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SurviveJS - Webpack and React v1.9.15


This is perhaps the last release before the long awaited 2.0. Alt reached version 0.18. As a result a certain part of the book broke. I have fixed that issue in this release. There are also plenty of other tweaks here and there, and even some new content.

I visited an event known as “Web on the Edge” earlier this week. Even though these kind of trips always take some time, they tend to be worthwhile. At least I got to see some readers and managed to get exposure to some new ideas. See my conference report.

Overview of the Situation

The situation with Babel 6 is starting to look a little better. Babel 6 compatible beta version of babel-plugin-react-transform just came out a couple of days ago. Other plugins have been moving towards Babel 6 as well. I know decorator support is still a little iffy, but I have some solutions in sight that might work.

I made a little breakthrough with my Flow. It will still take some work, but I cannot see any blockers anymore. This is something I will tackle in the near future.

In order to make it easier to contribute fixes and tweaks to the book, I changed the GitHub repository to use the dev branch by default. That’s where the development happens after all. This will help to avoid some confusion.

I want to give special thanks to the user snowyplover for providing nice edits to early parts of the book. Tobias Koppers deserves a special mention as well. Overall the feedback has been encouraging and helped me to push the book a notch further. Thanks guys!

Book Improvements - 1.9.15

In total 74 commits went to 1.9.15. To make it easier to follow what happened and where, I’ve split up the changes below.

You can see GitHub for all changes.

Webpack Compared

  • Improved the flow of the chapter. Now it should read a little better.
  • Added emphasis between task runners and bundlers. This helps to understand how these tools can complement each other.

Developing with Webpack

  • Documented Webpack entry better. It accepts a path or an object of entries.
  • Pointed open to the correct location.
  • Put emphasis on the fact that the dev server runs in-memory. This should decrease the amount of confusion.
  • Mentioned that HOST should be set to for Cloud9 and similar environments.
  • Noted that test expects a RegExp.
  • Noted that include expects a path or an array of paths.

Webpack and React

  • Removed mention of stage 1 now that we enable specific features we use at the project one by one.
  • Added examples of the custom features used to make it easier to understand what they do.
  • Pushed the ES6 class autobinding note to the correct place.
  • Added missing `”es7.classProperties” declaration.

Implementing a Basic Note Application

  • Removed mention of react-hot-loader. It has been replaced by babel-plugin-react-transform so no need for this anymore.
  • Added emphasis to the fact that I prefer functional style and the reasons for this.
  • Renamed renderTask as renderNote to communicate the intent better.
  • Showed how to use map to set context. Example: map(fn, context).
  • Dropped findIndex. The usage has been replaced with simpler functions. This reduces the complexity of the project and makes the chapter quicker to go through.
  • Improved the flow of Understanding React Components. Now it explains things in the right order.

React and Flux

  • Integrated alt-utils so the project works with Alt 0.18.
  • Simplified store methods somewhat.
  • Put emphasis on the dangers of mutation.
  • Explained isomorphic rendering briefly given it’s mentioned.

From Notes to Kanban

  • Simplified store methods.
  • Dropped Implementing findLane. This isn’t needed now that the implementation is simpler.

Implementing Drag and Drop

  • Installed react-addons-update from a package of its own so the project won’t break with React 0.15.

Building Kanban

  • Improved the flow of the chapter. Now it proceeds in a slightly smarter order.
  • Fixed hashing configuration. Bundles should get invalidated as initially intended now. This took some extra effort to pull off.
  • Linked the chapter better to Authoring Libraries. It’s valuable to understand npm in detail as that can help with your build so that’s a good chapter to read.

Authoring Libraries

  • Expanded on .gitignore.
  • Added mention of postinstall and its usage.
  • Explained how to deal with preprocessing (i.e., postinstall).
  • Added a section about version ranges and how they work.

Styling React

  • Improved the flow of the early part of the chapter.
  • Added an image showing how different processing tools can work in tandem. Stefan Baumgartner describes that well so I used his idea.
  • Added a section for PostCSS. It was mentioned already but I felt it could use a better description.


  • Added a section about Module parse failed. That’s something you can see with Webpack quite easily so it felt like something nice to cover.

What Next?

The coast is clear for the Flow work. I see no blockers with that. TypeScript will take some further investigation. And there are some smaller things, like improving those code examples, which I want to get done. That should keep me busy next week.


Again, this is a small release. If you are working through the book, it might be a good idea to patch your project based on the book repository so it’s up to date and continue from there. I know this isn’t ideal, but you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg. It’s for the better.

Thanks for the feedback again. It helps. 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.