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:fire: Javascript (TypeScript) library for building web user interfaces

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ivi · GitHub license codecov

ivi is a javascript (TypeScript) library for building web user interfaces.

Status

Maintenance mode. Bug fixes and documentation updates only.

Quick Start

Hello World

The easiest way to get started with ivi is to use this basic example on CodeSandbox.

import { _, render } from "ivi";
import { h1 } from "ivi-html";

render( h1(_, _, "Hello World!"), document.getElementById("app"), );

render()
function has a standard interface that is used in many Virtual DOM libraries. First argument is used to specify a Virtual DOM to render, and the second one is a DOM node that will be used as a container.

Virtual DOM API in ivi is using factory functions to instantiate Virtual DOM nodes.

Factory functions for HTML elements are declared in the

ivi-html
package.

h1()
function will instantiate a "Virtual DOM" node for a

element.

_
is a shortcut for an
undefined
value.

Documentation

Operations ("Virtual DOM")

Virtual DOM in ivi has some major differences from other implementations. Events and keys are decoupled from DOM elements to improve composition model. Simple stateless components can be implemented as a basic immediately executed functions, DOM events can be attached to components, fragments or any other node.

Internally, all "Virtual DOM" nodes in ivi are called operations and has a type

Op
.
type Op = string | number | OpNode | OpArray | null;
interface OpArray extends Readonly> { }

Element Factories

All factory functions that create DOM elements have an interface:

type ElementFactory = (className?: string, attrs?: T, children?: Op) => OpNode>;

ivi-html
package contains factories for HTML elements.

ivi-svg
package contains factories for SVG elements.
import { _, render } from "ivi";
import { div } from "ivi-html";

render( div(_, _, "Hello World"), document.getElementById("app")!, );

Element Prototypes

Element prototypes are used to create factories for elements with predefined attributes.

import { _, elementProto, render } from "ivi";
import { input, CHECKED } from "ivi-html";

const checkbox = elementProto(input(_, { type: "checkbox" }));

render( checkbox(_, { checked: CHECKED(true) }), document.getElementById("app")!, );

Fragments

All virtual dom nodes and component root nodes can have any number of children nodes. Fragments and dynamic children lists can be deeply nested.

const C = component((c) => () => (
  [1, 2]
));

render( div(_, _, [ [C(), C()], [C(), C()], ]), document.getElementById("app")!, );

Fragments Memoization

Fragments in ivi can be memoized or hoisted like any other node. Because ivi doesn't use normalization to implement fragments, memoized fragments will immediately short-circuit diffing algorithm.

const C = component((c) => {
  let memo;

return (title) => ( div(_, , [ h1(, , title), memo || memo = [ span(, , "Static"), " ", span(, _, "Fragment"), ], ]) ); });

Components

All components has an interface

(component) => (props) => VDOM
.

Outer function is used to store internal state, creating dataflow pipelines, attaching hooks and creating an "update" function. It is important that outer function doesn't have any access to the

props
to prevent unexpected "memory leaks".
component
is an opaque object, it is used as a first argument for almost all component functions like
invalidate()
,
useEffect()
etc.

Internal "update" function passes input data through dataflow pipelines and returns a Virtual DOM.

import { _, component, invalidate, render } from "ivi";
import { h1 } from "ivi-html";

const Counter = component((c) => { let counter = 0;

const ticker = useEffect(c, (interval) => { const id = setInterval(() => { counter++; invalidate(c); }, interval); return () => clearInterval(id); });

return (interval) => ( ticker(interval),

div(_, _, `Counter: ${counter}`),

); });

render( Counter(1000), document.getElementById("app"), );

const Counter = component((c) => {
  let counter = 0;
  // ...
  return () => vdom;
});

component()
function creates Virtual DOM factory functions for component nodes. All component factory functions has an interface
Factory(props)
.

In the outer function we are declaring internal state

counter
.
  const ticker = useEffect(c, (interval) => {
    // ...
    return () => cleanup;
  });

useEffect()
creates a function that will be used to perform side effects. Side effect functions can optionally return a cleanup function, it will be automatically invoked when component is unmounted from the document or when input property
interval
is modified.
  const ticker = useEffect(c, (interval) => {
    const id = setInterval(() => {
      counter++;
      invalidate(c);
    }, interval);
    return () => clearInterval(id);
  });

Side effect function

ticker()
registers a timer function that is periodically invoked and increments
counter
from the internal state. When internal state is modified, we need to trigger an update for the component. To trigger an update, we are using
invalidate()
function. Invalidate function will mark component as dirty and enqueue a task for dirty checking.

