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Top 6 ES6 features in React

Hints Staff
1 month ago
Top 6 ES6 features in React by html hints

In this article, I'll provide a brief introduction into some core next-gen JavaScript features, of course focusing on the ones you'll use the most. Here's a quick summary!

#Let & Const

let and const basically replace var . You use let instead of var and const instead of var if you plan on never re-assigning this "variable" (effectively turning it into a constant therefore).

                    
let name = 'Html Hints'
const handle = 'Html Hints'

name = 'Hints Html' // ?
handle = 'Hints Html' // ? TypeError: Assignment to constant variable.
                    
                  

In the above code is shows that variables declared with let can be re-assigned, but variables declared with const can’t be.

#Let: block scoped ReferenceError when accessing a variable before it's declared

#Const: block scoped ReferenceError when accessing a variable before it's declared can't be reassigned

#ES6 Arrow Functions

Arrow functions are a different way of creating functions in JavaScript. Besides a shorter syntax, they offer advantages when it comes to keeping the scope of the this keyword

Arrow function syntax may look strange but it's actually simple.

                        
    function run(test) {
      console.log(test);
    }
                        
                      

which you could also write as:

                    
    const run = function(test) {
      console.log(test);
    }
                    
                  

becomes:

                        
    const run = (test) => { 
      console.log(test);
    }
                        
                      

Important:

When having no arguments, you have to use empty parentheses in the function declaration:

                          
      const run = () => { 
        console.log("Html Hints");
      }
                          
                        

When having exactly one argument, you may omit the parentheses:

                      
      const run = test => { 
        console.log(test);
      }
                      
                    

When just returning a value, you can use the following shortcut:

                      
      const returnMe = test => test
                    
                  

#Exports & Imports

In React projects (and actually in all modern JavaScript projects), you split your code across multiple JavaScript files - so-called modules. You do this, to keep each file/ module focused and manageable.

To still access functionality in another file, you need export (to make it available) and import (to get access) statements.

You got two different types of exports: default (unnamed) and namedexports:

default => export default ...;

named => export const someData = ...;

You can import default exports like this:

import someNameOfYourChoice from './path/to/ file.js';

Surprisingly, someNameOfYourChoice is totally up to you.

Named exports have to be imported by their name:

import { someData } from './path/to/file.js';

A file can only contain one default and an unlimited amount of named exports. You can also mix the one default with any amount of named exports in one and the same file.

When importing named exports, you can also import all named exports at once with the following syntax:

import * as upToYou from './path/to/file.js';

upToYou is - well - up to you and simply bundles all exported variables/functions in one JavaScript object. For example, if you export const someData = ... (/path/ to/file.js ) you can access it on upToYou like this: upToYou.someData .

#Classes

Classes are a feature which basically replace constructor functions and prototypes. You can define blueprints for JavaScript objects with them.

Like this:

                    
    class Person {
      constructor () {
      this.name = 'Html Hints';
      }
    }

    const person = new Person();
    console.log(person.name); // prints 'Html Hints'
                    
                  

In the above example, not only the class but also a property of that class (=> name ) is defined. They syntax you see there, is the "old" syntax for defining properties. In modern JavaScript projects (as the one used in this course), you can use the following, more convenient way of defining class properties:

                      
    class Person {
      name = 'Html Hints';
    }

    const person = new Person();
    console.log(person.name); // prints 'Html Hints'
                      
                    

You can also define methods. Either like this:

                      
    class Person {
      name = 'Html Hints';
      printMyName () {
        console.log(this.name); // this is required to refer
        to the class!
      }
    }

    const person = new Person();
    person.printMyName();
                      
                    

Or like this:

                      
    class Person {
      name = 'Html Hints';
      printMyName = () => {
        console.log(this.name);
      }
    }

    const person = new Person();
    person.printMyName();
                      
                    

The second approach has the same advantage as all arrow functions have: The this keyword doesn't change its reference.

You can also use inheritance when using classes:

                    
    class Human {
      species = 'human';
    }

    class Person extends Human {
      name = 'Html Hints';
      printMyName = () => {
        console.log(this.name);
      }
    }

    const person = new Person();
    person.printMyName();
    console.log(person.species); // prints 'human'
                    
                  

#Spread & Rest Operator

The spread and rest operators actually use the same syntax: ...

Yes, that is the operator - just three dots. It's usage determines whether you're using it as the spread or rest operator

Using the Spread Operator:

The spread operator allows you to pull elements out of an array (=> split the array into a list of its elements) or pull the properties out of an object. Here are two examples:

                      
    const oldArray = [1, 2, 3];
    const newArray = [...oldArray, 4, 5]; // This now is [1, 2,
    3, 4, 5];
                      
                    

Here's the spread operator used on an object:

                      
    const oldObject = {
      name: 'Html Hints'
    };
    const newObject = {
      ...oldObject,
      age: 28
    };
                      
                    

newObject would then be

                      
    {
      name: 'Html Hints',
      age: 28
    }
                      
                    

The spread operator is extremely useful for cloning arrays and objects. Since both are reference types (and not primitives), copying them safely (i.e. preventing future mutation of the copied original) can be tricky. With the spread operator you have an easy way of creating a (shallow!) clone of the object or array.

#Destructuring

Destructuring allows you to easily access the values of arrays or objects and assign them to variables.

Here's an example for an array:

                          
    const array = [1, 2, 3];
    const [a, b] = array;
    console.log(a); // prints 1
    console.log(b); // prints 2
    console.log(array); // prints [1, 2, 3]
                          
                        

And here for an object:

                          
    const myObj = {
      name: 'Html Hints',
      age: 28
    }
    const {name} = myObj;
    console.log(name); // prints 'Html Hints'
    console.log(age); // prints undefined
    console.log(myObj); // prints {name: 'Html Hints', age: 28}
                          
                        

Destructuring is very useful when working with function arguments. Consider this example:

                            
    const printName = (personObj) => {
      console.log(personObj.name);
    }
    printName({name: 'Html Hints', age: 28}); // prints 'Html Hints'
                            
                          

Here, we only want to print the name in the function but we pass a complete person object to the function. Of course this is no issue but it forces us to call personObj.name inside of our function. We can condense this code with destructuring:

                              
    const printName = ({name}) => {
      console.log(name);
    }
    printName({name: 'Html  Hints', age: 28}); // prints 'Html  Hints')
                              
                            

We get the same result as above but we save some code. By destructuring, we simply pull out the name property and store it in a variable/ argument named name which we then can use in the function body.

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