react-loadable and TypeScript error: Property ‘render’ is missing in type ‘{ loader: () => Promise

The react-loadable library provides an excellent way to load React components on demand while displaying a temporary view until they finish loading (such as a spinner animation). Recently, I tried using react-loadable with TypeScript, and the compiler reported a strange and unexpected error. Here’s the journey I took figure out what was wrong, and how I fixed it.

You can see that my code below is very simple, but I was getting an error, for some reason:

import * as React from "react";
import * as Loadable from "react-loadable";
import MyLoadingComponent from "./MyLoadingComponent";

const LoadableMyComponent = Loadable(
{
	loader: () => import("./MyComponent"),
	loading: MyLoadingComponent
});

The full compiler error appears next (with a modified file path to make it more readable):

Argument of type '{ loader: () => Promise<typeof '/path/to/MyComponent' is not assignable to parameter of type 'Options<any, typeof '/path/to/MyComponent">'.
  Type '{ loader: () => Promise<typeof "/path/to/MyComponent' is not assignable to type 'OptionsWithRender<any, typeof '/path/to/MyComponent'.
    Property 'render' is missing in type '{ loader: () => Promise<typeof '/path/to/MyComponent'.

In my editor, the error begins at the opening curly brace { and ends at the closing curly brace }, so it’s clear that there’s something wrong with the options object that I’m passing in. However, it was not immediately obvious to me why the TypeScript compiler didn’t like my object.

The error says that a render property is missing. My first thought was that I was missing a render() method in a component somewhere. However, both MyComponent and MyLoadingComponent are React components with proper render() methods defined.

The code for MyComponent.tsx appears below:

import * as React from "react";

export default class MyComponent extends React.Component<any>
{
	render()
	{
		return <div>MyComponent has loaded</div>
	}
}

And here’s the code for MyLoadingComponent.tsx:

import * as React from "react";

export default class MyLoadingComponent extends React.Component<any>
{
	render()
	{
		return <div>Loading...</div>;
	}
}

As you can see, render() is not missing in my components. So where exactly should a property named render be defined?

After reading through the react-loadable documentation, I figured out that the options object can be one of a few different variations, and one of them requires a render property. The TypeScript compiler thinks I’m trying to use the variation where this property is required…

…but I’m not.

According to the following comment from the type definitions, I need to meet the following requirements to make the render property optional:

If you do not want to provide a render function, ensure that your function is returning a promise for a React.ComponentType or is the result of import()ing a module that has a component as its `default` export.

You can see that the function that I pass to the loader property should work. I’m loading a module containing MyComponent as the default export, and it extends React.Component.

loader: () => import("./MyComponent")

After some trial and error, I determined the real problem. The React component that I pass to the other option (loading) isn’t accepted because I typed its “props” as any:

class MyLoadingComponent extends React.Component<any>

According to the type definitions for react-loadable, I should use ReactComponent.<Loadable.LoadingComponentProps> instead. I would have expected the TypeScript compiler to figure out that Loadable.LoadingComponentProps can be assigned to any, but I guess not.

Anyway, here’s how I should have defined MyLoadingComponent instead:

import * as React from "react";
import * as Loadable from "react-loadable";

export default class MyLoadingComponent extends React.Component<Loadable.LoadingComponentProps>
{
	render()
	{
		return <div>Loading...</div>;
	}
}

It took me quite some time to figure out what exactly was wrong with my code. The TypeScript compiler was fixated on that render property, which led me down the wrong path. I wish the compiler would have realized that my React.Component was using type any for its props instead of the Loadable.LoadingComponentProps. I wonder if there’s a better way to define these options in the type definitions so that the wrong type for props would have taken precedence over the missing (but not really) render property?

About Josh Tynjala

Josh Tynjala is a front end developer, open source contributor, karaoke enthusiast, and he likes bowler hats. You might be familiar with his project, Feathers UI, an open source user interface library for Starling Framework. You should follow Josh on Twitter.

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