phoenix_live_view v0.11.0 Phoenix.LiveView behaviour View Source

LiveView provides rich, real-time user experiences with server-rendered HTML.

LiveView programming model is declarative: instead of saying "once event X happens, change Y on the page", events in LiveView are regular messages which may cause changes to its state. Once the state changes, LiveView will re-render the relevant parts of its HTML template and push it to the browser, which updates itself in the most efficient manner. This means developers write LiveView templates as any other server-rendered HTML and LiveView does the hard work of tracking changes and sending the relevant diffs to the browser.

At the end of the day, a LiveView is nothing more than a process that receives events as messages and updates its state. The state itself is nothing more than functional and immutable Elixir data structures. The events are either internal application messages (usually emitted by Phoenix.PubSub) or sent by the client/browser.

LiveView is first rendered statically as part of regular HTTP requests, which provides quick times for "First Meaningful Paint", in addition to helping search and indexing engines. Then a persistent connection is established between client and server. This allows LiveView applications to react faster to user events as there is less work to be done and less data to be sent compared to stateless requests that have to authenticate, decode, load, and encode data on every request. The flipside is that LiveView uses more memory on the server compared to stateless requests.

Use cases

There are many use cases where LiveView is an excellent fit right now:

  • Handling of user interaction and inputs, buttons, and forms - such as input validation, dynamic forms, autocomplete, etc;

  • Events and updates pushed by server - such as notifications, dashboards, etc;

  • Page and data navigation - such as navigating between pages, pagination, etc can be built with LiveView using the excellent live navigation feature set. This reduces the amount of data sent over the wire, gives developers full control over the LiveView life-cycle, while controlling how the browser tracks those changes in state;

There are also use cases which are a bad fit for LiveView:

  • Animations - animations, menus, and general events that do not need the server in the first place are a bad fit for LiveView, as they can be achieved purely with CSS and/or CSS transitions;

Life-cycle

A LiveView begins as a regular HTTP request and HTML response, and then upgrades to a stateful view on client connect, guaranteeing a regular HTML page even if JavaScript is disabled. Any time a stateful view changes or updates its socket assigns, it is automatically re-rendered and the updates are pushed to the client.

You begin by rendering a LiveView typically from your router. When LiveView is first rendered, the mount/3 callback is invoked with the current params, the current session and the LiveView socket. As in a regular request, params contains public data that can be modified by the user. The session always contains private data set by the application itself. The mount/3 callback wires up socket assigns necessary for rendering the view. After mounting, render/1 is invoked and the HTML is sent as a regular HTML response to the client.

After rendering the static page, LiveView connects from the client to the server where stateful views are spawned to push rendered updates to the browser, and receive client events via phx bindings. Just like the first rendering, mount/3 is invoked with params, session, and socket state, where mount assigns values for rendering. However in the connected client case, a LiveView process is spawned on the server, pushes the result of render/1 to the client and continues on for the duration of the connection. If at any point during the stateful life-cycle a crash is encountered, or the client connection drops, the client gracefully reconnects to the server, calling mount/3 once again.

Example

First, a LiveView requires two callbacks: mount/3 and render/1:

defmodule AppWeb.ThermostatLive do
  use Phoenix.LiveView

  def render(assigns) do
    ~L"""
    Current temperature: <%= @temperature %>
    """
  end

  def mount(_params, %{"current_user_id" => user_id}, socket) do
    temperature = Thermostat.get_user_reading(user_id)
    {:ok, assign(socket, :temperature, temperature)}
  end
end

The render/1 callback receives the socket.assigns and is responsible for returning rendered content. You can use Phoenix.LiveView.sigil_L/2 to inline LiveView templates. If you want to use Phoenix.HTML helpers, remember to use Phoenix.HTML at the top of your LiveView.

With a LiveView defined, you first define the socket path in your endpoint, and point it to Phoenix.LiveView.Socket:

defmodule AppWeb.Endpoint do
  use Phoenix.Endpoint

  socket "/live", Phoenix.LiveView.Socket,
    websocket: [connect_info: [session: @session_options]]

  ...
end

Where @session_options are the options given to plug Plug.Session extracted to a module attribute.

And configure its signing salt in the endpoint:

config :my_app, AppWeb.Endpoint,
  ...,
  live_view: [signing_salt: ...]

You can generate a secure, random signing salt with the mix phx.gen.secret 32 task.

Next, decide where you want to use your LiveView.

You can serve the LiveView directly from your router (recommended):

defmodule AppWeb.Router do
  use Phoenix.Router
  import Phoenix.LiveView.Router

  scope "/", AppWeb do
    live "/thermostat", ThermostatLive
  end
end

You can also live_render from any template:

<h1>Temperature Control</h1>
<%= live_render(@conn, AppWeb.ThermostatLive) %>

Or you can live_render your view from any controller:

defmodule AppWeb.ThermostatController do
  ...
  import Phoenix.LiveView.Controller

  def show(conn, %{"id" => id}) do
    live_render(conn, AppWeb.ThermostatLive)
  end
end

When a LiveView is rendered, all of the data currently stored in the connection session (see Plug.Conn.get_session/1) will be given to the LiveView.

It is also possible to pass additional session information to the LiveView through a session parameter:

# In the router
live "/thermostat", ThermostatLive, session: %{"extra_token" => "foo"}

# In a view
<%= live_render(@conn, AppWeb.ThermostatLive, session: %{"extra_token" => "foo"}) %>

Notice the :session uses string keys as a reminder that session data is serialized and sent to the client. So you should always keep the data in the session to a minimum. I.e. instead of storing a User struct, you should store the "user_id" and load the User when the LiveView mounts.

Once the LiveView is rendered, a regular HTML response is sent. Next, your client code connects to the server:

import {Socket} from "phoenix"
import LiveSocket from "phoenix_live_view"

let csrfToken = document.querySelector("meta[name='csrf-token']").getAttribute("content")
let liveSocket = new LiveSocket("/live", Socket, {params: {_csrf_token: csrfToken}})
liveSocket.connect()

Note: Comprehensive JavaScript client usage is covered in a later section.

