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1.1.0 • Public • Published


pico-vue is a fork of petite-vue, which is an alternative distribution of Vue optimized for progressive enhancement. It provides the same template syntax and reactivity mental model as standard Vue. However, it is specifically optimized for "sprinkling" a small amount of interactions on an existing HTML page rendered by a server framework. See more details on how it differs from standard Vue.

  • Only ~6kb
  • Vue-compatible template syntax
  • DOM-based, mutates in place
  • Driven by @vue/reactivity


  • petite-vue it's not mantained anymore, hence we will provide bug fixes and handle feature requests. Feel free to open issue or PR.
  • this fork is focused on web components, but we will provide new generic features too


pico-vue can be used without a build step. Simply load it from a CDN:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/pico-vue" defer init></script>

<!-- anywhere on the page -->
<div v-scope="{ count: 0 }">
  {{ count }}
  <button @click="count++">inc</button>

<!-- another example -->
  v-scope="{width: $el.offsetWidth, height: $el.offsetHeight}"
  @click="width = $el.offsetWidth; height = $el.offsetHeight;"
{{ width }} &times; {{ height }}
  • Use v-scope to mark regions on the page that should be controlled by pico-vue.
  • The defer attribute makes the script execute after HTML content is parsed.
  • The init attribute tells pico-vue to automatically query and initialize all elements that have v-scope on the page.

Manual Init

If you don't want the auto init, remove the init attribute and move the scripts to end of <body>:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/pico-vue"></script>

Or, use the ES module build:

<script type="module">
  import { createApp } from 'https://unpkg.com/pico-vue?module'

Production CDN URLs

The short CDN URL is meant for prototyping. For production usage, use a fully resolved CDN URL to avoid resolving and redirect cost:

  • Global build: https://unpkg.com/pico-vue@1.0.3/dist/pico-vue.iife.js
    • exposes PetiteVue global, supports auto init
  • ESM build: https://unpkg.com/pico-vue@1.0.3/dist/pico-vue.es.js
    • Must be used with <script type="module">

Root Scope

The createApp function accepts a data object that serves as the root scope for all expressions. This can be used to bootstrap simple, one-off apps:

<script type="module">
  import { createApp } from 'https://unpkg.com/pico-vue?module'

    // exposed to all expressions
    count: 0,
    // getters
    get plusOne() {
      return this.count + 1
    // methods
    increment() {

<!-- v-scope value can be omitted -->
<div v-scope>
  <p>{{ count }}</p>
  <p>{{ plusOne }}</p>
  <button @click="increment">increment</button>

Note v-scope doesn't need to have a value here and simply serves as a hint for pico-vue to process the element.

Explicit Mount Target

You can specify a mount target (selector or element) to limit pico-vue to only that region of the page:


This also means you can have multiple pico-vue apps to control different regions on the same page:

  // root scope for app one

  // root scope for app two


The concept of "Components" are different in pico-vue, as it is much more bare-bones.

First, reusable scope logic can be created with functions:

<script type="module">
  import { createApp } from 'https://unpkg.com/pico-vue?module'

  function Counter(props) {
    return {
      count: props.initialCount,
      inc() {
      mounted() {
        console.log(`I'm mounted!`)


<div v-scope="Counter({ initialCount: 1 })" @vue:mounted="mounted">
  <p>{{ count }}</p>
  <button @click="inc">increment</button>

<div v-scope="Counter({ initialCount: 2 })">
  <p>{{ count }}</p>
  <button @click="inc">increment</button>

Components with Template

If you also want to reuse a piece of template, you can provide a special $template key on a scope object. The value can be the template string, or an ID selector to a <template> element:

<script type="module">
  import { createApp } from 'https://unpkg.com/pico-vue?module'

  function Counter(props) {
    return {
      $template: '#counter-template',
      count: props.initialCount,
      inc() {


<template id="counter-template">
  My count is {{ count }}
  <button @click="inc">++</button>

<!-- reuse it -->
<div v-scope="Counter({ initialCount: 1 })"></div>
<div v-scope="Counter({ initialCount: 2 })"></div>

The <template> approach is recommended over inline strings because it is more efficient to clone from a native template element.

