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Adding-state

Now let’s make the chat app interactive by adding state. The state is where we define all the variables that can change in the app and all the functions that can modify them. You can learn more about state in the state docs .

We will create a new file called state.py in the chatapp directory. Our state will keep track of the current question being asked and the chat history. We will also define an event handler answer which will process the current question and add the answer to the chat history.

# state.py
import reflex as rx


class State(rx.State):
    # The current question being asked.
    question: str

    # Keep track of the chat history as a list of (question, answer) tuples.
    chat_history: list[tuple[str, str]]

    def answer(self):
        # Our chatbot is not very smart right now...
        answer = "I don't know!"
        self.chat_history.append((self.question, answer))

Now we can import the state in chatapp.py and reference it in our frontend components. We will modify the chat component to use the state instead of the current fixed questions and answers.

# chatapp.py
from chatapp.state import State

...


def chat() -> rx.Component:
    return rx.box(
        rx.foreach(
            State.chat_history,
            lambda messages: qa(messages[0], messages[1]),
        )
    )


...


def action_bar() -> rx.Component:
    return rx.hstack(
        rx.chakra.input(
            placeholder="Ask a question",
            on_change=State.set_question,
            style=style.input_style,
        ),
        rx.button(
            "Ask",
            on_click=State.answer,
            style=style.button_style,
        ),
    )

Normal Python for loops don't work for iterating over state vars because these values can change and aren't known at compile time. Instead, we use the foreach component to iterate over the chat history.

We also bind the input's on_change event to the set_question event handler, which will update the question state var while the user types in the input. We bind the button's on_click event to the answer event handler, which will process the question and add the answer to the chat history. The set_question event handler is a built-in implicitly defined event handler. Every base var has one. Learn more in the events docs under the Setters section.

Currently the input doesn't clear after the user clicks the button. We can fix this by binding the value of the input to question, with value=State.question, and clear it when we run the event handler for answer, with self.question = ''.

# chatapp.py
def action_bar() -> rx.Component:
    return rx.hstack(
        rx.chakra.input(
            value=State.question,
            placeholder="Ask a question",
            on_change=State.set_question,
            style=style.input_style),
        rx.button("Ask", on_click=State.answer, style=style.button_style),
    )

```python
# state.py

def answer(self):
    # Our chatbot is not very smart right now...
    answer = "I don't know!"
    self.chat_history.append((self.question, answer))
    self.question = ""

Normally state updates are sent to the frontend when an event handler returns. However, we want to stream the text from the chatbot as it is generated. We can do this by yielding from the event handler. See the yield events docs for more info.

# state.py
import asyncio

...


async def answer(self):
    # Our chatbot is not very smart right now...
    answer = "I don't know!"
    self.chat_history.append((self.question, ""))

    # Clear the question input.
    self.question = ""
    # Yield here to clear the frontend input before continuing.
    yield

    for i in range(len(answer)):
        # Pause to show the streaming effect.
        await asyncio.sleep(0.1)
        # Add one letter at a time to the output.
        self.chat_history[-1] = (
            self.chat_history[-1][0],
            answer[: i + 1],
        )
        yield

In the next section, we will finish our chatbot by adding AI!

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