After the client connects, mount/3 will be invoked inside a spawned LiveView process. At this point, you can use connected?/1 to conditionally perform stateful work, such as subscribing to pubsub topics, sending messages, etc. For example, you can periodically update a LiveView with a timer:

defmodule DemoWeb.ThermostatLive do
  use Phoenix.LiveView
  ...

  def mount(_params, %{"current_user_id" => user_id}, socket) do
    if connected?(socket), do: :timer.send_interval(30000, self(), :update)

    case Thermostat.get_user_reading(user_id) do
      {:ok, temperature} ->
        {:ok, assign(socket, temperature: temperature, user_id: user_id)}

      {:error, reason} ->
        {:error, reason}
    end
  end

  def handle_info(:update, socket) do
    {:ok, temperature} = Thermostat.get_reading(socket.assigns.user_id)
    {:noreply, assign(socket, :temperature, temperature)}
  end
end

We used connected?(socket) on mount to send our view a message every 30s if the socket is in a connected state. We receive :update in a handle_info just like a GenServer, and update our socket assigns. Whenever a socket's assigns change, render/1 is automatically invoked, and the updates are sent to the client.

Collocating templates

In the examples above, we have placed the template directly inside the LiveView:

defmodule AppWeb.ThermostatLive do
  use Phoenix.LiveView

  def render(assigns) do
    ~L"""
    Current temperature: <%= @temperature %>
    """
  end

For larger templates, you can place them in a file in the same directory and same name as the LiveView. For example, if the file above is placed at lib/my_app_web/live/thermostat_live.ex, you can also remove the render/1 definition above and instead put the template code at lib/my_app_web/live/thermostat_live.html.leex.

Alternatively, you can keep the render/1 callback but delegate to an existing Phoenix.View module in your application. For example:

defmodule AppWeb.ThermostatLive do
  use Phoenix.LiveView

  def render(assigns) do
    Phoenix.View.render(AppWeb.PageView, "page.html", assigns)
  end
end

In all cases, each assign in the template will be accessible as @assign.

Assigns and LiveEEx Templates

All of the data in a LiveView is stored in the socket as assigns. The assign/2 and assign/3 functions help store those values. Those values can be accessed in the LiveView as socket.assigns.name but they are most commonly accessed inside LiveView templates as @name.

Phoenix.LiveView's built-in templates are identified by the .leex extension (Live EEx) or ~L sigil. They are similar to regular .eex templates except they are designed to minimize the amount of data sent over the wire by splitting static and dynamic parts and tracking changes.

When you first render a .leex template, it will send all of the static and dynamic parts of the template to the client. After that, any change you do on the server will now send only the dynamic parts, and only if those parts have changed.

The tracking of changes is done via assigns. Imagine this template:

<h1><%= expand_title(@title) %></h1>

If the @title assign changes, then LiveView will execute expand_title(@title) and send the new content. If @title is the same, nothing is executed and nothing is sent.

Change tracking also works when accessing map/struct fields. Take this template:

<div id="user_<%= @user.id %>">
  <%= @user.name %>
</div>

If the @user.name changes but @user.id doesn't, then LiveView will re-render only @user.name and it execute or resend @user.id at all.

The change tracking also works when rendering other templates as long as they are also .leex templates and as long as all assigns are passed to the child/inner template:

<%= render "child_template.html", assigns %>

The assign tracking feature also implies that you MUST avoid performing direct operations in the template. For example, if you perform a database query in your template:

<%= for user <- Repo.all(User) do %>
  <%= user.name %>
<% end %>

Then Phoenix will never re-render the section above, even if the number of users in the database changes. Instead, you need to store the users as assigns in your LiveView before it renders the template:

assign(socket, :users, Repo.all(User))

Generally speaking, data loading should never happen inside the template, regardless if you are using LiveView or not. The difference is that LiveView enforces this best practice.

Finally, note that change tracking works inside do/blocks, as long as those blocks are given to Elixir's basic constructs, such as if, case, for, and friends. If the do-block is given to a library function or user function, such as content_tag, change tracking won't work. For example, imagine the following template that renders a div:

<%= content_tag :div, id: "user_#{@id}" do %>
  <%= @name %>
  <%= @description %>
<% end %>

LiveView knows nothing about content_tag, which means the whole div will be sent whenever any of the assigns change. This can be easily fixed by writing the HTML directly:

<div id="user_<%= @id %>">
  <%= @name %>
  <%= @description %>
</div>

Bindings

Phoenix supports DOM element bindings for client-server interaction. For example, to react to a click on a button, you would render the element:

<button phx-click="inc_temperature">+</button>

Then on the server, all LiveView bindings are handled with the handle_event callback, for example:

def handle_event("inc_temperature", _value, socket) do
  {:ok, new_temp} = Thermostat.inc_temperature(socket.assigns.id)
  {:noreply, assign(socket, :temperature, new_temp)}
end
BindingAttributes
Paramsphx-value-*
Click Eventsphx-click, phx-capture-click
Focus/Blur Eventsphx-blur, phx-focus
Form Eventsphx-change, phx-submit, data-phx-error-for, phx-disable-with
Key Eventsphx-window-keydown, phx-window-keyup
Rate Limitingphx-debounce, phx-throttle
DOM Patchingphx-update
JS Interopphx-hook

Click Events

The phx-click binding is used to send click events to the server. When any client event, such as a phx-click click is pushed, the value sent to the server will be chosen with the following priority:

  • Any number of optional phx-value- prefixed attributes, such as:

    <div phx-click="inc" phx-value-myvar1="val1" phx-value-myvar2="val2">

    will send the following map of params to the server:

    def handle_event("inc", %{"myvar1" => "val1", "myvar2" => "val2"}, socket) do

    If the phx-value- prefix is used, the server payload will also contain a "value" if the element's value attribute exists.

  • When receiving a map on the server, the payload will also contain metadata of the client event, containing all literal keys of the event object, such as a click event's clientX, a keydown event's keyCode, etc.

The phx-capture-click event is just like phx-click, but instead of the click event being dispatched to the closest phx-click element as it bubbles up through the DOM, the event is dispatched as it propagates from the top of the DOM tree down to the target element. This is useful when wanting to bind click events without receiving bubbled events from child UI elements. Since capturing happens before bubbling, this can also be important for preparing or preventing behaviour that will be applied during the bubbling phase.

