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SurviveJS - Webpack and React - v1.9.5


You could say a lot has happened since the previous release. React 0.14 came out mere hours after it. React DnD gained 0.14 compatibility in its 2.0 release. Node.js reached 5.0.0 (v4 is LTS, supported for four years). And a couple of days ago Babel 6.0.0 was released. In addition Webpack 2 is in sight.

The purpose of this release is to take some of these changes into account. Most importantly it introduces initial support for React 0.14. Babel hasn’t been updated to the newest version yet given some tooling the book relies upon needs to catch up. The book doesn’t take advantage of the function based component syntax because of the same reason. As the tooling matures, I’ll perform the changes needed.

Due to a twist of fate I had a chance to represent jsDelivr, a free super-fast CDN, at OSCON EU. It was a great trip and gave some new perspective on what I’m doing at the moment. Besides visiting OSCON, I did a quick visit at the Blender conference. It’s fun to break the monotony every once in a while.

Book Improvements - 1.9.5

In total 79 commits went to 1.9.5. To make it easier to follow what happened and where, I’ve split up the changes below.

You can see GitHub for all changes.

Developing with Webpack

  • Improved the flow of the chapter and made it more accessible hopefully.
  • Added host and port configuration. Now you can set those through the env if you want.
  • Mentioned webpack-dev-server alternatives.
  • Made the code examples more complete so it’s harder to miss vital parts.

Webpack and React

  • Fixed babel-loader to version 5. If version 6 is installed, the current setup will fail as major changes are needed.
  • Expanded code examples so it’s harder to miss vital parts.
  • Changed the configuration to enable specific features instead of stage 1. This will change further with Babel 6. I believe it’s preferable to enable specific features rather than stages as that documents the project better.
  • Streamlined Babel discussion and removed duplication.
  • Added React 0.14 specific bits (react-dom most importantly).

Implementing a Basic Note Application

  • Mentioned React import shortcut. Personally I favor explicit imports as then it’s easier to grep around. It’s good to be aware of alternatives, though.
  • Linked to debugger; statement documentation and cleared it up. It matters where you place it.
  • Explained super behavior in greater detail.
  • Fixed concat shortcut related typo. It’s better to use [...this.state.notes, {id: uuid.v4(), task: 'New task'}] there.
  • Simplified context discussion now that there is official documentation for it.

React and Flux

  • Explained bind and its behavior in greater detail.
  • Pushed decorator parts to an appendix of its own. Now the chapter is more digestible and you can check out decorators later if you want.
  • Changed Alt to use alt-container package. This makes it React 0.14 compatible.
  • Simplified dispatching discussion to make PDF layout work better.

From Notes to Kanban

  • Discussed alternative ways to deal with data modeling at introduction.

Implementing Drag and Drop

  • Added react-dnd-html5-backend to the project. Now React DnD backends are available through separate packages.
  • Explained what the decorator does given this is the first place where we hit them now.

Building Kanban

  • Added a little section about deploying to GitHub Pages. This is one of those small things that makes life simpler.

Testing React*

  • Upgraded to 0.14. Now React DnD uses a separate package for testing.
  • Renamed react-testutil-query as teaspoon.

Typing with React*

  • Upgraded to 0.14.
  • Fixed Lane propType definition.

Authoring Libraries

  • Rewrote portions to improve flow.
  • Dropped bower.json mention.
  • Updated package.json example to match the boilerplate.
  • Added a section about publishing packages. Now the workflow should be clearer.

Styling React

  • Rewrote portions to improve flow.
  • Replaced smart-css with JSS as JSS is more current and represents an interesting alternative.

What Next?

Content-wise there isn’t much to do. I want to get the typing chapter to a good shape. Fortunately Flow has been developing nicely. The same goes for TypeScript.

react-dnd-touch-backend related work is progressing. There are still some initial problems to resolve, though, so I’m not sure if this will make the cut.

Depending on how 0.14 related tooling develops, I may do an intermediate release before v2.0.0. In any case, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.


The most amazing part of this project has been the amount of feedback I’ve received. I’ve tried to put it to good use. You can contact me directly or through the GitHub issue tracker. Also Gitter will work.

Remember that you can support my work by purchasing the book at Leanpub. Every little bit counts and allows me to keep it up.