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Vue 3: Optimization via Cached Handlers

sharvilak11 profile image Sharvilak ・3 min read

As Vue's upcoming major release is getting nearer (scheduled in August), let's take a look at one of its most interesting optimizations done in the Compiler & Renderer API - Caching of Handlers πŸ’‘

If you are familiar with React's useCallback() hook, you can compare this feature exactly to what it does, but without any need of explicitly specifying useCallback!

AST Output without caching handlers

Let's first understand how it would have generated the AST with treating the event handler as a normal Prop and without caching, with below example.

<button type="button" id="btnIncrement" @click="increment">

Look at the above code within template. Let's analyse how it would be compiled into its AST.

export function render(_ctx, _cache) {
  return (_openBlock(), _createBlock("button", {
    type: "button",
    id: "btnIncrement",
    onClick: _ctx.increment
  }, "Increment", 8 /* PROPS */, ["onClick"]))

Let's understand what's going on here πŸ‘€

Here type and id are hardcoded or static. So, Vue doesn't need to add them to the patch-flag array.

However onClick has been bound to a reference of the handler, so in AST it gets added to the patch-flag array to be checked for any changes. So every time this node is diffed or patched, Vue will check if there are any changes in onClick and re-render if any. But in most cases you never really intend to change the event listener, isn't it? πŸ€”

How Vue 3 caches the handlers

To overcome this problem, Vue 3 compiler has a mechanism which caches the handlers on first render and stores it as an inline function and on any subsequent render, it takes it directly from cache. Let's take a look at the AST with cache handler.

export function render(_ctx, _cache) {
  return (_openBlock(), _createBlock("button", {
    type: "button",
    id: "btnIncrement",
    onClick: _cache[1] || (
     _cache[1] = ($event, ...args) => (_ctx.increment($event, ...args))
  }, "Increment"))

First, it calls the _ctx.increment in an inline function which is stored within the cache and then on every subsequent render, it would use the value from _cache[1]. Also, _ctx.increment will always refer to the latest version of increment().

Now onClick isn't required to be put into the patch-flag array. This reduces the overhead of checking the whole node for any changes and saves a lot of re-rendering since type and id are static and onClick is cached. You can imagine, how much re-rendering it can prevent from cascading in the case of a big component tree πŸŽ‰ πŸš€

Comparison with useCallback() of React

React 16.8.0 introduced hooks and one of them useCallback allowed developers to memoize the functions or methods explicitly by passing them to useCallback() and avoid re-initialising the same methods during any subsequent render.

const increment = useCallback(() => {
   // ... do something

Vue 3.0 follows a similar pattern but without the need of explicitly specifying useCallback and does it under the hood.

onClick: _cache[1] || (
   _cache[1] = ($event, ...args) => (_ctx.increment($event, ...args)

That's a wrap ! 🎬

Feel free to discuss in comments anything related to Vue, I will be more than happy to join and take your suggestions/improvements ✌️ You can also connect with me on Twitter in case you would like to discuss anything on Vue πŸ’š or Node βœ… or React πŸ’™

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sharvilak11 profile



Javascript Developer. Love for anything in JS. Node, Express, Vue, React


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