eleventy-hast-jsx
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0.3.5 • Public • Published

Eleventy + HAST + JSX

This package adds a .jsx template engine to Eleventy that lets you use JSX to construct HTML pages.

Getting Started

If you aren’t familiar with Eleventy, check out their getting started guide and come back here once you’ve got a site going. Make sure you use Node.js 16.0.0 or later.

First, add eleventy-hast-jsx as a dependency:

$ npm install --save-dev eleventy-hast-jsx

Next, add it as a plugin to your .eleventy.js file:

module.exports = (eleventyConfig) => {
  // ...
  eleventyConfig.addPlugin(require("eleventy-hast-jsx").plugin);
  // ...
};

Next, create a new page or layout with the .jsx extension:

// hello-world.jsx

exports.default = (data) => <h1>Hello, world!</h1>;

(Non-JSX) API

require("eleventy-hast-jsx").plugin

An Eleventy plugin function. Check out Eleventy’s docs for more information on adding a plugin. The plugin takes three optional options:

  • babelOptions: Babel is used to transform your .jsx files when they are require()d. By default, only the JSX transform is enabled. Pass any additional Babel options you want!
    • By default, any plugins you pass will be run after the hardcoded JSX transform that this package does. Passing overridePlugins: true in babelOptions will replace the default plugin list with your custom plugins.
  • htmlOptions: Options passed to hast-util-to-html to convert your JSX code into an HTML string. By default, this is just allowDangerousHtml: true (to allow the Raw tag described below to work).
  • componentsDir: The directory the component shortcode (see docs below) should look for components in. Defaults to _components.
  • jsxRuntime: See the section below on JSX runtime options. This option is new in v0.3.0, and is also deprecated.

Using JSX

The following kinds of tags are supported (just like React’s JSX):

  • Lowercase tag names like <div /> delegate to hastscript. The JSX expression will evaluate to an Element object with the appropriate tagName.
  • Uppercase tag names like <MyComponent /> depend on the type of the variable matching the tag name
    • if MyComponent evaluates to a function, it will be called the props passed as a single object argument (just like React props), and any children are available as the children prop. The JSX expression will evaluate to the function’s return value (unlike React’s JSX).
    • if MyComponent evaluates to a string, the JSX expression will evaluate to an Element object with a tagName matching the value of MyComponent and any props passed will become properties/attributes of the element.
  • You can use the JSX syntax <>...</> to create a fragment. JSX fragment expressions evaluate to an array, following the children algorithm described below.

You can use either HTML-style (e.g. class, for, ...) or DOM-style (className, htmlFor, ...) props on HTML elements. For custom components, props are passed as-is (except that children are processed as described below).

Children are processed to behave more like React JSX. The children prop will always be an array (even if 0 or 1 children were passed). Sub-arrays will be flattened recursively (up to depth 20, please file an issue or re-evaluate your life choices if you need more). String and number values will be converted to a text node. Like React’s version, createElement skips booleans, null, and undefined children. All other values are passed through as-is. This processing is applied to all children, including in HTML elements, fragments, and custom components.

Unlike React JSX, which simply constructs a tree of plain objects to be processed by React later on, this package will call your custom component immediately and return whatever it returns. Since component return values are not processed in any way, you don’t have to return a valid hast node from the component — you could, for example, return a Promise to make an async component:

const fetch = require("node-fetch");

async function FetchData(url) {
  const posts = await (await fetch(url)).json();
  return posts.map(({ title, url }) => <a href={url}>{title}</a>);
}

exports.default = async ({ dataSource }) => (
  <main>
    <h1>Data</h1>
    {await (<FetchData source={dataSource} />)}
  </main>
);

Raw

The Raw component allows you to inject raw HTML strings into the output. This is useful for layouts (which are always provided template content as a string), or if hast does not allow you the flexibility you require for some horrifying abuse of HTML syntax. Unlike React, there is no globally available dangerouslySetInnerHTML prop. (see the safety and security section below).

const { Raw } = require("eleventy-hast-jsx");

<Raw html='<?php echo "Where did I go wrong?"; ?>' />;
<Raw html={templateContent} />;

Of course, you could also just make the raw node yourself:

<article>{{ type: "raw", content: "HTML goes here!" }}</article>

DOCTYPE

The DOCTYPE component injects <!DOCTYPE html> into the output (via a doctype node). This is useful for top-level layouts!

const { Raw, DOCTYPE } = require("eleventy-hast-jsx");
module.exports = ({ templateContent }) => (
  <>
    <DOCTYPE />
    <html>
      <body>
        <Raw html={templateContent} />
      </body>
    </html>
  </>
);

Comment

The DOCTYPE component produces an HTML comment (<!-- like this -->) (via a comment node). Note that the leading and trailing spaces are not inserted by default (i.e. <!--comment-->) so you’ll need to include them in the child yourself if you want them.

const { Comment } = require("eleventy-hast-jsx");

<Comment>This is a comment</Comment>;

component Shortcode

If you want to integrate your components into one of the built-in template languages, use the component shortcode. (For the JSX language, import and use the component directly.) The shortcode produces a plain HTML string.

For all template languages, the first parameter is the path to the component, relative to the componentsDir passed in the plugin options. Export your component from the component file by assigning it to module.exports, module.exports.default, or to a named export with the same name as the file (minus the extension).

Nunjucks (preferred)

{% component "Foo", name="name", age=42 %}

Of all the template languages supported by Eleventy, Nunjucks allows for the nicest developer experience, so I recommend using it if possible.

The named parameters passed to the shortcode will be turned into props. You can make your component an async function, as its result will be awaited before being converted to an HTML string and returned.