Lifecycle Events

You can listen to the special vue:mounted and vue:unmounted lifecycle events for each element:

  @vue:mounted="console.log('mounted on: ', $el)"
  @vue:unmounted="console.log('unmounted: ', $el)"



represent the current element


represent the element of v-scope





Use v-effect to execute reactive inline statements:

<div v-scope="{ count: 0 }">
  <div v-effect="$el.textContent = count"></div>
  <button @click="count++">++</button>

The effect uses count which is a reactive data source, so it will re-run whenever count changes.

Another example of replacing the todo-focus directive found in the original Vue TodoMVC example:

<input v-effect="if (todo === editedTodo) $el.focus()" />




<div v-scope="[{name: 'rush', items: 3}, {...}]">
  <!-- v-for loop on arrays and objects -->
  <div v-for="customer in $data" :key="customer.name">
    <!-- print values -->
    <p v-for="value in customer" :key="value"> {{ value }} </p>
    <!-- print values and keys -->
    <p v-for="(value, key) in customer" :key="value"> {{ key }}: {{ value }} </p>
  <button @click="$data.push({name: 'random', ...})">add</button>




avoid flash rendreng which happen until petite-vue loaded, after it load it will remove these directives

This directive is only needed in no-build-step setups

[v-cloak] {
  display: none;

<div v-cloak>
  {{ message }}

Global State Management

You can use the reactive method (re-exported from @vue/reactivity) to create global state singletons:

<script type="module">
  import { createApp, reactive } from 'https://unpkg.com/pico-vue?module'

  const store = reactive({
    count: 0,
    inc() {

  // manipulate it here

    // share it with app scopes

<div v-scope="{ localCount: 0 }">
  <p>Global {{ store.count }}</p>
  <button @click="store.inc">increment</button>

  <p>Local {{ localCount }}</p>
  <button @click="localCount++">increment</button>

Use watchEffect to re-run a function every time its dependencies changes.

import { watchEffect, reactive } from 'https://unpkg.com/pico-vue?module'

const store = reactive({
  count: 0,

watchEffect( () => console.log(store.count))


Custom Directives

Custom directives are also supported but with a different interface:

const myDirective = (ctx) => {
  // the element the directive is on
  // the raw value expression
  // e.g. v-my-dir="x" then this would be "x"
  // v-my-dir:foo -> "foo"
  // v-my-dir.mod -> { mod: true }
  // evaluate the expression and get its value
  // evaluate arbitrary expression in current scope
  ctx.get(`${ctx.exp} + 10`)

  // run reactive effect
  ctx.effect(() => {
    // this will re-run every time the get() value changes

  return () => {
    // cleanup if the element is unmounted

// register the directive
createApp().directive('my-dir', myDirective).mount()

This is how v-html is implemented:

const html = ({ el, get, effect }) => {
  effect(() => {
    el.innerHTML = get()

Custom Delimiters

You can use custom delimiters by passing $delimiters to your root scope. This is useful when working alongside a server-side templating language that also uses mustaches:

  $delimiters: ['${', '}']

Use Plugins

You can write custome directive then distrbute it as a package, then add it to create vue, like:

<div v-scope="{counter: 0}" v-log="inside pico-vue scope">
  <button @click="counter++">increase</button>

<script type="module">
  import log from './log'
  import { createApp } from 'pico-vue'

A plugin code similar to vue plugins code:

// inside log.js plugin file
export default {
  install: (app, options) => {
    app.directive('log', ({exp}) => {


Check out the examples directory.


pico-vue/petite-vue only

  • v-scope
  • v-effect
  • @vue:mounted & @vue:unmounted events
  • $root refers to the component root element

