Start Here

Create a blank HTML file somewhere on your computer with a name like: i-love-alpine.html

Using a text editor, fill the file with these contents:

<html>
<head>
<script defer src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/dist/cdn.min.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
<h1 x-data="{ message: 'I ❤️ Alpine' }" x-text="message"></h1>
</body>
</html>

Open your file in a web browser, if you see I ❤️ Alpine, you're ready to rumble!

Now that you're all set up to play around, let's look at three practical examples as a foundation for teaching you the basics of Alpine. By the end of this exercise, you should be more than equipped to start building stuff on your own. Let's goooooo.

Building a counter

Let's start with a simple "counter" component to demonstrate the basics of state and event listening in Alpine, two core features.

Insert the following into the <body> tag:

<div x-data="{ count: 0 }">
<button x-on:click="count++">Increment</button>
 
<span x-text="count"></span>
</div>

Now, you can see with 3 bits of Alpine sprinkled into this HTML, we've created an interactive "counter" component.

Let's walk through what's happening briefly:

Declaring data

<div x-data="{ count: 0 }">

Everything in Alpine starts with an x-data directive. Inside of x-data, in plain JavaScript, you declare an object of data that Alpine will track.

Every property inside this object will be made available to other directives inside this HTML element. In addition, when one of these properties changes, everything that relies on it will change as well.

→ Read more about x-data

Let's look at x-on and see how it can access and modify the count property from above:

Listening for events

<button x-on:click="count++">Increment</button>

x-on is a directive you can use to listen for any event on an element. We're listening for a click event in this case, so ours looks like x-on:click.

You can listen for other events as you'd imagine. For example, listening for a mouseenter event would look like this: x-on:mouseenter.

When a click event happens, Alpine will call the associated JavaScript expression, count++ in our case. As you can see, we have direct access to data declared in the x-data expression.

You will often see @ instead of x-on. This is a shorter, friendlier syntax that many prefer. From now on, this documentation will likely use @ instead of x-on.

→ Read more about x-on

Reacting to changes

<h1 x-text="count"></h1>

x-text is an Alpine directive you can use to set the text content of an element to the result of a JavaScript expression.

In this case, we're telling Alpine to always make sure that the contents of this h1 tag reflect the value of the count property.

In case it's not clear, x-text, like most directives accepts a plain JavaScript expression as an argument. So for example, you could instead set its contents to: x-text="count * 2" and the text content of the h1 will now always be 2 times the value of count.

→ Read more about x-text

Building a dropdown

Now that we've seen some basic functionality, let's keep going and look at an important directive in Alpine: x-show, by building a contrived "dropdown" component.

Insert the following code into the <body> tag:

<div x-data="{ open: false }">
<button @click="open = ! open">Toggle</button>
 
<div x-show="open" @click.outside="open = false">Contents...</div>
</div>
Contents...

If you load this component, you should see that the "Contents..." are hidden by default. You can toggle showing them on the page by clicking the "Toggle" button.

The x-data and x-on directives should be familiar to you from the previous example, so we'll skip those explanations.

Toggling elements

<div x-show="open" ...>Contents...</div>

x-show is an extremely powerful directive in Alpine that can be used to show and hide a block of HTML on a page based on the result of a JavaScript expression, in our case: open.

→ Read more about x-show

Listening for a click outside

<div ... @click.outside="open = false">Contents...</div>

You'll notice something new in this example: .outside. Many directives in Alpine accept "modifiers" that are chained onto the end of the directive and are separated by periods.

In this case, .outside tells Alpine to instead of listening for a click INSIDE the <div>, to listen for the click only if it happens OUTSIDE the <div>.

This is a convenience helper built into Alpine because this is a common need and implementing it by hand is annoying and complex.

→ Read more about x-on modifiers

Building a search input

Let's now build a more complex component and introduce a handful of other directives and patterns.

Insert the following code into the <body> tag:

<div
x-data="{
search: '',
 
items: ['foo', 'bar', 'baz'],
 
get filteredItems() {
return this.items.filter(
i => i.startsWith(this.search)
)
}
}"
>
<input x-model="search" placeholder="Search...">
 
<ul>
<template x-for="item in filteredItems" :key="item">
<li x-text="item"></li>
</template>
</ul>
</div>

By default, all of the "items" (foo, bar, and baz) will be shown on the page, but you can filter them by typing into the text input. As you type, the list of items will change to reflect what you're searching for.

Now there's quite a bit happening here, so let's go through this snippet piece by piece.

Multi line formatting

The first thing I'd like to point out is that x-data now has a lot more going on in it than before. To make it easier to write and read, we've split it up into multiple lines in our HTML. This is completely optional and we'll talk more in a bit about how to avoid this problem altogether, but for now, we'll keep all of this JavaScript directly in the HTML.

Binding to inputs

<input x-model="search" placeholder="Search...">

You'll notice a new directive we haven't seen yet: x-model.

x-model is used to "bind" the value of an input element with a data property: "search" from x-data="{ search: '', ... }" in our case.

This means that anytime the value of the input changes, the value of "search" will change to reflect that.

x-model is capable of much more than this simple example.

→ Read more about x-model

Computed properties using getters

The next bit I'd like to draw your attention to is the items and filteredItems properties from the x-data directive.

{
...
items: ['foo', 'bar', 'baz'],
 
get filteredItems() {
return this.items.filter(
i => i.startsWith(this.search)
)
}
}

The items property should be self-explanatory. Here we are setting the value of items to a JavaScript array of 3 different items (foo, bar, and baz).

The interesting part of this snippet is the filteredItems property.

Denoted by the get prefix for this property, filteredItems is a "getter" property in this object. This means we can access filteredItems as if it was a normal property in our data object, but when we do, JavaScript will evaluate the provided function under the hood and return the result.

It's completely acceptable to forgo the get and just make this a method that you can call from the template, but some prefer the nicer syntax of the getter.

→ Read more about JavaScript getters

Now let's look inside the filteredItems getter and make sure we understand what's going on there:

return this.items.filter(
i => i.startsWith(this.search)
)

This is all plain JavaScript. We are first getting the array of items (foo, bar, and baz) and filtering them using the provided callback: i => i.startsWith(this.search).

By passing in this callback to filter, we are telling JavaScript to only return the items that start with the string: this.search, which like we saw with x-model will always reflect the value of the input.

You may notice that up until now, we haven't had to use this. to reference properties. However, because we are working directly inside the x-data object, we must reference any properties using this.[property] instead of simply [property].

Because Alpine is a "reactive" framework. Any time the value of this.search changes, parts of the template that use filteredItems will automatically be updated.

Looping elements

Now that we understand the data part of our component, let's understand what's happening in the template that allows us to loop through filteredItems on the page.

<ul>
<template x-for="item in filteredItems">
<li x-text="item"></li>
</template>
</ul>

The first thing to notice here is the x-for directive. x-for expressions take the following form: [item] in [items] where [items] is any array of data, and [item] is the name of the variable that will be assigned to an iteration inside the loop.

Also notice that x-for is declared on a <template> element and not directly on the <li>. This is a requirement of using x-for. It allows Alpine to leverage the existing behavior of <template> tags in the browser to its advantage.

Now any element inside the <template> tag will be repeated for every item inside filteredItems and all expressions evaluated inside the loop will have direct access to the iteration variable (item in this case).

→ Read more about x-for

Recap

If you've made it this far, you've been exposed to the following directives in Alpine:

That's a great start, however, there are many more directives to sink your teeth into. The best way to absorb Alpine is to read through this documentation. No need to comb over every word, but if you at least glance through every page you will be MUCH more effective when using Alpine.

Happy Coding!

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