I cannot find a mention of $components anywhere in the documentation. Am I perhaps missing a manual?
I do not think that we mention it in the documentation.
You can find the reference this.$components in the controller.js file of a view created using the blank template.
All the UI components used in a custom view are added to the this reference,
You can use this.$component from the controller.public.js file to access the options of the components and any property/method of them.
Please let me know if you need additional information.
I hope this helps.