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Component Lifecycle Methods

Components have numerous lifecycle methods which can be used to know when the component "will" and "did" load, update, and render. These methods can be added to a component to hook into operations at the right time.

Implement one of the following methods within a component class and Stencil will automatically call them in the right order:

componentDidLoad()componentDidUpdate()disconnectedCallback()@Watch(‘propName’)render()connectedCallback()componentShouldUpdate()componentWillRender()componentWillUpdate()componentDidRender()componentWillLoad()Component initializedChange in a value of prop or state triggers rerenderComponent removedComponent reattached

connectedCallback()

Called every time the component is connected to the DOM. When the component is first connected, this method is called before componentWillLoad.

It's important to note that this method can be called more than once, everytime, the element is attached or moved in the DOM.

const el = document.createElement('my-cmp');
document.body.appendChild(el);
// connectedCallback() called
// componentWillLoad() called (first time)

el.remove();
// disconnectedCallback()

document.body.appendChild(el);
// connectedCallback() called again, but `componentWillLoad` is not.

It's a good practice to use this hook

This lifecycle hook follows the same semantics as the one described by the Custom Elements Spec

disconnectedCallback()

Called every time the component is disconnected from the DOM, ie, it can be dispatched more than once, DO not confuse with a "onDestroy" kind of event.

This lifecycle hook follows the same semantics as the one described by the Custom Elements Spec.

componentWillLoad()

Called once just after the component is first connected to the DOM. Since this method is only called once, it's a good place to load data asynchronously.

A promise can be returned, that can be used to wait for the first render.

componentDidLoad()

Called once just after the component fully loaded and the first render() occurs.

componentShouldUpdate()

This hook is called when a component's Prop or State property changes and a rerender is about to be requested. This hook receives three arguments: the new value, the old value and the name of the changed state. It should return a boolean to indicate if the component should rerender (true) or not (false).

A couple of things to notice is that this method will not be executed before the initial render, that is, when the component is first attached to the dom, nor when a rerender is already scheduled in the next frame.

Let’s say the following two props of a component change synchronously:

component.somePropA = 42;
component.somePropB = 88;

The componentShouldUpdate will be first called with arguments: 42, undefined and somePropA. If it does return true, the hook will not be called again since the rerender is already scheduled to happen. Instead, if the first hook returned false, then componentShouldUpdate will be called again with 88, undefined and somePropB as arguments, triggered by the component.somePropB = 88 mutation.

Since the execution of this hook might be conditioned, it's not good to rely on it to watch for prop changes, instead use the @Watch decorator for that.

componentWillRender()

Called before every render().

A promise can be returned, that can be used to wait for the upcoming render.

componentDidRender()

Called after every render().

componentWillUpdate()

Called when the component is about to be updated because some Prop() or State() changed. It's never called during the first render().

A promise can be returned, that can be used to wait for the next render.

componentDidUpdate()

Called just after the component updates. It's never called during the first render().

Rendering State

It's always recommended to make any rendered state updates within componentWillRender(), since this is the method which get called before the render() method. Alternatively, updating rendered state with the componentDidLoad(), componentDidUpdate() and componentDidRender() methods will cause another rerender, which isn't ideal for performance.

If state must be updated in componentDidUpdate() or componentDidRender(), it has the potential of getting components stuck in an infinite loop. If updating state within componentDidUpdate() is unavoidable, then the method should also come with a way to detect if the props or state is "dirty" or not (is the data actually different or is it the same as before). By doing a dirty check, componentDidUpdate() is able to avoid rendering the same data, and which in turn calls componentDidUpdate() again.

Lifecycle Hierarchy

A useful feature of lifecycle methods is that they take their child component's lifecycle into consideration too. For example, if the parent component, cmp-a, has a child component, cmp-b, then cmp-a isn't considered "loaded" until cmp-b has finished loading. Another way to put it is that the deepest components finish loading first, then the componentDidLoad() calls bubble up.

It's also important to note that even though Stencil can lazy-load components, and has asynchronous rendering, the lifecycle methods are still called in the correct order. So while the top-level component could have already been loaded, all of its lifecycle methods are still called in the correct order, which means it'll wait for a child components to finish loading. The same goes for the exact opposite, where the child components may already be ready while the parent isn't.

In the example below we have a simple hierarchy of components. The numbered list shows the order of which the lifecycle methods will fire.

  <cmp-a>
    <cmp-b>
      <cmp-c></cmp-c>
    </cmp-b>
  </cmp-a>
  1. cmp-a - componentWillLoad()
  2. cmp-b - componentWillLoad()
  3. cmp-c - componentWillLoad()
  4. cmp-c - componentDidLoad()
  5. cmp-b - componentDidLoad()
  6. cmp-a - componentDidLoad()

Even if some components may or may not be already loaded, the entire component hierarchy waits on its child components to finish loading and rendering.

Async Lifecycle Methods

Lifecycle methods can also return promises which allows the method to asynchronously retrieve data or perform any async tasks. A great example of this is fetching data to be rendered in a component. For example, this very site you're reading first fetches content data before rendering. But because fetch() is async, it's important that componentWillLoad() returns a Promise to ensure its parent component isn't considered "loaded" until all of its content has rendered.

Below is a quick example showing how componentWillLoad() is able to have its parent component wait on it to finish loading its data.

componentWillLoad() {
  return fetch('/some-data.json')
    .then(response => response.json())
    .then(data => {
      this.content = data;
    });
}

Example

This simple example shows a clock and updates the current time every second. The timer is started when the component is added to the DOM. Once it's removed from the DOM, the timer is stopped.

import { Component, State, h } from '@stencil/core';

@Component({
  tag: 'custom-clock'
})
export class CustomClock {

  timer: number;

  @State() time: number = Date.now();

  connectedCallback() {
    this.timer = window.setInterval(() => {
      this.time = Date.now();
    }, 1000);
  }

  disconnectedCallback() {
    window.clearInterval(this.timer);
  }

  render() {
    const time = new Date(this.time).toLocaleTimeString();

    return (
      <span>{ time }</span>
    );
  }
}

Here is the example running. If you want to see it in action then just inspect it with dev tools. 5:19:54 PM

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