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reflux

RefluxJS

A simple library for unidirectional dataflow architecture inspired by ReactJS Flux.

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Installation

You can currently install the package as a npm package, a bower component, or import it from a CDN.

NPM

The following command installs RefluxJS as a npm package:

npm install reflux

Then, in your script, you can gain a reference to RefluxJS like so: var Reflux = require('reflux');

Bower

The following command installs reflux as a bower component that can be used in the browser:

bower install reflux

Then the files may be imported into your html file via bower_components/reflux/dist/reflux.js or bower_components/reflux/dist/reflux.min.js. At that point a Reflux variable will be globally available to you. It is suggested that you import RefluxJS after React.

CDN

RefluxJS is available at jsdelivr.

You may import the CDN files directly through a script tag. At that point a Reflux variable will be globally available to you. It is suggested that you import RefluxJS after React.


Overview

The main function of Reflux is to introduce a more functional programming style architecture by eschewing MVC like pattern and adopting a single data flow pattern.

+---------+       +--------+       +-----------------+
¦ Actions ¦------>¦ Stores ¦------>¦ View Components ¦
+---------+       +--------+       +-----------------+
     ^                                      ¦
     +--------------------------------------+
 

The pattern is composed of actions and data stores, where actions initiate new data to pass through data stores before coming back to the view components again. If a view component has an event that needs to make a change in the application's data stores, they need to do so by signaling to the stores through the actions available.


Usage

For usage, you need to create actions which can be called from React components. Those actions are listened to by stores which hold and update data. In turn those stores are hooked up to React components and set state within them as it is updated within the store.

Therefore the 3 main concepts to know are:

  1. creating actions
  2. creating stores
  3. hooking stores to React components

Creating Actions

Create an action by calling Reflux.createAction with an optional options object.

var statusUpdate = Reflux.createAction();

An action is a function object that can be invoked like any other function.

statusUpdate(data); // Invokes the action statusUpdate 

There is also a convenience function for creating multiple actions.

var Actions = Reflux.createActions([
    "statusUpdate",
    "statusEdited",
    "statusAdded"
]);
 
// Actions object now contains the actions 
// with the names given in the array above 
// that may be invoked as usual 
 
Actions.statusUpdate();

More on Actions:

Actions can also:

  • load files asynchronously with child actions
  • do preEmit and shouldEmit checking
  • have many shortcuts for easy usage

See Reflux Action Documentation for more.


Creating Stores

Create a data store much like ReactJS's own React.Component by creating a class extending Reflux.Store. The store has a state property much like a component, and uses setState like a component as well. You may set up all action listeners in the constructor and register them by calling the store's own listenTo function.

class StatusStore extends Reflux.Store
{
    constructor()
    {
        super();
        this.state = {flag:'OFFLINE'}; // <- set store's default state much like in React 
        this.listenTo(statusUpdate, this.onStatusUpdate); // listen to the statusUpdate action 
    }
 
    onStatusUpdate(status)
    {
        var newFlag = status ? 'ONLINE' : 'OFFLINE';
        this.setState({flag:newFlag});
    }
}

In the above example, whenever the action statusUpdate is called, the store's onStatusUpdate callback will be called with whatever parameters were sent in the action. E.g. if the action is called as statusUpdate(true) then the status argument in the onStatusUpdate function is true.

Stores also integrate easily with sets of actions via things like this.listenables. When an actions object (or an Array of multiple actions objects) is applied to this.listenables you may automatically add listeners simply by naming convention. Just name the functions either after the action name (such as actionName, or the camelcased action name preceded with "on", (such as onActionName).

var Actions = Reflux.createActions(['firstAction', 'secondAction']);
 
class StatusStore extends Reflux.Store
{
    constructor()
    {
        super();
        this.listenables = Actions;
    }
 
    onFirstAction()
    {
        // calls on Actions.firstAction(); 
    }
 
    onSecondAction()
    {
        // calls on Actions.secondAction(); 
    }
}

More on Stores:

Reflux stores are very powerful. They can even do things like contribute to a global state that can be read and set for partial or full-state time-travel, debugging, etc.

See Reflux Store Documentation to learn more about stores.


Hooking Stores to Components

Once you've created actions and stores, now the last step in working RefluxJS is to hook those stores to a React component.

This is done as simply as extending Reflux.Component instead of React.Component and setting the store(s) to use. Reflux.Component itself extends React.Component, so you use them the exact same. The only difference is that Reflux.Component allows you to set stores for the component to get state from:

class MyComponent extends Reflux.Component
{
    constructor(props)
    {
        super(props);
        this.state = {}; // our store will add its own state to the component's 
        this.store = StatusStore; // <- just assign the store class itself 
    }
 
    render()
    {
        var flag = this.state.flag; // <- flag is mixed in from the StatusStore 
        return <div>User is {flag}</div>
    }
}

When the component mounts it will either create a singleton instance of StatusStore (if one isn't already made) or use an already made singleton (if it was already created by another component that uses the store).

Of important note is that you can:

  1. Set multiple stores by setting this.stores (the plural) and setting it to an Array of store classes.
  2. Set a this.storeKeys Array to restrict only certain parts of the store being mixed into the component state.

There is also a mapStoreToState method in the documentation for those that want absolute control over how a store's state is mapped to a component.

class MyComponent extends Reflux.Component
{
    constructor(props)
    {
        super(props);
        this.state = {type:'admin'}; // <- note that we can still use normal state 
        this.stores = [StatusStore, AnotherStore];
        this.storeKeys = ['flag', 'info'];
    }
 
    render()
    {
        var flag = this.state.flag;
        var info = this.state.info;
        var type = this.state.type;
        return <div>User is {flag}, info: {info}, type: {type}</div>
    }
}

The above will mix in properties from the state of both StatusStore and AnotherStore. However, because of this.storeKeys it will only mix in the properties flag and info from them. So any other properties within those stores will not get mixed in. So even if a store contained a type property in its state it would not get mixed in, and the type value we set as a normal part of the component state is safe.

More on using Reflux style components:

Reflux's simple and intuitive way of integrating stores into components is easy and powerful. You can aggregate stores together on a component-by-component basis, filter which parts of the stores come through and which don't, or even do a detailed manual mapping of exactly how you want the state from stores to map to the state in a particular component.

See Reflux Style Component Documentation to learn more.


Documentation

What you've just read is a "view from 10,000 feet" type overview of getting started with RefluxJS. For serious learning see the documentation.