A Most Excellent Example

If we take our widget example one step further (from our Joining Reducers discussion), let's say in addition to the x/y properties, we now introduce a curHash - which is a determinate of whether application content has changed.

  widget: {
    x:       100,
    y:       200,
    curHash: 'IEFBR14'

Our widget reducer is the obvious choice to maintain this curHash. It has a unique vantage point for this task, because it is a central clearing house that has knowledge anytime the widget state changes. This is even independent of how many properties the widget has! Our immutable pattern dictates that if our state changes, a new instance will be introduced. Therefore, we can safely change the curHash anytime the widget instance has changed.

Building on our last example (in Joining Reducers), we can accomplish this new requirement by simply adding yet another reducer to our reduceWidget function.

import * as Redux         from 'redux';
import * as AstxReduxUtil from 'astx-redux-util';
import x                  from '../appReducer/x';
import y                  from '../appReducer/y';
import Widget             from '../appReducer/Widget';

export default AstxReduxUtil.joinReducers(
  // FIRST: determine content shape (i.e. {} or null)
    "widget.edit":       (widget, action) => action.widget,
    "widget.edit.close": (widget, action) => null

    // NEXT: maintain individual x/y fields
    //       ONLY when widget has content (i.e. is being edited)
    (widget, action, originalReducerState) => widget !== null,
        curHash: (s=null)=>s // defaulted state placebo reducer (needed by combineReducers())
        // LAST: maintain curHash
        //       ONLY when widget has content (see condition above) -AND- has changed
        (widget, action, originalReducerState) => originalReducerState !== widget,
        (widget, action) => {
          widget.curHash = Widget.hash(widget); // OK to mutate (because of changed instance)
          return widget;
  ), null); // initialState

This represents a very comprehensive example of how Reducer Composition can simplify your life! We have combined 3 sub-reducers into one, applying conditional logic as needed through functional decomposition!

Please NOTE:

  1. The curHash should only be maintained when the widget has content (i.e. non-null), -AND- has changed .

    • The former condition is accomplished through conditionalReducer nesting. In other words, the outer conditionalReducer insures the widget is non-null.

    • The latter condition utilizes the originalReducerState parameter to determine when the widget has changed from ANY of the prior sub-reducers. This parameter is useful when multiple reducers are combined, because it represents the state prior to the start of reduction process. Please refer to the originalReducerState discussion for more insight.

  2. Contrary to any red flags that may have been raised on your initial glance of the code, it is OK to mutate the widget state in the last reducer, because we know one of the prior reducers has injected a new widget instance (via the originalReducerState !== widget condition).

  3. The curHash placebo reducer is slightly different than lodash.identity in that it defaults the state parameter to null.

    This is required in conjunction Redux.combineReducers(), and is related to our technique of maintaining curHash in the parent widget reducer (which has visibility to all widget properties), verses using an individual property reducer (which does NOT have visibility to other widget properties).

    The defaulted state placebo works around the following Redux.combineReducers() issues:

    • with NO curHash entry ...

      Unexpected key "curHash" found in previous state received by the reducer.
      Expected to find one of the known reducer keys instead: "x", "y".
      Unexpected keys will be ignored.
    • with curHash entry, using lodash.identity ...

      Reducer "curHash" returned undefined during initialization.
      If the state passed to the reducer is undefined, you must explicitly return the initial state.
      The initial state may not be undefined.
    • with curHash entry, using defaulted state placebo ...

      Life is GOOD!