Reusable components are the most powerful feature in React.js. It saves developers time as they don’t have to write multiple codes for the same functionality in the web applications. However, many developers still struggle to maintain a clean code structure while creating reusable components.
In this article, we will learn about Inheritance and Compositions that are used for creating reusable components in React.js. Also, find out why to use composition over inheritance to make the project file structure easier to read and maintain.
So let’s get started!
Both Inheritance and Compositions are means of transmitting attributes shared by multiple objects in the application, we will look into each of them in detail.
Inheritance is a technique in object-oriented programming, it is referred to when one class inherits the class properties to duplicate the behavior while allowing to add the extra features. This ability is used while building React components to achieve code reusability.
Let’s assume that you have a React Component called SubmitButton which is created by extending the Button component with the properties- background: pink and color: black. Then the instance of the SubmitButton will inherit the behavior of a Button instance.
The functionality is quite similar to inheritance, however rather than inheriting the properties of the parent class it represents a class that references one or more objects of the other class as an instance. This way it provides the new behavior to the class or object rather than extending it in the hierarchy.
If we implement the SubmitButton using Composition as a component that uses Button. Only the behavior of the Button is passed, while the properties are not inherited.
So if you are new to React.js, it will be hard to choose between Inheritance and Composition, and this is because Inheritance and Composition are quite similar in how the objects are related.
Now, let’s understand what makes them different.
Just consider this example from the React docs, the Dialog component is a special case of components WelcomeDialog. Here the “specific” component can render a “generic” one and configure it with a prop with Composition, which is the better way to use the behavior of one component in the other.
Props and Composition give you more flexibility for component customization in all ways. And it also works better for the components defined as classes.
For any application, the project requirements may keep on changing over time. Therefore, it's always a good idea to choose composition over inheritance.
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It offers full flexibility to the user to change the UI code conveniently and build the custom web app in a minimum time without affecting the quality.