React: Updating state when state is an array of objects

I have an array of objects in state:

this.state = {
  items: [
    {id: 1, someattr: "a string", anotherattr: ""},
    {id: 2, someattr: "another string", anotherattr: ""},
    {id: 3, someattr: "a string", anotherattr: ""},
  ]
}

I need to be able to search the items array based on the id property and then update the objects attributes.

I can get the object by filtering or finding on the array using the id param.

What I’m having trouble with is then updating the array and then subsequently updating state without mutation.

//make sure we're not mutating state directly by using object assign
const items = Object.assign({}, this.state.items);
const match = items.find((item) => item.id === id);

At this point I have a matching object and can update it’s properties using object spread:

const matchUpdated = { ...match, someattr: 'a new value'};

My question is how do i then update the state with matchUpdated so that it overwrites the object returned by the initial find operation?

Answer

Your update function would look like this

updateItem(id, itemAttributes) {
  var index = this.state.items.findIndex(x=> x.id === id);
  if (index === -1)
    // handle error
  else
    this.setState({
      items: [
         ...this.state.items.slice(0,index),
         Object.assign({}, this.state.items[index], itemAttributes),
         ...this.state.items.slice(index+1)
      ]
    });
}

And you use it like this

this.updateItem(2, {someattr: 'a new value'});

Gross right?


You’re going to have a big headache in general if you continue to build a complex application in this manner. I would recommend you look into redux or some other Flux implementation that is better suited for solving these problems.

Redux uses a concept of state reducers which each work on a specific slice of the state of your application. That way you don’t have to manually dig through your entire state each time you want to affect a deep change.

The creator of Redux, Dan Abramov, has made two video courses available online for free. Dan is an excellent teacher and I felt comfortable with the Redux pattern after spending just one afternoon with it.