[javascript] useState set method not reflecting change immediately

I am trying to learn hooks and the useState method has made me confused. I am assigning an initial value to a state in the form of an array. The set method in useState is not working for me even with spread(...) or without spread operator. I have made an API on another PC that I am calling and fetching the data which I want to set into the state.

Here is my code:

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<script src="https://unpkg.com/@babel/standalone@7/babel.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://unpkg.com/react@17/umd/react.production.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://unpkg.com/react-dom@17/umd/react-dom.production.min.js"></script>
<div id="root"></div>

<script type="text/babel">
// import React, { useState, useEffect } from "react";
// import ReactDOM from "react-dom";
const { useState, useEffect } = React; // web-browser variant

const StateSelector = () => {
  const initialValue = [
    {
      category: "",
      photo: "",
      description: "",
      id: 0,
      name: "",
      rating: 0
    }
  ];

  const [movies, setMovies] = useState(initialValue);

  useEffect(() => {
    (async function() {
      try {
        // const response = await fetch("http://192.168.1.164:5000/movies/display");
        // const json = await response.json();
        // const result = json.data.result;
        const result = [
          {
            category: "cat1",
            description: "desc1",
            id: "1546514491119",
            name: "randomname2",
            photo: null,
            rating: "3"
          },
          {
            category: "cat2",
            description: "desc1",
            id: "1546837819818",
            name: "randomname1",
            rating: "5"
          }
        ];
        console.log("result =", result);
        setMovies(result);
        console.log("movies =", movies);
      } catch (e) {
        console.error(e);
      }
    })();
  }, []);

  return <p>hello</p>;
};

const rootElement = document.getElementById("root");
ReactDOM.render(<StateSelector />, rootElement);
</script>
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The setMovies(result) as well as setMovies(...result) is not working. Could use some help here.

I expect the result variable to be pushed into the movies array.

This question is related to javascript reactjs react-hooks

The answer is


Much like setState in Class components created by extending React.Component or React.PureComponent, the state update using the updater provided by useState hook is also asynchronous, and will not be reflected immediately.

Also, the main issue here is not just the asynchronous nature but the fact that state values are used by functions based on their current closures, and state updates will reflect in the next re-render by which the existing closures are not affected, but new ones are created. Now in the current state, the values within hooks are obtained by existing closures, and when a re-render happens, the closures are updated based on whether the function is recreated again or not.

Even if you add a setTimeout the function, though the timeout will run after some time by which the re-render would have happened, the setTimeout will still use the value from its previous closure and not the updated one.

setMovies(result);
console.log(movies) // movies here will not be updated

If you want to perform an action on state update, you need to use the useEffect hook, much like using componentDidUpdate in class components since the setter returned by useState doesn't have a callback pattern

useEffect(() => {
    // action on update of movies
}, [movies]);

As far as the syntax to update state is concerned, setMovies(result) will replace the previous movies value in the state with those available from the async request.

However, if you want to merge the response with the previously existing values, you must use the callback syntax of state updation along with the correct use of spread syntax like

setMovies(prevMovies => ([...prevMovies, ...result]));

useEffect has its own state/lifecycle, it will not update until you pass a function in parameters or effect destroyed.

object and array spread or rest will not work inside useEffect.

React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log("effect");
    (async () => {
        try {
            let result = await fetch("/query/countries");
            const res = await result.json();
            let result1 = await fetch("/query/projects");
            const res1 = await result1.json();
            let result11 = await fetch("/query/regions");
            const res11 = await result11.json();
            setData({
                countries: res,
                projects: res1,
                regions: res11
            });
        } catch {}
    })(data)
}, [setData])
# or use this
useEffect(() => {
    (async () => {
        try {
            await Promise.all([
                fetch("/query/countries").then((response) => response.json()),
                fetch("/query/projects").then((response) => response.json()),
                fetch("/query/regions").then((response) => response.json())
            ]).then(([country, project, region]) => {
                // console.log(country, project, region);
                setData({
                    countries: country,
                    projects: project,
                    regions: region
                });
            })
        } catch {
            console.log("data fetch error")
        }
    })()
}, [setData]);

I just finished a rewrite with useReducer, following @kentcdobs article (ref below) which really gave me a solid result that suffers not one bit from these closure problems.

see: https://kentcdodds.com/blog/how-to-use-react-context-effectively

I condensed his readable boilerplate to my preferred level of DRYness -- reading his sandbox implementation will show you how it actually works.

Enjoy, I know I am !!

import React from 'react'

// ref: https://kentcdodds.com/blog/how-to-use-react-context-effectively

const ApplicationDispatch = React.createContext()
const ApplicationContext = React.createContext()

function stateReducer(state, action) {
  if (state.hasOwnProperty(action.type)) {
    return { ...state, [action.type]: state[action.type] = action.newValue };
  }
  throw new Error(`Unhandled action type: ${action.type}`);
}

const initialState = {
  keyCode: '',
  testCode: '',
  testMode: false,
  phoneNumber: '',
  resultCode: null,
  mobileInfo: '',
  configName: '',
  appConfig: {},
};

function DispatchProvider({ children }) {
  const [state, dispatch] = React.useReducer(stateReducer, initialState);
  return (
    <ApplicationDispatch.Provider value={dispatch}>
      <ApplicationContext.Provider value={state}>
        {children}
      </ApplicationContext.Provider>
    </ApplicationDispatch.Provider>
  )
}

function useDispatchable(stateName) {
  const context = React.useContext(ApplicationContext);
  const dispatch = React.useContext(ApplicationDispatch);
  return [context[stateName], newValue => dispatch({ type: stateName, newValue })];
}

function useKeyCode() { return useDispatchable('keyCode'); }
function useTestCode() { return useDispatchable('testCode'); }
function useTestMode() { return useDispatchable('testMode'); }
function usePhoneNumber() { return useDispatchable('phoneNumber'); }
function useResultCode() { return useDispatchable('resultCode'); }
function useMobileInfo() { return useDispatchable('mobileInfo'); }
function useConfigName() { return useDispatchable('configName'); }
function useAppConfig() { return useDispatchable('appConfig'); }

export {
  DispatchProvider,
  useKeyCode,
  useTestCode,
  useTestMode,
  usePhoneNumber,
  useResultCode,
  useMobileInfo,
  useConfigName,
  useAppConfig,
}

with a usage similar to this:

import { useHistory } from "react-router-dom";

