Reselect - selector that invokes another selector?

I have a selector:

const someSelector = createSelector(
   getUserIdsSelector,
   (ids) => ids.map((id) => yetAnotherSelector(store, id),
);                                      //     ^^^^^ (yetAnotherSelector expects 2 args)

That yetAnotherSelector is another selector, that takes user id - id and returns some data.

However, since it's createSelector, I don't have access to store in it (I don't want it as a function because the memoization wouldn't work then).

Is there a way to access store somehow inside createSelector? Or is there any other way to deal with it?

EDIT:

I have a function:

const someFunc = (store, id) => {
    const data = userSelector(store, id);
              // ^^^^^^^^^^^^ global selector
    return data.map((user) => extendUserDataSelector(store, user));
                       //     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ selector
}

Such function is killing my app, causing everything to re-render and driving me nuts. Help appreciated.

!! However:

I have done some basic, custom memoization:

import { isEqual } from 'lodash';

const memoizer = {};
const someFunc = (store, id) => {
    const data = userSelector(store, id);
    if (id in memoizer && isEqual(data, memoizer(id)) {
       return memoizer[id];
    }

    memoizer[id] = data;
    return memoizer[id].map((user) => extendUserDataSelector(store, user));
}

And it does the trick, but isn't it just a workaround?

Answers:

Answer

Preface

I faced the same case as yours, and unfortunately didn't find an efficient way to call a selector from another selector's body.

I said efficient way, because you can always have an input selector, which passes down the whole state (store), but this will recalculate your selector on each state's changes:

const someSelector = createSelector(
   getUserIdsSelector,
   state => state,
   (ids, state) => ids.map((id) => yetAnotherSelector(state, id)
)

Approaches

However, I found out two possible approaches, for the use-case described below. I guess your case is similar, so you can take some insights.

So the case is as follows: You have a selector, that gets a specific User from the Store by an id, and the selector returns the User in a specific structure. Let's say getUserById selector. For now everything's fine and simple as possible. But the problem occurs when you want to get several Users by their ids and also reuse the previous selector. Let's name it getUsersByIds selector.

1. Using always an Array, for input ids values

The first possible solution is to have a selector that always expects an array of ids (getUsersByIds) and a second one, that reuses the previous, but it will get only 1 User (getUserById). So when you want to get only 1 User from the Store, you have to use getUserById, but you have to pass an array with only one user id.

Here's the implementation:

import { createSelectorCreator, defaultMemoize } from 'reselect'
import { isEqual } from 'lodash'

/**
 * Create a "selector creator" that uses `lodash.isEqual` instead of `===`
 *
 * Example use case: when we pass an array to the selectors,
 * they are always recalculated, because the default `reselect` memoize function
 * treats the arrays always as new instances.
 *
 * @credits https://github.com/reactjs/reselect#customize-equalitycheck-for-defaultmemoize
 */
const createDeepEqualSelector = createSelectorCreator(
  defaultMemoize,
  isEqual
)

export const getUsersIds = createDeepEqualSelector(
  (state, { ids }) => ids), ids => ids)

export const getUsersByIds = createSelector(state => state.users, getUsersIds,
  (users, userIds) => {
    return userIds.map(id => ({ ...users[id] })
  }
)

export const getUserById = createSelector(getUsersByIds, users => users[0])

Usage:

// Get 1 User by id
const user = getUserById(state, { ids: [1] })

// Get as many Users as you want by ids
const users = getUsersByIds(state, { ids: [1, 2, 3] }) 

2. Reuse selector's body, as a stand-alone function

The idea here is to separate the common and reusable part of the selector body in a stand-alone function, so this function to be callable from all other selectors.

Here's the implementation:

export const getUsersByIds = createSelector(state => state.users, getUsersIds,
  (users, userIds) => {
    return userIds.map(id => _getUserById(users, id))
  }
)

export const getUserById = createSelector(state => state.users, (state, props) => props.id, _getUserById)

const _getUserById = (users, id) => ({ ...users[id]})

Usage:

// Get 1 User by id
const user = getUserById(state, { id: 1 })

// Get as many Users as you want by ids
const users = getUsersByIds(state, { ids: [1, 2, 3] }) 

Conclusion

Approach #1. has less boilerplate (we don't have a stand-alone function) and has clean implementation.

