magarcia

Refactor TodoMVC with Redux Starter Kit

8 min read

I’ve been working with React more than two years now. I started in a quite big project with a lot of work already done that was using Redux. I was a bit overwhelming start directly with so much stuff done, especially with a framework I didn’t know much about. But after some time I got more comfortable and experienced.

Recently I discovered the project Redux Starter Kit from the same team that works on Redux. It’s a simple toolset that provides utilities that can make really simple and easy work with Redux. In fact, one of the tools it provides, createReducer, is a patter I’ve been using for a while and it helps me a lot on reducing boilerplate code and speeding up my development (especially in new projects).

So in order to learn more about and get comfortable using it, I decided to migrate an already existing codebase with Redux, using this toolset. Obviously, as an example project for a frontend framework, I picked the omnipresent TodoMVC, in concrete the version that Redux provides as example in his repository.

Starting point

For whoever doesn’t know how this app looks like in Redux, it has two main reducers visibilityFilter and todos; both with his respective actions, action creators and selectors.

Visibility Filter

I started with the most “simple” reducer, to start small and then move to a more complex state.

Reducer

The reducer, as it came from the Redux example, it’s already quite simple and easy to understand.

// reducers/visibilityFilter.js
import { SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER } from '../constants/ActionTypes';
import { SHOW_ALL } from '../constants/TodoFilters';

export default (state = SHOW_ALL, action) => {
  switch (action.type) {
    case SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER:
      return action.filter;
    default:
      return state;
  }
};

In order to create reducers Redux Starter Kit provides a function createReducer, as I mentioned before it’s a pattern I already used and I’m quite happy with it.

The idea is simple, instead of having to create a reducer function with a switch case statement inside, this function expects the initial state as a first parameter and an object where the keys are the action types and the value are the reducers ((state, action) => { /* reducer code */) for this action.

It reduces some boilerplate and will set always the default statement as return state. But to me, the biggest benefit is the readability that provides.

This is how the visibility filter reducer looks like using createReducer:

// reducers/visibilityFilter.js
import { createReducer } from 'redux-starter-kit';
import { SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER } from '../constants/ActionTypes';
import { SHOW_ALL } from '../constants/TodoFilters';

export default createReducer(SHOW_ALL, {
  [SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER]: (state, action) => action.filter
});

Actions creators

Now is time for the actions. The visibility filter only has one action SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER and the creator is very simple:

// actions/index.js
import * as types from '../constants/ActionTypes';

/* ... Other actions ...*/
export const setVisibilityFilter = filter => ({
  type: types.SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER,
  filter
});

For the actions, this toolset can be quite opinionated. It provides the function createAction that only expects the action type as a parameter. As a result, we get an action creator.

// actions/index.js
import * as types from '../constants/ActionTypes';

/* ... Other actions ...*/
export const setVisibilityFilter = createAction(types.SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER);

This action creator can be run with or without parameters. In the case that we send a parameter, this will be set as the payload of the action. These are some examples of how will work:

const setVisibilityFilter = createAction('SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER');

let action = setVisibilityFilter();
// { type: 'SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER' }

action = setVisibilityFilter('SHOW_COMPLETED');
// returns { type: 'SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER', payload: 'SHOW_COMPLETED' }

setVisibilityFilter.toString();
// 'SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER'

So now the filter is set into the payload key of the action, this implies a refactor on the reducer since we were using the key filter, but luckily is very simple to change.

// reducers/visibilityFilter.js
import { createReducer } from 'redux-starter-kit';
import { SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER } from '../constants/ActionTypes';
import { SHOW_ALL } from '../constants/TodoFilters';

export default createReducer(SHOW_ALL, {
  [SET_VISIBILITY_FILTER]: (state, action) => action.payload
});

Selectors

For me using selectors is one of the best choices that anyone can take when working with React, because it makes really simple refactor how the state looks like without having to change all the components that are consuming this part of the state.

The selector of the visibility filter is one of the easiest ones:

// selectors/index.js
const getVisibilityFilter = state => state.visibilityFilter;

/* ... Other selectors ...*/

And it doesn’t change too much using the function createSelector. Actually, we have more code now than with the previous version, but trust me it’s going to be simpler. Just keep reading.

// selectors/index.js
import { createSelector } from 'redux-starter-kit';

const getVisibilityFilter = createSelector(['visibilityFilter']);

/* ... Other selectors ...*/

Slices

Until now the only thing that we did is changing some simple functions to more simple functions using different creators. But now is where I discovered the real power of the toolset: createSlice.

createSlice is a function that accepts an initial state, an object full of reducer functions, and optionally a “slice name”, and automatically generates action creators, action types, and selectors ready to be used.

Now we can throw all the code that we did.

Creating a slice for the visibility filter is very clean and easy to understand, and since we can throw all the previous code that we refactor the final result it’s removing a lot of boilerplate.

