Real life tips for using Vue.Js

It took me some convincing to see the point of using an MV* JS framework, and I haven’t looked back since.

Vue.js is a front-end Javascript library with inspiration from Angular.js. The power of Vue.js is in it’s reactive data model. This means changes to a data property update in real-time in both the UI and application state - hiding and showing page elements, enabling and disabling functionality, and updating form elements that are bound to the data property.

For example:

<input type='checkbox' v-model='show-settings' value='1' />

<div v-if='show-settings'>…​ Settings goes here</div>

The existence of the div is based solely on whether the checkbox is ticked. The same functionality takes 4-5 lines of jquery to set the initial state and update the UI when changes occur.

Elements of a web application are broken up into components - modules of compartmentalised and reusable layout and code.

Keep local data structures inside components

Don’t pollute your global namespace with variables and structures that will only ever be used inside a component.

In the above example (using show-settings), show-settings belongs in the local component data.

But don’t be scared to share data

In my early work with vue.js, I find passing data back and forth between parent and child, or root and node to be cumbersome, error prone, and hides away application functionality.

For passing data back and forth between components, keep a window.shared_state object handy.

For example - once authenticating, your user object will need to be referenced all over the place. Assign it to window.shared_state, and bind a local shared_state object of each component to the window component.

Create a shared object and attach to the window.
var shared_state = {
  user: {
    email: "",
  token_status: 'ok',
  jobs: [],
window.shared_state = shared_state;
And assign it inside your local data object (in the component).
data: function () {
    return {
        job: {
            shared_state: shared_state,

Any updates to 'shared_state' anywhere in the application will now be available in this object.

Update the server in real time

One of the enormous improvements over jQuery and the like is nearly hands-off data updates. Add a this.$watch inside a component to trigger an activity whenever the data structure changes (e.g., update the server!)

The power here is that you don’t need to keep tabs of where in your application an update to the data structure occurs. If the user has updated the data using the UI, it will automatically be posted off to the server — another small improvement to the growing list.

If anything is updated on the user model, update the server.
this.$watch('shared_state.user', function (u, o) {
    this.$http.put("/api/v1/users/" +, u, function (response) {
        shared_state.user = response.user;
}, {deep: true});

Organise your code

This is only tangentially related to the vue.js conversation, and probably serves as another post altogether.

The natural component based structure of vue.js means there is a logical way to break your JS files up into manageable chunks of 1-200 lines of code. Gulp + Browserify help turn a master 'app.js' file of thousands of lines of code into barely more than a table of contents.

Vue.component('errors', require("./layout_components/errors.js"));
Vue.component('admin', require("./layout_components/admin.js"));
Vue.component('company', require("./layout_components/company.js"));

Check out the router

Vuejs has a VueRouter add-on, which handles swapping out component templates, transitions, and the URL in the address bar.

It’s straight-forward and easy to learn, so make sure to use it instead of a homebrew routing solution or separate library which doesn’t integrate as nicely.

User visited /user/login? Show them the user/login component.
var router = new VueRouter();{
    "/user/login": {
      name: 'login',
      component: require('./auth/user-login.js'),
    "/other/route": (etc)
router.start(appVue, "#app");

All routing takes place inside the <router-view> element, in the selector you’ve specified (#app in this case)

Contrived router template code
<div id="app">
    <div class="container">