Type-Safe Pattern Matching with React

As we develop new UIs, you know how difficult conditional rendering can sometimes be. Sometimes we are faced with too many nested conditions. Thanks to the pattern matching approach, we can handle this problem in a more sustainable way.

Furkan Demir
2 min readOct 1, 2023
example of turkish rug with beautiful patterns

Pattern matching is not a fresh concept in so many languages. It’s an alternative to using long “if-else” branches and offers a succinct approach towards decision-making processes in the codebase. Let’s compare it with a traditional React conditional rendering, then illustrate how ts-pattern can offer a better solution.

Consider a straightforward case in React, an application that fetches user data from an API. Rendering depends on the data’s state, which can switch between ‘loading,’ ‘loaded,’ and ‘error.’ Typically, you would employ conditional rendering using JavaScript’s if-else statements:

traditional way of conditional rendering

Although this solution is enough for this simple case, maintaining the code in more complex scenarios, where multiple factors affect your component’s rendering, may feel like extra work. With numerous conditional branches, there’s a risk of missing a condition or improperly nesting them.

Now, let’s see how applying ts-pattern can lead to more readable and manageable code:

conditional rendering with ts-pattern

Using the ts-pattern, the code appears cleaner and is easier to read and maintain. It has enhanced type safety because ts-pattern uses TypeScript’s static typing system to check the exhaustiveness of pattern matches at compile time.

By the way, exhaustiveness means that you’ve written code to handle all the potential values that variable can have. If you’ve covered all the cases, your code is considered exhaustive.

It reminds me of Rust.

ts-pattern allows writing clean, type-safe, and more concise code by substituting extensive conditional branches with pattern-matching. The real potential surfaces in scenarios involving more complex conditional renderings in your React application. Exploring ts-pattern can undoubtedly augment TypeScript’s power in writing robust, error-free code and aid in maintaining the codebase with more comfort and confidence.




Furkan Demir

king maker, frontend eng, i write if it's worth to share