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Category: react

The Circle of a React Lifecycle

A React component goes through different phases as it lives in an application, though it might not be evident that anything is happening behind the scenes. Those phases are: mounting updating unmounting error handling There are methods in each of these phases that make it possible to perform specific actions on the component during that phase. For example, when fetching data from a network, you’d want to call the function that handles the API call in the componentDidMount() method, which is available during the mounting phase. Knowing the different lifecycle methods is important in the development of React applications, because it allows us to trigger actions exactly when they’re needed without getting tangled up with others. We’re going to look at each lifecycle in this post, including the methods that are available to them and the types of scenarios we’d use them. The Mounting Phase Think of mounting as the initial phase of a component’s lifecycle. Before mounting occurs, a component has yet to exist — it’s merely a twinkle in the eyes of the DOM until mounting takes place and hooks the component up as part of the document. There are plenty of methods we can leverage once a component is mounted: constructor() , render(), componentDidMount() and static getDerivedStateFromProps(). Each one is handy in it’s own right, so let’s look at them in that order. constructor() The constructor()...

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Using React Loadable for Code Splitting by Components and Routes

In a bid to have web applications serve needs for different types of users, it’s likely that more code is required than it would be for one type of user so the app can handle and adapt to different scenarios and use cases, which lead to new features and functionalities. When this happens, it’s reasonable to expect the performance of an app to dwindle as the codebase grows. Code splitting is a technique where an application only loads the code it needs at the moment, and nothing more. For example, when a user navigates to a homepage, there is...

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The Magic of React-Based Multi-Step Forms

One way to deal with long, complex forms is to break them up into multiple steps. You know, answer one set of questions, move on to another, then maybe another, and so on and so forth. We often refer to these as multi-step forms (for obvious reasons), but others also take to calling it a “wizard” form. Multi-step forms can be a great idea! By only showing a few inputs on a screen at a time, the form may feel more digestible and prevent users from feeling overwhelmed by a sea of form fields. Although I haven’t looked it...

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React’s Experimental Suspense API Will Rock for Fallback UI During Data Fetches

Most web applications built today receive data from an API. When fetching that data, we have to take certain situations into consideration where the data might not have been received. Perhaps it was a lost connection. Maybe it was the endpoint was changed. Who knows. Whatever the issue, it’s the end user who winds up with a big bag of nothing on the front end. So we ought to account for that! The common way of handling this is to have something like an isLoading state in the app. The value of isLoading is dependent on the data we...

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Using React Portals to Render Children Outside the DOM Hierarchy

Say we need to render a child element into a React application. Easy right? That child is mounted to the nearest DOM element and rendered inside of it as a result. render() { return ( // Child to render inside of the div ); } But! What if we want to render that child outside of the div somewhere else? That could be tricky because it breaks the convention that a component needs to render as a new element and follow a parent-child hierarchy. The parent wants to go where its child goes. That’s where React Portals come in....

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