30 Days of Vue

Vue Components - Nice To Knows

 

This post is part of the series 30 Days of Vue.

In this series, we're starting from the very basics and walk through everything you need to know to get started with Vue. If you've ever wanted to learn Vue, this is the place to start!

Vue Components - Nice To Knows

Today, we'll cover some interesting points that govern the use of Vue components such as the ability to locally register components, the requirement to having the component data property always be a function, and the restriction to using a single root template.

In the last couple of articles, we've been introduced to how Vue components help make our Vue applications more modular, taken a look at how props help pass data from parent to child components, and discussed how custom events can be used to facilitate communication from child components upwards to parent instances.

In this article, we’ll be addressing a few nice-to-knows that we haven't really discussed yet when it comes to using simple standard components.

Global vs. Local Registration

So far, we've been using the Vue.component() constructor to create components in our applications. Vue.component() registers the component globally since the component is accessible in any Vue instance that has been instantiated after this constructor.

Vue.component('global-component', {
  template: `<p>Hello World!</p>`
});

new Vue({
  template: `
    <div>
      <global-component></global-component>
    </div>
  `
});

Instead of having components registered globally, we’re also able to register components locally within a particular instance. We can achieve this by first assigning the options object of a component to a plain JavaScript object.

const localComponent = {
  template: `<p>Hello World!</p>`
}

In the sample above, we've created a component options object with the name of localComponent. To have localComponent be registered locally within a parent instance, we'll have to declare localComponent in the components property of the instance we’d want the component registered in.

The components property accepts key-value pairs with the key referring to how the component is to be named in the instance, and the value being the options object of the component.

If we wanted to register localComponent locally in an instance and have it be declared as local-component in the template, we’ll register it like the following:

const localComponent = {
  template: `<p>Hello World!</p>`
}

new Vue({
  template: `
    <div>
      <local-component></local-component>
    </div>
  `,
  components: {
    'local-component': localComponent
  }
});

Local registration is useful since it helps us avoid having to declare all components globally and instead have components encapsulated in the instances that they intend to be rendered in.

Data as a function

Since Vue components are Vue instances, they have almost all the same functionality as a root level instance does. One differentiation to keep in mind is that the data property of a Vue component should always be a function.

Traditionally, we’ve defined data as a standard property object:

new Vue({
  el: '#app',
  data: {
    message: 'Greetings!',
  }
});

For components, data should always be a function that returns an object.

let componentObject = {
  template: '<p>{{message}}</p>',
  data() {
    return {
      message: 'Greetings!'
    }
  }
}

The reason behind this is that Vue doesn’t recognize the difference between data objects used in different instances and as a result treats them all as the same single data object. If you try declaring a standard data object in a component, Vue will emit a console warning along the lines of:

[Vue warn]: The "data" option should be a function...

By having data in components be functions that return objects, each component is able to maintain its own independent data object. Here's an adapted example from the Vue documentation that displays three identical components with each having their own independent data object.

JS

src/components-data-example/main.js
let counterOne = {
  template: `
    <button class="component-button" @click="counter++">
      You clicked me {{counter}} times
    </button>
  `,
  data() {
    return {
      counter: 0
    }
  }
}

let counterTwo = {
  template: `
    <button class="component-button" @click="counter++">
      You clicked me {{counter}} times
    </button>
  `,
  data() {
    return {
      counter: 0
    }
  }
}

let counterThree = {
  template: `
    <button class="component-button" @click="counter++">
      You clicked me {{counter}} times
    </button>
  `,
  data() {
    return {
      counter: 0
    }
  }
}

new Vue({
  el: '#app',
  data: {
    message: 'Greetings!',
  },
  components: {
    'counter-one': counterOne,
    'counter-two': counterTwo,
    'counter-three': counterThree,
  }
});

HTML

src/components-data-example/index.html
<html>
  <head>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="./styles.css" />
    <link rel="stylesheet"
      href="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/css/bulma.css" />
  </head>

  <body>
    <div id="app">
      <p>Three different components.</p>
      <counter-one></counter-one>
      <counter-two></counter-two>
      <counter-three></counter-three>
    </div>
    <script src="https://unpkg.com/vue"></script>
    <script src="./main.js"></script>
  </body>
</html>

Live version - https://30dofv-componentsdata.surge.sh

Single Root Template

With Vue template declarations, it’s a must to wrap the template of components in a single root element. If we attempted to have the template of a component render two sibling elements like below:

const localComponent = {
  template: `
    <p>Hello World!</p>
    <button>Click Here!</button>
  `
}

The Vue console will emit a warning referencing the incorrect template and stating:

Component template should contain exactly one root element...

Instead, we are expected to wrap our component templates in a single root element. For example, we can have the elements shown in the example above be kept within a single parent <div> element:

const localComponent = {
  template: `
    <div>
      <p>Hello World!</p>
      <button>Click Here!</button>
    </div>
  `
}

This restriction is due to the technical constraints of Vue's diff algorithm (i.e. algorithm on how changes are patched and implemented on the actual DOM). If you're interested in reading more about this, here's an interesting issue that was opened, in Nov 2017, on the Vue core library that discussed this constraint.

Today's article was a brief discussion on some nice-to-knows when it comes to working with Vue components. In tomorrow’s article, we’ll look at some of the different ways we’re able to declare the template of a component. Good job getting through week two and see you tomorrow!

The entire source code for this tutorial series can be found in the GitHub repo, which includes all the styles and code samples.

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