2.0.4 • Public • Published


react-traverse applies the principle of tree traversal to the two kinds of trees present in a React hierarchy: React nodes and React components.


npm install @simple-contacts/react-traverse
yarn add @simple-contacts/react-traverse

React node traversal

traverse(node, visitor) transforms a React nodes hierarchy into another one (borrowing its syntax from babel). A React node is typically what is returned by a single components render function.

For example, you can replace all <div>s with <span>s:

const replaceDivsWithSpans = (node) => traverse(node, {
  DOMElement(path) {
    if(path.node.type === 'div') {
      return React.createElement(
    return React.cloneElement(

replaceDivsWithSpans(<div>This is a span.</div>)
// will render as:
<span>This is a div.</span>

See the full traversal API below.

React components wrapping

traverse is notably useful to decorate custom components (either classes extending React.Component or stateless function components). So there is a simple decorator, wrapRender(transformNode)(component), which does exactly what it says on the tin.

For example, you can reuse replaceDivsWithSpans and wrap a component in it:

class Component extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <div>This is a span.</div>;

const WrappedComponent = wrapRender(replaceDivsWithSpans)(Component);
// <WrappedComponent /> will render as:
<span>This is a span.</span>

React components traversal

transformComponents(transformComponent) transforms a React components hierarchy into another one. Think higher-higher-order components, or decorators on steroids. A React Component is either a class extending React.Component or a stateless functional render function. Not only does it transform the component class you apply it two, but also recursively to all the subcomponents.

It combines very well with both traverse and wrapRender, as you can apply node transforms to the whole Virtual DOM tree, not only component-local parts of it.

For example, you can transform ALL the divs of your app into spans:

class Foo extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <div>This is foo.</div>;

function Bar() {
  return <div>
    This is bar.
    <Foo />

const TransformedBar = transformComponents(wrapRender(replaceDivsWithSpans))(Bar);

// <TransformedBar /> will render as:
  This is bar.
  <span>This is foo.</span>

For convenience, you can use transformComponents on components classes (created using extends React.Component), on stateless function components, or directly on React Elements:

const transform = transformComponents(wrapRender(replaceDivsWithSpans));
// decorator
class Foo extends React.Component { ... }

// stateless function
const Foo = transform(
  () => <div>This is foo.</div>

// directly on a ReactElement, eg. in a ReactDOM.render call
    <Foo />

Node visitor

The following visitor policies are available:

  • Empty: null, undefined or boolean
  • Text: string or number
  • Fragment: array of React Nodes
  • DOMElement: non-component elements (div, span, etc)
  • ComponentElement: component elements

If a visitor policy is not provided for a given kind, it defaults to a reasonable behaviour:

  • Empty and Text return the original node
  • Fragment return a new array in which each node has been traversed
  • DOMElement and ComponentElement return a clone element with the same props, except the children which have also been traversed.

A visitor is passed a single object, path, which has the following properties:

  • path.node: the original node
  • path.kindOf(node): a function which returns the kind of node as a string (Empty, Text, etc)
  • path.traverse(node, visitor = path.visitor): a recursive call to the traversal function
  • path.traverseChildren(): a shortcut to traverse the children of path.node
  • path.visitor: the visitor object for the current traversal

transformComponents memoization

Calls to transformComponents(transformComponent)(component) are memoized using a WeakMap to avoid allocating zillions of closures every time the app is rendered. This assumes transformComponent itself is pure (stateless) and component is immutable. This should be the case unless you're doing something very wrong.


To test. yarn tests




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npm i @simple-contacts/react-traverse

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  • rquigley
  • simple-contacts-engineering
  • nvie