Focus and Blur Events

Focus and blur events may be bound to DOM elements that emit such events, using the phx-blur, and phx-focus bindings, for example:

<input name="email" phx-focus="myfocus" phx-blur="myblur"/>

To detect when the page itself has received focus or blur, phx-window-focus and phx-window-blur may be specified. These window level events may also be necessary if the element in consideration (most often a div with no tabindex) cannot receive focus. Like other bindings, phx-value-* can be provided on the bound element, and those values will be sent as part of the payload. For example:

<div class="container"
    phx-window-focus="page-active"
    phx-window-blur="page-inactive"
    phx-value-page="123">
  ...
</div>

The following window-level bindings are supported:

  • phx-window-focus
  • phx-window-blur
  • phx-window-keydown
  • phx-window-keyup

Form Events

To handle form changes and submissions, use the phx-change and phx-submit events. In general, it is preferred to handle input changes at the form level, where all form fields are passed to the LiveView's callback given any single input change. For example, to handle real-time form validation and saving, your template would use both phx_change and phx_submit bindings:

<%= f = form_for @changeset, "#", [phx_change: :validate, phx_submit: :save] %>
  <%= label f, :username %>
  <%= text_input f, :username %>
  <%= error_tag f, :username %>

  <%= label f, :email %>
  <%= text_input f, :email %>
  <%= error_tag f, :email %>

  <%= submit "Save" %>
</form>

Next, your LiveView picks up the events in handle_event callbacks:

def render(assigns) ...

def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
  {:ok, assign(socket, %{changeset: Accounts.change_user(%User{})})}
end

def handle_event("validate", %{"user" => params}, socket) do
  changeset =
    %User{}
    |> Accounts.change_user(params)
    |> Map.put(:action, :insert)

  {:noreply, assign(socket, changeset: changeset)}
end

def handle_event("save", %{"user" => user_params}, socket) do
  case Accounts.create_user(user_params) do
    {:ok, user} ->
      {:noreply,
       socket
       |> put_flash(:info, "user created")
       |> redirect(to: Routes.user_path(AppWeb.Endpoint, AppWeb.User.ShowView, user))}

    {:error, %Ecto.Changeset{} = changeset} ->
      {:noreply, assign(socket, changeset: changeset)}
  end
end

The validate callback simply updates the changeset based on all form input values, then assigns the new changeset to the socket. If the changeset changes, such as generating new errors, render/1 is invoked and the form is re-rendered.

Likewise for phx-submit bindings, the same callback is invoked and persistence is attempted. On success, a :noreply tuple is returned and the socket is annotated for redirect with Phoenix.LiveView.redirect/2 to the new user page, otherwise the socket assigns are updated with the errored changeset to be re-rendered for the client.

Note: For proper form error tag updates, the error tag must specify which input it belongs to. This is accomplished with the data-phx-error-for attribute. Failing to add the data-phx-error-for attribute will result in displaying error messages for form fields that the user has not changed yet (e.g. required fields further down on the page.)

For example, your AppWeb.ErrorHelpers may use this function:

def error_tag(form, field) do
  form.errors
  |> Keyword.get_values(field)
  |> Enum.map(fn error ->
    content_tag(:span, translate_error(error),
      class: "help-block",
      data: [phx_error_for: input_id(form, field)]
    )
  end)
end

Number inputs

Number inputs are a special case in LiveView forms. On programmatic updates, some browsers will clear invalid inputs. So LiveView will not send change events from the client when an input is invalid, instead allowing the browser's native validation UI to drive user interaction. Once the input becomes valid, change and submit events will be sent normally.

<input type="number">

This is known to have a plethora of problems including accessibility, large numbers are converted to exponential notation and scrolling can accidentally increase or decrease the number.

As of early 2020, the following avoids these pitfalls and will likely serve your application's needs and users much better. According to https://caniuse.com/#search=inputmode, the following is supported by 90% of the global mobile market with Firefox yet to implement.

<input type="text" inputmode="numeric" pattern="[0-9]*">

Password inputs

Password inputs are also special cased in Phoenix.HTML. For security reasons, password field values are not reused when rendering a password input tag. This requires explicitly setting the :value in your markup, for example:

<%= password_input f, :password, value: input_value(f, :password) %>
<%= password_input f, :password_confirmation, value: input_value(f, :password_confirmation) %>
<%= error_tag f, :password %>
<%= error_tag f, :password_confirmation %>

Key Events

The onkeydown, and onkeyup events are supported via the phx-keydown, and phx-keyup bindings. When pushed, the value sent to the server will contain all the client event object's metadata. For example, pressing the Escape key looks like this:

%{
  "altKey" => false, "code" => "Escape", "ctrlKey" => false, "key" => "Escape",
  "location" => 0, "metaKey" => false, "repeat" => false, "shiftKey" => false
}

To determine which key has been pressed you should use key value. The available options can be found on MDN or via the Key Event Viewer.

By default, the bound element will be the event listener, but a window-level binding may be provided via phx-window-keydown, for example:

def render(assigns) do
  ~L"""
  <div id="thermostat" phx-window-keyup="update_temp">
    Current temperature: <%= @temperature %>
  </div>
  """
end

def handle_event("update_temp", %{"code" => "ArrowUp"}, socket) do
  {:ok, new_temp} = Thermostat.inc_temperature(socket.assigns.id)
  {:noreply, assign(socket, :temperature, new_temp)}
end

def handle_event("update_temp", %{"code" => "ArrowDown"}, socket) do
  {:ok, new_temp} = Thermostat.dec_temperature(socket.assigns.id)
  {:noreply, assign(socket, :temperature, new_temp)}
end

def handle_event("update_temp", _key, socket) do
  {:noreply, socket}
end

LiveView Specific Events

The lv: event prefix supports LiveView specific features that are handled by LiveView without calling the user's handle_event/3 callbacks. Today, the following events are supported:

  • lv:clear-flash – clears the flash when sent to the server. If a phx-value-key is provided, the specific key will be removed from the flash.

