In this tutorial, we will learn how to get started with this framework and at the end of it, we will be able to set up, run and test a basic text displayed in the browser.
Tools & Libraries used:
- React 16.x
- NodeJS 6.x
- NPM 5.x
Note: This tutorial was tested on a Mac OS V10.13 machine. For developers using windows machines, command syntax will change a bit.
We need NodeJS 6.x and NPM 5.x installed in the build pipeline of React project. See reference section to know more about installing these prerequisites.
When we are starting a single-page web project from scratch, we should use NPM or NPX toolchains to get the skeleton code and run the project in development mode.
$ sudo npm install -g create-react-app $ create-react-app 01-getting-started
Previous commands create a standard React project structure with required files to build and run the single page application in the development phase. Understand, it just provides you a bare minimum structure, we are the ones who extend it with best practices to manage our source code in a more structured way.
|NodeJS single page app project structure|
Before going ahead, let’s start the local development server to check out how the default app looks.
$ cd 01-getting-started $ npm start
It will build the project and start a local web server on port 3000, and it looks like it. We will add more details further.
|ReactJS default app landing page|
An existing project
We don’t need to make much change in the existing project structure to use React in that. Try to React in a standalone component first to get started and slowly extend it further.
Using npm to install react dependencies in an existing project
npm install –save react react-dom
We can also include react js files in the HTML file directly like it. (We are using CDN hosted js files)
<script crossorigin src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/umd/react.development.js"></script>
<script crossorigin src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/umd/react-dom.development.js"></script>
ES6 and JSX
We recommended using React with babel to enable ES6 and JAX support. These improve development efficiency.
Let’s say we have to display Hello World text inside a paragraph. See how we can do it in plain JS and JSX.
const pElement = React.createElement('p', null, 'Hello World');
const pElement = <div>Hello World</div>;
Well JSX syntax looks very similar to the scripting language syntax, but it is very powerful, which we will see further in React tutorial series.
We recommend that JSX create a UI element.