Namespace Redux Action Types

Dispatched action types must be unique. Namespacing can help.

Redux Actions

Redux actions represent the important things that your app can do. “Important” might consist of things that need to be saved or things that the app as a whole might want to know about. Actions are represented as plain old JavaScript objects that have a type property and arbitrary other properties. These actions are all sent through a central dispatcher to be dispersed to other interested parts of the app.

Redux Action Types

The actions are just plain old objects, so the specialized type property helps set them apart. The existence of type identifies the object as a Redux action. The value of type distinguishes this action compared to others actions so you know which is which.

Similar Actions

Often, you have similar-sounding actions across different domains in your app. For instance, on a blog, you would have users and posts. You might have a page listing the users and another page listing the posts. To get these resource lists, you’re probably doing something like an API fetch for each. But we would have a problem if we wrote users/actions.js with:

export const fetch = _ => ({ type: 'FETCH' })

And posts/actions.js with:

export const fetch = _ => ({ type: 'FETCH' })

The type is exactly the same, and these, like other actions, are all dispatched through the central store and will be indistinguishable from one another.

Namespacing Action Types

Namespacing your actions is an easy solution to this issue. Just prepend some pattern to the front of each of these 'FETCH' types to make them unique in the whole app. It makes the most sense to me to namespace acccording to the domain (ie, users or posts).

We can simply add the string prefix ourselves or we can be a little more automatic with a helper library, redux-types. To use it, install with:

npm install redux-types --save-dev

Then in users/actions.js, you can write:

import types from 'redux-types'

export const TYPES = types('users', 'FETCH')

export const fetch = _ => ({ type: TYPES.FETCH })

We’d write the similar thing in posts/actions.js.

This will create actions that have types that look something like:

{ "type": "users/FETCH" }

And we’re set.

What other tactics do you take to keep your action types unique?