Overcoming Popular Issues With React Projects

Roger Stringer • October 14, 2022

2 min read

Nick Olszanski:

I want to be frank about my experiences with React. I’ve been using it heavily for far over 6 or 7 years and I am doing great. React is amazing!

I know that people will always find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. At the same time I understand that batteries-not-included approach will lead to that sad result. When it comes to React projects I feel that I know a few tricks to sidestep problems that people discuss online.

Let's speak about the main problems first. People get out of their skin and try to make React projects a complicated and entangled mess. In programming, there was always a semi golden rule, to not architecturally fuse your business logic to any particular framework. We logically isolate our app from whatever framework we are using at the moment.

I’ve given the same demo day (task) exercise to ~50+ React devs. Basically two inputs and a button to draw a pattern on an HTML canvas. You wouldn’t believe how many of them (roughly 47) completely and unnecessary implemented most of the business logic inside React components. The sad part is this app doesn’t need React at all. Or one could implement 99% of the business logic in pure JS and just call one function from React.

React gives an option to store business logic state in useState and manage it via useEffect and we gladly use that to our demise. Litter our code with singleton instances of a business logic because we’ve “forgot” how to do a DI without a framework.

Second there is this immutable transducer reselect memoized concurrent proxy suspense state promotion society. Performance zealots obsessing over trillion renders per second. Which they don’t deliver, by the way. They describe how their Rube Goldberg flux redux machine works. A machine to read and write data into a JSON object.

React is pretty bare bones and before critiquing it we should take a hard look in the mirror. In my view, the framework is doing it’s job just fine. Unless we learn what really goes wrong with React projects we are doomed to repeat the same mistake again and again in the next (pun intended) framework.

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