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15. Media Library - PropTypes

· 3 min read
Peter Dyer

All the way back in post 1 (Dev setup) in this blog series I talked about types and I said I was not going to use prop-types. I've had a change or heart, when working on the previous post (State Login) I ran into an issue that would have been easily found had I been using prop-types. So, as an agile, pragmatic developer I always reserve the right to change me mind and I will be using prop-types going forward.


prop-types simply provides a mechanism to define the type of props being used by a component. We will then get warning if the types being used don't match the definition. The argument for not using prop-types is to use a type safe language, like TypeScript. I've said my piece on that subject previously but basically I decided against TypeScript for this project to maximize speed and reduce friction around using the new React capabilities (primarily hooks).

My specific motivation to add prop-types to this project came when I forgot to swap out my Login component for my LoginContainer component. This meant I was trying to use props that didn't really exist. This would have been caught instantly if I was using prop-types.

Walk Through

To start, I'm going to install prop-types.

npm install --save prop-types

Next, I'm adding a rule to my linter so that it let's me know when I've forgotten to use prop-types in a component.

"react/prop-types": [1]

Now, if I open Login.js my linter points out the points out the fact that I am missing prop validation. So, I am going to add it.

import PropTypes from 'prop-types';
Login.propTypes = {
error: PropTypes.string.isRequired,
loading: PropTypes.bool.isRequired,
user: PropTypes.object.isRequired,
boundAuthenticate: PropTypes.func.isRequired

Now, I need to include these props wherever I use the Login component (like in the tests).

user={{ userId: '', token: '' }}
boundAuthenticate={() => {}}

Similarly, I updated LoginForm.jsx to include prop-types.

When making these changes I ran into an issue that I have seen before. prop-types doesn't handle null values well (in my opinion). I changed our auth reducer to set error to an empty string instead of null.

There is one bit of cleanup I also took care of. I had named a couple of our recent components .js instead of .jsx,


The changes in this post where pretty simple. In the next couple of posts we will continue to wire our register and forgot password capabilities to the store.