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v1.7.5

ref

The ref directive allows you to grab a reference of a DOM element. Its value must be the name of the property you want to assign the reference to.

You can access all the dom element references with the $refs property in the class;

class InputField extends WebComponent {
	static observedAttributes = ['label', 'value', 'name', 'type', 'error-message'];
	
	onMount() {
		// the $refs object will contain all the DOM references
		const {fieldInput} = this.$refs;

		fieldInput.focus();
	}
	
	get template() {
		return `
			<label class="input-field">
				<input ref="fieldInput" type="{type}" name="{name}" value="{value}">
			</label>
		`
	}
}

InputField.register();

Think of ref as the querySelector and querySelectorAll, only that you set it directly on the tag you want to grab the elements of.

ref and repeat

The ref directive can be used with repeat as well. This means that instead of a single DOM element, you will have an array of DOM elements.

class FlatList extends WebComponent {
	items = {
		'first': 200,
		'second': 800,
		'third': 400,
	};
	
	onMount() {
		// the $refs object will contain all the DOM references
		const {items} = this.$refs;
	
		items.forEach(item =>  {
			console.log('item', item);
		});
	}
	
	get template() {
		return `
			<div ref="items" repeat="items">{key} item: {$item}</div>
		`
	}
}

What this means is that if you use the same name for the ref directive in multiple elements, you will get an array of DOM elements instead of a single DOM element.

Deep References

The way CWCO handles components allows you to grab deep renferences of elements.

class CompOne extends WebComponent {
	get template() {
		return '<div ref="deepBox">box</div>'
	}
}

CompOne.register();
class CompTwo extends WebComponent {
	onMount() {
		// grap a descendant element ref
		const {box} = this.$refs;
	
		// now you can use the element
		// to reach into its references
		const {deepBox} = box.$refs || {};
	}
	
	get template() {
		return '<comp-one ref="box"></comp-one>'
	}
}

CompTwo.register();

One thing to be careful about here is if CompOne is not registered before you try to access its references. The $refs only exists for CWCO components and is an element is not registered as so, it is simply a HTMLElement instance.