Stage: Accepted Start Date: 2021-01-05 Release Date: Unreleased Release Versions: ember-source: vX.Y.Z ember-data: vX.Y.Z Relevant Team(s): Ember.js RFC PR: https://github.com/emberjs/rfcs/pull/698

Deprecate Component Positional Arguments

Summary

We propose to deprecate invoking the <LinkTo> component with positional arguments, in favor of the equivalent named arguments introduced in RFC #459. We also propose to deprecate the (query-params) helper, which is only needed when invoking the <LinkTo> component with positional arguments.

Motivation

In modern Ember, the idiomatic way to invoke most components is to use the angle bracket syntax along with the named arguments @ syntax. On the other hand, curly invocations are now reserved for "helper-like" and "control-flow" components.

The <LinkTo> built-in component started life as a "helper" in the early days of Ember, even before an official components API was created. Over time, it became clear that <LinkTo> is better classified as a component than a helper in modern Ember, and the learning materials have been updated accordingly.

This historical origin meant that <LinkTo> was designed to accept positional arguments exclusively, as was common with most helpers at the time. The angle bracket syntax, on the other hand, accepts named arguments exclusively.

Another downside to the positional arguments syntax was it required the use of the (query-params) helper to distinguish query params from model arguments.

Finally, the meaning of the positional arguments also changes slightly when the component is invoked with or without a block, which made things needlessly confusing.

To address these issues, RFC #459 introduced explicit equivalent names for the positional arguments that were accepted by the <LinkTo> component. This allowed it to be invoked with the same angle bracket syntax and avoided the other confusions mentioned above.

These features were made available since v3.10 and are the idomatic thing to do in modern Ember codebase.

Given that the feature are now available on all currently-supported Ember versions and the community had adequate time to make the transition, this would be a good time to deprecate the obsolete features to reduce confusion as well as implementation complexity.

In particular, some of the obsolete features required capabilities not usually available to other components, such as knowing whether a block was passed or not and relies on "AST transforms" to normalize some of the differences. These implementation strategies introduces unnecessary complexity in the internals that sometimes causes bugs or other surprising behaviors.

Transition Path

Deprecated:

{{link-to "About Us" "about"}}
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Invoking the `<LinkTo>` component with positional arguments is deprecated.
Instead, please use the equivalent named arguments (`@route`) and pass a
block for the link's content.

<LinkTo @route="about">About Us</LinkTo>
Deprecated:

{{#link-to "about"}}About Us{{/link-to}}
           ~~~~~~~

Invoking the `<LinkTo>` component with positional arguments is deprecated.
Instead, please use the equivalent named arguments (`@route`).

Replacement:

<LinkTo @route="about">About Us</LinkTo>
Deprecated:

{{#link-to "post" @post}}Read {{@post.title}}...{{/link-to}}
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Invoking the `<LinkTo>` component with positional arguments is deprecated.
Instead, please use the equivalent named arguments (`@route`, `@model`).

Replacement:

<LinkTo @route="post" @model={{@post}}>Read {{@post.title}}...</LinkTo>
Deprecated:

{{#link-to "post.comment" @comment.post @comment}}
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Comment by {{@comment.author.name}} on {{@comment.date}}
{{/link-to}}

Invoking the `<LinkTo>` component with positional arguments is deprecated.
Instead, please use the equivalent named arguments (`@route`, `@models`).

Replacement:

<LinkTo @route="post.comment" @models={{array post comment}}>
  Comment by {{comment.author.name}} on {{comment.date}}
</LinkTo>
Deprecated:

{{#link-to "posts" (query-params direction="desc" showArchived=false)}}
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Recent Posts
{{/link-to}}

Invoking the `<LinkTo>` component with positional arguments is deprecated.
Instead, please use the equivalent named arguments (`@route`, `@query`) and the
`hash` helper.

Replacement:

<LinkTo @route="posts" @query={{hash direction="desc" showArchived=false}}>
  Recent Posts
</LinkTo>

These migrations can be automated using the angle brackets codemod.

How We Teach This

The Octane learning materials have already been updated to use the latest idioms, so no changes are necessary. The API documentation should be updated to mark the obsolete features and the (query-params) helper as deprecated.

A deprecation guide will need to be written using the same examples from the Transition Path section. The guide should also promote the use of the codemod to automate the migration.

Drawbacks

None.

Alternatives

None.

Unresolved questions

None.