// ducks/visibilityFilter.js
import { createSlice } from 'redux-starter-kit';

export default createSlice({
  slice: 'visibilityFilter',
  initialState: SHOW_ALL,
  reducers: {
    setVisibilityFilter: (state, action) => action.payload
  }
});

Now we have a single object as a result containing all that we need to work properly with Redux. This is how it can be used:

const reducer = combineReducers({
  visibilityFilter: visibilityFilter.reducer
});

const store = createStore(reducer);

store.dispatch(visibilityFilter.actions.setVisibilityFilter(SHOW_COMPLETED));
// -> { visibilityFilter: 'SHOW_COMPLETED' }

const state = store.getState();
console.log(visibilityFilter.selectors.getVisibilityFilter(state));
// -> SHOW_COMPLETED

All the changes did until now are in this commit.

Todos

The todos reducer is more complex so I’m not going to show the refactor step by step. Instead, I’m going to explain how the final result looks like, but if you are interested go directly the final result.

The first part is defining the initial state:

// ducks/todos.js
const initialState = [
  {
    text: 'Use Redux',
    completed: false,
    id: 0
  }
];

In order to make the slice creation more readable, I extracted the different reducer actions in different functions:

// ducks/todos.js
const addTodo = (state, action) => [
  ...state,
  {
    id: state.reduce((maxId, todo) => Math.max(todo.id, maxId), -1) + 1,
    completed: false,
    text: action.payload.text
  }
];

const deleteTodo = (state, action) => state.filter(todo => todo.id !== action.payload.id);

const editTodo = (state, action) =>
  state.map(todo =>
    todo.id === action.payload.id ? { ...todo, text: action.payload.text } : todo
  );

const completeTodo = (state, action) =>
  state.map(todo =>
    todo.id === action.payload.id ? { ...todo, completed: !todo.completed } : todo
  );
const completeAllTodos = state => {
  const areAllMarked = state.every(todo => todo.completed);
  return state.map(todo => ({
    ...todo,
    completed: !areAllMarked
  }));
};

const clearCompleted = state => state.filter(todo => todo.completed === false);

And now we can put all together in a new slice:

// ducks/todos.js
const todos = createSlice({
  slice: 'todos',
  initialState,
  reducers: {
    add: addTodo,
    delete: deleteTodo,
    edit: editTodo,
    complete: completeTodo,
    completeAll: completeAllTodos,
    clearCompleted: clearCompleted
  }
});

By default the selectors returned by createSlice are very simple, they just return the value from the state (eg: todos.selectors.getTodos). But in this application, we need to define more complex selectors.

For example, getVisibleTodos needs two know about the current visibility filter and also the todos. createSelector gets as a first parameter an array with strings (the path to select from the state) or other selectors and as a second parameter the function that’s going to implement the logic that we want to select the todos based on the selected filter.

// ducks/todos.js
const { getVisibilityFilter } = visibilityFilter.selectors;

todos.selectors.getVisibleTodos = createSelector(
  [getVisibilityFilter, todos.selectors.getTodos],
  (visibilityFilter, todos) => {
    switch (visibilityFilter) {
      case SHOW_ALL:
        return todos;
      case SHOW_COMPLETED:
        return todos.filter(t => t.completed);
      case SHOW_ACTIVE:
        return todos.filter(t => !t.completed);
      default:
        throw new Error('Unknown filter: ' + visibilityFilter);
    }
  }
);

todos.selectors.getCompletedTodoCount = createSelector(
  [todos.selectors.getTodos],
  todos => todos.reduce((count, todo) => (todo.completed ? count + 1 : count), 0)
);

As you can notice in the previous code, I created the new selectors in the selectors object in the todos slice so now we have all the selectors accessible in the same place.

Create Store

The last two functions provided by the library are configureStore and getDefaultMiddleware.

configureStore is an abstraction over the standard Redux createStore function. Doesn’t provide more functionalities than createStore but it makes things easier to read, like enable developer tools that is just a boolean.

getDefaultMiddleware returns a list of middlewares [immutableStateInvariant, thunk, serializableStateInvariant] in development and [thunk] in production.

  • redux-immutable-state-invariant: It can detect mutations in reducers during a dispatch, and also mutations that occur between dispatches (eg: in selectors or components).
  • serializable-state-invariant-middleware: It deeply checks your state tree and your actions for non-serializable values such as functions, Promises, etc.
// store.js
import { configureStore, getDefaultMiddleware } from 'redux-starter-kit';
import { combineReducers } from 'redux';
import { visibilityFilter, todos } from './ducks';

const preloadedState = {
  todos: [
    {
      text: 'Use Redux',
      completed: false,
      id: 0
    }
  ]
};

const reducer = combineReducers({
  todos: todos.reducer,
  visibilityFilter: visibilityFilter.reducer
});

const middleware = [...getDefaultMiddleware()];

export const store = configureStore({
  reducer,
  middleware,
  devTools: process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'production',
  preloadedState
});

Final thoughts

Redux Starter Kit looks interesting, it reduces boilerplate code making the code cleaner and easy to understand. But also it makes really fast to develop new code.

Source Code: https://github.com/magarcia/todomvc-redux-starter-kit