Advanced memoization and effects in React
Memoization is a somewhat fraught topic in the React world, meaning that it's easy to go wrong with it, for example, by [making
memo() do nothing][memo-pitfall] by passing in children to a component. The general advice is to avoid memoization until the profiler tells you to optimize, but not all use cases are general, and even in the general use case you can find tricky nuances.
Discussing this topic requires some groundwork about the technical terms, and I'm placing these in once place so that it's easy to skim and skip over:
- Memoization means caching the output based on the input; in the case of functions, it means caching the return value based on the arguments.
- Values and references are unfortunately overloaded terms that can refer to the low-level implementation details of assignments in a language like C++, for example, or to memory