javascript

html

reactjs

jsx

file-type

There is something I find very confusing when working in React.js.

There are plenty of examples available on internet which use .js files with React but many others use .jsx files.

I have read about JSX files and my understanding is that they just let you write HTML tags within your JavaScript. But the same thing can be written in JS files as well.

So what is the actual difference between .js and .jsx ?

Solution 1

There is none when it comes to file extensions. Your bundler/transpiler/whatever takes care of resolving what type of file contents there is.

There are however some other considerations when deciding what to put into a .js or a .jsx file type. Since JSX isn't standard JavaScript one could argue that anything that is not "plain" JavaScript should go into its own extensions ie., .jsx for JSX and .ts for TypeScript for example.

There's a good discussion here available for read

Solution 2

In most of the cases its only a need for the transpiler/bundler, which might not be configured to work with JSX files, but with JS! So you are forced to use JS files instead of JSX.

And since react is just a library for javascript, it makes no difference for you to choose between JSX or JS. Theyre completely interchangeable!

In some cases users/developers might also choose JSX over JS, because of code highlighting, but the most of the newer editors are also viewing the react syntax correctly in JS files.

Solution 3

JSX tags (<Component/>) are clearly not standard javascript and have no special meaning if you put them inside a naked <script> tag for example. Hence all React files that contain them are JSX and not JS.

By convention, the entry point of a React application is usually .js instead of .jsx even though it contains React components. It could as well be .jsx. Any other JSX files usually have the .jsx extension.

In any case, the reason there is ambiguity is because ultimately the extension does not matter much since the transpiler happily munches any kinds of files as long as they are actually JSX.

My advice would be: don't worry about it.

Solution 4

As other mentioned JSX is not a standard Javascript extension. It's better to name your entry point of Application based on .js and for the rest components, you can use .jsx.

I have an important reason for why I'm using .JSX for all component's file names. Actually, In a large scale project with huge bunch of code, if we set all React's component with .jsx extension, It'll be easier while navigating to different javascript files across the project(like helpers, middleware, etc.) and you know this is a React Component and not other types of the javascript file.

Solution 5

As already mentioned, there is no difference, if you create a file with .jsx or .js.

I would like to bring another expect of creating the files as .jsx while creating a component.

This is not mandatory, but an architectural approach that we can follow. So, in large projects we divide our components as Presentational components or Container components. Just to brief, in container components we write the logic to get data for the component and render the Presentational component with props. In presentational components, we usually donot write functional logic, presentational components are used to represent the UI with required props.

So, if you check the definition on JSX in React documents.

It says,

 const element = <h1>Hello, world!</h1>;

It is called JSX, and it is a syntax extension to JavaScript. We recommend using it with React to describe what the UI should look like. JSX may remind you of a template language, but it comes with the full power of JavaScript.

JSX produces React elements. Instead of artificially separating technologies by putting markup and logic in separate files, React separates concerns with loosely coupled units called components that contain both.

React doesnt require using JSX, but most people find it helpful as a visual aid when working with UI inside the JavaScript code. It also allows React to show more useful error and warning messages.

It means, It's not mandatory but you can think of creating presentational components with '.jsx' as it actually binds the props with the UI. and container components, as .js files as those contains logic to get the data.

It's a convention that you can follow while creating the .jsx or .js files, to logically and physically separate the code.

Solution 6

Besides the mentioned fact that JSX tags are not standard javascript, the reason I use .jsx extension is because with it Emmet still works in the editor - you know, that useful plugin that expands html code, for example ul>li into

<ul>
  <li></li>
</ul>

Solution 7

JSX isn't standard JavaScript, based to Airbnb style guide 'eslint' could consider this pattern

// filename: MyComponent.js
function MyComponent() {
  return <div />;
}

as a warning, if you named your file MyComponent.jsx it will pass , unless if you edit the eslint rule you can check the style guide here

Solution 8

Why JSX? React embraces the fact that rendering logic is inherently coupled with other UI logic: how events are handled, how the state changes over time, and how the data is prepared for display.

Instead of artificially separating technologies by putting markup and logic in separate files, React separates concerns with loosely coupled units called components that contain both. We will come back to components in a further section, but if youre not yet comfortable putting markup in JS, this talk might convince you otherwise.

React doesnt require using JSX, but most people find it helpful as a visual aid when working with UI inside the JavaScript code. It also allows React to show more useful error and warning messages.

For more information please check React documentation about JSX. https://reactjs.org/docs/introducing-jsx.html