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Tips and Tricks for Large React/Redux Projects from Mobilunity’s ReactJS Developer

Are you going to start a large project with React/Redux technology?

In this case, our blog is perfect for you! We have asked our dedicated React developer to share his experience with us and to give the best tips and tricks for large project creation with React.

Let’s see what our dedicated ReactJS programmer suggests.

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What’s So Good About React

The React JavaScript framework was open-sourced in May 2013 and quickly rose to popularity, surpassing JQuery, Angular, Backbone, and other client-side libraries and frameworks. It brought some new features that we could see in Angular and Dart, but introduced improvements over them and offered a better product.

The first and most important thing that we should remember is that React is a library primarily meant to provide a better and more efficient method of displaying data on web pages. The main benefits of React include: virtual DOM usage for better performance, an improved JSX syntax, and a modular, component-based approach. Due to React’s simple nature, it takes advantage of tools like Flux, Redux, and MobX to build richer client-side applications. It is very easy to maintain simple to-do apps written in React/Redux, but how about big apps with a lot of business logic and components that should interact with each other? In this article, we will discuss some tips and techniques for doing so.

All Possible Ways for Creating ReactJS App

Nowadays, for most JS applications, it is recommended to use new ES6 syntax and features. This may be done in two ways. First, you may configure Webpack and Babel by yourself, but this may prove too complex for most users. Thankfully, React developers from Facebook created a cool command line tool — create-react-app — that is very flexible and provides a development skeleton for a smoother, faster development.

Once you have created the base for your future app, your next consideration should be your file and folder structure. There are many ways to organize your files, and these typically depend on the app size. For small and middle-sized applications, you could combine files by structure, so that you have one folder per structure.For example, you can have one folder for reducers, actions, components, containers, utils, tests and so on. When the app is growing, a better decision will be to store them by entity. For example, if you have some components that have appropriate containers, actions, and reducers in store, you could save them in one folder, so that your structure will be more logical.

For better project scaling and smoother development, you also need to impose strict rules for building different structures and naming conventions. Let’s take a look at an example of an action:

const SOME_ACTION_NAME = "entityName/SOME_ACTION_NAME";

Below is the corresponding action creator:

const someActionName = actionData => ({
type: SOME_ACTION_NAME,
actionData
});

You could notice a correlation between action name and action creator naming, and it’s a good practice because it saves you significant time in the future when debugging and allows you to maintain a solid code standard.

For actions that make HTTP requests, you could implement the following:

const SOME_ACTION_REQUEST = "entityName/SOME_ACTION_REQUEST";

const SOME_ACTION_SUCCESS = ...
const SOME_ACTION_ERROR = ...

Here, we have some action for sending requests and appropriate actions for success or failure.

The same scheme works for reducers as well. We just have to apply some general rule that should be used by all React developers that work on the project, like this:

export const initialState = {
// some initial state data
}

export default someReducerName(state = initialState, action) {
// different action handlers
}

The next important thing to know is the use of containers. This is the point where our React app connects to the Redux store, and there are some tricky issues that we could catch here.

One of the best practices here is to use selectors in the mapStateToProps function. Selectors are quite simple; they just get the state as an input parameter and return the required key from the state. They are very useful when you need to retrieve some data from several containers and need just one source of truth.

Let’s demonstrate it in some small example:

mapStateToProps = state => ({
firstItem: firstItemSelector(state),
secondItem: secondItemSelector(state)
});

Below are the selectors:

firstItemSelector = state => state.reducerOne.firstItem;

And from another selector file:

secondItem = state => state.reducerTwo.secondItem;
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Final Tips to Ease Your ReactJS Work Process

You could also use a library function like reselect to improve your selectors and not ask them to recompute the same data when you need them repeatedly. Again, for performance improvements, it will be helpful to use methods from your library, such as recompose, which calls onlyUpdateForKeys. Redux uses a comparison approach like React, but with some complex data structures, like array of objects, it could cause an issue with container updates and decrease application performance.

Also, don’t forget about the way we build components. Try to use class-based components just for containers and components that could handle any kind of additional logic before being rendered. For the rest, you should use functional components.

When it comes to type checking, You may use prop-type Facebook packages. o protect your component renders, try to describe in details all possible prop types and their variations. Some optional tools that you may also explore include Facebook Flow or TypeScript, TypeScript may be better in conjunction with Angular, so it may be better to focus on Flow.

Last but not the least, you should pay attention to tests. Tests will save your time while debugging your app or fixing any kind of issues.

Combining all these techniques depending on the complexity of your project will ultimately prove very useful and beneficial to your project development.

Having problems with your ReactJS project? Contact our React developer for more details or for advice!

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