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action-u

The action-u library provides a utility that auto generates your redux, and introduces organization to your actions through a JSON-based ActionStruct. This structure instinctively groups related actions, implicitly defines your action types, and seamlessly promotes both action creators and action types throughout your application. This automates a tedious process, and promotes an overall organization to your actions.

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Install

npm install --save action-u

Sample

As a simple example, let's say we want to facilitate an activity to display a user message. We will need:

  • an action to display the message in a dialog,
  • and a corresponding action to close the dialog.

Generation:

By simply knowing the properties of each action, we can auto-generate our needed ActionStruct as follows:

import {generateActions} from 'action-u';

const actions = generateActions({
  userMsg: {
    display: {
                actionMeta: {
                  traits: ['msg']
                }
    },
    close: {
                actionMeta: {}
    }
  }
});

Because our two actions are inner-related, we packaged them in an app-specific structure that highlights these relationship through it's shape. The actions ActionStruct (returned above) conceptually looks like this:

const actions = { // auto-generated (from generateActions() - above)
  userMsg {
    display(msg): {},
    close():      {},
  }
};
  1. The action creator signatures are shown, but their implementations are omitted.
  • actions.userMsg.display(msg) is the 1st action creator, and accepts a single msg parameter

  • actions.userMsg.close() is the 2nd action creator, and accepts no parameters

  1. The action types are implied from the JSON structure, and are promoted through a string coercion of the action creator function itself (the function's toString() has been overloaded).

    In many contexts, this coercion happens implicitly (such as astx-redux-util reducerHash()), while in other cases it must be explicitly done (for example, the case of a switch statement).

    String(actions.userMsg.display) // yields: 'userMsg.display'
    ''+actions.userMsg.close        // yields: 'userMsg.close'
    

A Closer Look

The following diagram summarizes the generation process

userMsg

  1. The generateActions function accepts a single ActionGenesis parameter that:
  • defines one or more action creators

  • implies the action types from the JSON structure

  • defines the overall ActionStruct organization

  1. ActionNodes (ones that promote action creator functions) are defined through the actionMeta property.
  • The actionMeta.traits property is a string array that defines both the parameter names (of the action creator) and ultimately the property names of the action (returned from the action creator).

  • An empty actionMeta object (see close) merely defines an action creator with NO parameters, and consequently no action payload properties.

  • There are more actionMeta properties that are discussed in the full documentation.

    Formatting Preference: So as to not confuse the actionMeta property with app-level nodes, I prefer to indent them a bit deeper in the structure (you are free to disregard this advice).

  1. All other nodes (like userMsg) are merely intermediate nodes that organize (i.e. add meaning) to the overall shape of the action structure.

Usage:

Here is how the generated ActionStruct (above) is used:

// action creators ...
const userMsg = actions.userMsg.display('Hello action-u');
      // yields the following action (which can be dispatched):
      //   {
      //     type: 'userMsg.display',
      //     msg:  'Hello action-u'
      //   }

const closeIt = actions.userMsg.close();
      // yields the following action (which can be dispatched):
      //   {
      //     type: 'userMsg.close'
      //   }

// action types (typically used in reducers) ...
console.log(`First  type is '${actions.userMsg.display}'`); // First  type is 'userMsg.display'
console.log(`Second type is '${actions.userMsg.close}'`);   // Second type is 'userMsg.close'

Comprehensive Documentation

The sample above just scratches the service!

Comprehensive Documentation can be found at https://action-u.js.org/, which includes both a Dev Guide (building concepts with full and thorough examples), and a complete API Reference.

There is much more to cover in fully understanding this utility, including:

The action-u library was pulled from a sandbox project (GeekU) that I use to study several technologies and frameworks.

I hope you enjoy this effort, and comments are always welcome.

</Kevin>

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