Approach #2. is more reusable. Imagine the case, where we don't have an User's id when we call a selector, but we get it from the selector's body as a relation. In that case, we can easily reuse the stand-alone function. Here's ? pseudo example:

export const getBook = createSelector(state => state.books, state => state.users, (state, props) => props.id,
(books, users, id) => {
  const book = books[id]
  // Here we have the author id (User's id)
  // and out goal is to reuse `getUserById()` selector body,
  // so our solution is to reuse the stand-alone `_getUserById` function.
  const authorId = book.authorId
  const author = _getUserById(users, authorId)

  return {
    ...book,
    author
  }
}
Answer

A problem we faced when using reselect is that there is no support for dynamic dependency tracking. A selector needs to declare upfront which parts of the state will cause a recomputation.

For example, I have a list of online user IDs, and a mapping of users:

{
  onlineUserIds: [ 'alice', 'dave' ],
  notifications: [ /* unrelated data */ ]
  users: {
    alice: { name: 'Alice' },
    bob: { name: 'Bob' },
    charlie: { name: 'Charlie' },
    dave: { name: 'Dave' },
    eve: { name: 'Eve' }
  }
}

I want to select a list of online users, e.g. [ { name: 'Alice' }, { name: 'Dave' } ].

Since I cannot know upfront which users will be online, I need to declare a dependency on the whole state.users branch of the store:

Example 1

This works, but this means that changes to unrelated users (bob, charlie, eve) will cause the selector to be recomputed.

I believe this is a problem in reselect’s fundamental design choice: dependencies between selectors are static. (In contrast, Knockout, Vue and MobX do support dynamic dependencies.)

We faced the same problem and we came up with @taskworld.com/rereselect. Instead of declaring dependencies upfront and statically, dependencies are collected just-in-time and dynamically during each computation:

Example 2

This allows our selectors to have a more fine-grained control of which part of state can cause a selector to be recomputed.

Answer

For Your someFunc Case

For your specific case, I would create a selector that itself returns an extender.

That is, for this:

const someFunc = (store, id) => {
    const data = userSelector(store, id);
              // ^^^^^^^^^^^^ global selector
    return data.map((user) => extendUserDataSelector(store, user));
                       //     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ selector
}

I would write:

const extendUserDataSelectorSelector = createSelector(
  selectStuffThatExtendUserDataSelectorNeeds,
  (state) => state.something.else.it.needs,
  (stuff, somethingElse) =>
    // This function will be cached as long as
    // the results of the above two selectors
    // does not change, same as with any other cached value.
    (user) => {
      // your magic goes here.
      return {
        // ... user with stuff and somethingElse
      };
    }
);

Then someFunc would become:

const someFunc = createSelector(
  userSelector,
  extendUserDataSelectorSelector,
  // I prefix injected functions with a $.
  // It's not really necessary.
  (data, $extendUserDataSelector) =>
    data.map($extendUserDataSelector)
);

I call it the reifier pattern because it creates a function that is pre-bound to the current state and which accepts a single input and reifies it. I usually used it with getting things by id, hence the use of "reify". I also like saying "reify", which is honestly the main reason I call it that.

For your However Case

In this case:

import { isEqual } from 'lodash';

const memoizer = {};
const someFunc = (store, id) => {
    const data = userSelector(store, id);
    if (id in memoizer && isEqual(data, memoizer(id)) {
       return memoizer[id];
    }

    memoizer[id] = data;
    return memoizer[id].map((user) => extendUserDataSelector(store, user));
}

That's basically what re-reselect does. You may wish to consider that if you plan on implementing per-id memoization at the global level.

import createCachedSelector from 're-reselect';

const someFunc = createCachedSelector(
  userSelector,
  extendUserDataSelectorSelector,
  (data, $extendUserDataSelector) =>
    data.map($extendUserDataSelector)
// NOTE THIS PART DOWN HERE!
// This is how re-reselect gets the cache key.
)((state, id) => id);

Or you can just wrap up your memoized-multi-selector-creator with a bow and call it createCachedSelector, since it's basically the same thing.

