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Future-proofing your Ember 1.x code

This post is also on my blog, since Gist doesn't support @ notifications.


Components are taking center stage in Ember 2.0. Here are some things you can do today to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • Use Ember CLI

  • In general, replace views + controllers with components

  • Only use controllers at the top-level for receiving data from the route, and use Ember.Controller instead of Ember.ArrayController or Ember.ObjectController

  • Fetch data in your route, and set it as normal properties on your top-level controller. Export an Ember.Controller, otherwise a proxy will be generated. You can use Ember.RSVP.hash to simulate setting normal props on your controller.

    ```js   
    //controllers/index.js
    import Ember from 'ember';
    export default Ember.Controller;
    
    //routes/index.js
    model: function() {
      return Ember.RSVP.hash({
        users: this.store.find('user')
      });
    },
    
    setupController: function(controller, models) {
      controller.setProperties(models);
    }
    ```
    
    Now you can just refer to the keys in your route's template:
    
    ```hbs
    //templates/index.js
    <h1>Users</h1>
    {{user-list users=users}}
    ```
    This controller/template pair will eventually become a routable component.
    
  • In your templates, stay away from things like ItemControllers and calls to render(). Use components instead.

  • Don't use views

  • Write your app in the "data down, actions up" paradigm

    • Not currently enforced, but you can still structure your app this way
    • Stay away from two-way bindings and mutability
  • Don't use each or with in the context-switching form. That is, use

     {{#each users as |user|}} {{user.firstName}} {{/each}}
    

    instead of

     {{#each users}} {{firstName}} {{/each}}
    
  • Use pods

  • Use this.route instead of this.resource in Router.map. Couple this with pods and you'll quickly understand why you don't want to use resource anymore - your directory structure in pods will now mirror the view hierarchy of your UI.

Better apps

Follow these tips, and your apps will be ready for Ember 2.0. You'll also learn a lot about writing apps that are better structured and easier to understand!

Deprecations will be coming to help you move towards these newer practices. The goal is, if your app runs on the final version of 1.x with no deprecations, it should be able to run in 2.0.

@garrettlancaster
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garrettlancaster commented Nov 23, 2014

Thanks @samselikoff, great explanation.

@kgish
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kgish commented Nov 26, 2014

Wonder why I'm spending so much time struggling to understand the current situation when in the not so distant future so much is going to change and I have to relearn everything all over again :(

@samselikoff
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samselikoff commented Dec 1, 2014

@kgish I'd say keep learning Ember with the best resources you can find today. Things are becoming simplified, not replaced. Whatever you know about Ember today will continue to be useful in the future, not only for writing Ember 2.0 apps, but also for deepening your understanding of JS app architecture.

@Baukereg
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Baukereg commented Dec 1, 2014

Since components aren't routable yet, I have moved all code from the route's controller, view and template to a new component. Right now a route only does a data request, creates the right component in its template and passes the data. I guess that's the best way to move to a component centric setup.

@samselikoff
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samselikoff commented Dec 1, 2014

@Baukereg exactly. No longer should think about controller as data container + a route rendering a separate, independent template. Route just fetches + sets data on a top-level component, and then you start by writing that component's template, adding new components etc. and keep going.

For now, since a route can't hand data directly to a component, just set the data as attrs on the route's controller, and treat the route's template as the future top-level component's template. Then when routable components land, you'll be able to change controller.set to component.set and be good to go.

@jsangilve
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jsangilve commented Dec 2, 2014

@samselikoff what about Controller's actions that were called from other controllers? Suppose you have a Controller which has an action to add a new element to its Model.

This action was called (send) from other controllers and now this Controller is going to be converted to a Component. Where should we move this action code? Route?

@samselikoff
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samselikoff commented Dec 2, 2014

@jsangilve I'd have to see the code to be sure, but yes that sounds like a route. There will be some more apis to help with this sort of thing.

If it's too hard to change things now, again don't worry about it. New apis and deprecation warnings will help you as new versions of 1.x are released.

@mankind
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mankind commented Dec 5, 2014

@samselikoff I was wondering if you have suggestions on how to convert a controller into a component if that controller uses the needs api to access another controller . For instance in my ember-cli app, I have this code:

     import Ember from 'ember';

     export default Ember.ArrayController.extend({
       needs: ['application'],
       application: Ember.computed.alias('controllers.application')
     });

How do you flip this into a component. I thought of the code below, but this component will be inserted in posts.hbs template, so passing the application controller in as shown below won't work, since I don't have access to the application controller in posts.hbs.

