Getting started with React

Diving into React

What is React js? - Arman Ansari - Medium

Developers faced challenges with traditional DOM manipulation, leading to the emergence of libraries like jQuery to simplify the process. However, even with these libraries, managing large applications remained complex.

Subsequently, Vue.js and React introduced a new syntax for front-end development. Behind the scenes, the React compiler transforms your code into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, streamlining the development of large-scale applications.

Understanding DOMs

JavaScript DOM (Document Object Model) | by dilarauluturhan | Medium

In React, there is a virtual DOM and a real DOM.

1] Virtual DOM

  • React uses a virtual DOM to optimise updates and improve performance. The virtual DOM is an in-memory representation of the actual DOM elements. It's a lightweight copy of the real DOM.

  • When you modify the state of a React component, a new virtual DOM tree is created to reflect the updated state.

  • React then compares the new virtual DOM with the previous virtual DOM to determine the differences (diffing).

  • These differences are then used to calculate the most efficient way to update the real DOM, minimizing unnecessary updates and improving performance.

2] Real DOM

  • The real DOM is the browser's internal representation of your web page's structure, created from the HTML you write.

  • When React decides what needs to change in your app (after comparing the virtual DOM with the real one), it updates only those parts in the real DOM.

  • Changing the real DOM can be slow and make your app feel sluggish. So, React tries to limit how much it directly modifies the real DOM, which helps keep your app fast and responsive.

In summary, while there are two representations—virtual DOM and real DOM—React abstracts the complexity of direct manipulation of the real DOM by using a virtual DOM and efficiently updating only the parts that have changed. This approach contributes to React's efficiency and performance in managing UI updates.

Some React Jargon

1] State

What are State and uses of state in react - Webkul Blog

An object that represents the current state of the app. It represents the dynamic things in your app (things that change). For example, the value of the counter.

2] Component

React JS -Class Components and Functional Components 😧 😕 | by Deepika  Srinivasan | Nerd For Tech | Medium

A React component is like a building block in a LEGO set. Just like how you use different LEGO bricks to build a spaceship, you use components to build a user interface.

Each component is like a unique LEGO brick with its own shape and color. You can assemble these components together to create the entire user interface, just like assembling LEGO bricks to build a spaceship.

Components in React are versatile and reusable, much like how you can use LEGO bricks to build different things by rearranging them. Each component performs a specific task, and you can combine them in various ways to create different applications, like games or websites.

3] Re-rendering

How to Re-Render a Functional React Component | by Adam Workman |  JavaScript in Plain English

Imagine you have a digital pet on your computer. This pet can be happy or sad, depending on its mood, which we represent in React with something called "state."

You have a button that, when clicked, changes your pet's mood from happy to sad or vice versa. When you click the button, React notices this change in state (the mood of your pet). React then updates what's shown on the screen to reflect this new mood.

For example, if your pet was happily dancing, clicking the button might change its mood to a sad face. This updating process is called "re-rendering," which is like refreshing the screen to show the new mood of your digital pet.

In React, when the state changes, React automatically re-renders the component to reflect that change. This way, your users always see the most up-to-date and accurate information on the screen.

Simple Counter Application

Let’s start a new React project using Vite, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your terminal and run the following command to create a new Vite project:
npm create vite@latest
  1. Follow the prompts to set up your project. You can choose the default settings for now.

  2. Once the project is created, navigate to the project directory using:

cd your-project-name
  1. Open the project in your code editor.

Now, let's build a simple Let's create a simple Counter app in React to demonstrate re-rendering based on state changes. Update the src/App.jsx file with the following code

import React, { useState } from 'react';
import './Counter.css'; // Assume you have a Counter.css file for styling

function Counter() {
  // Step 1: Define state using the useState hook
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

  // Step 2: Create functions to handle state changes
  const increment = () => {
    setCount(count + 1);

  const decrement = () => {
    setCount(count - 1);

  // Step 3: The component renders based on the state
  return (
    <div className="counter">
      <h1>Counter App</h1>
      <p>Count: {count}</p>
      <button onClick={increment}>Increment</button>
      <button onClick={decrement}>Decrement</button>

export default Counter;

State Initialization:

const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

  • We use the useState hook to create a state variable count initialized to 0.

  • setCount is a function we'll use to update the count state.

State Change Functions:

  •         const increment = () => {
              setCount(count + 1);
            const decrement = () => {
              setCount(count - 1);
  • We create two functions (increment and decrement) that update the state when the buttons are clicked.

Rendered UI Based on State:

return (
  <div className="counter">
    <h1>Counter App</h1>
    <p>Count: {count}</p>
    <button onClick={increment}>Increment</button>
    <button onClick={decrement}>Decrement</button>

The component returns JSX, representing the UI.

  • The UI shows the current count and two buttons for incrementing and decrementing the count.

Now, when you click the "Increment" or "Decrement" button, the count state changes, triggering a re-render of the component. The UI is updated to reflect the new count value. This is the essence of re-rendering based on state changes in a React component.

React Props

In React, props (short for properties) are a way to pass data from a parent component to a child component. They allow you to customize and configure child components based on values provided by their parent components.

Understanding React JS Components and Props | Medium

Here's a breakdown of key concepts related to React props:

1] Passing Data

  • Props enable the flow of data from a parent component to a child component.

  • They are passed as attributes in JSX when rendering a child component.

2] Functional Components

  • In functional components, props are received as an argument to the function.
function MyComponent(props) {
  // Access props here

3] Class Components

  • In class components, props are accessed using this.props.
class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  render() {
    // Access props using this.props

4] Immutable and Read-Only

  • Props in React are read-only. A child component cannot modify the props it receives from a parent. Props are intended to be immutable.

5] Customization and Reusability

  • Props allow you to customize the behavior and appearance of a component, making it versatile and reusable in different contexts.

6] Default Values

  • You can provide default values for props to ensure that the component works even if certain props are not explicitly passed.

7] Destructuring Props

  • You can use destructuring to extract specific props from the props object, making code cleaner.
function MyComponent({ prop1, prop2 }) {
  // Access prop1 and prop2 directly

8] Passing Functions as Props

  • You can pass functions as props, allowing child components to communicate with their parent components.

Here's a simple example to illustrate the use of props:

// ParentComponent.js
import React from 'react';
import ChildComponent from './ChildComponent';

function ParentComponent() {
  return <ChildComponent message="Hello from Parent!" />;

// ChildComponent.js
import React from 'react';

function ChildComponent(props) {
  return <p>{props.message}</p>;

export default ChildComponent;

In this example, ParentComponent passes the message "Hello from Parent!" to ChildComponent as a prop. The child component then displays this message. Props facilitate communication between components, making it easy to create modular and reusable React applications.