Edit: Why Returning Functions

Another way you can do this is to just select all the appropriate data needed to run the extendUserDataSelector calculation, but this means exposing every other function that wants to use that calculation to its interface. By returning a function that accepts just a single user base-datum, you can keep the other selectors' interfaces clean.

Edit: Regarding Collections

One thing the above implementation is currently vulnerable to is if extendUserDataSelectorSelector's output changes because its own dependency-selectors change, but the user data gotten by userSelector did not change, and neither did actual computed entities created by extendUserDataSelectorSelector. In those cases, you'll need to do two things:

  1. Multi-memoize the function that extendUserDataSelectorSelector returns. I recommend extracting it to a separate globally-memoized function.
  2. Wrap someFunc so that when it returns an array, it compares that array element-wise to the previous result, and if they have the same elements, returns the previous result.

Edit: Avoiding So Much Caching

Caching at the global level is certainly doable, as shown above, but you can avoid that if you approach the problem with a couple other strategies in mind:

  1. Don't eagerly extend data, defer that to each React (or other view) component that's actually rendering the data itself.
  2. Don't eagerly convert lists of ids/base-objects into extended versions, rather have parents pass those ids/base-objects to children.

I didn't follow those at first in one of my major work projects, and wish I had. As it is, I had to instead go the global-memoization route later since that was easier to fix than refactoring all the views, something which should be done but which we currently lack time/budget for.

Edit 2 (or 4 I guess?): Re-Regarding Collections pt. 1: Multi-Memoizing the Extender

NOTE: Before you go through this part, it presumes that the Base Entity being passed to the Extender will have some sort of id property that can be used to identify it uniquely, or that some sort of similar property can be derived from it cheaply.

For this, you memoize the Extender itself, in a manner similar to any other Selector. However, since you want the Extender to memoize on its arguments, you don't want to pass State directly to it.

Basically, you need a Multi-Memoizer that basically acts in the same manner as re-reselect does for Selectors. In fact, it's trivial to punch createCachedSelector into doing that for us:

function cachedMultiMemoizeN(n, cacheKeyFn, fn) {
  return createCachedSelector(
    // NOTE: same as [...new Array(n)].map((e, i) => Lodash.nthArg(i))
    [...new Array(n)].map((e, i) => (...args) => args[i]),
    fn
  )(cacheKeyFn);
}

function cachedMultiMemoize(cacheKeyFn, fn) {
  return cachedMultiMemoizeN(fn.length, cacheKeyFn, fn);
}

Then instead of the old extendUserDataSelectorSelector:

const extendUserDataSelectorSelector = createSelector(
  selectStuffThatExtendUserDataSelectorNeeds,
  (state) => state.something.else.it.needs,
  (stuff, somethingElse) =>
    // This function will be cached as long as
    // the results of the above two selectors
    // does not change, same as with any other cached value.
    (user) => {
      // your magic goes here.
      return {
        // ... user with stuff and somethingElse
      };
    }
);

We have these two functions:

// This is the main caching workhorse,
// creating a memoizer per `user.id`
const extendUserData = cachedMultiMemoize(
  // Or however else you get globally unique user id.
  (user) => user.id,
  function $extendUserData(user, stuff, somethingElse) {
    // your magic goes here.
    return {
      // ...user with stuff and somethingElse
    };
  }
);

// This is still wrapped in createSelector mostly as a convenience.
// It doesn't actually help much with caching.
const extendUserDataSelectorSelector = createSelector(
  selectStuffThatExtendUserDataSelectorNeeds,
  (state) => state.something.else.it.needs,
  (stuff, somethingElse) =>
    // This function will be cached as long as
    // the results of the above two selectors
    // does not change, same as with any other cached value.
    (user) => extendUserData(
      user,
      stuff,
      somethingElse
    )
);

That extendUserData is where the real caching occurs, though fair warning: if you have a lot of baseUser entities, it could grow pretty large.

