woutr_be woutr_be - 25 days ago 18
React JSX Question

ReactJS Two components communicating

I just got started with ReactJS and am a little stuck on a problem that I have.

My application is essentially a list with filters and a button to change the layout.
At the moment I'm using three components:

<list />
,
< Filters />
and
<TopBar />
, now obviously when I change settings in
< Filters />
I want to trigger some method in
<list />
to update my view.

How can I make those 3 components interact with each other, or do I need some sort of global data model where I can just make changes to?

Answer

The best approach would depend on how you plan to arrange those components. A few example scenarios that come to mind right now:

  1. <Filters /> is a child component of <List />
  2. Both <Filters /> and <List /> are children of a parent component
  3. <Filters /> and <List /> live in separate root components entirely.

There may be other scenarios that I'm not thinking of. If yours doesn't fit within these, then let me know. Here are some very rough examples of how I've been handling the first two scenarios:

Scenario #1

You could pass a handler from <List /> to <Filters />, which could then be called on the onChange event to filter the list with the current value.

JSFiddle for #1 →

/** @jsx React.DOM */

var Filters = React.createClass({
  handleFilterChange: function() {
    var value = this.refs.filterInput.getDOMNode().value;
    this.props.updateFilter(value);
  },
  render: function() {
    return <input type="text" ref="filterInput" onChange={this.handleFilterChange} placeholder="Filter" />;
  }
});

var List = React.createClass({
  getInitialState: function() {
    return {
      listItems: ['Chicago', 'New York', 'Tokyo', 'London', 'San Francisco', 'Amsterdam', 'Hong Kong'],
      nameFilter: ''
    };
  },
  handleFilterUpdate: function(filterValue) {
    this.setState({
      nameFilter: filterValue
    });
  },
  render: function() {
    var displayedItems = this.state.listItems.filter(function(item) {
      var match = item.toLowerCase().indexOf(this.state.nameFilter.toLowerCase());
      return (match !== -1);
    }.bind(this));

    var content;
    if (displayedItems.length > 0) {
      var items = displayedItems.map(function(item) {
        return <li>{item}</li>;
      });
      content = <ul>{items}</ul>
    } else {
      content = <p>No items matching this filter</p>;
    }

    return (
      <div>
        <Filters updateFilter={this.handleFilterUpdate} />
        <h4>Results</h4>
        {content}
      </div>
    );
  }
});

React.renderComponent(<List />, document.body);

Scenario #2

Similar to scenario #1, but the parent component will be the one passing down the handler function to <Filters />, and will pass the filtered list to <List />. I like this method better since it decouples the <List /> from the <Filters />.

JSFiddle for #2 →

/** @jsx React.DOM */

var Filters = React.createClass({
  handleFilterChange: function() {
    var value = this.refs.filterInput.getDOMNode().value;
    this.props.updateFilter(value);
  },
  render: function() {
    return <input type="text" ref="filterInput" onChange={this.handleFilterChange} placeholder="Filter" />;
  }
});

var List = React.createClass({
  render: function() {
    var content;
    if (this.props.items.length > 0) {
      var items = this.props.items.map(function(item) {
        return <li>{item}</li>;
      });
      content = <ul>{items}</ul>
    } else {
      content = <p>No items matching this filter</p>;
    }
    return (
      <div className="results">
        <h4>Results</h4>
        {content}
      </div>
    );
  }
});

var ListContainer = React.createClass({
  getInitialState: function() {
    return {
      listItems: ['Chicago', 'New York', 'Tokyo', 'London', 'San Francisco', 'Amsterdam', 'Hong Kong'],
      nameFilter: ''
    };
  },
  handleFilterUpdate: function(filterValue) {
    this.setState({
      nameFilter: filterValue
    });
  },
  render: function() {
    var displayedItems = this.state.listItems.filter(function(item) {
      var match = item.toLowerCase().indexOf(this.state.nameFilter.toLowerCase());
      return (match !== -1);
    }.bind(this));

    return (
      <div>
        <Filters updateFilter={this.handleFilterUpdate} />
        <List items={displayedItems} />
      </div>
    );
  }
});

React.renderComponent(<ListContainer />, document.body);

Scenario #3

When the components can't communicate between any sort of parent-child relationship, the documentation recommends setting up a global event system.

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