Qwik in a nutshell

Components

Qwik components are very similar to React components. They are functions that return JSX. However, component$(...) needs to be used, event handlers must have the $ suffix, state is created using useSignal() , class is used instead of className and some other differences.

  • Components are always declared with the component$ function.
  • Components can use the useSignal hook to create reactive state.
  • Event handlers are declared with the $ suffix.
  • For <input>, the onChange event is called onInput$ in Qwik.
  • JSX prefers HTML attributes. class instead of className. for instead of htmlFor.
  • Conditional rendering is done with the ternary operator ? and the && operator, just like React.
src/components/my-other-component/index.tsx
import { component$, Slot } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import type { ClassList } from '@builder.io/qwik'
 
export component$((props: { class?: ClassList }) => { // ✅
  return <div class={class}><Slot /></div>;
});
import { component$, useSignal } from '@builder.io/qwik';
 
// Other components can be imported and used in JSX.
import { MyOtherComponent } from './my-other-component';
 
interface MyComponentProps {
  step: number;
}
 
// Components are always declared with the `component$` function.
export const MyComponent = component$((props: MyComponentProps) => {
  // Components use the `useSignal` hook to create reactive state.
  const count = useSignal(0); // { value: 0 }
  return (
    <>
      <button
        onClick$={() => {
          // Event handlers have the `$` suffix.
          count.value = count.value + props.step;
        }}
      >
        Increment by {props.step}
      </button>
      <main
        class={{
          even: count.value % 2 === 0,
          omode: count.value % 2 === 1,
        }}
      >
        <h1>Count: {count.value}</h1>
        <MyOtherComponent class="correct-way" /> {/* ✅ */}
          {count.value > 10 && <p>Count is greater than 10</p>}
          {count.value > 10 ? <p>Count is greater than 10</p> : <p>Count is less than 10</p>}
        </MyOtherComponent>
      </main>
    </>
  );
});

Rendering a list of items

Like in React, you can render a list of items using the map function, however every item in the list must have a unique key property. The key must be a string, or number and must be unique within the list.

import { component$, useSignal } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { US_PRESIDENTS } from './presidents';
 
export const PresidentsList = component$(() => {
  return (
    <ul>
      {US_PRESIDENTS.map((president) => (
        <li key={president.number}>
          <h2>{president.name}</h2>
          <p>{president.description}</p>
        </li>
      ))}
    </ul>
  );
});

Reusing event handlers

Event handlers can be reused across JSX nodes. This is done by creating a handler using the $(...handler...).

import { $, component$, useSignal } from '@builder.io/qwik';
 
interface MyComponentProps {
  step: number;
}
 
// Components are always declared with the `component$` function.
export const MyComponent = component$(() => {
  const count = useSignal(0);
 
  // Notice the `$(...)` around the event handler function.
  const inputHandler = $((event) => {
    console.log('input', event.target.name, event.target.value);
  });
 
  return (
    <>
      <input name="name" onInput$={inputHandler} />
      <input
        name="password"
        onInput$={inputHandler}
      />
    </>
  );
});

Content projection

Content projection is done by the <Slot/> component, which is exported from @builder.io/qwik. Slots can be named, and can be projected into using the q:slot attribute.

// File: src/components/Button/Button.tsx
import { component$, Slot } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import styles from './Button.module.css';
 
export const Button = component$(() => {
  return (
    <button class={styles.button}>
      <div class={styles.start}>
        <Slot name="start" />
      </div>
      <Slot />
      <div class={styles.end}>
        <Slot name="end" />
      </div>
    </button>
  );
});
 
export default component$(() => {
  return (
    <Button>
      <span q:slot="start">📩</span>
      Hello world
      <span q:slot="end">🟩</span>
    </Button>
  );
});

Rules of use hooks

Methods that start with use are special in Qwik, such as useSignal(), useStore(), useOn(), useTask$(), useLocation() and so on. Very similar to React hooks.

  • They can only be called within a component$.
  • They can only be called from the top level of a component$, not inside a conditional, or a loop.

Styling

Qwik supports out of the box, CSS modules, or even tailwind, global CSS imports and lazy loading scoped CSS using useStyleScoped$(). CSS Modules are the recommended way to style Qwik components.

CSS Modules

To use CSS modules, simply create a .module.css file. For example, src/components/MyComponent/MyComponent.module.css.

src/components/MyComponent/MyComponent.module.css
.container {
  background-color: red;
}

Then, import the CSS module in your component.

src/components/MyComponent/MyComponent.tsx
import { component$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import styles from './MyComponent.module.css';
 
export default component$(() => {
  return <div class={styles.container}>Hello world</div>;
});

Remember that Qwik uses class instead of className for CSS classes.

