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Using with React

React has a history with Web Components, and this history can often lead to confusing issues. React is not technically incorrect in each of these cases, but it can feel surprising as a developer, and the correct use can often feel non-idiomatic.

No self-closing tags#

Web Components do not support tags that are self-closing. As such, you must always have the full ending tag.

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<sp-icon></sp-icon>

Use class instead of className#

Web Components in React use class instead of className.

Boolean attributes#

When using React with a standard checkbox, you could write something like this:

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<input type="checkbox" checked={checked} />

This will not work when using sp-checkbox, for example, because checked is not treated as a boolean attribute. Instead, React falls back to the web standard for attributes: any value (even a string-coerced "false") is treated as true. Instead, the web expects checked to not be present at all if the checkbox should be unchecked.

In React, this means you need to write the following code so that React knows not to emit the attribute:

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<sp-checkbox checked={checked ? true : undefined}></sp-checkbox>

Event Handling#

React does not attach event listeners to elements that are Web Components. This is again, technically correct, as React can't know that a particular attribute is an event handler, but it does lead to surprising results that feel broken as event handlers aren't called correctly.

The simplest fix is to add a ref to the component and attach event listeners. This results in a lot of unnecessary code, and so we built a simple wrapper comonent (WC) that takes care of the hard work for us. You'll see examples of this in our plugin samples where we wrap Spectrum UXP components with this component.

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