React Christmas

Fragments, finally!

A 1 minute read written by
Kristofer Giltvedt Selbekk
06.12.2017

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Fragments lets you return several root nodes from your components. Finally we can skip those pesky container divs!

React 16.2.0 is fresh off the presses, and one of the major new features it ships with is something called fragments. Simply put, a fragment is a "component" that only returns its children, without any new wrapper DOM node.

Here's an example on how it can look:

import React, { Fragment } from 'react';

const PersonalDetails = props => (
    <Fragment>
        <p>Name: {props.name}</p>
        <p>Age: {props.age}</p>
    </Fragment>
);

This looks pretty similar like you might have done it back in the days, but probably surrounding those <p />s with a <div />-tag. That might not be a problem for this structure, but what about components rendering table rows? Or list items? A wrapping element would probably not be the way to go then.

This enhancement lets us do a ton of cool things - like rendering definition lists!

Also a feature in JSX!

Along with this newest 16.2.0 release of React, JSX got support for a short-hand fragment syntax - <></>. This is exactly the same as the example over - but now you don't have to import anything!

import React from 'react';

const PersonalDetails = props => (
    <>
        <p>Name: {props.name}</p>
        <p>Age: {props.age}</p>
    </>
);

Looks cool eh? Go try it out! Although it's really new and untested, it's already supported in most major IDEs, TypeScript, Babel (although in v7.0.0-beta) and linters like ESLint. There aren't a lot of resources yet, but I'll make sure to update this article whenever the experience reports and tutorials start showing up.

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