// https://react-bootstrap.github.io/components/alerts
import { Container, Row } from 'react-bootstrap';

import { useAppConfig, useKeyCode, usePhoneNumber } from '../../ApplicationDispatchProvider';

import { ControlSet } from '../../components/control-set';
import { keypadClass } from '../../utils/style-utils';
import { MaskedEntry } from '../../components/masked-entry';
import { Messaging } from '../../components/messaging';
import { SimpleKeypad, HandleKeyPress, ALT_ID } from '../../components/simple-keypad';

export const AltIdPage = () => {
  const history = useHistory();
  const [keyCode, setKeyCode] = useKeyCode();
  const [phoneNumber, setPhoneNumber] = usePhoneNumber();
  const [appConfig, setAppConfig] = useAppConfig();

  const keyPressed = btn => {
    const maxLen = appConfig.phoneNumberEntry.entryLen;
    const newValue = HandleKeyPress(btn, phoneNumber).slice(0, maxLen);
    setPhoneNumber(newValue);
  }

  const doSubmit = () => {
    history.push('s');
  }

  const disableBtns = phoneNumber.length < appConfig.phoneNumberEntry.entryLen;

  return (
    <Container fluid className="text-center">
      <Row>
        <Messaging {...{ msgColors: appConfig.pageColors, msgLines: appConfig.entryMsgs.altIdMsgs }} />
      </Row>
      <Row>
        <MaskedEntry {...{ ...appConfig.phoneNumberEntry, entryColors: appConfig.pageColors, entryLine: phoneNumber }} />
      </Row>
      <Row>
        <SimpleKeypad {...{ keyboardName: ALT_ID, themeName: appConfig.keyTheme, keyPressed, styleClass: keypadClass }} />
      </Row>
      <Row>
        <ControlSet {...{ btnColors: appConfig.buttonColors, disabled: disableBtns, btns: [{ text: 'Submit', click: doSubmit }] }} />
      </Row>
    </Container>
  );
};

AltIdPage.propTypes = {};

Now everything persists smoothly everywhere across all my pages

Nice!

Thanks Kent!


You can solve it by using the useRef hook but then it's will not re-render when it' updated. I have created a hooks called useStateRef, that give you the good from both worlds. It's like a state that when it's updated the Component re-render, and it's like a "ref" that always have the latest value.

See this example:

var [state,setState,ref]=useStateRef(0)

It works exactly like useState but in addition, it gives you the current state under ref.current

Learn more:


Additional details to the previous answer:

While React's setState is asynchronous (both classes and hooks), and it's tempting to use that fact to explain the observed behavior, it is not the reason why it happens.

TLDR: The reason is a closure scope around an immutable const value.


Solutions:

  • read the value in render function (not inside nested functions):

      useEffect(() => { setMovies(result) }, [])
      console.log(movies)
    
  • add the variable into dependencies (and use the react-hooks/exhaustive-deps eslint rule):

      useEffect(() => { setMovies(result) }, [])
      useEffect(() => { console.log(movies) }, [movies])
    
  • use a mutable reference (when the above is not possible):

      const moviesRef = useRef(initialValue)
      useEffect(() => {
        moviesRef.current = result
        console.log(moviesRef.current)
      }, [])
    

Explanation why it happens:

If async was the only reason, it would be possible to await setState().

However, both props and state are assumed to be unchanging during 1 render.

Treat this.state as if it were immutable.

With hooks, this assumption is enhanced by using constant values with the const keyword:

const [state, setState] = useState('initial')

The value might be different between 2 renders, but remains a constant inside the render itself and inside any closures (functions that live longer even after render is finished, e.g. useEffect, event handlers, inside any Promise or setTimeout).

Consider following fake, but synchronous, React-like implementation:

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// sync implementation:

let internalState
let renderAgain

const setState = (updateFn) => {
  internalState = updateFn(internalState)
  renderAgain()
}

const useState = (defaultState) => {
  if (!internalState) {
    internalState = defaultState
  }
  return [internalState, setState]
}

const render = (component, node) => {
  const {html, handleClick} = component()
  node.innerHTML = html
  renderAgain = () => render(component, node)
  return handleClick
}

// test:

const MyComponent = () => {
  const [x, setX] = useState(1)
  console.log('in render:', x) // ?
  
  const handleClick = () => {
    setX(current => current + 1)
    console.log('in handler/effect/Promise/setTimeout:', x) // ? NOT updated
  }
  
  return {
    html: `<button>${x}</button>`,
    handleClick
  }
}

const triggerClick = render(MyComponent, document.getElementById('root'))
triggerClick()
triggerClick()
triggerClick()
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<div id="root"></div>
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// replace
return <p>hello</p>;
// with
return <p>{JSON.stringify(movies)}</p>;

Now you should see, that your code actually does work. What does not work is the console.log(movies). This is because movies points to the old state. If you move your console.log(movies) outside of useEffect, right above the return, you will see the updated movies object.


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