SVG is still a pretty strange beast in browsers. I'm intrigued by it, but still haven't found a truly killer way to bend it to my will. I've used D3 and other libraries in the past and enjoyed them, but I feel like SVG's potential still has yet to be really unlocked. Can Clojure macros and Reagent be helpful with SVG?

React and Reagent's SVG support

React supports SVG pretty well, you can directly place SVG in your React components, and that is true of Reagent as well

(defn some-svg-component []
  [:svg {:x 0 :y 0 :width 50 :height 50}
    [:rect {:x 10 :y 10 :width 10 :height 10}]])

but ... how often do you want to write out SVG by hand?

Embedding SVG directly into a Reagent component

With macros and clj-tagsoup in hand, it's super easy to embed an SVG file right into your Reagent code

(ns embed.svg
  (:require [pl.danieljanus.tagsoup :as ts]))
(defmacro embed-svg [svg-file]
  (let [hiccup (ts/parse-string (slurp svg-file))]

and then in the component

(defn some-svg-component []
  (embed-svg "cool-svg-image.svg"))

This works perfectly well. The output from clj-tagsoup is perfectly compatible with Reagent (so great the Clojure community has largely agreed on hiccup syntax!)

Taking It Further?

The above doesn't buy you much, you're probably better off including the svg in an img tag. So can we do more? I'm not sure yet ...

I have one SVG diagram that I want users to be able to click on different parts of. From there, the page focuses on that part of the diagram. I was able to do this with macros

(defn- assoc-click-handler [m]
  (assoc :class `(if (= ~'focused-id ~(:id m)) "focused" "")
           `(fn [] (history/go-to (str "/basics/rink/" ~(:id m))))))
(declare create-click-handlers)
(defn- add-click-handlers-for-ids [obj]
    (vector? obj) (create-click-handlers obj)
    (and (map? obj) (contains? obj :id)) (assoc-click-handler obj)
    :else obj))
(defn create-click-handlers [tags]
  (apply vector (map add-click-handlers-for-ids tags)))
(defmacro embed-clickable [svg-file]
  (let [hiccup (-> (slurp svg-file)

Doing just about the same thing as before, but for any map inside of clj-tagsoup's output that has an id in it (in other words, the SVG element has an id), I also swoop in and throw a click handler on it. It's bad practice that assoc-click-handler makes assumption about its environment (focused-id and (history/go-to) live in the same file as where I call the macro), but I'm ok with that, at least for now.

Any elements in my SVG that have ids will be "focusable" by the user clicking on them. So I am free to build a very complicated SVG in a vector editor, and still get interactivity out of it pretty painlessly.


I'm still exploring macros+SVG. I'm not convinced there's all that much here, but if I stumble upon anything super cool I'll definitely put up a new post here.