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Wed Aug 12 2020 -

FastComments Goes React

! This Article Contains Technical Jargon

What's New

FastComments now has a React component that's at feature-parity with our VanillaJS widget.

We decided to call the library fastcomments-react. You can find the GitHub repository with the source code here.

The repository also contains example usage of the widget.

It's on NPM, which you can find here.

How it Works

The way this new component works is that the React component is a wrapper around the existing FastComments widget.

This means if we add features to our existing components or fix bugs you'll still benefit right away!

Why The New Component?

We wrote the FastComments VanillaJS widget to be the core of our business (along with the core backend). This means we designed it to be extended just the way we are now.

While without this new React library, you could have integrated FastComments into your application by writing your own library, it would have been a major hurdle of adoption. By supporting React directly we make adopting FastComments much easier for these types of customers.

Single Page Applications?

FastComments supports SPAs at its core. The component monitors changes to the config object - so if you update the current page (called urlId) the widget will re-render.

What Changes for Existing Customers

Nothing changes for existing customers - and there's nothing wrong with using the VanillaJS version of FastComments for new projects. fastcomments-react depends on the VanillaJS version of FastComments and always will. If we release Angular or Vue components, we'll follow the same model.

Our VanillaJS widget is a first-class citizen of FastComments. This release is completely additive to our infrastructure.

Additionally, the VanillaJS widget still remains a great solution for dropping embedded comments into any web page that isn't using a framework, like a static page.

In Conclusion

By releasing the fastcomments-react library, and future libraries, we hope that we can make it easier for developers to adopt FastComments while using modern development methodologies.