@artsy/react-responsive-media

A declarative SSR-compatible approach to CSS media query based responsive layouts.

WARNING: This project has been renamed to @artsy/fresnel.
Last updated a year ago by artsy-engineering .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
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@artsy/react-responsive-media

CircleCI npm version

Installation

  yarn add @artsy/react-responsive-media

Overview

When writing responsive components it's common to use media queries to adjust the display when certain conditions are met. Historically this has taken place directly in CSS/HTML:

@media screen and (max-width: 767px) {
  .my-container {
    width: 100%;
  }
}
@media screen and (min-width: 768px) {
  .my-container {
    width: 50%;
  }
}
<div class="my-container" />

By hooking into a breakpoint definition, @artsy/react-responsive-media takes this imperative approach and makes it declarative:

import React from "react"
import { Style } from "react-head"
import { createMedia } from '@artsy/react-responsive-media'

const { MediaContextProvider, Media, createMediaStyle } = createMedia({
  breakpoints: {
    sm: 0,
    md: 768
    lg: 1024,
    xl: 1192,
  },
})

const App = () => (
  <>
    <Style>{createMediaStyle()}</Style>
    <MediaContextProvider>
      <Media at='sm'>
        <MobileApp />
      </Media>
      <Media at='md'>
        <TabletApp />
      </Media>
      <Media greaterThanOrEqual='lg'>
        <DesktopApp />
      </Media>
    </MediaContextProvider>
  </>
)

Demo

You can find an example in this repository and run it locally like so:

git clone https://github.com/artsy/react-responsive-media.git
cd react-responsive-media
yarn install
yarn example
open http://localhost:8080

Why not conditionally render?

Other existing solutions take a conditionally rendered approach, such as react-responsive or react-media, so where does this approach differ?

Server side rendering!

But first, what is conditional rendering?

In the React ecosystem a common approach to writing declarative responsive components is to use the browser’s matchMedia api:

<Responsive>
  {({ xs }) => {
    if (xs) {
      return <MobileApp />
    } else {
      return <DesktopApp />
    }
  }}
</Responsive>

On the client, when a given breakpoint is matched React conditionally renders a tree.

However, this approach suffers from a few flaws when used in conjunction with server-side rendering (SSR):

  • It's impossible to reliably know the user's current breakpoint during the server render phase since that requires a browser.

  • Setting breakpoint sizes based on user-agent sniffing is prone to errors due the inability to precisely match device capabilities to size. One mobile device might have greater pixel density than another, a mobile device may fit multiple breakpoints when taking device orientation into consideration, and on desktop clients there is no way to know at all. The best devs can do is guess the current breakpoint and populate <Responsive> with assumed state.

Artsy settled on what we think makes the best trade-offs. We approach this problem in the following way:

  1. Render markup for all breakpoints on the server and send it down the wire.

  2. The browser receives markup with proper media query styling and will immediately start rendering the expected visual result for whatever viewport width the browser is at.

  3. When all JS has loaded and React starts the rehydration phase, we query the browser for what breakpoint it’s currently at and then limit the rendered components to the matching media queries. This prevents life-cycle methods from firing in hidden components and unused html being written to the DOM.

  4. Additionally, we register event listeners with the browser to notify the MediaContextProvider when a different breakpoint is matched and then re-render the tree using the new value for the onlyMatch prop.

Let’s compare what a component tree using matchMedia would look like with our approach:

Before After
<Responsive>
  {({ xs }) => {
    if (xs) return <SmallArticleItem {...props} />
    else return <LargeArticleItem {...props} />
  }}
</Responsive>
<>
  <Media at="xs">
    <SmallArticleItem {...props} />
  </Media>
  <Media greaterThan="xs">
    <LargeArticleItem {...props} />
  </Media>
</>

See [#server-side-rendering][] for a complete example.

API

createMedia

First things first. You’ll need to define the breakpoints and interaction needed for your design to produce the set of media components you can use throughout your application.

For example, consider an application that has the following breakpoints:

  • A viewport width between 1 and 768 points, named sm.
  • A viewport width between 768 and 1024 points, named md.
  • A viewport width between 1024 and 1192 points, named lg.
  • A viewport width from 1192 points and above, named xl.

And the following interactions:

  • A device that supports hovering a pointer device, named hover.
  • A device that does not support hovering a pointer device, named notHover.

