Functions as Child Components and Higher Order Components

I have recently been on a Higher Order Component (HOC) craze. HOCs are a good tool for implementing cross-cutting concerns or common functionalities, such as logging and tracking. For more information on HOCs, check out this recent post by my colleague Mehdi Mollaverdi!

Then I discovered Functions as Child Components (FaCC) and a couple of my brain cells perished. FaCC’s are components that receive a function as their child. For example:

So let’s take a trip through struggle town.

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ReactJS – Real World Examples of Higher-Order Components

A Little Bit of Background

Here at REA Group, we've recently been working on a new UI for the core property search experience on realestate.com.au. We've been building this UI as a universal javascript application, supporting both server-side and client-side rendering, using NodeJS and ReactJS.

During this project, we came across a few different use cases for some cross-cutting concerns, such as page load tracking, toggling new features on and off, and desktop/mobile toggling. We wanted to implement these in a generic and reusable way to avoid code duplication. For example, we had different pages (routes) in our application, and wanted to track user visits to those pages, but didn't want to duplicate this tracking code for every route.

We initially used React mixins for some of these problem, but ended up replacing it with higher-order components. In this blog post, I'll first provide a brief introduction to higher-order components (HOCs), and will then go through our journey for each use case and will explain each of the aforementioned techniques (mixins and higher-order component) in more details.


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