Edit 2 (or 4 I guess?): Re-Regarding Collections pt. 2: Arrays

Arrays are the bane of caching existence:

  1. arrayOfSomeIds may itself not change, but the entities that the ids within point to could have.
  2. arrayOfSomeIds might be a new object in memory, but in reality has the same ids.
  3. arrayOfSomeIds did not change, but the collection holding the referred-to entities did change, yet the particular entities referred to by these specific ids did not change.

That all is why I advocate for delegating the extension/expansion/reification/whateverelseification of arrays (and other collections!) to as late in the data-getting-deriving-view-rendering process as possible: It's a pain in the amygdala to have to consider all of this.

That said, it's not impossible, it just incurs some extra checking.

Starting with the above cached version of someFunc:

const someFunc = createCachedSelector(
  userSelector,
  extendUserDataSelectorSelector,
  (data, $extendUserDataSelector) =>
    data.map($extendUserDataSelector)
// NOTE THIS PART DOWN HERE!
// This is how re-reselect gets the cache key.
)((state, id) => id);

We can then wrap it in another function that just caches the output:

function keepLastIfEqualBy(isEqual) {
  return function $keepLastIfEqualBy(fn) {
    let lastValue;

    return function $$keepLastIfEqualBy(...args) {
      const nextValue = fn(...args);
      if (! isEqual(lastValue, nextValue)) {
        lastValue = nextValue;
      }
      return lastValue;
    };
  };
}

function isShallowArrayEqual(a, b) {
  if (a === b) return true;
  if (Array.isArray(a) && Array.isArray(b)) {
    if (a.length !== b.length) return false;
    // NOTE: calling .every on an empty array always returns true.
    return a.every((e, i) => e === b[i]);
  }
  return false;
}

Now, we can't just apply this to the result of createCachedSelector, that'd only apply to just one set of outputs. Rather, we need to use it for each underlying selector that createCachedSelector creates. Fortunately, re-reselect lets you configure the selector creator it uses:

const someFunc = createCachedSelector(
  userSelector,
  extendUserDataSelectorSelector,
  (data, $extendUserDataSelector) =>
    data.map($extendUserDataSelector)
)((state, id) => id,
  // NOTE: Second arg to re-reselect: options object.
  {
    // Wrap each selector that createCachedSelector itself creates.
    selectorCreator: (...args) =>
      keepLastIfEqualBy(isShallowArrayEqual)(createSelector(...args)),
  }
)

Bonus Part: Array Inputs

You may have noticed that we only check array outputs, covering cases 1 and 3, which may be good enough. Sometimes, however, you may need catch case 2, as well, checking the input array. This is doable by using reselect's createSelectorCreator to make our own createSelector using a custom equality function

import { createSelectorCreator, defaultMemoize } from 'reselect';

const createShallowArrayKeepingSelector = createSelectorCreator(
  defaultMemoize,
  isShallowArrayEqual
);

// Also wrapping with keepLastIfEqualBy() for good measure.
const createShallowArrayAwareSelector = (...args) =>
  keepLastIfEqualBy(
    isShallowArrayEqual
  )(
    createShallowArrayKeepingSelector(...args)
  );

// Or, if you have lodash available,
import compose from 'lodash/fp/compose';
const createShallowArrayAwareSelector = compose(
  keepLastIfEqualBy(isShallowArrayEqual),
  createSelectorCreator(defaultMemoize, isShallowArrayEqual)
);

This further changes the someFunc definition, though just by changing the selectorCreator:

const someFunc = createCachedSelector(
  userSelector,
  extendUserDataSelectorSelector,
  (data, $extendUserDataSelector) =>
    data.map($extendUserDataSelector)
)((state, id) => id, {
  selectorCreator: createShallowArrayAwareSelector,
});

Other Thoughts

That all said, you should try taking a look at what shows up in npm when you search for reselect and re-reselect. Some new tools there that may or may not be useful to certain cases. You can do a lot with just reselect and re-reselect plus a few extra functions to fit your needs, though.

Answer

Recompute is an alternative to reselect that implements dynamic dependency tracking and allows any number of arguments to be passed to the selector, you could check if this would solve your problem

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