$(...) rules

The $(...) function and any function that end with $ are special in Qwik, such as: $(), useTask$(), useVisibleTask$()... The $ at the end represents a lazy loading boundary. There are some rules that apply to the first argument of any $ function. It is NOT related to jQuery at all.

  • The first argument must be a imported variable.
  • The first argument must be a declared variable at the top level of the same module.
  • The first argument must be an expression any variables.
  • If the first argument is a function, it can only capture variables that are declared at the top level of the same module or which value is serializable. Serializable values include: string, number, boolean, null, undefined, Array, Object, Date, RegExp, Map, Set, BigInt, Promise, Error, JSX nodes, Signal, Store and even HTMLElements.
// Valid examples of `$` functions.
import { $, component$, useSignal } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { importedFunction } from './my-other-module';
 
export function exportedFunction() {
  console.log('exported function');
}
 
export default component$(() => {
  // The first argument is a function.
  const valid1 = $((event) => {
    console.log('input', event.target.name, event.target.value);
  });
 
  // The first argument is a imported identifier.
  const valid2 = $(importedFunction);
 
  // The first argument is a identifier declared at the top level of the same module.
  const valid3 = $(exportedFunction);
 
  // The first argument is an expression without local variables.
  const valid4 = $([1, 2, { a: 'hello' }]);
 
  // The first argument is a function that captures a local variable.
  const localVariable = 1;
  const valid5 = $((event) => {
    console.log('local variable', localVariable);
  });
});

Here are some examples of invalid $ functions.

// Invalid examples of `$` functions.
import { $, component$, useSignal } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { importedVariable } from './my-other-module';
 
export default component$(() => {
  const unserializable = new CustomClass();
  const localVariable = 1;
 
  // The first argument is a local variable.
  const invalid1 = $(localVariable);
 
  // The first argument is a function that captures an unserializable local variable.
  const invalid2 = $((event) => {
    console.log('custom class', unserializable);
  });
 
  // The first argument is an expression that uses a local variable.
  const invalid3 = $(localVariable + 1);
 
  // The first argument is an expression that uses an imported variable.
  const invalid4 = $(importedVariable + 'hello');
});

Reactive state

useSignal(initialValue?)

useSignal() is the main way to create reactive state. Signals can be shared across components, and any component or task that reads the signal (executing: signal.value) will be render when the signal changes.

// Typescript definition for `Signal<T>` and `useSignal<T>`
 
export interface Signal<T> {
  value: T;
}
 
export const useSignal: <T>(value?: T | (() => T)): Signal<T>;

useSignal(initialValue?) takes an optional initial value and returns a Signal<T> object. The Signal<T> object has a value property that can be read and written to. When a component or task access the value property, it automatically creates a subscription, so when the value is changed, every component, task or another computed signals that read the value will be re-evaluated.

useStore(initialValue?)

useStore(initialValue?) is similar to useSignal except that it creates a reactive javascript object, making every property of the object reactive, just like the value of a signal. Under the hood, useStore is implemented using a Proxy object that intercepts all property access, making the property reactive.

// Typescript definition `useStore<T>`
 
// The `Reactive<T>` is a reactive version of the `T` type, every property of `T` behaves like a `Signal<T>`.
export interface Reactive<T extends Record<string, any>> extends T {}
 
export interface StoreOptions {
  // If `deep` is true, then nested property of the store will be wrapped in a `Signal<T>`.
  deep?: boolean;
}
export const useStore: <T>(value?: T | (() => T), options?: StoreOptions): Reactive<T>;

In practice, useSignal and useStore are very similar -- useSignal(0) === useStore({ value: 0 }) -- but useSignal is preferable most of the time. Some use cases for useStore are:

  • When you need reactivity in an array.
  • When you want a reactive object that you can easily add properties to.
import { component$, useStore } from '@builder.io/qwik';
 
export const Counter = component$(() => {
  // The `useStore` hook is used to create a reactive store.
  const todoList = useStore(
    {
      array: [],
    },
    { deep: true }
  );
 
  // todoList.array is a reactive array, so we can push to it and the component will re-render.
 
