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Discussion on: Learn basic Web Components

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dannyengelman profile image
Danny Engelman • Edited

One thing nearly everyone does is due to incorrect documentation:

constructor() {
    super();
    this.attachShadow({ mode: "open" });
    this.shadowRoot.appendChild(template.content.cloneNode(true));
  }
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can be written as:

constructor() {
    super() // sets and returns 'this'
      .attachShadow({ mode: "open" })  //sets and return this.shadowRoot
      .append(template.content.cloneNode(true));
  }
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Note the use of append and appendChild. In most examples appendChilds return value is never used. append can added multiple text-nodes or elements.

And the global template.innerHTML isn't necessary either:

constructor() {
    super()
      .attachShadow({ mode: "open" })
      .innerHTML = ` ... any HTML here... `;
  }
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Docs also say you "use super() first in constructor"

That is incorrect also.

You can use any JavaScript before super(); you just can not use this until it is created by the super() call

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bennypowers profile image
Benny Powers 🇮🇱🇨🇦

Shouldn't be innerHTMLing in constructor. Better to use the template

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dannyengelman profile image
Danny Engelman

Can you motivate that statement, Benny

innerHTML and append(Child) all do the same: they add content to a DOM

That .createElement"template") takes extra CPU cycles; content is parsed once.
With .innerHTML= content is also parsed once.

So there is only benefit if code does template.cloneNode(true) multiple times

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bennypowers profile image
Benny Powers 🇮🇱🇨🇦

if you know you're only going to use the element once, yeah there's no difference.

But if you're going to construct the element several times, then you're going to invoke the parser on each instance.

If the element's shadow DOM is extensive, that could add up fast.

Moreover, keeping the template static means it's parsed up front.

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dannyengelman profile image
Danny Engelman • Edited

If you don't take my word; then maybe you take this guy his comment on innerHTML

I don't know the guy personally .. but Justin Fagnani sounds familiar 😛

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98lenvi profile image
Lenvin Gonsalves Author

Thanks for letting us know about this. The code looks much cleaner, and yes! not creating a template element would be much better as the global namespace wouldn't be polluted. I'll add this comment to the article 😀

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webpreneur profile image
Zsolt Gulyas

Truly said. Altough I wouldn't say just because of this, that the docs are "incorrect". Maybe the first one is more readable for newcomers. Anyway, super useful comment though. Thanks.

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dannyengelman profile image
Danny Engelman • Edited

See what code newcomers have to dig through (unless they don't RTFM) in the attachShadow MDN documentation: developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/W...

If you understand "// Always call super first in constructor" is incorrect
you can write that 33 lines constructor (most likely) without any comments:

constructor() {

  let span = document.createElement('span');

  function countWords() {
    let node = this.parentNode;
    let text = node.innerText || node.textContent;
    let count = text.trim().split(/\s+/g).length;
    span.innerText = 'Words: ' + count;
  }

  super()
   .attachShadow({mode: 'open'})
   .append( span );

  countWords();
  setInterval(()=> countWords() , 200);
}
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If you want to score W3C points; feel free to update that MDN article.

I did some MDN updates; then concluded there is way more effect adding comments to Web Component blogposts.
And I recently published my first Dev.to post explaining Web Components are about semantic HTML (IMHO)

And ... there is more wrong in that MDN Count Words example..

  • this.parentNode DOM access should be done in the connectedCallback, as the DOM might not even exist when the constructor runs

  • <p is="word-count"></p> Will never work in Safari, because Apple only implemented Autonomous Elements and (for the past 5 years) has strong arguments to not implement Customized Built-In Elements

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