Components

Basics

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Components are the building blocks of Solid applications. These units are reusable and can be combined to create more complex applications.

Components are functions that return JSX elements:

function MyComponent() {
return <div>Hello World</div>
}

A component can be as simple as a single element or as complex as a full page. They can also be nested within each other to create more intricate applications:

function App() {
return (
<div>
<MyComponent />
</div>
)
}

Component trees

A web page is displayed by rendering a component tree, which is a hierarchical structure of components. At the top of the tree is the primary application component, which is the root of the tree. Child components are nested within the primary component, and those components can have their own child components. This nesting can continue as needed.

A simple application may have a component tree that looks like this:

App // primary application component
└── MyComponent // child component

When an application grows, the component tree can become more complex. For example, a more complex application may have a component tree that looks like this:

App
├── Header
├── Sidebar
├── Content
│ ├── Post
│ │ ├── PostHeader
│ │ ├── PostContent
│ │ └── PostFooter
│ ├── Post
│ │ ├── PostHeader
│ │ ├── PostContent
│ │ └── PostFooter
│ └── Post
│ ├── ...
└── Footer

In nesting components, you can create a hierarchy of components that can be reused throughout the application. This allows for a more modular approach to building applications, as components can be reused in different contexts.


Component lifecycles

Components have a lifecycle that defines how they are created, updated, and destroyed. A Solid component's lifecycle is different from other frameworks, as it is tied to the concept of reactivity.

Where frameworks may re-run components on every state change, a Solid component's lifecycle is tied to its initial run. What this means is that a Solid component is only run once, when it is first rendered into the DOM. After that, the component is not re-run, even if the application's state changes.

When the Solid component renders, it sets up a reactive system that monitors for state changes. When a state change occurs, the component will update the relevant areas without re-running the entire component. By bypassing the full component lifecycle on every state change, Solid has a more predictable behavior compared to frameworks that re-run functions on every update.

Since the component's logic is not continuously visited, getting this setup right is important when working with Solid.

Initialization & configuration

When a component is first rendered into the DOM, the component function is executed. This is where you will set up the component's state and side-effects. This includes setting up signals, stores, effects, and other reactive elements. Since the logic in the component function is not continuously visited, it is important to set up the component correctly from the outset.

Each component instance is independent of other instances, meaning that each component has its own state and side-effects. Through establishing proper dependencies, you can ensure that the component is set up correctly. This allows for components to be reused in different contexts without affecting each other.

function MyComponent() {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0)
console.log(count())
return (
<div>
<p>Count: {count()}</p>
<button onClick={() => setCount(count() + 1)}>
Increment
</button>
</div>
)
}

When this component is rendered into the DOM, the function body is executed. This includes creating the count signal and the console.log(count()) statement, which will log the current value of count to the console. In addition, the component's JSX is returned, which will be rendered into the DOM.

After the component is rendered, the console.log statement will not be executed again, even if the component's state changes. However, because the component's JSX is reactive, each press of the button will update the DOM with the new value of count.

In essence, Solid splits the concerns:

  1. The initial setup logic, which is executed once when the component is rendered.
  2. The reactive logic, which is executed when the component's state changes.

Conditional rendering

To display different content based on state or other criteria, you can use conditional rendering. Given that the component function is only executed once, conditional statements must be placed within the function body. This design ensures that conditional paths are clear and immediately understood.

function MyComponent() {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0)
return (
<div>
{count() > 5 ? (
<div>Count limit reached</div>
) : (
<>
<p>Count: {count()}</p>
<button onClick={() => setCount(count() + 1)}>Increment</button>
</>
)}
</div>
)
}

This example uses a ternary operator to conditionally render different content based on the value of count. When count is greater than 5, the component will display "Count limit reached". Otherwise, it will display the current count with an increment button.


Importing and exporting

For components to be reusable, they need to be exported from one module and imported into another. This allows for components to be shared and used where needed.

Exporting Components

Once defined, a component can be exported to make it available for use in other parts of your application. There are two ways to export a component: named exports and default exports.

Named export:

Named exports allow for multiple components to be exported from a single file. To export a component, you must use the export keyword before the function definition and specify the name of the component to export in curly braces ({}).

MyComponent.ts
export function MyComponent() {
return <div>Hello World</div>
}
export { MyComponent }

Default export:

Default exports specify a single component to export from a file. This is done by using the default keyword.

MyComponent.ts
export default function MyComponent() {
return <div>Hello World</div>
}

Importing Components

To use a component in another file or component, it must be imported. To import a component, you must specify the path to the file containing the component and the name of the component to import.

Named import:

When importing a named export, you must specify the name of the component to import in curly braces ({}).

App.ts
import { MyComponent } from "./MyComponent"
function App() {
return (
<div>
<MyComponent />
</div>
)
}

This is the preferred way to import components, as it allows for better code readability and maintainability. Additionally, it allows for multiple components to be imported from the same file.

App.ts
import { MyComponent, MyOtherComponent } from "./MyComponent"
function App() {
return (
<div>
<MyComponent />
<MyOtherComponent />
</div>
)
}

Default import:

To import a default export, you must specify the name of the component to import.

App.ts
import MyComponent from "./MyComponent"
function App() {
return (
<div>
<MyComponent />
</div>
)
}

Importing Solid and its utilities

To use Solid, you must import the Solid library. The reactive primitives and utilities are exported from Solid's main module.

import { createSignal } from "solid-js"

However, some of Solid's utilities are exported from their own modules.

import { createStore } from "solid-js/store"

To see a full list of Solid's utilities, the Reference Tab in the sidebar provides the API Documentation.

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