Periodic timers registered with

setInterval()
function should be unregistered when they are no longer used. To unregister periodic timer we are creating and returning a cleanup function
() => clearInterval(id)
.
  return (interval) => (
    ticker(interval),

div(_, _, `Counter: ${counter}`),

);

The final step for a component is to create an "update" function, it should pass input data through dataflow pipelines and return a Virtual DOM. Update function will be invoked when component is invalidated or component properties are modified.

Stateless Components

One of the unique features in ivi is that it doesn't store any magic properties like keys on "Virtual DOM" nodes. Decoupling magic properties from "Virtual DOM" nodes allows us to use immediately invoked functions as stateless components.

const Link = (href, children) => a("link", { href }, children);
const LINKS = [1, 2];

render( TrackByKey(LINKS.map((id) => ( key(id, Link(#${id}, id)) ))), document.getElementById("app"), );

Events

Synthetic events subsystem is using its own two-phase event dispatching algorithm. Custom event dispatching makes it possible to decouple event handlers from DOM elements and improve composition model.

function Events(events: EventHandler, children: Op): Op;

type EventHandler = EventHandlerNode | EventHandlerArray | null; interface EventHandlerArray extends Readonly> { }

Events()
operation is used to attach event handlers.
events
argument can be a singular event handler,
null
or recursive array of event handlers.
import { _, Events, onClick, render } from "ivi";
import { button } from "ivi-html";

render( Events(onClick((ev, currentTarget) => { console.log("click"); }), button(_, _, "Click Me"), ), document.getElementById("app")!, );

Stop Propagation

Event handler should return

true
value to stop event propagation.
onClick((ev) => true);

Context

interface ContextDescriptor {
  get(): T;
  set(value: T, children: Op): ContextOp;
}
function contextValue(): ContextDescriptor;

contextValue()
creates context getter
get()
and operation factory for context nodes
set()
.
import { _, context, statelessComponent, render } from "ivi";
import { div } from "ivi-html";

const Value = context(); const C = statelessComponent(() => Value.get());

render( Value.set("context value", C(), ), document.getElementById("app")!, );

TrackByKey

function TrackByKey(items: Key[]): OpNode[]>;

TrackByKey()
operation is used for dynamic children lists.
import { _, TrackByKey, key, render } from "ivi";
import { div, span } from "ivi-html";

const items = [1, 2, 3];

render( div(_, , TrackByKey(items.map((i) => key(i, span(, _, i)))), ), document.getElementById("app")!, );

Attribute Directives

By default, reconciliation algorithm assigns all attributes with

setAttribute()
and removes them with
removeAttribute()
functions, but sometimes we need to assign properties or assign attributes from different namespaces. To solve this problems, ivi introduces the concept of Attribute Directives, this directives can extend the default behavior of the attributes reconciliation algorithm. It significantly reduces code complexity, because we no longer need to bake in all this edge cases into reconciliation algorithm. Also it gives an additional escape hatch to manipulate DOM elements directly.

There are several attribute directives defined in ivi packages:

// ivi
function PROPERTY(v: T): AttributeDirective;
function UNSAFE_HTML(v: string): AttributeDirective;
function AUTOFOCUS(v: boolean): AttributeDirective;

// ivi-html function VALUE(v: string | number): AttributeDirective; function CONTENT(v: string | number): AttributeDirective; function CHECKED(v: boolean): AttributeDirective;

// ivi-svg function XML_ATTR(v: string | number | boolean): AttributeDirective; function XLINK_ATTR(v: string | number | boolean): AttributeDirective;

PROPERTY()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that assigns a property to a property name derived from the
key
of the attribute.

UNSAFE_HTML()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that assigns an
innerHTML
property to an Element.

AUTOFOCUS()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that triggers focus when value is updated from
undefined
or
false
to
true
.

VALUE()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that assigns a
value
property to an HTMLInputElement or HTMLTextAreaElement.

CHECKED()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that assigns a
checked
property to an HTMLInputElement.

XML_ATTR()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that assigns an attribute from XML namespace, attribute name is derived from the
key
.