For example:

<p class="alert" phx-click="lv:clear-flash" phx-value-key="info">
  <%= live_flash(@flash, :info) %>
</p>

Compartmentalizing markup and events with render, live_render, and live_component

We can render another template directly from a LiveView template by simply calling render:

render SomeOtherView, "child_template", assigns

If the other template has the .leex extension, LiveView change tracking will also work across templates.

When rendering a child template, any of the events bound in the child template will be sent to the parent LiveView. In other words, similar to regular Phoenix templates, a regular render call does not start another LiveView. This means render is useful to sharing markup between views.

One option to address this problem is to render a child LiveView inside a parent LiveView by calling live_render/3 instead of render/3 from the LiveView template. This child LiveView runs in a completely separate process than the parent, with its own mount and handle_event callbacks. If a child LiveView crashes, it won't affect the parent. If the parent crashes, all children are terminated.

When rendering a child LiveView, the :id option is required to uniquely identify the child. A child LiveView will only ever be rendered and mounted a single time, provided its ID remains unchanged. Updates to a child session will be merged on the client, but not passed back up until either a crash and re-mount or a connection drop and recovery. To force a child to re-mount with new session data, a new ID must be provided.

Given that a LiveView runs on its own process, it is an excellent tool for creating completely isolated UI elements, but it is a slightly expensive abstraction if all you want is to compartmentalize markup and events. For example, if you are showing a table with all users in the system, and you want to compartmentalize this logic, using a separate LiveView, each with its own process, would likely be too expensive. For these cases, LiveView provides Phoenix.LiveComponent, which are rendered using live_component/3:

<%= live_component(@socket, UserComponent, id: user.id, user: user) %>

Components have their own mount and handle_event callbacks, as well as their own state with change tracking support. Components are also lightweight as they "run" in the same process as the parent LiveView. However, this means an error in a component would cause the whole view to fail to render. See Phoenix.LiveComponent for a complete rundown on components.

To sum it up:

  • render - compartmentalizes markup
  • live_component - compartmentalizes state, markup, and events
  • live_render - compartmentalizes state, markup, events, and error isolation

Rate limiting events with Debounce and Throttle

All events can be rate-limited on the client by using the phx-debounce and phx-throttle bindings, with the following behavior:

  • phx-debounce - Accepts either a string integer timeout value, or "blur". When an int is provided, delays emitting the event by provided milliseconds. When "blur" is provided, delays emitting an input's change event until the field is blurred by the user.
  • phx-throttle - Accepts an integer timeout value to throttle the event in milliseconds. Unlike debounce, throttle will immediately emit the event, then rate limit the event at one event per provided timeout.

For example, to avoid validating an email until the field is blurred, while validating the username at most every 2 seconds after a user changes the field:

<form phx-change="validate" phx-submit="save">
  <input type="text" name="user[email]" phx-debounce="blur"/>
  <input type="text" name="user[username]" phx-debounce="2000"/>
</form>

And to rate limit a button click to once every second:

<button phx-click="search" phx-throttle="1000">Search</button>

Likewise, you may throttle held-down keydown:

<div phx-window-keydown="keydown" phx-throttle="500">
  ...
</div>

Unless held-down keys are required, a better approach is generally to use phx-keyup bindings which only trigger on key up, thereby being self-limiting. However, phx-keydown is useful for games and other usecases where a constant press on a key is desired. In such cases, throttle should always be used.

Debounce and Throttle special behavior

The following specialized behavior is performed for forms and keydown bindings:

  • When a phx-submit, or a phx-change for a different input is triggered, any current debounce or throttle timers are reset for existing inputs.
  • A phx-keydown binding is only throttled for key repeats. Unique keypresses back-to-back will dispatch the pressed key events.

DOM patching and temporary assigns

A container can be marked with phx-update, allowing the DOM patch operations to avoid updating or removing portions of the LiveView, or to append or prepend the updates rather than replacing the existing contents. This is useful for client-side interop with existing libraries that do their own DOM operations. The following phx-update values are supported:

  • replace - the default operation. Replaces the element with the contents
  • ignore - ignores updates to the DOM regardless of new content changes
  • append - append the new DOM contents instead of replacing
  • prepend - prepend the new DOM contents instead of replacing

When using phx-update, a unique DOM ID must always be set in the container. If using "append" or "prepend", a DOM ID must also be set for each child. When appending or prepending elements containing an ID already present in the container, LiveView will replace the existing element with the new content instead appending or prepending a new element.

The "ignore" behaviour is frequently used when you need to integrate with another JS library. The "append" and "prepend" feature is often used with "Temporary assigns" to work with large amounts of data. Let's learn more.

Temporary assigns

By default, all LiveView assigns are stateful, which enables change tracking and stateful interactions. In some cases, it's useful to mark assigns as temporary, meaning they will be reset to a default value after each update. This allows otherwise large but infrequently updated values to be discarded after the client has been patched.

Imagine you want to implement a chat application with LiveView. You could render each message like this:

<%= for message <- @messages do %>
  <p><span><%= message.username %>:</span> <%= message.text %></p>
<% end %>

Every time there is a new message, you would append it to the @messages assign and re-render all messages.

As you may suspect, keeping the whole chat conversation in memory and resending it on every update would be too expensive, even with LiveView smart change tracking. By using temporary assigns and phx-update, we don't need to keep any messages in memory, and send messages to be appended to the UI only when there are new ones.

To do so, the first step is to mark which assigns are temporary and what values they should be reset to on mount:

def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
  socket = assign(socket, :messages, load_last_20_messages())
  {:ok, socket, temporary_assigns: [messages: []]}
end

On mount we also load the initial number of messages we want to send. After the initial render, the initial batch of messages will be reset back to an empty list.

Now, whenever there are one or more new messages, we will assign only the new messages to @messages:

socket = assign(socket, :messages, new_messages)

In the template, we want to wrap all of the messages in a container and tag this content with phx-update. Remember, we must add an ID to the container as well as to each child:

<div id="chat-messages" phx-update="append">
  <%= for message <- @messages do %>
    <p id="<%= message.id %>">
      <span><%= message.username %>:</span> <%= message.text %>
    </p>
  <% end %>
</div>

When the client receives new messages, it now knows to append to the old content rather than replace it.

Live navigation

LiveView provides functionality to allow page navigation using the browser's pushState API. With live navigation, the page is updated without a full page reload.

