Webpack loader to use svg icons as snabbdom VNode

Update. This library has been moved to archive, no plans to develop it further.

I'm exploring FRP for frontend and it looks very interesting to me, especially for dataflow using streams.

Unidirectional data flow, introduced as Flux by Facebook engineers, is an excellent paradigm and I was thinking about finding a way to use it without React (due to the fact I don't like it - just the same way I don't like Angular as both of them look overengineered to me).

It took some time to understand the subject of FRP and there are a lot of useful resources available (just a couple of links here - Mostly Adequate Guide to Functional Programming, React-less Virtual DOM with Snabbdom, The introduction to Reactive Programming).

My first attempt was to understand snabbdom / flyd / union-type / ramda approach and the most challenging part was union types.

Studying The ELM Architecture helped a lot in this.

To dive deeper on the subject I've created a very simple implementation of union types which in it's core just tags values using specified tag name:

// type.js

var curryN = require('ramda/src/curryN');

function Type(spec) {
    var o = {},
        keys = Object.keys(spec);

    keys.forEach(function (key) {
        var fn = spec[key];
        if (spec[key].length > 2) {
            o[key] = curryN(fn.length - 1, function () {
                return {
                    value: [].slice.apply(arguments),
                    tag: key,
                    handler: fn
        } else {
            o[key] = function (smth) {
                return {
                    value: smth,
                    tag: key,
                    handler: fn
    function update(tagged, model) {
        var tag = tagged.tag,
            value = tagged.value,
            fn = tagged.handler;
        value = Array.isArray(value) ? value
                                        : (value != null ? [value] : []);
        return fn.apply(null, value);
    o.update = curryN(2, update);
    return o;

Example of union type definition:

// component.js

var Type = require('./type');
var R = require('ramda');

var Msg = Type({
    Click: function (evt, model) { return R.assoc('clicks', model.clicks + 1, model); },
    Remove: function (evt, model) { return R.assoc('_removed', true, model); },
    Tick: function (model) {
        return R.assoc('count', model.count > 359 ? 0 : model.count + 1, model);

It is a bit simplier than union-type, doesn't have type checking and probably missing something in this implementation.

Anyway, it helped me to understand the data flow.

My experiments are available in this project (work in progress).

I like to use svg icons for ui components and I used to create separate html file with all icons embedded in it using single svg and multiple symbol definitions and referencing them using xlink:href attribute.

I was planning to use icons to enrich the ui of the experiments and thought it would be great to have svg icons available as snabbdom VNodes.

So, here is the webpack loader for this (this is my first published npm module).

Usage is pretty simple just like any webpack loader:

// icons.js

var home = require('./svg/home.svg'),
    alert = require('./svg/alert.svg'),

module.exports = {
    home: home,
    alert: alert,
// alerts.js

var icons = require('./icons'),
    h = require('snabbdom/h');

function view(model) {
    return h('div.info', {}, [icons.alert, 'Some alert here']);

The loader can be chained with svgo-loader, please check the docs for this.

That's it for now.

Last modified: 2016-07-04 08:45:00 +00:00 UTC