You would then produce the set of media components like so:

const MyAppMediaComponents = createMedia({
  breakpoints: {
    sm: 0,
    md: 768
    lg: 1024,
    xl: 1192,
  },
  interactions: {
    hover: "(hover: hover)",
    notHover: "(hover: none)",
  },
})

As you can see, breakpoints are defined by their start offset, where the first one is expected to start at 0.

Besides the Media and MediaContextProvider components, a MediaStyle function that produces the CSS styling for all possible media queries that the Media instance can make use of. Be sure to insert this with a <style> element into your document’s <head> element.

import { Style } from "react-head"
import { MediaContextProvider } from "./Responsive"
import { Home } from "./Home"

const App = () => (
  <>
    <Style>{MediaStyle()}</Style>
    <MediaContextProvider>
      <Home />
    </MediaContextProvider>
  </>
)

It’s advisable to do this setup in its own module so that it can be easily imported throughout your application:

export const { MediaContextProvider, Media, MediaStyle } = MyAppMediaComponents

MediaContextProvider

The MediaContextProvider component influences how Media components will be rendered.

onlyMatch

Rendering can be constrained to specific breakpoints/interactions by specifying a list of media queries to match. By default all will be rendered.

disableDynamicMediaQueries

By default, when rendered client-side, the browser’s matchMedia api will be used to further constrain the onlyMatch list to only the currently matching media queries. This is done to avoid triggering mount related life-cycle hooks of hidden components.

Disabling this behaviour is mostly intended for debugging purposes.

Media

The Media component created for your application has a few mutually exclusive props that make up the API you’ll use to declare your responsive layouts. These props all operate based on the named breakpoints that were provided when you created the media components.

The examples given for each prop use breakpoint definitions as defined in the above ‘Setup’ section.

at

Use this to declare that children should only be visible at a specific breakpoint, meaning that the viewport width is greater than or equal to the start offset of the breakpoint, but less than the next breakpoint, if one exists.

For example, children of this Media declaration will only be visible if the viewport width is between 0 and 768 points:

<Media at="sm">...</Media>

lessThan

Use this to declare that children should only be visible while the viewport width is less than the start offset of the specified breakpoint.

For example, children of this Media declaration will only be visible if the viewport width is between 0 and 1024 points:

<Media lessThan="lg">...</Media>

greaterThan

Use this to declare that children should only be visible while the viewport width is greater than the start offset of the next breakpoint.

For example, children of this Media declaration will only be visible if the viewport width is greater than 1024 points:

<Media greaterThan="md">...</Media>

greaterThanOrEqual

Use this to declare that children should only be visible while the viewport width is equal to the start offset of the specified breakpoint or greater.

For example, children of this Media declaration will only be visible if the viewport width is 768 points or up:

<Media greaterThanOrEqual="md">...</Media>

between

Use this to declare that children should only be visible while the viewport width is equal to the start offset of the first specified breakpoint but less than the start offset of the second specified breakpoint.

For example, children of this Media declaration will only be visible if the viewport width is between 768 and 1192 points:

<Media between={["md", "xl"]}>...</Media>

Server-side rendering

TODO

Client-side rendering

TODO

Pros vs Cons

Pros:

  • Built on top of simple, proven technology: HTML and CSS media queries.
  • Users see rendered markup at the correct breakpoint for their device, even before React has been loaded.

Cons:

  • Pages now include markup for all breakpoints, which increases the page size.
  • The current media query is no longer something components can access; it is determined only by the props of the <Media> component they find themselves in.

That last con presents an interesting problem. How might we represent a component that gets styled differently at different breakpoints? (Let’s imagine a matchMedia example.)

<Sans size={xs ? 2 : 3}>
<>
  <Media at="xs">
    {this.getComponent('xs')
  </Media>
  <Media greaterThan="xs">
    {this.getComponent()
  </Media>
</>
getComponent(breakpoint?: string) {
  const xs = breakpoint === 'xs'
  return <Sans size={xs ? 2 : 3} />
}

We're still figuring out patterns for this, so please let us know if you have suggestions.

Development

This project uses auto-release to automatically release on every PR. Every PR should have a label that matches one of the following

  • Version: Trivial
  • Version: Patch
  • Version: Minor
  • Version: Major

Major, minor, and patch will cause a new release to be generated. Use major for breaking changes, minor for new non-breaking features, and patch for bug fixes. Trivial will not cause a release and should be used when updating documentation or non-project code.

If you don't want to release on a particular PR but the changes aren't trivial then use the Skip Release tag along side the appropriate version tag.

Current Tags

  • 2.0.3                                ...           latest (a year ago)
  • 2.0.0-beta.2                                ...           next (2 years ago)

21 Versions

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