You can trigger live navigation in two ways:

For example, in a template you may write:

<%= live_patch "next", to: Routes.live_path(@socket, MyLive, @page + 1) %>

or in a LiveView:

{:noreply, push_redirect(socket, to: Routes.live_path(socket, MyLive, page + 1))}

The "patch" operations must be used when you want to navigate to the current LiveView, simply updating the URL and the current parameters, without mounting a new LiveView. When patch is used, the handle_params/3 callback is invoked. See the next section for more information.

The "redirect" operations must be used when you want to dismount the current LiveView and mount a new one. In those cases, the existing root LiveView is shutdown, and an Ajax request is made to request the necessary information about the new LiveView without performing a full static render (which reduces latency and improves performance). Once information is retrieved, the new LiveView is mounted. While redirecting, a phx-disconnected class is added to the root LiveView, which can be used to indicate to the user a new page is being loaded.

live_patch/2, live_redirect/2, push_redirect/2, and push_patch/2 only work for LiveViews defined at the router with the live/3 macro. Once live navigation is triggered, the flash is automatically cleared.

handle_params/3

The handle_params/3 callback is invoked after mount/3. It receives the request parameters as first argument, the url as second, and the socket as third.

For example, imagine you have a UserTable LiveView to show all users in the system and you define it in the router as:

live "/users", UserTable

Now to add live sorting, you could do:

<%= live_patch "Sort by name", to: Routes.live_path(@socket, UserTable, %{sort_by: "name"}) %>

When clicked, since we are navigating to the current LiveView, handle_params/3 will be invoked. Remember you should never trust the received params, so you must use the callback to validate the user input and change the state accordingly:

def handle_params(params, _uri, socket) do
  socket =
    case params["sort_by"] do
      sort_by when sort_by in ~w(name company) -> assign(socket, sort_by: sort)
      _ -> socket
    end

  {:noreply, load_users(socket)}
end

As with other handle_* callback, changes to the state inside handle_params/3 will trigger a server render.

Note the parameters given to handle_params/3 are the same as the ones given to mount/3. So how do you decide which callback to use to load data? Generally speaking, data should always be loaded on mount/3, since mount/3 is invoked once per LiveView life-cycle. Only the params you expect to be changed via live_patch/2 or push_patch/2 must be loaded on handle_params/3.

Furthermore, it is very important to not access the same parameters on both mount/3 and handle_params/3. For example, do NOT do this:

def mount(%{"organization_id" => org_id}, session, socket) do
  # do something with org_id
end

def handle_params(%{"organization_id" => org_id, "sort_by" => sort_by}, url, socket) do
  # do something with org_id and sort_by
end

If you do that, because mount/3 is called once and handle_params/3 multiple times, your state can get out of sync. So once a parameter is read on mount, it should not be read elsewhere. Instead, do this:

def mount(%{"organization_id" => org_id}, session, socket) do
  # do something with org_id
end

def handle_params(%{"sort_by" => sort_by}, url, socket) do
  # do something with sort_by
end

Replace page address

LiveView also allows the current browser URL to be replaced. This is useful when you want certain events to change the URL but without polluting the browser's history. This can be done by passing the replace: true option to any of the navigation helpers.

Live Layouts

When working with LiveViews, there is usually three layouts to be considered:

  • the root layout - this is a layout used by both LiveView and regular views

  • the app layout - this is the default application layout which is not included or used by LiveViews;

  • the live layout - this is the layout which wraps a LiveView and is rendered as part of the LiveView life-cycle

Overall, those layouts are found in templates/layouts with the following names:

* root.html.eex
* app.html.eex
* live.html.leex

The "root" layout is shared by both "app" and "live" layout. It is rendered only on the initial request and therefore it has access to the @conn assign. The root layout must be defined in your router:

plug :put_root_layout, {MyApp.LayoutView, :root}

Alternatively, the layout can be passed to the live macro in the router:

live "/dashboard", MyApp.Dashboard, layout: {MyApp.LayoutView, :root}

If you want the "root" layout to only apply to LiveViews, you can pass it as a option or define it in a specific pipeline that is only used by LiveView routes.

The "app" and "live" layouts are often small and similar to each other, but the "app" layout uses the @conn and used as part of the regular request life-cycle, and the "live" layout is part of the LiveView and therefore has direct access to the @socket.

For example, you can define a new live.html.leex layout with dynamic content. You must use @inner_content where the output of the actual template will be placed at:

<p><%= live_flash(@flash, :notice) %></p>
<p><%= live_flash(@flash, :error) %></p>
<%= @inner_content %>

To use the live layout, update your LiveView to pass the :layout option to use Phoenix.LiveView:

use Phoenix.LiveView, layout: {AppWeb.LayoutView, "live.html"}

The :layout option does not apply for LiveViews rendered within other LiveViews. If you are rendering child live views or if you want to opt-in to a layout only in certain occasions, use the :layout as an option in mount:

  def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
    socket = assign(socket, new_message_count: 0)
    {:ok, socket, layout: {AppWeb.LayoutView, "live.html"}}
  end

Note: The layout will be wrapped by the LiveView's :container tag.

Updating the HTML document title

Because the main layout from the Plug pipeline is rendered outside of LiveView, the contents cannot be dynamically changed. The one exception is the <title> of the HTML document. Phoenix LiveView special cases the @page_title assign to allow dynamically updating the title of the page, which is useful when using live navigation, or annotating the browser tab with a notification. For example, to update the user's notification count in the browser's title bar, first set the page_title assign on mount:

  def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
    socket = assign(socket, page_title: "Latest Posts")
    {:ok, socket}
  end

Then access @page_title in the app layout:

<title><%= @page_title %></title>

You can also use Phoenix.LiveView.Helpers.live_title_tag/2 to support adding automatic prefix and suffix to the page title when rendered and on subsequent updates:

<%= live_title_tag @page_title, prefix: "MyApp – " %>

Now, although the app layout is not updated by LiveView, by simply assigning to page_title, LiveView knows you want the title to be updated:

def handle_info({:new_messages, count}, socket) do
  {:noreply, assign(socket, page_title: "Latest Posts (#{count} new)")}
end

Note: If you find yourself needing to dynamically patch other parts of the base layout, such as injecting new scripts or styles into the <head> during live navigation, then a regular, non-live, page navigation should be used instead. Assigning the @page_title updates the document.title directly, and therefore cannot be used to update any other part of the base layout.

