React Hooks: What they are, how they work

Hooks in react

One of the most exciting features of React v16 was the introduction of Hooks. These are essentially a new feature that allows you to use state, context, and other dynamic properties in your class components. You can think of them as a way to let your class components behave like functions or props. ENDENDEND There are a number of dynamic properties we commonly use when working with React: props, state, context, callbacks, and class properties are only but a few examples. These dynamic properties allow us to extend our components and create logic that is not available from just using props and state alone. However, with all these different dynamic properties coming into play, it can be challenging to understand how they all work together. With that in mind, in this blog post we’ll take an in-depth look at what exactly React Hooks are as well as their benefits over previous solutions for extending classes with dynamic utilities – so keep reading!

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What are Hooks?

Hooks are a new feature that lets you use state, context, and other dynamic properties in your class components. You can think of them as a way to let your class components behave like functions or props. Hooks can be used with both function components and class components. They can be used to share functionality between components, and they can be used to extend the functionality of existing components.

Hooked Function Components

Function components are a type of component that, instead of extending a class, extends a function. These components, like Hooked Function Components, are often used as a building block for larger components. With Hooked Function Components, it is possible to pass dynamic properties in as regular function arguments. Dynamic properties include state and context.

// Using a Hooked Function Component in a React class

// Using a Hooked Function Component as a standalone component

// Rendering the output

Hooked Class Components

Class components allow us to define our components as classes. This is an approach that has been a core part of React since it was first released. While this is a very useful feature, it has its limitations.

In the example below, we’re trying to extend our TodoList component using the class approach by passing in a function. However, the function we pass in cannot see the dynamic state that is associated with the TodoList component. Hooked Class Components let us use state and context inside our classes. This means we can easily and efficiently share state and context inside our components, regardless of whether they are function or class based.

// Using a Hooked Class Component in a React class

// Rendering the output

Hooked React Elements

React elements are the building blocks of React. They are what you use to create your UI components. Hooked React Elements are an approach to extend the functionality of React elements. They enable us to inject new functionality into existing elements. This is particularly useful when we want to create a new React element from an existing one but we want to add some dynamic functionality to it.

// Creating a new React element from an existing one

// Rendering the output

Hooked Together

All of the examples above show individual examples of dynamic properties being used but not all at once. In order to really see the true power of Hooks, we can use all of these dynamic properties together in one single component.

// Using a Hooked Together component in a React class

// Rendering the output

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The problem with dynamic properties in React

While dynamic properties are useful, they are not without their challenges. When working with React, it is recommended to keep your components as functions or props and avoid using class inheritance whenever possible. The reasoning behind this is that using inheritance can make components more rigid and limit the ability to reuse them in different ways. This is particularly problematic when we attempt to extend our components using the class approach and use dynamic properties such as state and context. When dynamic properties are used, our components become inflexible and lose the ability to be reused in different ways. This is because the dynamic properties are hard-coded into the component itself – meaning they have to be used in the same way in every instance of that component.

Why do we need hooks?

Hooks are designed to solve the problems associated with dynamic properties in React by providing a clear and consistent syntax for using them.

It is important to note that Hooks do not replace dynamic properties. They simply make it easier to grasp the different dynamic properties available to us when writing React components.

Conclusion

Hooks are a new feature that lets you use state, context, and other dynamic properties in your class components. You can think of them as a way to let your class components behave like functions or props. Hooks can be used with both function components and class components. They can be used to share functionality between components, and they can be used to extend the functionality of existing components.

If you want to learn more about React Hooks, make sure you check out our React course where you can learn about many other topics and concepts in React.

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