Ember Best Practices

Component Development

Future Topics

  • Testing (next week!)
  • Form Development
  • Engines
  • Ember Data
  • ...

A Brief Plug

Join the new EmberJS group

  • Share links
  • Solicit reviews
  • Find out about events
  • discuss patterns

About Best Practices

I'm sharing the "ideal" way to do this

Ember gives you freedom to break from this

Good thing/Bad thing (react)

Pragmatism on Legacy Code

That said when you can, start with good practices

don't stray too far off the yellow brick road

When To Use Components

Provide Isolation


Simplify Markup


Single Responsibility Principle

Think through reuse

even if you don't forsee it

Data Down Actions Up (DDAU)

Data Flows Down Via Attribute Binding

Binding Tips

keep data up high

Ember is optimized for fast rendering when data changes

Use computed properties to massage data for display

Use lifecycle rules to take actions based on bound attribute updates

Actions are invoked Upward Via Closure Actions

Action Tips

They are essentailly callbacks

Data Down Actions Down?

Return promises to handle async results

The action helper provides rich features

invoking an action from hash vs attrs

calls sendMessage on the component's action hash

            {{action "sendMessage" myMessage}}

calls sendMessage passed in through attrs

            {{action sendMessage myMessage}}

Action Currying

Action arguments don't need to be provided at bottom. You can tag on args as you pass the action down


              {{child-component sendMessage=(action sendMessage "info")}}

Parent Component

//sendMessage("info", "hello!") called on parent

Action Destructuring

a child component may not know what the parent wants.

The action helper can take what it needs from an argument.


<input value={{currentValue}}
  oninput={{action (mut currentValue) value="target.value"}}>

Basic Component Patterns

Pure Presentation Components

  • Purely Functional - set of inputs always create the same markup
  • Most Testable - Inputs always produce the same outputs
  • Example: An individual Chat Message

Pure Block Components

  • Can be purely functional: set of inputs create the same yielded data
  • Does data transformation
  • Yields data to a block
  • May not have a dom element at root
  • Creates a logic/display separation
  • Example: results list/paginator


a component can yield data through its template.



{{yield (hash body=(component editStyle postData=postData) author=author submit=submit)}}

yielded data is used within the scope of the block

{{#blog-post editStyle="markdown" as |post|}}
  <p class="author">by {{post.author}}</p>
  {{post.body editStyle="compact"}}
  <button {{action post.submit}}>Submit</button>

Coordinating Components

  • Top level component for a complex widget
  • May keep state or interact with a service
  • Example: Chat Pane

Reacting to Change

The DDAU Way

  • Data Binding
  • Computed Properties
  • Lifecycle Rules


  • Live across routes for the life of the app
  • Injected in container managed objects
  • keep references as high
  • Not a magic pill!

Observers as Last Resort

  • Observers fire immediately, and are eager.
  • lots of pitfalls
  • while computeds/lifecycle rules run within the component lifecycle
  • Still cases where you need them, but exhaust the alternatives first
  • get a second opinion!

Observer swear jar

Component Smells

  • Component Giants
  • Too many attrs
  • Observers
  • Side effects (especially at lower levels)

A Few Parting DDAU Tips

  • Generally a good idea to push state as high as you can
  • Keep components as pure functions where you can

Further reading/listening