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Tony Khaov
Tony Khaov

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But what is useCallback? And when should I use it?

useCallback is a native hook in React used for memoizing functions. But you'll never use it unless you run into performance issues (usually when your function is inside a dependency array).

When you create a component, every declaration above the return will be redeclared on rerenders. Which means that they will have a whole new different "id". Unless they are useMemoed or useCallbacked.
useMemo is for primitive types and objects.
useCallback is for functions.

The example is contrived but you'll get the idea. Let's say the following component:

function App() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0)

    useEffect(() => {
        console.log('count has been updated', count)
    }, [count])

  return <button onClick={() => setCount(c => c + 1)}>Increment {count}</button>
}
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Every time we click on the button, the state count: number updates and triggers a rerender of <App/>

and useEffect callback is executed because count: number from the dependencies array will be different.

Now let's modify the useEffect to call some API to get users. The function is declared inside <App/> and so every time <App/> rerenders, getUsers is redeclared, it will have a whole new "id" and thus the callback inside useEffect will be called.

function App() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0)

    const getUsers = () => fetch('someEndpoint')

    useEffect(() => {
        console.log('getUsers function has been changed')
        getUsers()
    }, [getUsers])

  return <button onClick={() => setCount(c => c + 1)}>Increment {count}</button>
}
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You can have a look at the consequences: getUsers is called on every rerenders.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAqezVTJcoo

and here comes useCallback. useCallback is useful in this kind of situation because it allows us to memoize getUsers() : meaning that getUsers will be redeclared only if a variable inside the dependencies array of the useCallback changes. He nothing is specified, getUsers will never be redeclared (only on new mounts though).

function App() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0)

    const getUsers = useCallback(() => fetch('someEndpoint'), [])

    useEffect(() => {
        console.log('getUsers function has been changed')
        getUsers()
    }, [getUsers])

  return <button onClick={() => setCount(c => c + 1)}>Increment {count}</button>
}
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Here the component rerenders but getUsers won't be called!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSgKRzl1pqM

However using useCallback comes with a cost. The function will be stored in memory so prefer using native JS strategies.

One way is to declare getUsers() outside of the component and so it will only be declared once.

const getUsers = () => fetch('someEndpoint')

function App() {
  const [count, setCount] = React.useState(0)

  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log('getUsers function has been changed')
    getUsers()
  }, [getUsers])

  return (
    <button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>Increment {count}</button>
  )
}
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Or simply not declare a function and call fetch directly because fetch is a native function, it will never be changed

function App() {
  const [count, setCount] = React.useState(0)

  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log('call endpoint')
    fetch('someEndpoint')
  }, [fetch])

  return (
    <button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>Increment {count}</button>
  )
}
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Another reason for using useCallback is closure. Sometimes you want to access a variable from a certain lexical scope, so you can't declare your function somewhere else and pass 10 arguments... (in progress)

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