XLINK_ATTR()
function creates an
AttributeDirective
that assigns an attribute from XLINK namespace, attribute name is derived from the
key
.
Example
import { input, CHECKED } from "ivi-html";

const e = input("", { type: "checked", checked: CHECKED(true) })

Custom Attribute Directives
interface AttributeDirective

{ v: P; u?: (element: Element, key: string, prev: P | undefined, next: P | undefined) => void; s?: (key: string, next: P) => void; }

function updateCustomValue(element: Element, key: string, prev: number | undefined, next: number | undefined) {
  if (prev !== next && next !== void 0) {
    (element as any)._custom = next;
  }
}

First thing that we need to do is create an update function. Update function has 4 arguments:

element
will contain a target DOM element,
key
is an attribute name that was used to assign this value,
prev
is a previous value and
next
is the current value.

In this function we are just checking that the value is changed, and if it is changed, we are assigning it to the

_custom
property.
export const CUSTOM_VALUE = (v: number): AttributeDirective => ({ v, u: updateCustomValue });

Now we need to create a function that will be used to instantiate

AttributeDirective
objects.

Additional functions

Trigger an update
function requestDirtyCheck();

requestDirtyCheck()
function requests a dirty checking.
Rendering virtual DOM into a document
function render(children: Op, container: Element): void;

render()
function assigns a new virtual DOM root node to the
container
and requests dirty checking.

Components

Virtual DOM node factory

function component(
  c: (c: Component) => () => Op,
): () => OpNode;

function component( c: (c: Component) => (p1: P1, p2: P2) => Op, areEqual1?: undefined extends P1 ? undefined : (prev: P1, next: P1) => boolean, areEqual2?: undefined extends P2 ? undefined : (prev: P2, next: P2) => boolean, ): undefined extends P1 ? (undefined extends P2 ? (p1?: P1, p2?: P2) => ComponentOp : (p1: P1, p2: P2) => ComponentOp) : (undefined extends P2 ? (p1?: P1, p2?: P2) => ComponentOp : (p1: P1, p2: P2) => ComponentOp);

component()
function creates a factory function that will instantiate component nodes. Factory function can have up to two properties
P1
and
P2
.

By default, all components and hooks are using strict equality

===
operator as
areEqual
function.
import { _, component, Op, render } from "ivi";
import { button } from "ivi-html";

const Button = component(() => (attrs, children) => ( button("button", attrs, children) ));

render( Button(_, "click me", ), container, );

Hooks

useEffect()
function useEffect

( c: Component, hook: (props: P) => (() => void) | void, areEqual?: (prev: P, next: P) => boolean, ): (props: P) => void;

useEffect()
lets you perform side effects. It is fully deterministic and executes immediately when function created by
useEffect()
is invoked. It is safe to perform any subscriptions in
useEffect()
without losing any events.
const Timer = component((c) => {
  let i = 0;
  const tick = useEffect(c, (interval) => {
    const id = setInterval(() => {
      i++;
      invalidate(c);
    });
    return () => { clearInterval(id); };
  });

return (t) => ( tick(t),

div(_, _, i),

); })

useMutationEffect()
function useMutationEffect

( c: Component, hook: (props: P) => (() => void) | void, areEqual?: (prev: P, next: P) => boolean, ): (props: P) => void;

useMutationEffect()
lets you perform DOM mutation side effects. It will schedule DOM mutation task that will be executed immediately after all DOM updates.
useLayoutEffect()
function useLayoutEffect

( c: Component, hook: (props: P) => (() => void) | void, areEqual?: (prev: P, next: P) => boolean, ): (props: P) => void;

useLayoutEffect()
lets you perform DOM layout side effects. It will schedule DOM layout task that will be executed after all DOM updates and mutation effects.
useUnmount()
function useUnmount(c: Component, hook: (token: UnmountToken) => void): void;

useUnmount()
creates a hook that will be invoked when component is unmounted from the document.

hook
function always receives
UNMOUNT_TOKEN
as a first argument, it can be used in micro optimizations to reduce memory allocations.
const C = component((c) => {
  const h = (p) => {
    if (p === UNMOUNT_TOKEN) {
      // unmount
    } else {
      // render
    }
  };
  useUnmount(c, h);
  return h;
});

Additional Functions

invalidate()
function invalidate(c: Component): void;

invalidate()
marks component as dirty and requests dirty checking.

