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useReducer is underrated

December 23, 2022

useReducer is a hook from React, similar to useState but gives you more control to manage the state. It takes a reducer function and initial state as arguments and returns the current state and method to update the state:

const [state, dispatch] = useReducer(reducerFn, initialState)

This is a pattern taken from the Redux, that's why the updater function is usually called dispatch. The reducer function is a pure function that takes the current state and the action as arguments and returns the new state:

(prevState, action) => newState

Most of the time, the action is an object with a type property, but it can be anything. This is why it is a more superior way to handle the state than useState because it gives you more control over the state and it's more predictable.

Using useReducer as replacement of useState it is as easier than grouping multiple related useState hooks into a useReducer:

// Separated useState hooks
const [words, setWords] = useState(0);
const [author, setAuthor] = useState('');
const [title, setTitle] = useState('');
const [updatedAt, setUpdatedAt] = useState();

// Single useReducer hook
const [book, updateBook] = useReducer((state:State, payload:Partial<State>):State => {
  return {
}, { words: 0, author: '', title: '', updatedAt: undefined });

To update the book state, you can use the updateBook function, and unlike useState you can pass an object with multiple properties to update at once:

updateBook({ words: 1000, author: 'David' });

The useReducer hook is a great way to centralize the state management and ensures the data integrity easier no matter where the update state function is called from:

const [book, updateBook] = useReducer((state, payload) => {
  const newState = {
    updatedAt: new Date()

  newState.author = newState.author.trim();
  newState.title = newState.title.trim();

  return newState;
}, { words: 0, author: '', title: '', updatedAt: undefined });

I know you all love your useStates, but let's admit it, useReducer is better, in fact useState is a simplified useReducer as technically it is useReducer under the hood.