   {posts-display applicationController=application}}

An aha! moment occurred after posting here and reflecting on how to resolve this, it seems I can just inject it into the component with:

app/initilializers/post-display.js

  export function initialize(container, application) {
     application.inject('component:posts-display', 'application', 'service:applicationController');
  }

Are there any other approaches.

@arenoir
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arenoir commented Jan 8, 2015

@samselikoff how do components work with a pod structure?

@knownasilya
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knownasilya commented Jan 16, 2015

app/pods/user/profile/component.{js,hbs} ==> {{user-profile}}, I think that's how they work.

@ramybenaroya
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ramybenaroya commented Feb 12, 2015

TL;DR - A working JS Bin example.
(ember discussion forum thread)
@samselikoff I think that forcing yourself writing components with one-way bounded properties is also a good way to prepare your code for 2.0
I came up with a Mixin which scans for properties names that ends with the suffix "OneWay" and creates/re-defines correspondent one-way bounded props (same name, omitting the suffix) for each prop. Thus, in your component code you can refer only to the auto generated properties and change only them.
In this way the uni directional data flow can occur:
DD → AU → DD → AU → .....
(* DD - Data Down, AU- Action Up)

// app/mixins/one-way-props.js

export default Ember.Mixin.create({
  oneWayPropRegExp: /^(.*)OneWay$/,
  init: function(){
    var oneWayRegexp = this.get('oneWayPropRegExp');
    this._super();
    Ember.keys(this).forEach(function(propName){
      var matches = oneWayRegexp.exec(propName),
          oneWayPropName = matches && matches[1];
      if (oneWayPropName){
        Ember.defineProperty(this, oneWayPropName, function(key, value) {
        var retValue;
        if (arguments.length > 1){
          retValue = value;
        } else {
          retValue = this.get(propName);
        }
        return retValue;
      }.property(propName));  
      }
    }, this);
  }
});

Usage:

{{!-- app/templates/application.hbs --}}

{{some-example aPropOneWay=someValue action="actOnCommit"}}
{{!-- app/templates/components/some-example.hbs --}}

{{input value=aProp}}
 <button {{action 'commit'}}>Commit</button>
// app/components/some-example.js
import OneWayPropsMixins from 'app/mixins/one-way-props';

export default Ember.Component.extend(OneWayPropsMixins, {
  actions: {
    commit: function(){
      this.sendAction('action', this.get('aProp'));
    }
  }
});

WDYT?

@leejt489
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leejt489 commented Mar 13, 2015

Very helpful!

@leejt489
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leejt489 commented Mar 16, 2015

@knownasilya @samselikoff can you confirm that component file structure? Does ember-cli support generating components in this way right now?

@samselikoff
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samselikoff commented Mar 25, 2015

I haven't used components the way @knownasilya laid out, but I do next them within pods.

/pods/todos/todo-list/template.hbs
/pods/todos/todo-list/component.hbs

would let me do {{todos/todo-list}}

@varblob
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varblob commented Mar 26, 2015

@samselikoff
I'm curious how pods + no resource in the router + models in the pod.

For example

this.route('potato', function(){
  this.route('tomato')
});

would have pod structure

/pods/potato/tomato

but if I create a tomato model it will go into

pods/tomato/model.js

Which means the model doesn't live with its tomato friends.

@samselikoff
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samselikoff commented Mar 27, 2015

@varblob My current thinking is, don't put models in pods. Pods should be classes directly related to your UI hierarchy (since the hierarchical structure of your directory matches the hierarchical structure of your UI) - essentially, routes, components, and templates (and controllers for now). Models are your data layer + are shared throughout the UI. So, I keep my models in /app/models.

@tolgaek
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tolgaek commented Apr 2, 2015

Dealing with the 'loading' issue right now. We have the set up outlined above. We have an index page that has 4 components that get assigned from 4 models we load through the use of Ember.RSVP. The issue is we have to wait to load all the 4 models. And using the 'loading' template, we can show a loading screen for the whole page. What I would like to do is show the loading pages independently for each component. So we would load the componens and show 'loading' within them.