  return (
    <>
      <h1>Todo List</h1>
      <ul>
        {todoList.array.map((todo) => (
          <li key={todo.id}>
            <input
              type="checkbox"
              checked={todo.completed}
              onInput$={() => {
                // todoList is a reactive store
                // because we used `deep: true`, the `todo` object is also reactive.
                // so we can change the `completed` property and the component will re-render.
                todo.completed = !todo.completed;
              }}
            />
            {todo.text}
          </li>
        ))}
      </ul>
    </>
  );
});

useTask$(() => { ... })

useTask$ is used to create an async task. Tasks are useful to implement side effects, running heavy computation and async code as part of the rendering lifecycle. useTask$ tasks are executed before the first render, and susequently whenever a tracked signal or store changes, the task is re-executed.

import { component$, useSignal, useTask$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
 
export const Counter = component$(() => {
  const page = useSignal(0);
  const listOfUsers = useSignal([]);
 
  // The `useTask$` hook is used to create a task.
  useTask$(() => {
    // The task is executed before the first render.
    console.log('Task executed before first render');
  });
 
  // You can create multiple tasks, and they can be async.
  useTask$(async (taskContext) => {
    // Since we want to re-run the task whenever the `page` changes,
    // we need to track it.
    taskContext.track(() => page.value);
    console.log('Task executed before the first render AND when page changes');
    console.log('Current page:', page.value);
 
    // Tasks can run async code, such as fetching data.
    const res = await fetch(`https://api.randomuser.me/?page=${page.value}`);
    const json = await res.json();
 
    // Assigning to a signal will trigger a re-render.
    listOfUsers.value = json.results;
  });
 
  return (
    <>
      <h1>Page {page.value}</h1>
      <ul>
        {listOfUsers.value.map((user) => (
          <li key={user.login.uuid}>
            {user.name.first} {user.name.last}
          </li>
        ))}
      </ul>
      <button onClick$={() => page.value++}>Next Page</button>
    </>
  );
});

useTask$() will run in the server during SSR, and in the browser if the component is first mounted on the client. Because of that, it's not a good idea to access DOM APIs in a task, since they will not be available on the server. Instead, you should use event handlers or useVisibleTask$() to run a task only on the client/browser.

useVisibleTask$(() => { ... })

useVisibleTask$ is used to create a task that happens right AFTER the component is first mounted in the DOM. It's similar to useTask$ except that it only runs on the client, and it's executed after the first render. Because it's executed after the render, it's ok to inspect the DOM, or use browser APIS.

import { component$, useSignal, useVisibleTask$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
 
export const Clock = component$(() => {
  const time = useSignal(0);
 
  // The `useVisibleTask$` hook is used to create a task that runs eagarly on the client.
  useVisibleTask$((taskContext) => {
    // Since this VisibleTask is not tracking any signals, it will only run once.
 
    const interval = setInterval(() => {
      time.value = new Date();
    }, 1000);
 
    // The `cleanup` function is called when the component is unmounted, or when the task is re-run.
    taskContext.cleanup(() => clearInterval(interval));
  });
 
  return (
    <>
      <h1>Clock</h1>
      <h1>Seconds passed: {time.value}</h1>
    </>
  );
});

Since Qwik does NOT execute any Javascript on the browser before user interaction, useVisibleTask$() is the only API that will run execute eagerly on the client, which is why it's a good place to do things like:

  • Access DOM APIs
  • Initialize browser-only libraries
  • Run analytics code
  • Start an animation, or a timer.

Note that useVisibleTask$() should not be used to fetch data, because it will not run on the server. Instead, you should use useTask$() to fetch data, and then use useVisibleTask$() to do things like start an animation. Abusing useVisibleTask$() can lead to poor performance.

Routing

Qwik comes with a file-based router, which is similar to Next.js, but with a few differences. The router is based on the file-system, specifically in src/routes/. Creating a new index.tsx file in a folder under src/routes/ will create a new route. For example, src/routes/home/index.tsx will create a route at /home/.

src/routes/home/index.tsx
 
import { component$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
 
export default component$(() => {
  return <h1>Home</h1>;
});

It is very important to export the component as the default export, otherwise the router will not be able to find it.

