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Refactoring React apps to Hooks - Part 2

santispavajeau profile image Santiago Salazar Pavajeau Updated on ・4 min read

On the first part we looked at a simple example in refactoring class-based React to functional React with Hooks through useState() and useEffect() hooks . This blog will be focusing on useSelector() and useDispatch() to finally make Redux to be compatible with functional React with Hooks. First, to clarify, the hooks that we are going to look into in this blog are part of 'Redux Hooks'. So they are actually imported as follows:

import {useReducer, useSelector} from "react-redux";
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and the documentation is found at: https://react-redux.js.org/api/hooks.

Getting straight to the code the index.js where we launch the basic structure of the app and connect the React DOM to the document will look the same on a class-based app with redux or a functional components with Hooks app.

// ./index.js
import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import { createStore,  applyMiddleware} from 'redux';
import { Provider } from 'react-redux';
import thunk from 'redux-thunk';
import reducer from './reducers/index';
import App from './App';

export const store = createStore(reducer, 
  applyMiddleware(thunk)
  );

ReactDOM.render(
  <Provider store={store}>
    <App />
  </Provider>,
  document.getElementById('root')
);
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Here we connect Redux to React through the createStore() method, by passing the custom reducer of the app, and this will stay the same in our refactor. So the changes happen when we access the store from our container components. The Redux syntax that is verbose and dreaded uses connect, with its intimidating arguments mapStateToProps, and mapDispatchToProps but this is exactly what we can get rid of with Hooks.

import React, {Component} from 'react';
import { connect } from 'react-redux';

class App extends Component{
 state = {
  notifications: false
 }

 handleNotifications = () => {
  this.setState({
    notifications: !this.state.notifications
  })
 }

 handleSaveSettings = () => {
  this.props.saveSettings(this.state)
 }

 render(){
  return(
    <>
    {this.state.notifications ? "ON" : "OFF"}
    <br/>
    <button onClick={this.handleNotifications}> Notifications 
    <br/>
    <br/>
    <button onClick={this.handleSaveSettings}>SAVE</button>
   </> 
  )
 }
}

const mapStateToProps = state => {
  return {
    notifications: state.notifications,
  }
}

const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => {
 return {
   saveSettings: (settings) => dispatch({type: "SAVE_SETTINGS", settings})
 }
}

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(App);
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Here we are saving notification and email settings by clicking on the buttons and this could be connected to a backend using thunk.

So as we see a class component with only one action and two attributes on Redux state is already very verbose. If the same thing can be done with less lines of code then it should be done, so we will get rid of the connect() function and its arguments and only call useDispatch() and useSelector() hooks.

import React, {useState} from 'react';
import { useDispatch, useSelector } from 'react-redux';

function App(){

 const [notifications, setNotifications] = useState(false)

 const dispatch = useDispatch()
 const props = useSelector(state => state)

 const handleSaveSettings = () => {
  dispatch({type: "SAVE_SETTINGS", notifications})
 }

 return(
    <>
    {notifications ? "ON:" : "OFF:"}
    {props.notifications ? "(Currently activated in store)" : "(Currently deactivated in store)"}
    <br/>
    <button onClick={() => setNotifications(!notifications)}> Notifications 
</button>
    <br/>
    <br/>
    <button onClick={handleSaveSettings}>SAVE SETTINGS</button>
   </> 
  )
}

export default App;
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Also on the above hooks example we could have a simple one-action reducer that would look like this:

// reducer.js
export default function reducer(state, action) {
  if (typeof state === "undefined") {
    state = {notifications: false}  ; // Redux state brought from database in real life
  }

  if (action.type === "SAVE_SETTINGS") {
    let notifications = action.notifications;
    return {...state, notifications};
  } else {
    return state;
}
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So there are around 20 less lines of code for the same functionality with React-Redux and that is for a simple container component.

On Hooks we simply reference dispatch directly on the scope of the component after initializing it. Whereas in class-based mapDispatchToProps has to be defined and then passed into connect as an argument.

const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => {
 return {
   saveSettings: (settings) => dispatch({type: "SAVE_SETTINGS", settings})
 }
}

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(App);
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Then we had to call dispatch as follows:

 this.props.saveSettings(this.state)
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But with hooks all we do is define dispatch:

 const dispatch = useDispatch()
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And call dispatch with our action on an event callback:

 dispatch({type: "SAVE_SETTINGS", notifications})
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Which is a less verbose way of executing actions for our reducer and there is no need for connect.

With Hooks we can also access Redux state directly with the useSelector() method, and our Redux state will only update when we send a valid action through the dispatch method.

So we can replace the following code :

const mapStateToProps = state => {
  return {
    notifications: state.notifications,
  }
}

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(App);
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With simply:

const props = useSelector(state => state)
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Inside the scope of the functional component and access the Redux state as:

{props.notifications ? "(Currently activated in store)" : "(Currently deactivated in store)"}
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When we click on the "save settings" button we dispatch an action to Redux State and update the props variable that contains this layer of data we just saved.

Sandbox code for this example

So that would be a complete refactor from class-based React and Redux to functional React with Hooks. On the first article we looked at useState() and useEffect() and on this article we looked at using useDispatch() and useSelector(). There are more Hooks, to further optimize applications but a working refactor can be possible with these four hooks.

Visit an example of a refactor in my project

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