Requiring classes

Since Ext JS 4 came out, Ext JS supported loading classes on demand during development. You do this using the requires property in your Ext.define statement or using Ext.require. Furthermore, ever since Sencha Cmd was released, it will check out these means of requiring classes and create a build of only those classes that are required.

requires property

As mentioned, when using Ext.define you should use the requires property to require classes. Let's look at a sample class without the requires property:

Ext.define('MyApp.view.user.Form', {
    extend : 'Ext.form.Panel',
    xtype  : 'myapp-user-form',

    items : [
        {
            xtype : 'fieldset',
            title : 'Details',
            items : [
                {
                    xtype      : 'textfield',
                    fieldLabel : 'Name',
                    name       : 'name'
                },
                {
                    xtype      : 'textfield',
                    fieldLabel : 'Email',
                    name       : 'email',
                    vtype      : 'email'
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
});

If we use this class in our application things may work depending on if the classes are required elsewhere. However, your application will be changing as time goes on so this may work now but may break a production build later. For this reason, I tend to make sure each class requires that classes it uses. The requires property would then look like this:

Ext.define('MyApp.view.user.Form', {
    extend : 'Ext.form.Panel',
    xtype  : 'myapp-user-form',

    requires : [
        'Ext.form.field.Text',
        'Ext.form.FieldSet'
    ],

    items : [
        {
            xtype : 'fieldset',
            title : 'Details',
            items : [
                {
                    xtype      : 'textfield',
                    fieldLabel : 'Name',
                    name       : 'name'
                },
                {
                    xtype      : 'textfield',
                    fieldLabel : 'Email',
                    name       : 'email',
                    vtype      : 'email'
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
});

Now I know that no matter what else goes on in my application, this class will be safe as far as what it needs.

Remember, your MyApp.Application class can use the requires property also for any classes that need to be there for startup. For example, that's where I put my utility singletons.

Ext.require

If you're not using MVC/MVVM and therefore don't have an Application class, well, first shame on you! Ext JS doesn't require the MVC/MVVM pattern but I very much recommend it. Anyway, to require classes before Ext.onReady executes you can use Ext.require to require classes much the same way:

Ext.require('Ext.form.FieldSet');
// or use an array:
Ext.require([
    'Ext.form.field.Text',
    'Ext.form.FieldSet'
]);

requires vs uses

The requires property will ensure those classes are loaded and defined before the class being required is defined. Cmd will use the requires to build a dependency map and include the files in order based on the requires. However, in development the requires property may cause synchronous loading so that your code will work (this depends on if Ext.onReady or Ext.application's launch method has executed) which can slow things down. This is where the uses property can be used. This is what the uses property looks like:

Ext.define('MyApp.view.user.Form', {
    extend : 'Ext.form.Panel',
    xtype  : 'myapp-user-form',

    uses : [
        'Ext.form.field.Text',
        'Ext.form.FieldSet'
    ],

    items : [
        {
            xtype : 'fieldset',
            title : 'Details',
            items : [
                {
                    xtype      : 'textfield',
                    fieldLabel : 'Name',
                    name       : 'name'
                },
                {
                    xtype      : 'textfield',
                    fieldLabel : 'Email',
                    name       : 'email',
                    vtype      : 'email'
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
});

The difference between uses and requires is unlike how requires will load it's classes before the MyApp.view.user.Form is defined, uses will define MyApp.view.user.Form even if the classes are not loaded. Ext.form.field.Text and Ext.form.FieldSet may be loaded and defined after MyApp.view.user.Form is defined since MyApp.view.user.Form doesn't require them to be loaded before it is defined.

Many requires

Requiring a class many times will not affect performance, if a class is already defined it will not be loaded again and will be skipped. Also, requiring classes on the fly like this is only for development. When you do a build with Sencha Cmd, Cmd will remove these automatically for you so in a production build this code will simply not be there. So I play it safe and add all the classes in the requires.

I will say that having knowledge of what classes are then requiring other classes helps. So if I require Ext.form.field.Text, I know that it already requires Ext.form.field.VTypes. Since I use the vtype config, I do need Ext.form.field.VTypes to be loaded but my code doesn't have to require it since Ext.form.field.Text is already requiring it. The API docs denote what it's requiring on the right.

Other means of requiring

Ext JS also has other means of requiring classes for you. If you extend a class, Ext JS will require that class for you as expected. If you define mixins, those too will also be required for you.

Mitchell Simoens

Mitchell has held many positions within Sencha currently maintaining the support portal and Sencha Fiddle. Anything expressed on this website are Mitchell's alone and do not represent his employer.

comments powered by Disqus