react-pacomo disentangles your React CSS by automatically prefixing className props with a pacomo namespace.

A what namespace?

A pacomo, or package-Component-modifier namespace.

Put simply, this package will prefix your className props with the name of your package, and the name of the component in which the className is found:

applicationName-ComponentName-className

Installation

npm install react-pacomo --save

A simple example

Say you've got a NavItem component which renders some JSX:

class NavItem extends Component {
  render() {
    return <a
      href="/contacts"
      className={`NavItem ${this.props.active ? 'active' : ''}`}
    >
      <Icon className='icon' type={this.props.type} />
      <span className='label'>{this.props.label}</span>
    </a>
  }
}

While this works, it won't work if you ever import a library which defines other styles for .icon, .NavItem, etc. So to make your code more robust, you decide to add pacomo namespacing.

If your app is called unicorn, it'll looks something like this:

class NavItem extends Component {
  render() {
    return <a
      href="/contacts"
      className={`unicorn-NavItem ${this.props.active ? 'unicorn-NavItem-active' : ''}`}
    >
      <Icon className='unicorn-NavItem-icon' type={this.props.type} />
      <span className='unicorn-NavItem-label'>{this.props.label}</span>
    </a>
  }
}

But while your styles are now safe from interference, repeatedly typing long namespaces is downright painful. But luckily, you don't have to! Because with react-pacomotransforming the result of your render method, this will render exactly the same HTML as the above snippet:

@pacomoDecorator
class NavItem extends Component {
  render() {
    return <a
      href="/contacts"
      className=
    >
      <Icon className='icon' type={this.props.type} />
      <span className='label'>{this.props.label}</span>
    </a>
  }
}

And just like that, you'll never have to manually write namespaces again!

Adding react-pacomo to your project

There are two methods for applying automatic namespacing to your components; a decorator function for component classes, and a transformer function used with stateless function components.

Neither of these methods are directly accessible. Instead, react-pacomo exports a withPackageName function which returns an object with decorator and transformer functions scoped to your package:

import { withPackageName } from 'react-pacomo'
const { decorator, transformer } = withPackageName('unicorn')

decorator(ComponentClass)

This function will return a new component which automatically namespaces className props within the wrapped class's render method.

Use it as a wrapper function, or as an ES7 decorator:

// As an ES7 decorator
@decorator
class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  ...
}

// As a wrapper function
var MyComponent = decorator(React.createClass({
  ...
}))

transformer(ComponentFunction)

This function will return a new stateless component function which automatically namespaces className props within the wrapped stateless component function.

const MyComponent = props => { ... }

const WrappedComponent = transformer(MyComponent)

Transformation Details

react-pacomo works by applying a transformation to the ReactElement which your component renders. The rules involved are simple:

Your root element receives the namespace itself as a class

The pacomo guidelines specify that your component's root element must have a CSS class following the format packageName-ComponentName.

For example:

let Wrapper = props => <div {...props}>{props.children}</div>
Wrapper = transformer(Wrapper)

Rendering <Wrapper /> will automatically apply an app-Wrapper CSS class to the rendered <div>.

className is run through the classnames package, then namespaced

This means that you use classnames objects within your className props!

For example:

@decorator
class NavItem extends Component {
  render() {
    return <a
      href={this.props.href}
      className=
    >
  }
}

If this.props.active is true, your element will receive the class app-NavItem-active. If it is false, it won't.

If your component's props contain a className, it is appended as-is

Since any className you to add your returned ReactElement will be automatically namespaced, you can't manually handle props.className. Instead, react-pacomo will automatically append it to your root element's className.

For example, if we used the NavItem component from above within a SideNav component, we could still pass a className to it:

@decorator
class SideNav extends Component {
  render() {
    return <div>
      <NavItem className='contacts' href='/contacts' active={true}>
        Contacts
      </NavItem>
      <NavItem className='projects' href='/projects'>
        Projects
      </NavItem>
    </div>
  }
}

The resulting HTML will look like this:

<div class='app-SideNav'>
  <a className='app-NavItem app-NavItem-active app-SideNav-contacts' href='/contacts'>
    Contacts
  </a>
  <a className='app-NavItem app-SideNav-projects' href='/projects'>
    Projects
  </a>
</div>

Child elements are recursively transformed

The upshot of this is that you can still use className on children. But keep in mind that huge component trees will take time to transform - whether you they need transforming or not.

While it is good practice to keep your components small and to the point anyway, it is especially important if you're using react-pacomo.

Elements found in props of custom components are recursively transformed

Not all elements you create will be appear under another element's children. For example, take this snippet:

<OneOrTwoColumnLayout
  left={<DocumentList className='contact-list' {...props} />}
  right={children}
/>

If we only scanned our rendered element's children, we'd miss the className on the <DocumentList> which we passed to left.

To take care of this, react-pacomo will also recursively transform elements on the props of custom React components. However, it will not look within arrays or objects.

Tips

You only need to call withPackageName once

As you'll likely be using the decorator or transformer functions across most of your components, you can make your life easier by exporting them from a file in your utils directory.

For an example, see utils/pacomo.js in the unicorn-standard-boilerplate project:

import { withPackageName } from 'react-pacomo'

export const {
  decorator: pacomoDecorator,
  transformer: pacomoTransformer,
} = withPackageName('app')

While decorator and transformer are easily understood in the context of an object returned by withPackageName, you'll probably want to rename them for your exports. My convention is to call them pacomoDecorator and pacomoTransformer.

Define displayName on your components

While react-pacomo can detect component names from their component's function or class name property, most minifiers mangle these names by default. This can cause inconsistent behavior between your development and production builds.

The solution to this is to make sure you specify a displayName property on your components. Your displayName is given priority over your function or class name, and it is good practice to define it anyway.

But if you insist that setting displayName is too much effort, make sure to tell your minifier to keep your function names intact. The method varies wildly based on your build system, but on the odd chance you're using UglifyJsPlugin with Wepback, the required configuration will look something like this:

new webpack.optimize.UglifyJsPlugin({
  compressor: {screw_ie8: true, keep_fnames: true, warnings: false},
  mangle: {screw_ie8: true, keep_fnames: true}
})

Use the LESS/SCSS parent selector (&)

While react-pacomo will prevent repetition in your JavaScript, it can't do anything about your CSS.

Luckily, since you're probably already using LESS or SCSS, the solution is simple: begin your selectors with &-.

In practice, this looks something like this:

.app-Paper {
  //...

  &-rounded {
    //...
  }

  &-inner {
    //...
  }

  &-rounded &-inner {
    //...
  }
}

Following the Pacomo CSS Guidelines

Namespacing your classes is the first step to taming your CSS, but it isn't the only one. The Pacomo System provides a number of other guidelines. Read them and use them.

FAQ

Isn't this just BEM?

No.

BEM goes further than react-pacomo by distinguishing between modifiers and elements.

For a BEM-based project, use something like react-bem.

Why should I use react-pacomo over BEM-based modules like react-bem?

Given most React components are very small and have limited scope, BEM is probably overkill. If you find your components are getting big enough that you think it might make sense to distinguish between elements and modifiers (like BEM), you probably should instead focus on re-factoring your app into smaller components.

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