Beginner’s Guide To Setup React JS Environment

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Step 1: Create a project folder in your directory.

mkdir react-environment

Navigate to that folder.

cd react-env

Step 2: Create a package.json file to manage all the node dependencies.

For initialization of this file, type following command in your terminal.

npm init

So, your package.json file looks like this.

{
  "name": "react-environment",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {},
  "author": "KRUNAL LATHIYA",
  "license": "ISC"
}

Step 3: Install webpack and webpack-dev-server.

We need two things

  1. Webpack: to bundle all of our javascript files into one file and host that file on the server.
  2. Webpack Development Server: We need this server to recompile our main javascript file every time we change and provide us one server.

Install locally for our project type

npm install webpack webpack-dev-server --save-dev

Step 4: Create index.html file.

Create a new file in root folder called index.html

<!-- index.html -->

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>React v15.4.2 ES6 Environment</title>
</head>
<body>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="bundle.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

Here we have included only one javascript file called bundle.js in our HTML page, which is bundled by Webpack.
Create a directory called app in the root folder.

In the app directory, create a new javascript file called app.js.

Write only one line of code in the main.js file.

//app.js

console.log('Inside app folder');

Step 5: Configure webpack.config.js file in a root directory.

In the webpack.config.js file, we need to export all the webpack settings by exporting javascript object.

//webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
    entry: ['./app/main.js'],
    output: {
        filename: 'bundle.js'
    }
};

Here we need some explanations right?

Basically, module.exports export an object, which describes our webpack configuration for our object.

The object contains two properties.

entry: – which represents our entry javascript file for the project. In our case It is  js6 > app > main.js

output: – the output bundled file, which we have to include in our main HTML file called bundle.js

Go to the package.json file and edit the following JSON property.

"scripts": {}

We add a new property  called “build” and value called “webpack-dev-server.”

{
  "name": "react-environment",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "build": "webpack-dev-server"
  },
  "author": "KRUNAL LATHIYA",
  "license": "ISC"
}

Go to the terminal in your root project folder and type following command.

npm run build

It will create a bundled javascript file called “bundle.js.”

Next, we need to configure Babel.js in our webpack environment.

Step 6: Install and set Babel dependencies.

npm install babel-core babel-loader babel-preset-es2015 --save-dev

It will update our package.json file.

{
  "name": "react-environment",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "build": "webpack-dev-server"
  },
  "author": "KRUNAL LATHIYA",
  "license": "ISC",
  "devDependencies": {
    "babel-core": "^6.24.0",
    "babel-loader": "^6.4.1",
    "babel-preset-es2015": "^6.24.0",
    "webpack": "^2.3.2",
    "webpack-dev-server": "^2.4.2"
  }
}

babel-core and babel-loader is the dependency, which transpile the ES6 code toES5

babel-preset-es2015 let us use some advanced feature of ECMAScript in our web applications.

Update our webpack.config.js file.

webpack.config.js file looks like this.

//webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
    entry: './app/main.js',
    output: {
        filename: 'bundle.js'
    },
    module: {
        loaders: [
            {
                loader: 'babel-loader',
                test: /\.js$/,
                exclude: /node_modules/
            }
        ]
    },
    devServer: {
        port: 3000
    }
};

Here we have added module object, which has loaders property.

It will accept an array of loader configuration, like which loader we want to use and which file we have to test with the extension .js and which file we need to exclude from transpiling from es6 to es5 like “node_modules” folder.

Also, I have added one optional attribute called devServer.

It includes the port number on which we need to host our app. by default webpack-dev-server provides port 8080.

But we can change it and put port 3000.

So now when you run again command

npm run buid

App will be running on http://localhost:3000/

Step 7: Install And Configure React and ReactDOM.

npm install --save react react-dom

We also need to use the package called “babel-preset-react” and “babel-preset-stage-3” to use latest ES6 features as well as we can write react code inES6 syntax.

npm install --save-dev babel-preset-react babel-preset-stage-3

Your package.json file is updated and will look like this.

{
  "name": "react-environment",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "build": "webpack-dev-server"
  },
  "author": "KRUNAL LATHIYA",
  "license": "ISC",
  "devDependencies": {
    "babel-core": "^6.24.0",
    "babel-loader": "^6.4.1",
    "babel-preset-es2015": "^6.24.0",
    "babel-preset-react": "^6.23.0",
    "babel-preset-stage-3": "^6.22.0",
    "webpack": "^2.3.2",
    "webpack-dev-server": "^2.4.2"
  },
  "dependencies": {
    "react": "^15.4.2",
    "react-dom": "^15.4.2"
  }
}

We need to create one file in root directory called .babelrc

This file contains one object configuration which includes which Babel configuration of the array we are using.

{
  "presets": ["es2015", "react", "stage-3"]
}

Step 8: Create a component file App.js inside components folder.

Create one directory inside an app folder called components

In that create one file called App.js (react-environment > app > components > App.js)

//App.js

import React, { Component } from 'react';
export default class App extends Component {
    render(){
        return (
            <div>
                Hello From React v15.4.2
            </div>
        );
    }
}

Step 9: Import App.js file into main.js file.

We need to import this file into our main.js file.

//main.js

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import App from './components/App';

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.getElementById('app'));

Our final application directory structure looks like this.

Beginner's Guide To Setup React v15.4.2 Environment123

 

main.js  is the file, which will be transpile by Babel and bundled by webpack.

You can restart your server and type

npm run build

Open the browser and go to this URL:  http://localhost:3000/

“Hello From React v15.4.2.”

This code you can find in Github URL: https://github.com/KrunalLathiya/react-v15.2.4-environment

Now your React Application is running on your port 3000 with all ECMAScript’sLatest features.

Note:  If you find any error during this small setup,

  1. First, check your Node and NPM versions
  2. Check off your dependencies version by comparing package.json file with yours because you might end up with downloading another version of that particular dependencies.
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Starting out at the age of 18 I never stopped learning new programming skills and languages. Early I started creating websites for friends and just for fun as well. Besides web development I also explored Payment gateways and other non-web-only languages. This passion has since lasted and lead to my decision of working as a web developer and consultant. The success and fun I have in this job is immense and really keeps that passion burningly alive.
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