Disconnecting all instances of a given live user

It is possible to identify all LiveView sockets by setting a "live_socket_id" in the session. For example, when signing in a user, you could do:

conn
|> put_session(:current_user_id, user.id)
|> put_session(:live_socket_id, "users_sockets:#{user.id}")

Now all LiveView sockets will be identified and listening to the given live_socket_id. You can disconnect all live users identified by said ID by broadcasting on the topic:

MyApp.Endpoint.broadcast("users_socket:#{user.id}", "disconnect", %{})

It is the same mechanism provided by Phoenix.Socket, so you can use the same approach to disconnect live users and regular channels.

JavaScript Client Specific

As seen earlier, you start by instantiating a single LiveSocket instance to enable LiveView client/server interaction, for example:

import {Socket} from "phoenix"
import LiveSocket from "phoenix_live_view"

let csrfToken = document.querySelector("meta[name='csrf-token']").getAttribute("content")
let liveSocket = new LiveSocket("/live", Socket, {params: {_csrf_token: csrfToken}})
liveSocket.connect()

All options are passed directly to the Phoenix.Socket constructor, except for the following LiveView specific options:

  • bindingPrefix - the prefix to use for phoenix bindings. Defaults "phx-"
  • params - the connect_params to pass to the view's mount callback. May be a literal object or closure returning an object. When a closure is provided, the function receives the view's phx-view name.
  • hooks – a reference to a user-defined hooks namespace, containing client callbacks for server/client interop. See the interop section below for details.

Debugging Client Events

To aid debugging on the client when troubleshooting issues, the enableDebug() and disableDebug() functions are exposed on the LiveSocket JavaScript instance. Calling enableDebug() turns on debug logging which includes LiveView life-cycle and payload events as they come and go from client to server. In practice, you can expose your instance on window for quick access in the browser's web console, for example:

// app.js
let liveSocket = new LiveSocket(...)
liveSocket.connect()
window.liveSocket = liveSocket

// in the browser's web console
>> liveSocket.enableDebug()

The debug state uses the browser's built-in sessionStorage, so it will remain in effect for as long as your browser session lasts.

Simulating Latency

Proper handling of latency is critical for good UX. LiveView's CSS loading states allow the client to provide user feedback while awaiting a server response. In development, near zero latency on localhost does not allow latency to be easily represented or tested, so LiveView includes a latency simulator with the JavaScript client to ensure your application provides a pleasant experience. Like the enableDebug() function above, the LiveSocket instance includes enableLatencySim(milliseconds) and disableLatencySim() functions which apply throughout the current browser sesssion. The enableLatencySim function accepts an integer in milliseconds for the round-trip-time to the server. For example:

// app.js
let liveSocket = new LiveSocket(...)
liveSocket.connect()
window.liveSocket = liveSocket

// in the browser's web console
>> liveSocket.enableLatencySim(1000)
[Log] latency simulator enabled for the duration of this browser session.
      Call disableLatencySim() to disable

Forms and input handling

The JavaScript client is always the source of truth for current input values. For any given input with focus, LiveView will never overwrite the input's current value, even if it deviates from the server's rendered updates. This works well for updates where major side effects are not expected, such as form validation errors, or additive UX around the user's input values as they fill out a form. For these use cases, the phx-change input does not concern itself with disabling input editing while an event to the server is in flight. When a phx-change event is sent to the server the input tag and parent form tag receive the phx-change-loading css class, then the payload is pushed to the server with a "_target" param in the root payload containing the keyspace of the input name which triggered the change event. For example, if the following input triggered a change event:

<input name="user[username]"/>

The server's handle_event/3 would receive a payload:

%{"_target" => ["user", "username"], "user" => %{"username" => "Name"}}

The phx-submit event is used for form submissions where major side effects typically happen, such as rendering new containers, calling an external service, or redirecting to a new page.

On submission of a form bound with a phx-submit event:

  1. The form's inputs are set to readonly
  2. Any submit button on the form is disabled
  3. The form receives the "phx-submit-loading" class

On completion of server processing of the phx-submit event:

  1. The submitted form is reactivated and loses the "phx-submit-loading" class
  2. The last input with focus is restored (unless another input has received focus)
  3. Updates are patched to the DOM as usual

To handle latent form submissions, any HTML tag can be annotated with phx-disable-with, which swaps the element's innerText with the provided value during form submission. For example, the following code would change the "Save" button to "Saving...", and restore it to "Save" on acknowledgment:

<button type="submit" phx-disable-with="Saving...">Save</button>

Form Recovery following crashes or disconnects

By default, all forms marked with phx-change will recover input values automatically after the user has reconnected or the LiveView has remounted after a crash. This is achieved by the client triggering the same phx-change to the server as soon as the mount has been completed. For most use cases, this is all you need and form recovery will happen without consideration. In some cases, where forms are built step-by-step in a stateful fashion, it may require extra recovery handling on the server outside of your existing phx-change callback code. To enable specialized recovery, provide a phx-auto-recover binding on the form to specify a different event to trigger for recovery, which will receive the form params as usual. For example, imagine a LiveView wizard form where the form is stateful and built based on what step the user is on and by prior selections:

<form phx-change="validate_wizard_step" phx-auto-recover="recover_wizard">

On the server, the "validate_wizard_step" event is only concerned with the current client form data, but the server maintains the entire state of the wizard. To recover in this scenario, you can specify a recovery event, such as "recover_wizard" above, which would wire up to the following server callbacks in your LiveView:

def handle_event("validate_wizard_step", params, socket) do
  # regular validations for current step
  {:noreply, socket}
end

def handle_event("recover_wizard", params, socket) do
  # rebuild state based on client input data up to the current step
  {:noreply, socket}
end

To forgo automatic form recovery, set phx-auto-recover="ignore".

Loading state and errors

By default, the following classes are applied to the LiveView's parent container:

  • "phx-connected" - applied when the view has connected to the server
  • "phx-disconnected" - applied when the view is not connected to the server
  • "phx-error" - applied when an error occurs on the server. Note, this class will be applied in conjunction with "phx-disconnected" if connection to the server is lost.

