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React Tutorial

React Without JSX


JSX is not a requirement for using React. Using React without JSX is especially convenient when you don't want to set up compilation in your build environment.

Each JSX element is just syntactic sugar for calling React.createElement(component, props, ...children). So, anything you can do with JSX can also be done with just plain JavaScript.

For example, this code written with JSX:

class Hello extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <div>Hello {this.props.toWhat}</div>;
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(
  <Hello toWhat="World" />,
  document.getElementById('root')
);

can be compiled to this code that does not use JSX:

class Hello extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return React.createElement('div', null, `Hello ${this.props.toWhat}`);
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(
  React.createElement(Hello, {toWhat: 'World'}, null),
  document.getElementById('root')
);

The component can either be provided as a string, or as a subclass of React.Component, or a plain function for stateless components.

If you get tired of typing React.createElement so much, one common pattern is to assign a shorthand:

const e = React.createElement;

ReactDOM.render(
  e('div', null, 'Hello World'),
  document.getElementById('root')
);

If you use this shorthand form for React.createElement, it can be almost as convenient to use React without JSX.

Alternatively, you can refer to community projects such as react-hyperscript and hyperscript-helpers which offer a terser syntax.