Route Parameters

You can create dynamic routes by adding a folder with [param] in the route path. For example, src/routes/user/[id]/index.tsx will create a route at /user/:id/. In order to access the route parameter, you can use the useLocation hook exported from @builder.io/qwik-city.

src/routes/user/[userID]/index.tsx
 
import { component$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { useLocation } from '@builder.io/qwik-city';
 
export default component$(() => {
  const loc = useLocation();
  return (
    <main>
      {loc.isNavigating && <p>Loading...</p>}
      <h1>User: {loc.params.userID}</h1>
      <p>Current URL: {loc.url.href}</p>
    </main>
  );
});

useLocation() returns a reactive RouteLocation object, meaning that it will re-render whenever the route changes. The RouteLocation object has the following properties:

/**
 * The current route location returned by `useLocation()`.
 */
export interface RouteLocation {
  readonly params: Readonly<Record<string, string>>;
  readonly url: URL;
  readonly isNavigating: boolean;
}

Linking to other routes

To link to other routes, you can use the Link component exported from @builder.io/qwik-city. The Link component takes all the properties of the <a> HTMLAnchorElement. The only difference is that it will use the Qwik router to SPA navigate to the route instead of doing a full page navigation.

src/routes/index.tsx
 
import { component$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { Link } from '@builder.io/qwik-city';
 
export default component$(() => {
  return (
    <>
      <h1>Home</h1>
      <Link href="/about/">SPA navigate to /about/</Link>
      <a href="/about/">Full page navigate to /about/</a>
    </>
  );
});

Fetching / loading data

The recommended way to load data from the server is to use the routeLoader$() function exported from @builder.io/qwik-city. The routeLoader$() function is used to create a data loader that will be executed on the server before the route is rendered. The return of routeLoader$() must exported as a name export from the route file, ie, it can only be used in a index.tsx, inside of src/routes/.

src/routes/user/[userID]/index.tsx
 
import { component$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { routeLoader$ } from '@builder.io/qwik-city';
 
// The `routeLoader$()` function is used to create a data loader that will be executed on the server before the route is rendered.
// The return of `routeLoader$()` is a custom use hook, which can be used to access the data returned from `routeLoader$()`.
export const useUserData = routeLoader$(async (requestContext) => {
  const user = await db.table('users').get(requestContext.params.userID);
  return {
    name: user.name,
    email: user.email,
  };
});
 
export default component$(() => {
  // The `useUserData` hook will return a `Signal` containing the data returned from `routeLoader$()`, which will re-render the component, whenever the navigation changes, and the routeLoader$() is re-run.
  const userData = useUserData();
  return (
    <main>
      <h1>User data</h1>
      <p>User name: {userData.value.name}</p>
      <p>User email: {userData.value.email}</p>
    </main>
  );
});
 
// Exported `head` function is used to set the document head for the route.
export const head: DocumentHead = ({resolveValue}) => {
  // It can use the `resolveValue()` method to resolve the value from `routeLoader$()`.
  const user = resolveValue(useUserData);
  return {
    title: `User: "${user.name}"`,
    meta: [
      {
        name: 'description',
        content: 'User page',
      },
    ],
  };
};

The routeLoader$() function takes a function that returns a promise. The promise is resolved on the server, and the resolved value is passed to the useCustomLoader$() hook. The useCustomLoader$() hook is a custom hook that is created by the routeLoader$() function. The useCustomLoader$() hook returns a Signal that contains the resolved value of the promise returned from the routeLoader$() function. The useCustomLoader$() hook will re-render the component whenever the route changes, and the routeLoader$() function is re-run.

Handle form submissions

Qwik provides the routeAction$() API exported from @builder.io/qwik-city to handle form requests on the server. routeAction$() is only executed on the server when the form is submitted.

src/routes/user/[userID]/index.tsx
 
import { component$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { routeAction$, Form, zod$, z } from '@builder.io/qwik-city';
 
// The `routeAction$()` function is used to create a data loader that will be executed on the server when the form is submitted.
// The return of `routeAction$()` is a custom use hook, which can be used to access the data returned from `routeAction$()`.
export const useUserUpdate = routeAction$(async (data, requestContext) => {
  const user = await db.table('users').get(requestContext.params.userID);
  user.name = data.name;
  user.email = data.email;
  await db.table('users').put(user);
  return {
    user,
  };
}, zod$({
  name: z.string(),
  email: z.string(),
}));
 
export default component$(() => {
  // The `useUserUpdate` hook will return a `ActionStore<T>` containing the `value` returned from `routeAction$()`, and some other properties, such as `submit()`, which is used to submit the form programmatically, and `isRunning`. All of these properties are reactive, and will re-render the component whenever they change.
  const userData = useUserUpdate();
  // userData.value is the value returned from `routeAction$()`, which is `undefined` before the form is submitted.
  // userData.formData is the form data that was submitted, it is `undefined` before the form is submitted.
  // userData.isRunning is a boolean that is true when the form is being submitted.
  // userData.submit() is a function that can be used to submit the form programmatically.
  // userData.actionPath is the path to the action, which is used to submit the form.
  return (
    <main>
      <h1>User data</h1>
      <Form action={userData}>
        <div>
          <label>User name: <input name="name" defaultValue={userData.formData?.get('name')} /></label>
        </div>
        <div>
          <label>User email: <input name="email" defaultValue={userData.formData?.get('email')} /></label>
        </div>
        <button type="submit">Update</button>
      </form>
    </main>
  );
});

The routeAction$() is used on pair with the Form component exported from @builder.io/qwik-city. The Form component is a wrapper around the native HTML <form> element. The Form component takes an ActionStore<T> as the action property. The ActionStore<T> is the return value of the routeAction$() function.

