1.2.3 • Public • Published

React Birch

React Birch is one of the most performant solution for displaying nested trees dynamic nested trees in React apps. It was forked from react-aspen which claims the performance spot (I haven't verified delta) and further streamlined to:

Motivation and Enhancements Included

  • Support a VSCode Monaco-like configuration-driven API
  • Consolidate multiple packages into a single react-birch (with a mono repository structure to include highly associated but loosely coupled dependencies like birch-context-menu)
  • Use React Hooks instead of React Components throughout
  • Use styled-components and standard theming instead of custom .sass and non-standard theming
  • Uses VSCode styling for folder views for a professional look out of the box
  • Allows concept of configurable action commands for each tree row and for a tree title area; examples are provided for Add Item, Delete Item, Rename Item and Collapse All; these can be shown in both right click context menus as well as tiny icons on one side of each row, just like VSCode
  • Eliminate dependencies where possible (e.g., tinyemitter and Notificar replaced with a very simple in repository fork called birch-event-emitter)

Just like react-aspen, it uses lightning fast TypedArrays to represent the data and react-window for super-efficient rendering. You define what needs to be rendered and Birch figures out the how

Base Features

  • Zero recursion. Unlike most implementations, which recurse the given nested object to flatten it out at once, Birch sets up an initial Uint32Array for initially visible items and then uses diff/patch technique thereafter for when subsequent nodes are expanded or collapsed. During benchmarks (expanding/collapsing nodes), Birch was 150x faster than react-virtualized-tree which uses recursive flattening and 4x faster than VSCode's TreeView which uses "linked-lists" as the data container (see below for flamegraph)
  • Best of the best; Birch uses Uint32Arrays internally to represent the flattened structure, this is awesome since TypedArrays are way faster than regular Arrays in all the operations, especially splicing and lookups. While benchmarking, TypedArrays were found to be 5x times faster than regular Arrays when tested in Safari.
  • Ability to rename (and create new) items inline, previsously this was not so trivial especially when working with virtualized lists. Just call #promptRename or #promptNewItem and setup your renderer to render the passed <ProxiedInput/> component as you like.
  • Drag, Drop, Add, Move, Remove anything and anywhere, Birch will seamlessly apply that update while preserving tree expansion state, once again, without recursion. Updates like these get applied like "patches" thus nothing gets lost.
  • Since Birch uses virtualized lists, nested structures aren't rendered as nested DOM nodes, but instead as individual items, thus CSS inheritence doesn't work. Therefore, to fix that Birch comes with a slick decorations system (in addition to styled-components), where you can specify the styles for one parent and Birch will work out the inheritance automatically for all of its children (of course you can negate any children if you so desire, just like CSS's :not selector).

These were just some of the awesome features Birch has to offer. Birch still has a lower-level library with a lot of very low-level API's. With that said, if you truly want low-level and don't want the Monaco API, then you may find the original react-aspen more to your liking.


npm i react-birch

It is highly recommended that you fork off of sample which has all of the high level features implemented and ready-to-go.

Once you fork, please give back by creating a pull request should you make a change. That helps all of us.


Licensed under MIT license. If you use this package in your app or product please consider crediting as you see fit. Not required, but would be nice 🙂

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npm i react-birch-updated

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  • ozonep