Creating forms in React or ReactJS can require a significant amount of code, depending on what you need and how you want to manage each form field. As a result, developers are always on the lookout for tools that make their lives easier. One such tool is Formik in React. Forms in React using Formik do a lot more with a lot less. We will discuss what Formik is and why you should use it for your web and mobile web applications.
What is Formik in React?
Formik is a free and open source, lightweight library for ReactJS or React Native and addresses three key pain points of form creation:
- How the form state is manipulated.
- How form validation and error messages are handled.
- How form submission is handled.
The Formik library was written by Jared Palmer out of his frustration when building React forms, seeking to standardize the input components and flow of form submission. The idea was to keep things organized and in one place, simplifying testing, refactoring, and reasoning about your forms.
Decreased Latency over Redux Form
The goal of Formik in ReactJS is to provide a scalable and performant form helper with a very minimal API. There are other tools for managing forms in React, like Redux Form. While it is undoubtedly a great tool that a lot of developers use, there are some drawbacks.
One drawback to Redux Form has to do with the use of reducers. In Redux, a reducer is a function that takes the current state and an action as arguments and returns a new state as a result. In the ReactJS form, the complete top-level reducer is called multiple times for every keystroke.
For smaller applications, this kind of call to the reducer for each keystroke is not a factor. However, as the application gets larger, latency is inevitable and will continue to grow.
Only for React and React Native
As with any tool, there are some drawbacks. One main disadvantage is that Formik is only usable in ReactJS and React Native (the entire framework with React at the center). So, if you create your forms in another language or use another framework, Formik will not be usable.
Controlled Components Cause Re-rendering
Another potential drawback is the controlled nature of the components. Components are handled this way natively to ReactJS and React Native. Though each keystroke is not called to the reducer like Redux Form, they are re-rendered according to the state.
Custom form validation is not for everyone. Depending on how you develop your applications, writing your own validation code or using an external validation library (such as Yup) can be a downside.
For those creating forms in React, Formik is a viable library. Formik in React helps achieve simpler state management, form submission, validation, and error message handling. In addition, it is flexible and has lower latency than Redux Form.
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