Tip: Do you want to pass children to your component? There’s currently no paired shortcode support, but you can create your own:

eleventyConfig.addNunjucksPairedShortcode("card", function (content, props) {
  return this.component("Card", {
    ...props,
    // This will make sure the content is not escaped
    children: { type: "raw", value: content },
  });
});

Usage:

{% card color="red" %}
  <h1>My Card</h1>
  <p>This is my card.</p>
{% endcard %}

The code sample above only works in Nunjucks, but you can adapt it to any other supported template language.

Liquid

{% component "Foo", "name", 42 %}

Liquid doesn’t support named parameters like Nunjucks, so the component will instead receive two props:

  • arg will be the first parameter you pass ("name" in the example above)
  • args will be an array containing all passed parameters (["name", 42] in the example above)
  • In addition, if you pass only one value, and that value is an object, all of its keys will be available as props. (for example, doing {% component "Example" page %} will have the various keys of page (date, fileSlug, …) available as props inside of Example.)

You can make your component an async function, as its result will be awaited before being converted to an HTML string and returned.

Handlebars

{{{component "Foo" "name" 42}}}

Make sure you use the triple-stache ({{{ }}}) syntax so the HTML produced by the shortcode doesn’t get escaped.

The first parameter is the path to the component, relative to componentsDir. Export your component from the component file by assigning it to either module.exports or module.exports.default.

Handlebars doesn’t support named parameters like Nunjucks does, so the component will instead receive two props:

  • arg will be the first parameter you pass ("name" in the example above)
  • args will be an array containing all passed parameters (["name", 42] in the example above)
  • In addition, if you pass only one value, and that value is an object, all of its keys will be available as props. (for example, doing {% component "Example" page %} will have the various keys of page (date, fileSlug, …) available as props inside of Example.)

You must not make your component an async function, since Handlebars doesn’t support async shortcodes.

The Handlebars shortcode is less safe than the others, and has the least functionality. I recommend using Nunjucks instead if possible.

11ty.js (JavaScript)

await this.component("Foo", { name: "name", age: 42 });

The first parameter is the path to the component, relative to componentsDir. Export your component from the component file by assigning it to either module.exports or module.exports.default.

Pass a props object as the second parameter. You can make your component an async function, as its result will be awaited before being converted to an HTML string. The shortcode will always be async, regardless of whether or not the component is.

Template Files

Template files must be CommonJS modules, with either one or two exports:

default

exports.default is required, and must be a function. It will be passed the merged data from the data cascade as props, and should return a hast node (or an array of such nodes).

exports.default = ({ name }) => <h1>Hello, {name}!</h1>;

The exported function can also be async or return a Promise, which greatly expands what you can do…

exports.default = async ({ title, someMarkdown }) => {
  const remark = (await import("unified"))
    .unified()
    .use((await import("remark-parse")).default)
    .use((await import("remark-rehype")).default);

  return (
    <article>
      <h1>{title}</h1>
      {/* convert the markdown into hast using rehype, then embed it */}
      {(await remark.run(remark.parse(someMarkdown))).children}
    </article>
  );
};

data

exports.data is optional, and provides data for the current page (just like front matter does). Front matter is supported in .jsx files too, but exports.data is offered as an alternative because most editors will not understand a front matter block in a JavaScript file. It behaves just like a JS front matter block in any other template language.

eleventy-hast-jsx does not offer the feature where permalinks are run through the current template engine, since that doesn’t make much sense for JS-based code. Instead, pass a function as the value for permalink if you need a custom permalink. The function will be called with the merged data cascade (like in the built-in JS template language, but without support for filters/shortcodes at this point).

exports.data = {
  layout: "page.jsx",
};

Code reuse in templates

Code can be reused via Eleventy’s built-in layout mechanisms, or by creating components (which have a similar signature to React function components):

// _components/Icon.jsx
function Icon({ name, size = 24 }) {
  return (
    <svg class="icon" width={size} height={size}>
      <use href={`/assets/icons.svg#${name}`} />
    </svg>
  );
}

module.exports = Icon;

// some-page.jsx
const Icon = require("./_components/Icon");

exports.default = () => <Icon name="star" />;

Safety and Security

eleventy-hast-jsx was designed to be generally used in trusted environments. Specifically, since it is intended to be used with Eleventy, I have assumed that all data passed in is trusted by the website creator. In particular, the HTML escaping performed by default is entirely for convenience (so you don’t have to write &amp;, for example) rather than an iron-clad security measure.

With that said, as long as all untrusted input is cast to a string, eleventy-hast-jsx should be safe. Strings will be escaped by hast-util-to-html (although, of course, <Raw html={...} /> is exempt from this). However, eleventy-hast-jsx is intentionally designed to interpret objects as HTML. This significantly increases the flexibility of components, since JSX expressions simply create hast nodes. However, if your untrusted user input could consist of arbitrary objects, you’ll need to ensure that it is either sanitized or coerced to a string before being passed into a JSX expression.

You could use a package from the excellent unified collective (such as hast-util-sanitize) to process any user-supplied values before putting them in a component, if you want to allow custom HTML while retaining safety.

One feature that has not yet been implemented is null/undefined checking. While it would be possible to check for and throw when attempting to render null or undefined — which is exactly what an earlier version of this plugin did — I found that it makes JSX conditionals (i.e. {x && <div />}) very annoying to write since you must do {x ? <div /> : ""} or similar. If I find a solution (probably a custom Babel plugin) that allows conditionals to work properly while checking against directly-provided values (such as {foo}) being null, I hope to implement that as an optional feature. And, of course, PRs are always welcome!

Acknowledgements

This package uses a version of the source code from the excellent stealthy-require package by Nicolai Kamenzky.

eleventy-hast-jsx would not have been possible without the excellent work of the Babel, Eleventy, and Unified teams. Send them money! :)

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