ReactSurface - Render React Components via Surface

Happy Almost New Year everyone!

I made a library that integrates Surface + LiveView nicely with React.
I have aptly named it ReactSurface :stuck_out_tongue:

There are some other libraries that do this, or similar (phoenix_live_react).

ReactSurface is different in that it is a first class Surface component, and relies on the surface templating and component engine to work (does not rely on phoenix content_tag/3). Another difference is that it does not create sibling DOM nodes - it creates a nested react container, inside a live_view tracked container. keeping this data and context a bit more contained in the DOM. (see the README for an example)

ReactSurface uses react hydration(ReactDOM.hydrate) to keep the react internal component state intact between updates. It also exposes the live_view js functions (handleEvent, pushEvent, pushEventTo) to all components rendered in the react tree via a React Context accessible via a react hook: useLiveContext

Check out the demo app at ./demo to see it in action!


Been playing with LiveView + Surface, and they are great - but not sure I can convince my employer to go all in on it… This is a bit of a compromise to allow using React components for UI heavy bits of the page - but keeping the main layout, routing and data layer a server side concern.

Future ideas

  • Use a Surface Macro component to perform a server render with some default props at compile time.
    • This would provide compile time server side React rendering - but only for a default state and allow for the initial mounted phx hook to perform a ReactDOM.hydrate on the server rendered content.
    • the benefit of server side react rendering, without the complexity of stringing together a node server/stdio API to perform initial rendering of client side react components in production.
    • I might have the idea of a Surface Macro component wrong. @msaraiva would this work how I am imagining?
  • Dynamic loading of react components - ReactSurface does not rely on your React components existing on the window to work - the buildHook function takes a parameter where you supply a map of your components.

Feedback + ideas are much appreciated!
I do not suggest using this in prod just yet - more of a beta at the moment.

Will publish to hex once I have some tests in place.

Thanks for for checking it out! :smiley: