React and pushState: You’re doing it wrong

In the world of React.js single-page apps, there are two types of routing: push-state, and hash-based. Each of these have their strengths and weaknesses.

Now as you may know, most of the React ecosystem focuses on push-state routing, using the HTML5 History API and (sometimes) server-side rendering with Node.js. There are a number of reasons for this, the two main ones being:

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Learn Raw React: Ridiculously Simple Forms

So – you’ve got the hang of React, and you’ve even built a little app. But after making your app look nice, you remember that you also need to make it work. And that’s when you start searching for form libraries.

First you look for tools to structure data and event flow. Then you shift focus to libraries which reduce repetition in form components. And while you’re at it, tools which validate user input would certainly help. Tools like react-forms and formsy-react and flux and redux and RxJS and as one redditor put it:

I’ve been evaluating a few frameworks out there. It’s been the bane of my existence for the past two weeks.

Wasn’t the whole idea that tools would save you time?

Why spend two weeks investigating when you could have implemented the most important part in three minutes? Its not even like you’d have to think that hard; all you have to do is follow this exercise:

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React.js By Example: Interacting with the DOM

This article is based on the code from part 2 of my Learn Raw React series: Ridiculously Simple Forms.

Sometimes, the user’s next action is so obvious that it feels almost rude not to do it for them.

The textbook example is when a form has failed validation after “submit” was pressed, and the user needs to correct their mistake. What you’ll often find is that despite the obviousness of this, the user has to manually click on that field.

This is stupid. If the user liked clicking that much, they’d be playing Diablo.

If there is only one field with an error, and the user has to fix it, then the field should be focused for them. But how do we automatically focus fields with React?

Well, assuming we’ve got a reference to the <input> element’s DOM node, it is as simple as calling the focus() method. Ta-da! But React uses the Virtual DOM, not the real DOM! Help?

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Learn Raw React — no JSX, no Flux, no ES6, no Webpack…


A new version of this tutorial is now available at React Armory. But why? Well, you’ll get to learn a new version of React, get live code examples, and get to play with animated fractal trees. Trust me on this one, just click through to the new version already.

2016/4/24: POSTD.ccが日本語に翻訳してくれました。

Disclaimer: I love JSX, Flux, ES6 and Webpack. I’ll discuss these tools more in another series.

So you’ve heard all the fuss about React.js – apparently it is the best thing since XMLHttpRequest. But you’ve spent a couple hours investigating, only to find so many buzzwords that it just feels overwhelming. JSX and flux and ES6 and webpack and react-router and all I want is somebody to just tell me how to use React already!

Luckily for you, that’s exactly what this series will do! Don’t believe me? That’s OK – you will after you’ve built your first React app in about 2 minutes time. Without downloading anything. Just by following this exercise:

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