Here’s where the render prop comes in: Instead of hard-coding a inside a component, and effectively changing its rendered output, we can provide with a function prop that it uses to dynamically determine what to render–a render prop.

class Cat extends React.Component {
  render() {
    const mouse = this.props.mouse;
    return (
      <img src="/cat.jpg" style={{ position: 'absolute', left: mouse.x, top: mouse.y }} />
    );
  }
}

class Mouse extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.handleMouseMove = this.handleMouseMove.bind(this);
    this.state = { x: 0, y: 0 };
  }

  handleMouseMove(event) {
    this.setState({
      x: event.clientX,
      y: event.clientY
    });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div style={{ height: '100vh' }} onMouseMove={this.handleMouseMove}>

        {/*
          Instead of providing a static representation of what <Mouse> renders,
          use the `render` prop to dynamically determine what to render.
        */}
        {this.props.render(this.state)}
      </div>
    );
  }
}

class MouseTracker extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <h1>Move the mouse around!</h1>
        <Mouse render={mouse => (
          <Cat mouse={mouse} />
        )}/>
      </div>
    );
  }
}
One interesting thing to note about render props is that you can implement most higher-order components (HOC) using a regular component with a render prop. For example, if you would prefer to have a withMouse HOC instead of a component, you could easily create one using a regular with a render prop:

// If you really want a HOC for some reason, you can easily
// create one using a regular component with a render prop!
function withMouse(Component) {
  return class extends React.Component {
    render() {
      return (
        <Mouse render={mouse => (
          <Component {...this.props} mouse={mouse} />
        )}/>
      );
    }
  }
}
A component with a render prop takes a function that returns a React element and calls it instead of implementing its own render logic.

<DataProvider render={data => (
  <h1>Hello {data.target}</h1>
)}/>
As a first pass, you might try rendering the inside ’s render method, like this:

class Cat extends React.Component {
  render() {
    const mouse = this.props.mouse;
    return (
      <img src="/cat.jpg" style={{ position: 'absolute', left: mouse.x, top: mouse.y }} />
    );
  }
}

class MouseWithCat extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.handleMouseMove = this.handleMouseMove.bind(this);
    this.state = { x: 0, y: 0 };
  }

  handleMouseMove(event) {
    this.setState({
      x: event.clientX,
      y: event.clientY
    });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div style={{ height: '100vh' }} onMouseMove={this.handleMouseMove}>

        {/*
          We could just swap out the <p> for a <Cat> here ... but then
          we would need to create a separate <MouseWithSomethingElse>
          component every time we need to use it, so <MouseWithCat>
          isn't really reusable yet.
        */}
        <Cat mouse={this.state} />
      </div>
    );
  }
}

class MouseTracker extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <h1>Move the mouse around!</h1>
        <MouseWithCat />
      </div>
    );
  }
}
Since components are the basic unit of code reuse in React, let’s try refactoring the code a bit to use a component that encapsulates the behavior we need to reuse elsewhere.

// The <Mouse> component encapsulates the behavior we need...
class Mouse extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.handleMouseMove = this.handleMouseMove.bind(this);
    this.state = { x: 0, y: 0 };
  }

  handleMouseMove(event) {
    this.setState({
      x: event.clientX,
      y: event.clientY
    });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div style={{ height: '100vh' }} onMouseMove={this.handleMouseMove}>

        {/* ...but how do we render something other than a <p>? */}
        <p>The current mouse position is ({this.state.x}, {this.state.y})</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

class MouseTracker extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <>
        <h1>Move the mouse around!</h1>
        <Mouse />
      </>
    );
  }
}
Although the examples above use render, we could just as easily use the children prop!

<Mouse children={mouse => (
  <p>The mouse position is {mouse.x}, {mouse.y}</p>
)}/>
And remember, the children prop doesn’t actually need to be named in the list of “attributes” in your JSX element. Instead, you can put it directly inside the element!

<Mouse>
  {mouse => (
    <p>The mouse position is {mouse.x}, {mouse.y}</p>
  )}
</Mouse>
For example, the following component tracks the mouse position in a web app:

class MouseTracker extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.handleMouseMove = this.handleMouseMove.bind(this);
    this.state = { x: 0, y: 0 };
  }

  handleMouseMove(event) {
    this.setState({
      x: event.clientX,
      y: event.clientY
    });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div style={{ height: '100vh' }} onMouseMove={this.handleMouseMove}>
        <h1>Move the mouse around!</h1>
        <p>The current mouse position is ({this.state.x}, {this.state.y})</p>
      </div>
    );
  }
}
Since this technique is a little unusual, you’ll probably want to explicitly state that children should be a function in your propTypes when designing an API like this.

Mouse.propTypes = {
  children: PropTypes.func.isRequired
};
For example, continuing with our component from above, if Mouse were to extend React.PureComponent instead of React.Component, our example would look like this:

class Mouse extends React.PureComponent {
  // Same implementation as above...
}

class MouseTracker extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <h1>Move the mouse around!</h1>

        {/*
          This is bad! The value of the `render` prop will
          be different on each render.
        */}
        <Mouse render={mouse => (
          <Cat mouse={mouse} />
        )}/>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

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