Combined Rules

Until now, we only saw simple examples, each using only one rule per element. In reality you often see multiple different CSS classes applied to a single element.

Basically you can do the same with Fela too as you could just concatenate multiple rendered rules.

import { createRenderer } from 'fela'

const renderer = createRenderer()

const ruleA = props => ({ color: 'red' })
const ruleB = props => ({ fontWeight: 'bold' })

const classNameA = renderer.renderRule(ruleA)
const classNameB = renderer.renderRule(ruleB)

const element = (
  // we use jsx syntax for abstraction & simplicity
  // yet this issues appears with any view library
  <div className={classNameA + ' ' + classNameB}>
    I am red and bold.
  </div>
)

The above example works fine as both style objects have no overlapping rules, but we might run into problems if we have different values for the same property.

Specificity in CSS

To understand the problem, we need to understand what specificity in CSS is. According to MDN:

Specificity is the means by which browsers decide which CSS property values are the most relevant to an element and, therefore, will be applied. Specificity is based on the matching rules which are composed of CSS selectors of different sorts.

The browser calculates a weight for each CSS property to figure out which properties finally get applied to which element.
Fela already simplifies the problem a lot, because it only renders flat CSS classes and leaves out all the combinators such as +, >, ~ or . Still there is one thing we need to consider.

Problem: Order Matters

When specificity is equal to any of the multiple declarations, the last declaration found in the CSS is applied to the element.

So, if we render two rules, both setting a CSS color, the last rendered one always wins. Consider the following use-case:

import { createRenderer } from 'fela'

const renderer = createRenderer()

const ruleA = props => ({ color: 'red' })
const ruleB = props => ({ color: 'blue' })

const classNameA = renderer.renderRule(ruleA)
const classNameB = renderer.renderRule(ruleB)

const element = (
  <div className={classNameA + ' ' + classNameB}>
    I am always blue, no matter which order the classNames are passed.
  </div>
)

Solution: Combined Rules

By using combined rules we can merge multiple rules into a single one. Again, the order matters. But this time we can determine the order on our own. To combine rules, Fela provides the combineRules helper.

Example

import { createRenderer, combineRules } from 'fela'

const renderer = createRenderer()

const ruleA = props => ({ color: 'red' })
const ruleB = props => ({ color: 'blue' })

const ruleAB = combineRules(ruleA, ruleB)
const ruleBA = combineRules(ruleB, ruleA)

const elementAB = (
  <div className={renderer.renderRule(ruleAB)}>
    I am always blue.
  </div>
)

const elementBA = (
  <div className={renderer.renderRule(ruleBA)}>
    I am always red.
  </div>
)

It does not matter whether ruleA and ruleB get rendered first or if they won't get rendered at all. ruleAB and ruleBA are completely new rules which are not dependent on their base rules.



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