel or because I think I can do better. I'm saying it because it's demonstrably easier and better to develop strictly for iOS and ignore Android (even for the trivial case) because the only tooling available for Android is prohibitively poor in comparison.

@assertchris
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@assertchris assertchris commented Dec 6, 2018

The solution to lots of problems is rm everything and re-install

I think there could be better documentation around how to recover from the kinds of issues that are frequently resolved by a "fresh install". We could also codify the nuclear option as a feature of the CLI, so that react-native nuke rm's everything that should, clears watchman, reinstalls node_modules etc.

Edit: it's clear to me that RN is overwhelmingly complex, and solutions like "fresh install" are the code equivalent of "turn it off and on again". The complexity isn't the problem. You're doing good work. It's just that I think we could understand root causes better, and help people get un-stuck sooner.

@petterh
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@petterh petterh commented Dec 6, 2018

Outdated dependencies

One example would be ws, which is currently at 1.1.5, but needs to be at least 3.3.1, according to this.

@ferrannp
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@ferrannp ferrannp commented Dec 6, 2018

Performance, performance, performance

First of all, I am an Android user. I don't use an old phone, I use Pixel 2 which is one of the top game. It's still noticeable when an app is in greenfield or not. Mostly, startup time. Startup time is quite crucial difference between pure native and RN. Not only when you open the app but for deep linking too. Imagine clicking an Android widget that opens the app, in RN the waiting time is just slow. You can mask that with a splash screen, brownfield apps, etc. But it's just a workaround. The feeling is not "native".

One of the problems on this has been navigation too. I think the problem here is that Facebook probably just uses its own navigation system (native app that has some RN views). So they don't really need to help or invest in a common solution. That is a pity. When you develop an Android app or an iOS app, you don't need to care of navigation performance (mostly). It just works.

@ferrannp
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@ferrannp ferrannp commented Dec 6, 2018

Not keeping up with Android updates

I have Android P. Border radius (ripple) and other stuff are broken. I can't see how this is not a priority. This give discredibility. You have your new shiny phone, new shiny OS but your RN looks bad. See for example:

TouchableNativeFeedback's ripples aren't affected by borderRadius on Android 9

@ferrannp
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@ferrannp ferrannp commented Dec 6, 2018

Database & Offline

This is another topic. In RN docs there is just AsyncStorage. Is that enough? Well if you are a mobile developer you know it is not. You can go now with Realm or WatermelonDB. But it would be good if the core invest more on this (as is one of most important mobile capabilities). And add some guidance about that.

@ferrannp
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@ferrannp ferrannp commented Dec 6, 2018

Orientation changes & landscape

This is another topic quite ignored in RN in general. We just do not have a solution. Mostly RN apps are just locking orientation to portrait. A thing that is not recommended in the mobile world.

@ferrannp
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@ferrannp ferrannp commented Dec 6, 2018

PRs

Mostly we believe is better to send a PR (solution) than open an issue. However, lots of PRs including mine, are just labelled and left forgotten forever. That just makes people stop contributing.

@muhozi
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@muhozi muhozi commented Dec 6, 2018

Warnings in Xcode

A lot of Warnings when you open react-native/ios app in XCode.

@cpojer
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@cpojer cpojer commented Dec 22, 2018

I'll keep deleting comments here that do not stick to the template to make sure we can keep an overview. Please note that I am currently not looking for any more things to add to the already gigantic list, so please stop adding more items for now. Thank you!

@punksta
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@punksta punksta commented Dec 25, 2018

long release build time

  1. Slow js bundler
    JS bundle time is too long. Release builds aren't incremental still. Js bundling build step is the longest one in production app I am working on.

  2. Slow ios build
    I feel like ios build takes more then 1.5-2 times then android on the same mac. Even without bitcode it's slow. I see few ways of reducing ios build time: providing react-native pre-compiled, enabling parallel builds in xcode.

android build time can be reduced too, but it's not so critical.

@kevinvangelder
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@kevinvangelder kevinvangelder commented Jan 8, 2019

@cpojer Since you're not adding items to the list, would it make sense to lock this issue?

@badrey
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@badrey badrey commented Jan 11, 2019

In ScrollView API there are methods like onMomentumScrollBegin and onScrollBeginDrag for beginning and ending different types of scrolling but only one onScroll for both types of scrolling. It would be helpful to have onMomentumScroll and onDragScroll separately

@stanislav-halyn
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@stanislav-halyn stanislav-halyn commented Jan 17, 2019

Virtualized list computes the blankness with wrong offset

If you scroll down the list, so that it starts virtualizing the invisible elements, you can notice that after re-render, the elements change their positions.

@6pm
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@6pm 6pm commented Jan 21, 2019

  1. Symlinks not work
  2. Almost all issues on GitHub marked as resolved by @react-native-bot, but not even answered or fixed.
  3. Drag and drop works slowly.
  4. Usually project broken after minor update. Sometimes it can take 2 days to fix it.
@tyshgc
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@tyshgc tyshgc commented Jan 24, 2019

I want something like flutter doctor in ReactNative.

@deadcoder0904
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@deadcoder0904 deadcoder0904 commented Jan 24, 2019

@tyshgc I have already opened up an issue for that

@kashishgrover
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@kashishgrover kashishgrover commented Feb 5, 2019

Can things like overdraws in Android be prevented with some kind of warnings? They ended up being a pretty big performance issue in our app and the solution was dead simple.

@badpenguin
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@badpenguin badpenguin commented Feb 6, 2019

I wish there was some kind of support for plugins like cordova does so i don't have to mess myself with android or ios project directly expecially when using external libraries that provide direct hardware access (react-native-*, video, sound, camera-kit, maps, etc.). Actually React Native, it seems to me, it is not providing much benefit for both native developer and for javascript developer.

@t3hfx
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@t3hfx t3hfx commented Feb 12, 2019

I'm working in Team of 2 people and having a lot of issues with working on the same project. I don't understand how to properly create environment so we can sync code between each other while working on the same project. Now, we create git repo with /ios and /android folder, but the thing is ios folder always need to be changed, because it links to the computer that was building the last. For example, we are working at the same time on different js files and add a new npm dependency and want to sync what we made together, so we commit changes and another one's downloading everything and now the pain comes. The one need to go to Xcode and manually update all the Framework Search Paths, Header Search Paths, delete and then add again libraries that Xcode don't see.
I know it's more about Xcode problem, but I didn't see any detailed guide about team syncing in projects. I know, at Facebook you are doing a lot of cooperation work and will appreciate if you will do something like this! Thanks!

@scerelli
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@scerelli scerelli commented Feb 12, 2019

@t3hfx your setup is obviously compromised, you shouldn't have references to relative path or things related to a specific pc setup.

Learn how to use git and how to structure a project and you won't have these kind of problems.
Try also to create a project by using expo instead of react-native init so you work in a more safe environment.

In any case the problems you described are not related to react-native itself.

@jdnichollsc
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@jdnichollsc jdnichollsc commented Feb 12, 2019

Lazy bundle loading supported by React Native. Useful to load only the modules that users have access to and not all, example: https://medium.com/react-native-training/lazy-bundle-loading-in-react-native-5f717b65482a

@cpojer
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@cpojer cpojer commented Feb 26, 2019

Thank you everyone for bringing all these issues to our attention. We've kept quite busy with our work on React Native in the past few months but we finally have a thorough reply for you, see #104

I will close this issue and ask you to comment on the other thread instead :)

@cpojer cpojer closed this Feb 26, 2019
@react-native-community react-native-community locked and limited conversation to collaborators Feb 26, 2019
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