Using a Custom Hook

function useFriendStatus(c) {
  let isOnline = null;

function handleStatusChange(status) { isOnline = status.isOnline; invalidate(c); }

const subscribe = useEffect(c, (friendID) => ( ChatAPI.subscribeToFriendStatus(friendID, handleStatusChange), () => { ChatAPI.unsubscribeFromFriendStatus(friendID, handleStatusChange); } ));

return (friendID) => { subscribe(friendID); return isOnline; }; }

const FriendStatus = component((c) => { const getFriendStatus = useFriendStatus(c);

return (props) => { const isOnline = getFriendStatus(props.friend.id);

if (isOnline === null) {
  return "Loading...";
}
return isOnline ? "Online" : "Offline";

}; });

Pass Information Between Hooks
const useFilter = selector(() => query().filter());
const useEntriesByFilterType = selector((filter) => (query().entriesByFilterType(filter).result));

const EntryList = component((c) => { const getFilter = useFilter(c); const getEntriesByFilterType = useEntriesByFilterType(c);

return () => ( ul("", { id: "todo-list" }, TrackByKey(getEntriesByFilterType(getFilter()).map((e) => key(e.id, EntryField(e)))), ) ); });

Accessing DOM Nodes

function getDOMNode(opState: OpState): Node | null;

getDOMNode()
finds the closest DOM Element.
import { component, useMutationEffect, getDOMNode } from "ivi";
import { div } from "ivi-html";

const C = component((c) => { const m = useMutationEffect(c, () => { const divElement = getDOMNode(c); divElement.className = "abc"; });

return () => (m(), div()); });

Observables and Dirty Checking

Observables in ivi are designed as a solution for coarse-grained change detection and implemented as a directed graph (pull-based) with monotonically increasing clock for change detection. Each observable value stores time of the last update and current value.

Observables can be used to store either immutable tree structures or mutable graphs. Since ivi is fully deterministic, there isn't any value in using immutable data structures everywhere, it is better to use immutable values for small objects and mutable data structures for collections, indexing and references to big objects.

Observable

interface Observable {
  t: number;
  v: T;
}
type ObservableValue = T extends Observable ? U : never;
const value = observable(1);

observable()
creates an observable value.
const value = observable(1);
assign(value, 2);

assign()
assigns a new value.
const value = observable({ a: 1 });
mut(value).a = 2;

mut()
updates time of the last update and returns current value.

Watching observable values

const value = observable(1);
const C = statelessComponent(() => watch(value));

watch()
adds observable or computed values to the list of dependencies. All dependencies are automatically removed each time component or computed value is updated.

Computeds

const a = observable(1);
const b = observable(2);
const sum = computed(() => watch(a) + watch(b));

sum(); // => 3

computed()
creates computed value that will be evaluated lazily when it is requested.

Signals

Signals are observables without any values.

type Entry = ReturnType;

const collection = observable([]); const entryPropertyChanged = signal();

function addEntry(property: number) { mut(collection).push(observable({ property })); }

function entrySetProperty(entry: Entry, value: number) { mut(entry).property = value; emit(entryPropertyChanged); }

signal()
creates a new signal.

emit()
emits a signal.

Watching a subset of an Observable object

const C = component((c) => {
  const get = memo((entry) => computed((prev) => {
    const v = watch(entry);
    return prev !== void 0 && prev === v.value ? prev : v.value;
  }));
  return (entry) => watch(get(entry))().value;
});

Computeds are using strict equality

===
as an additional change detection check. And we can use it to prevent unnecessary computations when result value is the same.

Portals

Portals are implemented in the

ivi-portal
package. It has a simple API:
export interface Portal {
  readonly root: Op;
  readonly entry: (children: Op) => Op;
}
function portal(rootDecorator?: (children: Op) => Op): Portal;

portal()
function creates a
Portal
instance that has a
root
node and an
entry()
function.
root
node is used to render a portal root and
entry()
function renders elements inside of a portal.

rootDecorator
argument can be used to provide a decorator for a root node, by default it is a simple identity function
(v) => v
.

Example

import { _, render, component, invalidate, Events, onClick, } from "ivi";
import { div, button } from "ivi-html";
import { portal } from "ivi-portal";

const MODAL = portal();

const App = component((c) => { let showModal = false; const showEvent = onClick(() => { showModal = true; invalidate(c); });

return () => ([ showModal ? MODAL.entry(div("modal", , "This is being rendered inside the #modal-root div.")) : null, Events(showEvent, button(, _, "Show modal")), ]); });

render(App(), document.getElementById("app")); render(MODAL.root, document.getElementById("modal-root"));

Environment Variables

NODE_ENV

  • production
    - Disables runtime checks that improve development experience.

IVI_TARGET

  • browser
    - Default target.
  • evergreen
    - Evergreen browsers.
  • electron
    - Electron.

