React (sometimes styled React.js or ReactJS) is a declarative, efficient, and flexible JavaScript library that helps software developers to create top-notch interactive user interfaces. Coders and programmers that use the React platform can design simple views for each state of their application. The platform will efficiently update and render the correct components in reaction to subsequent changes in data. Developers working on the React platform can build declarative views that make the computer code under construction more predictable and easier to debug.

What’s new in React 16.3(.0-alpha)

React affords users the ability to build small components, wherein each component is only responsible for doing one thing. Essentially, these components are the building blocks that help developers to build bigger and more complex components. The smaller units can be glued together through function composition. Once proper patterns of components are in place, developers can create entire applications (such as complex user interfaces) that are more modular and easier to handle.

React Developer Tools helps software developers to inspect react components within their hierarchy. These tools are also configured to help developers observe their current props and states. Similarly, developers and coders can use Redux Developer Tools for Chrome to observe the flow of dispatched actions, current store states, and observe changes on stores. In addition, developers can use the React Native platform to write native apps for mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS. This platform allows developers to use the same methodology and architecture, which was used for building web applications.

React 16.3(.0-alpha) offers developers the use of a new Context API. Earlier versions of React also included the Context API, but developers warned the React community not to use it because the API was subject to change. In addition, the official documentation did not fully describe the Context API. The new release officially introduces the new Context API; the community has hailed it as being more “user friendly.” The new API is accessible as “React.createContext()” and eases developer tasks when the intent is simple state management minus the “overhead” of Redux or MobX.


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React 16.3(.0-alpha) allows developers to invoke the factory function that returns an object that has a “Provider” and a “Consumer” in it. The “Provider” is a special component that is engineered to provide data to all components in its sub-tree. Developers can select a sub-tree to which they want to pass the “theme” context, and set a dynamic value. However, developers may (in error) render the “Consumer” without embedding it in a corresponding “Provider”. In this situation, the system uses the default value declared at “createContext” call.

In addition, the “Consumer” in React 16.3(.0-alpha) must have access to the same Context component. This must be borne in mind because a new Context could be created should developers create a new Context with the same parameter as input. This action does not allow the data to be passed. Therefore, coders and users should consider Context as a component, which must be created once and then exported AND imported, whenever needed. In addition, the new syntax uses the function as child (sometime called render prop) pattern. Subsequent to this, coders and users are no longer required to use prop-types to specify “contextProps” if they want to make use of the new Context API. The data from the Context passed to the function must match the value prop set in the provider’s Context. Any alterations in the data in the Provider will trigger a re-render of all consumers.

The other request for change (RFC) that appears in React 16.3(.0-alpha) concerns deprecation of some life-cycle methods. This change aims to enforce best practices that will gain significance when the asynchronous rendering mode is fully activated. The functions that will be considered for ‘deprecation’ include “componentWillMount ”; “componentWillUpdate”; and “componentWillReceiveProps”. Coders and users are advised to use “componentDidMount”, “componentDidUpdate”, and “getDerivedStateFromProps”, respectively. These deprecations must not alarm the React community because members will be able to use these functions with the new release. Developers have stated that the deprecation notices are slotted for React version 16.4 and a total removal will take effect only in React version 17.0.

New additions to React 16.3(.0-alpha) include StrictMode, AsyncMode, and a new version of React Developer Tools. The new version of Tools was released to support debugging efforts of the new components.

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Tags: Frontend Development Mobile App Development React Native REACTJS Web Development