All phx- event bindings apply their own css classes when pushed. For example the following markup:

<button phx-click="clicked" phx-window-keydown="key">...</button>

On click, would receive the phx-click-loading class, and on keydown would receive the phx-keydown-loading class. The css loading classes are maintained until an acknowledgement is received on the client for the pushed event.

In the case of forms, when a phx-change is sent to the server, the input element which emitted the change receives the phx-change-loading class, along with the parent form tag. The following events receive css loading classes:

  • phx-click - phx-click-loading
  • phx-change - phx-change-loading
  • phx-submit - phx-submit-loading
  • phx-focus - phx-focus-loading
  • phx-blur - phx-blur-loading
  • phx-window-keydown - phx-keydown-loading
  • phx-window-keyup - phx-keyup-loading

For live page navigation via live_redirect and live_patch, as well as form submits via phx-submit, the JavaScript events "phx:page-loading-start" and "phx:page-loading-stop" are dispatched on window. Additionally, any phx- event may dispatch page loading events by annotating the DOM element with phx-page-loading. This is useful for showing main page loading status, for example:

// app.js
import NProgress from "nprogress"
window.addEventListener("phx:page-loading-start", info => NProgress.start())
window.addEventListener("phx:page-loading-stop", info => NProgress.done())

The info object will contain a kind key, with values one of:

  • "redirect" - the event was triggered by a redirect
  • "patch" - the event was triggered by a patch
  • "initial" - the event was triggered by initial page load
  • "element" - the event was triggered by a phx- bound element, such as phx-click

For all kinds of page loading events, all but "element" will receive an additional to key in the info metadata pointing to the href associated with the page load.

In the case of an "element" page loading, the info will contain a "target" key containing the DOM element which triggered the page loading state.

JS Interop and client-controlled DOM

To handle custom client-side JavaScript when an element is added, updated, or removed by the server, a hook object may be provided with the following life-cycle callbacks:

  • mounted - the element has been added to the DOM and its server LiveView has finished mounting
  • beforeUpdate - the element is about to be updated in the DOM. Note: any call here must be synchronous as the operation cannot be deferred or cancelled.
  • updated - the element has been updated in the DOM by the server
  • beforeDestroy - the element is about to be removed from the DOM. Note: any call here must be synchronous as the operation cannot be deferred or cancelled.
  • destroyed - the element has been removed from the page, either by a parent update, or by the parent being removed entirely
  • disconnected - the element's parent LiveView has disconnected from the server
  • reconnected - the element's parent LiveView has reconnected to the server

The above life-cycle callbacks have in-scope access to the following attributes:

  • el - attribute referencing the bound DOM node,
  • viewName - attribute matching the dom node's phx-view value
  • pushEvent(event, payload) - method to push an event from the client to the LiveView server
  • pushEventTo(selector, event, payload) - method to push targeted events from the client to LiveViews and LiveComponents.

For example, the markup for a controlled input for phone-number formatting could be written like this:

<input type="text" name="user[phone_number]" id="user-phone-number" phx-hook="PhoneNumber" />

Then a hook callback object could be defined and passed to the socket:

let Hooks = {}
Hooks.PhoneNumber = {
  mounted() {
    this.el.addEventListener("input", e => {
      let match = this.el.value.replace(/\D/g, "").match(/^(\d{3})(\d{3})(\d{4})$/)
      if(match) {
        this.el.value = `${match[1]}-${match[2]}-${match[3]}`
      }
    })
  }
}

let liveSocket = new LiveSocket("/live", Socket, {hooks: Hooks, ...})
...

Note: when using phx-hook, a unique DOM ID must always be set.

Endpoint configuration

LiveView accepts the following configuration in your endpoint under the :live_view key:

  • :signing_salt (required) - the salt used to sign data sent to the client

  • :hibernate_after (optional) - the idle time in milliseconds allowed in the LiveView before compressing its own memory and state. Defaults to 15000ms (15 seconds)

Link to this section Summary

Functions

Uses LiveView in the current module to mark it a LiveView.

Adds key value pairs to socket assigns.

Assigns a value into the socket only if it does not exist.

Clears the flash.

Clears a key from the flash.

Returns true if the socket is connected.

Accesses the connect params sent by the client for use on connected mount.

Annotates the socket for navigation within the current LiveView.

Annotates the socket for navigation to another LiveView.

Adds a flash message to the socket to be displayed on redirect.

Annotates the socket for redirect to a destination path.

Asynchronously updates a component with new assigns.

Returns the transport pid of the socket.

Updates an existing key in the socket assigns.

Link to this section Functions

Link to this macro

__using__(opts)

View Source (macro)

Uses LiveView in the current module to mark it a LiveView.

use Phoenix.LiveView,
  namespace: MyAppWeb,
  container: {:tr, class: "colorized"},
  layout: {MyAppWeb.LayoutView, "live.html"}

Options

  • :namespace - configures the namespace the LiveView is in
  • :container - configures the container the LiveView will be wrapped in
  • :layout - configures the layout the LiveView will be rendered in

See assign/3.

Link to this function

assign(socket, key, value)

View Source

Adds key value pairs to socket assigns.

A single key value pair may be passed, or a keyword list of assigns may be provided to be merged into existing socket assigns.

Examples

iex> assign(socket, :name, "Elixir")
iex> assign(socket, name: "Elixir", logo: "💧")
Link to this function

assign_new(socket, key, func)

View Source

Assigns a value into the socket only if it does not exist.

Useful for lazily assigning values and referencing parent assigns.

Referencing parent assigns

When a LiveView is mounted in a disconnected state, the Plug.Conn assigns will be available for reference via assign_new/3, allowing assigns to be shared for the initial HTTP request. On connected mount, assign_new/3 will be invoked, and the LiveView will use its session to rebuild the originally shared assign. Likewise, nested LiveView children have access to their parent's assigns on mount using assign_new, which allows assigns to be shared down the nested LiveView tree.

