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    Redux: Writing a Todo List Reducer (Adding a Todo)

    0.14 - 16
    3 - 4

    Learn how to implement adding a todo in a todo list application reducer.



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    Just like in the previous two lessons, I'm using expect library to make test assertions and deep freeze library to prevent accidental mutations in my code. In this lesson, I will create the reducer for a to-do list application whose state is described an array of to-dos.

    Just to remind you what a reducer is, it's a pure function you write to implement the update logic of your application -- that is, how the next state is calculated given the current state and the action being dispatched.

    Before writing a reducer, I want to have a way of knowing whether its code is correct, so I'm starting by writing a test for it. I'm declaring two variables, the state before, which is an empty array, and the action being dispatched, which is an action describing user adding any to-do with some ID and a text.

    I am also declaring the state I expect to get after calling the reducer. Like state before, it is an array, but this time, it has a single element representing the to-do that was just added. So it has the same ID and the text as the action object. It also has an additional field called, "completed," that I want to be initialized to be false.

    We want to make sure that the reducer is a pure function, so I'm calling deep freeze both on the state and the action. Finally, I am ready to use the expect library to verify that if I call the to-do reducer with the state before and the action object, I'm going to get the result that is deeply equal to the state after I just declared.

    This concludes my first test. Now I can call it just like a regular JavaScript function. If it doesn't throw in the expect call, I'm going to see a message saying that the tests have passed.

    Of course, it fails because the reducer is not implemented yet. It's an empty function. So it returns undefined instead of the array with a single item that I expect in the test.

    To fix this, I would need my reducer to take a look at the action type property, which is a string. When it matches the at to-do string, which I specify as the action type in my test, to satisfy the test I need to return a new array which includes all items from the original array but also a new to-do item that has its ID and text copied from the action object and a completed field set to false.

    Finally, I add a default case to my switch statement because averages has to return the current state for any unknown action.

    Now the test runs successfully. Let's recap the data flow in this example to see why.

    First, I create the state array, which is an empty array, and the action object inside my test function. I'm passing them as arguments to my reducer function, called, "to-dos." The to-dos reducer accepts the state and the action as arguments and takes a look at the action type.

    In this case, the action type is a string saying, "at to-do," so it matches the switch case inside the reducer. The reducer returns a new array which contains the items from the old array and the new item representing the added to-do.

    However, the state we passed from the test was actually an empty array, so, at the end, we're going to get an array with a single item, which is the new to-do.

    Finally, we compare the return value to an array with a single to-do item to make sure that the reducer works as intended. The equality check passes. This makes the test successful.