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Enums in React

 •  Filed under react, javascript

I wrote a component that held an Enum, made in the popularly-recommended fashion, as state:

const MyEnum = Object.freeze({
    FOO: Symbol('foo'),
    BAR: Symbol('bar'),
})

class MyThing extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props)
    this.state = { enumValue = MyEnum.FOO }
  }
  
  render() {
    return({
      this.state.enumValue === MyEnum.FOO ?
        <p>I pity the foo</p> :
        this.state.enumValue === MyEnum.BAR ?
          <p>I pity the bar</p> :
          <p>I pity myself</p>
    })
  }
}

and suddenly my app was breaking on hot-reloads, and I had written pitiably broken code! It seemed like the state was somehow becoming invalid whenever a hot reload happened.

This is because the hot reloader preserves the state, but every time the component is reloaded, our ES6 engine generates a new unique value for each Symbol, so the comparison this.state.enumValue === MyEnum.FOO is comparing an old value of MyEnum.FOO to the current one, yeilding false. So use an enum with deterministic values, like, say,

const MyEnum = Object.freeze({
    FOO: Symbol.for('foo'),
    BAR: Symbol.for('bar'),
})