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Yezy Ilomo
Yezy Ilomo

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Introducing a Simple React State Manager Based on Hooks

Introduction

Redux is a popular state manager in React but despite its popularity it has many problems, the most obvious ones being

  • Learning curve: Many developers found themselves lost in the Redux world of strange terms, weird entities and the connection between them: thunk, selectors, reducers, actions, middlewares, mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps, etc’. Learning all this stuff is not easy, and combining all of this together correctly takes time and practice.

  • Flow complexity: Many developers find it hard to follow the flow of a Redux app. There are just too many files and everything is just too fragmented that it has become quite hard to understand what is going on.

  • Boilerplate: There is a H-U-G-E amount of boilerplate code in every Redux application.

Despite having these problems I personally think the idea behind it is cleaver but the way it's designed makes it way complex and hard to grasp, developers expect it to be very simple just like useState hook. So I decided to come up with something which makes state management in react simple and fun to work with just like useState hook am calling it simple-react-state.

simple-react-state is a simple react state management library based on react hooks and react-redux which makes working with both local and global states completely painless, it also works pretty well with nested states.

Installing

yarn add simple-react-state

Getting Started

Using global state

import React from 'react';
import {
    Provider, configureStore, useGlobalState
} from 'simple-react-state';


let initialState = {
    user: {
        email: ""
    }
};

let store = configureStore({
    initialState: initialState
});

function UserInfo(props){
    const [user, updateUser] = useGlobalState('user');

    let setUserEmail = (e) => {
        updateUser({
            type: 'ASSIGN',
            field: 'email',
            value: e.target.value
        });
    }

    return (
        <div>
            User Email: {user.email}
            <br/>
            <input type="text" name="email" value={user.email} onChange={setUserEmail} />
        </div>
    );
}

const App = <Provider store={store}><UserInfo/></Provider>
ReactDOM.render(App, document.querySelector("#root"));

Using local state for the same example

//No need for Provider or configureStore because 
//we are not using global state here
import React from 'react';
import { useLocalState } from 'simple-react-state';


function UserInfo(props){
    const [user, updateUser] = useLocalState({email: ""})

    let setUserEmail = (e) => {
        updateUser({
            type: 'ASSIGN',
            field: 'email',
            value: e.target.value
        });
    }

    return (
        <div>
            User Email: {user.email}
            <br/>
            <input type="text" name="email" value={user.email} onChange={setUserEmail} />
        </div>
    );
}

const App = <UserInfo/>
ReactDOM.render(App, document.querySelector("#root"));

Supported action types are ASSIGN, PUSH, POP, REMOVE and FILTER. ASSIGN is for assigning a value to a field, PUSH, POP, REMOVE and FILTER are for arrays, these action types correspond with array methods.

setState

simple-react-state allows you to set global state with setState method from store object as

store.setState({
    type: 'ASSIGN',
    field: 'your field',
    value: 'your value'
});

Note: This should be used outside of your component.

With this in mind the first example above could be re-written to

import React from 'react';
import {
    Provider, configureStore,
    useGlobalState, useLocalState
} from 'simple-react-state';


let store = configureStore({});

store.setState(
    type: 'ASSIGN',
    field: 'user',
    value: {email: ''}
)

function UserInfo(props){
    const [user, updateUser] = useGlobalState('user');

    let setUserEmail = (e) => {
        updateUser({
            type: 'ASSIGN',
            field: 'email',
            value: e.target.value
        });
    }

    return (
        <div>
            User Email: {user.email}
            <br/>
            <input type="text" name="email" value={user.email} onChange={setUserEmail} />
        </div>
    );
}

const App = <Provider store={store}><UserInfo/></Provider>
ReactDOM.render(App, document.querySelector("#root"));

useGlobalState hook

useGlobalState works much like useState hook but it accepts a selection string and returns an array of three items which are state, updateState and dispatch, in most cases you will be using the first two items(state and updateState), the last item(dispatch) is for dispatching custom actions if you will have any. For example if you have a store with data like

{
    user: {
        name: 'Yezy',
        age: 24,
        account: {
            id: '23334',
            balance: 433.3
        }
    }
}

you can use useGlobalState hook to select a deeply nested state like

[age, updateAge, dispatch] = useGlobalState('user.age')
[account, updateAccount, dispatch] = useGlobalState('user.account')
[balance, updateBalance, dispatch] = useGlobalState('user.account.balance')

Note: If you pass nothing to useGlobalState the whole store is selected.

useLocalState hook

useLocalState works just like useState hook too, it accepts initial state as an argument except it returns an array of local state and updateState function(not setState like in useState hook).

let user = {
    name: 'Yezy',
    age: 24,
    account: {
        id: '23334',
        balance: 433.3
    }
}

[user, updateUser] = useLocalState(user)

updateState

updateState function works the same on both useGlobalState and useLocalState hooks, it dispatches an action to perform update on state, an action dispatched should have the following format

updateState({
    type: 'update type',
    field: 'your field',
    value: 'your value'
})

where type can be ASSIGN, PUSH, POP, REMOVE or FILTER

ASSIGN is the default action type, so if you haven't passed the type of your action that one will be used, therefore with this in mind

updateUser({
    field: 'email',
    value: 'user@email.com'
})

is the same as

updateUser({
    type: 'ASSIGN',
    field: 'email',
    value: 'user@email.com'
})

Pretty cool, right?

The project is just few days old so am still in the process of putting it together to make things more easier to users. Your opinions will be appreciated and if you are interested you are welcome to contribute, here is the GitHub repo simple-react-state.

Discussion (2)

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hunterbecton profile image
Hunter Becton

That's awesome–nice work! I'm still relying on Redux on my site because of packages like react-redux-firebase, but it would be great to rely less on it.

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yezyilomo profile image
Yezy Ilomo Author

Yeah you are right, I think context API + Hooks can help on that if they are well utilized.