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Live Components

We've mostly been talking about LiveViews, but LiveViewJS also supports LiveComponents. Live Components are a way to create self-contained, stateful and stateless components that are reusable across multiple LiveViews. Live Components are a great way to break up your LiveView into smaller, reusable, more manageable pieces.

LiveComponent API

LiveComponents have a much simpler API than LiveViews. They have the following methods all of which are optional except for render:

  • mount
  • update
  • handleEvent
  • render (required)

Stateful vs Stateless

LiveComponents can be stateful or stateless. Stateful components are identified by passing an id property into the meta.live_component function in the LiveView. Stateless LiveComponents do not have an id property. Stateful components are also the only type of LiveComponent that can receive events (and therefore have a handleEvent method).

Lifecycle Differences

Both types of LiveComponents have the same lifecycle methods. Both types initially follow the same execution flow when they are first loaded:

mount => update => render

With Stateless LiveComponents, the execution flow above is the same for every render cycle. For Stateful LiveComponents, after the first render cycle, the execution flow is:

update => render

Stateful LiveComponent handleEvent

Targeting a LiveComponent requires the addition of a phx-target attribute to a the rendered HTML element. Inside of a render a LiveComponent can use the meta.myself property in the phx-target attribute to target itself. For example:

<button phx-click="my_event" phx-target="${meta.myself}">Click Me</button>

Alternatively, you can target another LiveComponent by passing the DOM id or class selector into the phx-target attribute. For example:

<button phx-click="my_event" phx-target="#comp_3">Click Me</button>

In either case, the handleEvent method will be called with the my_event event prompting a re-render of the LiveComponent.

Adding a LiveComponent to a LiveView

To add a LiveComponent to a LiveView, you use the LiveViewMeta live_component function. The live_component function takes a LiveComponent along with a JSON object with an optional id property. If the id property is present, the LiveComponent will be stateful. If the id property is not present, the LiveComponent will be stateless. For example:

render: (context, meta) => {
return html`
${meta.live_component(MyStatefulComponent, {id: "comp_1", bar: "baz"})}
${meta.live_component(MyStatefulComponent, {id: "comp_2"})}
${meta.live_component(MyStatelessComponent, {foo: "bar"})}

LiveComponentSocket API

Similar to LiveViews, LiveComponents have a LiveComponentSocket API that is the utility belt for LiveComponents. Below is the API for LiveComponentSocket:

* Represents the `LiveComponent`'s websocket connectedness along with current
* state of the component. Also provides a method for sending messages
* internally to the parent `LiveView`.
export interface LiveComponentSocket<
TContext extends LiveContext = AnyLiveContext,
TInfo extends LiveInfo = AnyLiveInfo
> {
* The id of the parent `LiveView`
id: string;
* Whether the websocket is connected (i.e., http request or joined via websocket)
* true if connected to a websocket, false for http request
connected: boolean;
* Read-only, current state of the `LiveComponent`
context: TContext;
* helper method to send messages to the parent `LiveView` via the `handleInfo`
sendParentInfo(info: Info<TInfo>): void;
* `assign` is used to update the `Context` (i.e., state) of the `LiveComponent`
assign(context: Partial<TContext>): void;
* helper method to send events to Hooks on the parent `LiveView`
pushEvent(pushEvent: AnyLivePushEvent): void;