Webpack Configuration

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    new webpack.DefinePlugin({
      "process.env.IVI_TARGET": JSON.stringify("browser"),
    }),
  ],
}

Rollup Configuration

export default {
  plugins: [
    replace({
      values: {
        "process.env.NODE_ENV": JSON.stringify("production"),
        "process.env.IVI_TARGET": JSON.stringify("browser"),
      },
    }),
  ],
};

Caveats

Legacy Browsers Support

React is probably the only library that tries hard to hide all browser quirks for public APIs, almost all other libraries claim support for legacy browsers, but what it usually means is that their test suite passes in legacy browsers and their test suites doesn't contain tests for edge cases in older browsers. ivi isn't any different from many other libraries, it fixes some hard issues, but it doesn't try to fix all quirks for legacy browsers.

Component Factories Ambiguity

Stateless components implemented as immediately executed functions won't have any nodes in a "Virtual DOM" tree and reconciliation algorithm won't be able to detect when we are rendering completely different components.

const A = () => div();
const B = () => div();
render(
  condition ? A() : B(),
  container,
);

In this example, when

condition
is changed, instead of completely destroying previous
element and instantiating a new one, reconciliation algorithm will reuse
element.

Rendering into

Rendering into

 is disabled to prevent some issues.
If someone submits a good explanation why this limitation should be removed, it is possible to remove this limitation
from the code base.

Rendering into external
Document

Rendering into external

Document
(iframe, window, etc) isn't supported.

Server-Side Rendering

There is no SSR.

Synthetic Events

Synthetic events subsystem dispatches events by traversing state tree. Worst case scenario is that it will need to traverse entire state tree to deliver an event, but it isn't the problem because it is hard to imagine an application implemented as a huge flat list of DOM nodes.

All global event listeners for synthetic events are automatically registered when javascript is loaded. ivi is relying on dead code elimination to prevent registration of unused event listeners. React applications has lazy event listeners registration and all global event listeners always stay registered even when they aren't used anymore, it seems that there aren't many issues with it, but if there is a good explanation why it shouldn't behave this way, it is possible to add support for removing global event listeners by using dependency counters.

There are no

onMouseEnter()
and
onMouseLeave()
events, here is an example how to implement the same behavior using
onMouseOver()
event.

onTouchEnd()
,
onTouchMove()
,
onTouchStart()
and
onWheel()
are passive event listeners.
onActiveTouchEnd()
,
onActiveTouchMove()
,
onActiveTouchStart()
and
onActiveWheel()
will add active event listeners.

Dirty Checking

Dirty checking provides a solution for a wide range of edge cases. Dirty checking always goes through entire state tree, checks invalidated components, selectors, observables, propagates context values and makes it possible to efficiently solve all edge cases with nested keyed lists, fragments, holes (

null
ops).

Dirty checking is heavily optimized and doesn't allocate any memory. To understand how much overhead to expect from dirty checking algorithm, we can play with a stress test benchmark for dirty checking: https://localvoid.github.io/ivi-examples/benchmarks/dirtycheck/ (all memory allocations are from

perf-monitor
counter)

This benchmark has a tree structure with 10 root containers, each container has 10 subcontainers and each subcontainer has 50 leaf nodes. Containers are DOM elements wrapped in a stateful component node with children nodes wrapped in

TrackByKey()
operation, each leaf node is a DOM element wrapped in a stateful component node with text child node wrapped in a fragment and
Events()
operation, also each leaf node watches two observable values. It creates so many unnecessary layers to get a better understanding how it will behave in the worst case scenarios.

Unhandled Exceptions

ivi doesn't try to recover from unhandled exceptions raised from user space code. If there is an unhandled exception, it means that there is a bug in the code and bugs lead to security issues. To catch unhandled execptions, all entry points are wrapped with

catchError()
decorator. When unhandled exception reaches this decorator, application goes into error mode. In error mode, all entry points are blocked because it is impossible to correctly recover from bugs.

addErrorHandler()
adds an error handler that will be invoked when application goes into error mode.

Portals

Portal implementation relies on the reconciler execution order.

Reconciler always mounts and updates nodes from right to left and this example won't work correctly:

render([App(), PORTAL.root], document.getElementById("app"));

To fix this example, we should either place portal roots before components that use them:

render([PORTAL.root, App()], document.getElementById("app"));

Or render them in a different container:

render(App(), document.getElementById("app"));
render(PORTAL.root, document.getElementById("portal"));

Root nodes are always updated in the order in which they were originally mounted into the document.

Custom Elements (Web Components)

Creating custom elements isn't supported, but there shouldn't be any problems with using custom elements.

Examples and demo applications

CodeSandbox

Apps

Benchmarks

License

MIT

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