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React.js with Isotope and Flux

TL&DR To integrate React.js and Isotope you need to tell Isotope of changes to the DOM through Isotope’s API (remove and addItems).

Overview

Pairing React.js with Isotope is not particularly difficult when dealing with static content. However, pairing the two with dynamic content does get a bit tricky. The problem with the combination is that Isotope, by default, expects a known set of DOM elements so that it can make computations internally. When the elements change, which will commonly happen in a dynamic environment, especially when doing ajax calls in React, the solution is not as simple as you would expect. Isotope needs to know of each change to the DOM, specifically each removal and addition of the items being tracked. React.js provides a suite of lifecycle hooks so we can tell Isotope when something has changed, but Isotope, by itself, will not just work if all you do is seed it with an initial set of DOM elements from a React render.

Isotope will sort and filter to your heart’s content with initially loaded data, but if you want to load more data or reload data in the DOM, then Isotope is completely unaware of that new data (referring to React DOM updates and new DOM insertions/deletions). Also, frequently, the first set of props sent to child components is null or empty. The good news here is that you can still use the best of React with the best of Isotope.

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