One solution I can think of is to inject 'store' into the components and treat them like 'routable components' and assign them each a model (which gets passed down as a string -model name-) Then components can load their models using the model name sent down from the Router -> Template and use a component for the loading spinner display.

@samselikoff you have been guiding me through your past posts on my attempt to fully implement our current site with Ember 2.0 way. Can you shine some light into this discussion?

@ultimatemonty
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ultimatemonty commented Apr 8, 2015

Placing everything on the attrs hash makes the Inspector unable see any models and - as far I can tell - there isn't an easy way to inspect components at this time. You can always echo the attrs hash to the console from the Controller view but it's not nearly as friendly.

I've moved to using model and attrs in my controllers. Model is obvious and enables me to still easily use the inspector and anything else is going on the attrs hash. Seem like a decent compromise to keep Inspector easy to use?

@holandes22
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holandes22 commented Apr 15, 2015

A great video here by Edward Faulkner about the planned features and the deprecations towards the Ember 2.0.0 release.

Not strictly related to this discussion, but describes very well when each feature will land, so I'm sharing here: https://youtu.be/wsydQzQF4Ww

@umpri5450
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umpri5450 commented May 5, 2015

Hi!

I'm a padawan who started learning ember quite a recently..

I would like to know why should we just use this.route instead of this.resource to prepare for Ember 2.0?? as far as I know, we should use 'resource' for nouns (photos,contacts etc) and 'route for verbs and adjectives ('modify', 'update' etc)

@jakedetels
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jakedetels commented May 8, 2015

@umpri5450: According to @ebryn, this.resource will be deprecated in Ember 1.12, so we should only use this.route. Apparently, you can pass the resetNamespace: true property to the route options if you need to reset the route's namespace (as resources would do by default).

@ekanna
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ekanna commented May 9, 2015

@samselikoff

My current thinking is, don't put models in pods. Pods should be classes directly related to your UI hierarchy (since the hierarchical structure of your directory matches the hierarchical structure of your UI) - essentially, routes, components, and templates (and controllers for now). Models are your data layer + are shared throughout the UI. So, I keep my models in /app/models.

Great advice. Thanks a lot. It really made my day!

@drewbaker
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drewbaker commented May 10, 2015

I've refactored away from controllers, and I have to say Ember make s a lot more sense to me now!

But in this new "no Views" world, but still without an Application Component yet, how do you recommend we do this:

Once a route has been activated/transitioned too, resize a containing DIV to the window size. If we had an Application Component, you'd do this with didInsertElement, and currently we do it in the application View (ApplicationView).

Do we just wait for Application Component's with 2.0?

@blessanm86
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blessanm86 commented May 17, 2015

@drewbaker Why not put a component in the routes template and inside it's didInsertElement resize your containing div. ember-worm hole uses this approach where it insert its child to another destination.

But using an event bus would also seem to be a solution. http://www.thesoftwaresimpleton.com/blog/2015/04/27/event-bus/

@blessanm86
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blessanm86 commented May 17, 2015

@samselikoff can you elaborate on what you do to handle this point Stay away from two-way bindings and mutability

@EmergentBehavior
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EmergentBehavior commented Jun 19, 2015

In your route, I think the Ember 2.0 way to fetch all records for a model is now findAll instead of find.

@broerse
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broerse commented Jul 15, 2015

I just changed from ArrayController to Controller and got it to work again but I now get .createWithMixins is deprecated, please use .create or .extend accordingly but I can't find how to do it. Can somebody point me to an example or take a look at my code:

  arrangedContent: function() {
    return Ember.ArrayProxy.createWithMixins(Ember.SortableMixin, {
      sortProperties: ['date'],
      sortAscending: false,
      content: this.get('model')
    });
  }.property('model'),

@koriroys
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koriroys commented Jul 16, 2015

@broerse I think you can just do:

  arrangedContent: function() {
    return Ember.ArrayProxy.extend(Ember.SortableMixin).create({
      sortProperties: ['date'],
      sortAscending: false,
      content: this.get('model')
    });
  }.property('model'),

@broerse
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broerse commented Jul 16, 2015

@koriroys This was just what solved it. Many thanks!

@dangreenisrael
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dangreenisrael commented Aug 6, 2015

@koriroys Saved my day, thanks!!!!

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