Different Behavior from petite-vue

  • In expressions, $el points to the current element the directive is bound to (instead of component root element which accessed by $root)
  • createApp() accepts global state instead of a component
  • Components are simplified into object-returning functions
  • Custom directives have a different interface
  • exported watchEffect

Vue Compatible

  • {{ }} text bindings (configurable with custom delimiters)
  • v-bind (including : shorthand and class/style special handling)
  • v-on (including @ shorthand and all modifiers)
  • v-model (all input types + non-string :value bindings)
  • v-if / v-else / v-else-if
  • v-for
  • v-show
  • v-html
  • v-text
  • v-pre
  • v-once
  • v-cloak
  • reactive()
  • nextTick()
  • Template refs

Not Supported

Some features are dropped because they have a relatively low utility/size ratio in the context of progressive enhancement. If you need these features, you should probably just use standard Vue.

  • ref(), computed() etc.
  • Render functions (pico-vue has no virtual DOM)
  • Reactivity for Collection Types (Map, Set, etc., removed for smaller size)
  • Transition, KeepAlive, Teleport, Suspense
  • v-for deep destructure
  • v-on="object"
  • v-is & <component :is="xxx">
  • v-bind:style auto-prefixing

Comparison with standard Vue

The point of petite-vue is not just about being small. It's about using the optimal implementation for the intended use case (progressive enhancement).

Standard Vue can be used with or without a build step. When using a build setup (e.g. with Single-File Components), we pre-compile all the templates so there's no template processing to be done at runtime. And thanks to tree-shaking, we can ship optional features in standard Vue that doesn't bloat your bundle size when not used. This is the optimal usage of standard Vue, but since it involves a build setup, it is better suited when building SPAs or apps with relatively heavy interactions.

When using standard Vue without a build step and mounting to in-DOM templates, it is much less optimal because:

  • We have to ship the Vue template compiler to the browser (13kb extra size)
  • The compiler will have to retrieve the template string from already instantiated DOM
  • The compiler then compiles the string into a JavaScript render function
  • Vue then replaces existing DOM templates with new DOM generated from the render function.

petite-vue avoids all this overhead by walking the existing DOM and attaching fine-grained reactive effects to the elements directly. The DOM is the template. This means petite-vue is much more efficient in progressive enhancement scenarios.

This is also how Vue 1 worked. The trade-off here is that this approach is coupled to the DOM and thus not suitable for platform agnostic rendering or JavaScript SSR. We also lose the ability to work with render functions for advanced abstractions. However as you can probably tell, these capabilities are rarely needed in the context of progressive enhancement.

Comparison with Alpine

petite-vue is indeed addressing a similar scope to Alpine, but aims to be (1) even more minimal and (2) more Vue-compatible.

  • petite-vue is around half the size of Alpine.

  • petite-vue has no transition system (maybe this can be an opt-in plugin).

  • Although Alpine largely resembles Vue's design, there are various cases where the behavior is different from Vue itself. It may also diverge more from Vue in the future. This is good because Alpine shouldn't have to restrict its design to strictly follow Vue - it should have the freedom to develop in a direction that makes sense for its goals.

    In comparison, petite-vue will try to align with standard Vue behavior whenever possible so that there is less friction moving to standard Vue if needed. It's intended to be part of the Vue ecosystem to cover the progressive enhancement use case where standard Vue is less optimized for nowadays.

Security and CSP

petite-vue evaluates JavaScript expressions in the templates. This means if petite-vue is mounted on a region of the DOM that contains non-sanitized HTML from user data, it may lead to XSS attacks. If your page renders user-submitted HTML, you should prefer initializing petite-vue using explicit mount target so that it only processes parts that are controlled by you. You can also sanitize any user-submitted HTML for the v-scope attribute.

petite-vue evaluates the expressions using new Function(), which may be prohibited in strict CSP settings. There is no plan to provide a CSP build because it involves shipping an expression parser which defeats the purpose of being lightweight. If you have strict CSP requirements, you should probably use standard Vue and pre-compile the templates.





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  • lucafabbian