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How to pass parameter from div to class render in ReactJS


Let's start with a familiar scenario: You're learning ReactJS, a JavaScript library that's incredibly popular for building user interfaces, especially for single-page applications. As you're progressing, you reach a point where you need to pass a parameter from a div to a class render. But how do you do this?

This blog post is written with this particular problem in mind. We'll approach it step by step, ensuring you understand the concepts before we dive into the code. Let's get started.

Understanding ReactJS and Components

In ReactJS, everything is a component. Think of these components as Lego blocks. Each block has a specific function, and when they are assembled together, they create a complex structure (your application).

One such Lego block is the div element, a standard HTML element used as a container for other HTML elements. In React, you’ll often use div elements to compose or wrap other components.

Another block is a class component. Before we delve into what a class component is, let’s understand what a class is. In JavaScript, a class is a blueprint for creating objects. A class encapsulates data for the object.

In ReactJS, a class component is a core part of the library that allows us to hold onto data that can change over time, also known as state. This is an essential aspect of programming in ReactJS.

Passing Data in ReactJS

One of the core features in ReactJS is the ability to pass data from one component to another. This is similar to passing a baton in a relay race, where the runners are the components and the baton is the data.

There are two ways to pass data in ReactJS: via props or via state.

Props is short for properties. They are read-only and allow you to pass data from a parent component down to a child component.

State on the other hand, is a data structure that starts with a default value when a component mounts and then suffers mutations in time (mostly generated from user events). It's a serializable* version of the component state, a way of snapshotting the component.

The Challenge: Passing a Parameter from a div to a Class Render

Now that we have a conceptual understanding of what we're dealing with, let's look at the problem at hand.

Imagine we have a div element and we want to pass a parameter, say a string or a number, from this div to the render method of a class component.

First, let's create a class component. We'll call it MyComponent. Inside this component, we'll have a render method. This is where we'll use the parameter we receive.

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  render() {
    // We'll use the parameter here.

Now, let's imagine we have a div that when clicked, calls a function and we want to pass the parameter from this function to the MyComponent class.

<div onClick={this.handleClick}>Click me!</div>

How do we link these together?

The Solution: Using State to Pass Parameters

What we need to do is to use the state in the class component to hold the parameter we want to pass.

First, we initialize the state in the constructor of the class.

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.state = { param: null };

  render() {
    // We'll use the parameter here.

Now, in our handleClick function, we'll set the state with the parameter we want to pass.

handleClick() {
  // This can be any value. We'll use "Hello, World!" for this example.
  this.setState({ param: "Hello, World!" });

After setting the state, we can now use this state value in our render method.

render() {
  return <div>{this.state.param}</div>;

And there you have it! You've successfully passed a parameter from a div to a class render in ReactJS.

Wrapping Up

In this blog post, we've taken a journey through the world of ReactJS, understanding components, state, and props. We've also solved the problem of passing a parameter from a div to a class render.

Remember, ReactJS is like a box of Lego blocks. Each component is a block, and how you assemble them determines what kind of application you build. And just like with Legos, the more you practice, the better you'll get.

Keep building, keep learning, and keep growing. Happy coding!

Note: *Serialization is the process of translating data structures or object state into a format that can be stored or transmitted and reconstructed later.