How to have conditional elements and keep DRY with Facebook React’s JSX?

How to have conditional elements and keep DRY with Facebook React’s JSX?

How do I optionally include an element in JSX? Here is an example using a banner that should be in the component if it has been passed in. What I want to avoid is having to duplicate HTML tags in the if statement.
render: function () {
var banner;
if (this.state.banner) {
banner =

;
} else {
banner = ?????
}
return (

{banner}

blah blah blah…

);
}

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

Just leave banner as being undefined and it does not get included.

Solution 2:

What about this. Let’s define a simple helping If component.

var If = React.createClass({
    render: function() {
        if (this.props.test) {
            return this.props.children;
        }
        else {
            return false;
        }
    }
});

And use it this way:

render: function () {
    return (
        <div id="page">
            <If test={this.state.banner}>
                <div id="banner">{this.state.banner}</div>
            </If>
            <div id="other-content">
                blah blah blah...
            </div>
        </div>
    );
}

UPDATE: As my answer is getting popular, I feel obligated to warn you about the biggest danger related to this solution. As pointed out in another answer, the code inside the <If /> component is executed always regardless of whether the condition is true or false. Therefore the following example will fail in case the banner is null (note the property access on the second line):

<If test={this.state.banner}>
    <div id="banner">{this.state.banner.url}</div>
</If>

You have to be careful when you use it. I suggest reading other answers for alternative (safer) approaches.

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UPDATE 2: Looking back, this approach is not only dangerous but also desperately cumbersome. It’s a typical example of when a developer (me) tries to transfer patterns and approaches he knows from one area to another but it doesn’t really work (in this case other template languages).

If you need a conditional element, do it like this:

render: function () {
    return (
        <div id="page">
            {this.state.banner &&
                <div id="banner">{this.state.banner}</div>}
            <div id="other-content">
                blah blah blah...
            </div>
        </div>
    );
}

If you also need the else branch, just use a ternary operator:

{this.state.banner ?
   <div id="banner">{this.state.banner}</div> :
   <div>There is no banner!</div>
}

It’s way shorter, more elegant and safe. I use it all the time. The only disadvantage is that you cannot do else if branching that easily but that is usually not that common.

Anyway, this is possible thanks to how logical operators in JavaScript work. The logical operators even allow little tricks like this:

<h3>{this.state.banner.title || 'Default banner title'}</h3>

Solution 3:

Personally, I really think the ternary expressions show in http://facebook.github.io/react/tips/if-else-in-JSX.html are the most natural way that conforms with the ReactJs standards.

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See the following example. It’s a little messy at first sight but works quite well.

<div id="page">
  {this.state.banner ? (
    <div id="banner">
     <div class="another-div">
       {this.state.banner}
     </div>
    </div>
  ) : 
  null} 
  <div id="other-content">
    blah blah blah...
  </div>
</div>

Solution 4:

You may also write it like

{ this.state.banner && <div>{...}</div> }

If your state.banner is null or undefined, the right side of the condition is skipped.

Solution 5:

The If style component is dangerous because the code block is always executed regardless of the condition. For example, this would cause a null exception if banner is null:

//dangerous
render: function () {
  return (
    <div id="page">
      <If test={this.state.banner}>
        <img src={this.state.banner.src} />
      </If>
      <div id="other-content">
         blah blah blah...
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

Another option is to use an inline function (especially useful with else statements):

render: function () {
  return (
    <div id="page">
      {function(){
        if (this.state.banner) {
          return <div id="banner">{this.state.banner}</div>
        }
      }.call(this)}
      <div id="other-content">
         blah blah blah...
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

Another option from react issues:

render: function () {
  return (
    <div id="page">
      { this.state.banner &&
        <div id="banner">{this.state.banner}</div>
      }
      <div id="other-content">
         blah blah blah...
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

Solution 6:

&& + code-style + small components

This simple test syntax + code-style convention + small focused components is for me the most readable option out there. You just need to take special care of falsy values like false, or "".

render: function() {
    var person= ...; 
    var counter= ...; 
    return (
       <div className="component">
          {person && (
            <Person person={person}/>
          )}
          {(typeof counter !== 'undefined') && (
            <Counter value={counter}/>
          )}
       </div>
    );
}

do notation

ES7 stage-0 do notation syntax is also very nice and I’ll definitively use it when my IDE supports it correctly:

const Users = ({users}) => (
  <div>
    {users.map(user =>
      <User key={user.id} user={user}/>
    )}
  </div>
)  

const UserList = ({users}) => do {
  if (!users) <div>Loading</div>
  else if (!users.length) <div>Empty</div>
  else <Users users={users}/>
}

More details here: ReactJs – Creating an “If” component… a good idea?

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