Examples

# controller
conn
|> assign(:current_user, user)
|> LiveView.Controller.live_render(MyLive, session: %{"user_id" => user.id})

# LiveView mount
def mount(_params, %{"user_id" => user_id}, socket) do
  {:ok, assign_new(socket, :current_user, fn -> Accounts.get_user!(user_id) end)}
end

Clears the flash.

Examples

iex> clear_flash(socket)
Link to this function

clear_flash(socket, key)

View Source

Clears a key from the flash.

Examples

iex> clear_flash(socket, :info)

Returns true if the socket is connected.

Useful for checking the connectivity status when mounting the view. For example, on initial page render, the view is mounted statically, rendered, and the HTML is sent to the client. Once the client connects to the server, a LiveView is then spawned and mounted statefully within a process. Use connected?/1 to conditionally perform stateful work, such as subscribing to pubsub topics, sending messages, etc.

Examples

defmodule DemoWeb.ClockLive do
  use Phoenix.LiveView
  ...
  def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
    if connected?(socket), do: :timer.send_interval(1000, self(), :tick)

    {:ok, assign(socket, date: :calendar.local_time())}
  end

  def handle_info(:tick, socket) do
    {:noreply, assign(socket, date: :calendar.local_time())}
  end
end
Link to this function

get_connect_params(socket)

View Source

Accesses the connect params sent by the client for use on connected mount.

Connect params are only sent when the client connects to the server and only remain available during mount. nil is returned when called in a disconnected state and a RuntimeError is raised if called after mount.

Examples

def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
  {:ok, assign(socket, width: get_connect_params(socket)["width"] || @width)}
end
Link to this function

push_patch(socket, opts)

View Source

Annotates the socket for navigation within the current LiveView.

When navigating to the current LiveView, handle_params/3 is immediately invoked to handle the change of params and URL state. Then the new state is pushed to the client, without reloading the whole page. For live redirects to another LiveView, use push_redirect/2.

Options

  • :to - the required path to link to. It must always be a local path
  • :replace - the flag to replace the current history or push a new state. Defaults false.

Examples

{:noreply, push_patch(socket, to: "/")}
{:noreply, push_patch(socket, to: "/", replace: true)}
Link to this function

push_redirect(socket, opts)

View Source

Annotates the socket for navigation to another LiveView.

The current LiveView will be shutdown and a new one will be mounted in its place LiveView, without reloading the whole page. This can also be use to remount the same LiveView, in case you want to start fresh. If you want to navigate to the same LiveView without remounting it, use push_patch/2 instead.

Options

  • :to - the required path to link to. It must always be a local path
  • :replace - the flag to replace the current history or push a new state. Defaults false.

Examples

{:noreply, push_redirect(socket, to: "/")}
{:noreply, push_redirect(socket, to: "/", replace: true)}
Link to this function

put_flash(socket, kind, msg)

View Source

Adds a flash message to the socket to be displayed on redirect.

Note: the Phoenix.Router.fetch_live_flash plug must be plugged in your browser's pipeline in place of fetch_flash to be supported, for example:

import Phoenix.LiveView.Router

pipeline :browser do
  ...
  plug :fetch_live_flash
end

Examples

iex> put_flash(socket, :info, "It worked!")
iex> put_flash(socket, :error, "You can't access that page")

Annotates the socket for redirect to a destination path.

Note: LiveView redirects rely on instructing client to perform a window.location update on the provided redirect location. The whole page will be reloaded and all state will be discarded.

Options

  • :to - the path to redirect to. It must always be a local path
  • :external - an external path to redirect to
Link to this function

send_update(module, assigns)

View Source

Asynchronously updates a component with new assigns.

Requires a stateful component with a matching :id to send the update to. Following the optional preload/1 callback being invoked, the updated values are merged with the component's assigns and update/2 is called for the updated component(s).

While a component may always be updated from the parent by updating some parent assigns which will re-render the child, thus invoking update/2 on the child component, send_update/2 is useful for updating a component that entirely manages its own state, as well as messaging between components.

Examples

def handle_event("cancel-order", _, socket) do
  ...
  send_update(Cart, id: "cart", status: "cancelled")
  {:noreply, socket}
end

Returns the transport pid of the socket.

Raises ArgumentError if the socket is not connected.

Examples

iex> transport_pid(socket)
#PID<0.107.0>
Link to this function

update(socket, key, func)

View Source

Updates an existing key in the socket assigns.

The update function receives the current key's value and returns the updated value. Raises if the key does not exist.

Examples

iex> update(socket, :count, fn count -> count + 1 end)
iex> update(socket, :count, &(&1 + 1))

Link to this section Callbacks

Link to this callback

handle_call(msg, {}, socket)

View Source (optional)
handle_call(
  msg :: term(),
  {pid(), reference()},
  socket :: Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()
) ::
  {:noreply, Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()}
  | {:reply, term(), Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()}
Link to this callback

handle_event(event, arg2, socket)

View Source (optional)
handle_event(
  event :: binary(),
  Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.unsigned_params(),
  socket :: Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()
) :: {:noreply, Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()}
Link to this callback

handle_info(msg, socket)

View Source (optional)
handle_info(msg :: term(), socket :: Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()) ::
  {:noreply, Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()}
Link to this callback

handle_params(arg1, uri, socket)

View Source (optional)
Link to this callback

mount(arg1, session, socket)

View Source (optional)
mount(
  Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.unsigned_params() | :not_mounted_at_router,
  session :: map(),
  socket :: Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()
) ::
  {:ok, Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()}
  | {:ok, Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t(), keyword()}

The LiveView entry-point.

For each LiveView in the root of a template, mount/3 is invoked twice: once to do the initial page load and again to establish the live socket.

It expects three parameters:

  • params - a map of string keys which contain public information that can be set by the user. The map contains the query params as well as any router path parameter. If the LiveView was not mounted at the router, this argument is the atom :not_mounted_at_router
  • session - the connection session
  • socket - the LiveView socket

It must return either {:ok, socket} or {:ok, socket, options}, where options is one of:

  • :temporary_assigns - a keyword list of assigns that are temporary and must be reset to their value after every render

  • :layout - the optional layout to be used by the LiveView

Link to this callback

terminate(reason, socket)

View Source (optional)
terminate(reason, socket :: Phoenix.LiveView.Socket.t()) :: term()
when reason: :normal | :shutdown | {:shutdown, :left | :closed | term()}