Run code only in the browser

Since Qwik executes the same code on the server and in the browser, you cannot use window or other browser APIs in your code, because they don't exist when the code is executed on the server.

If you want to access browser APIs, such as window, document, localStorage, sessionStorage, webgl etc, you need to check if the code is running in the browser before accessing the browser APIs.

import { component$, useTask$, useVisibleTask$, useSignal } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { isBrowser } from '@builder.io/qwik/build';
 
export default component$(() => {
  const ref = useSignal<Element>();
 
  // useVisibleTask$ will only run on the browser
  useVisibleTask$(() => {
    // No need to check for `isBrowser` before accessing the DOM, because useVisibleTask$ will only run on the browser
    ref.value?.focus();
    document.title = 'Hello world';
  });
 
  // useTask might run on the server, so you need to check for `isBrowser` before accessing the DOM
  useTask$(() => {
    if (isBrowser) {
      // This code will only run in the browser only when the component is first rendered there
      ref.value?.focus();
      document.title = 'Hello world';
    }
  });
 
  return (
    <button
      ref={ref}
      onClick$={() => {
        // All event handlers are only executed in the browser, so it's safe to access the DOM
        ref.value?.focus();
        document.title = 'Hello world';
      }}
    >
      Click me
    </button>
  );
});

useVisibleTask$(() => { ... })

This API will declare a VisibleTask that is ensured to run only on the client/browser. It will never run on the server.

JSX event handlers

JSX handlers such as onClick$ and onInput$ are only executed on the client. This is because they are DOM events, since there is no DOM on the server, they will not be executed on the server.

isBrowser conditional

Qwik provides a isBrowser boolean exported from @builder.io/qwik/build. You can use this to ensure that code only runs on the browser.

Run code only on the server

Sometimes you need to run code only on the server, such as fetching data or accessing a database. To solve this problem, Qwik provides a few APIs to run code only on the server.

import { component$, useTask$ } from '@builder.io/qwik';
import { server$, routeLoader$ } from '@builder.io/qwik/qwik-city';
import { isServer } from '@builder.io/qwik/build';
 
 
export const useGetProducts = routeLoader$((requestEvent) => {
  // This code will only run on the server
  const db = await openDB(requestEvent.env.get('DB_PRIVATE_KEY'));
  const product = await db.table('products').select();
  return product;
})
 
const encryptInServer = server$(function(message: string) {
  // `this` is the `requestEvent
  const secretKey = this.env.get('SECRET_KEY');
  const encryptedMessage = encrypt(message, secretKey);
  return encryptedMessage;
});
 
export default component$(() => {
  useTask$(() => {
    if (isServer) {
      // This code will only run on the server only when the component is first rendered in the server
    }
  });
 
  return (
    <>
      <button
        onClick$={server$(() => {
          // This code will only run on the server when the button is clicked
        })}
      >
        Click me
      </button>
 
      <button
        onClick$={() => {
          // This code will call the server function, and wait for the result
          const encrypted = await encryptInServer('Hello world');
          console.log(encrypted);
        }}
      >
        Click me
      </button>
    </>
  );
});

routeAction$()

The routeAction$() is a special component that is only executed on the server. It's used handle form submissions, and other actions. For example, you can use it to add a user to a database, and then redirect to the user profile page.

routeLoader$()

The routeLoader$() is a special component that is only executed on the server. It's used to fetch data, and then render the page. For example, you can use it to fetch data from an API, and then render the page with the data.

server$((...args) => { ... })

The server$() is a special way to declare functions that only run in the server. If called from the client, they will behave like a RPC call, and will be executed on the server. They can take any serializable arguments, and return any serializable value.

isServer conditional

Qwik provides a isServer boolean exported from @builder.io/qwik/build. You can use this to ensure that code only runs on the server.

Contributors

Thanks to all the contributors who have helped make this documentation better!

  • manucorporat
  • AnthonyPAlicea
  • the-r3aper7