Subhadip's Blog

My experience with the computing world!

My Experience with React: The Hello World

I have been working on a home project these days for which I needed to use a Javascript framework on the UI. But to select a JS framework is a difficult task because there are a overwhelmingly lot to choose from. And each of those has its own strengths and flaws. Still after considering a few of them, I finally chose React. The reasons why I selected React are a) it's more Javascript-centric  than some of its close competitors which means, you write your app in JS with pieces of HTML embedded inside JS and b) it uses the Node.js and the npm ecosystem, so it's easier to grasp for somebody with prior Node experience. So I decided to learn React.js.

A few things that I noticed were that it's a little hard for a beginner to choose the right material to start learning React because React is more of an ecosystem than a framework where you can choose from different third party components to build the whole framework, so you will have to exactly know what you want. And also in React, they have this component way of thinking which is nothing but breaking the whole app into smaller components and design the application in a top-down approach. One more problem I faced was that a lot of the tutorials were old and the codes were not compatible with newer version of the libraries. In addition to all these, I needed to choose between ES5 and ES6 to write my React app in.

I finally managed to put all the bits together and write a simple and minimal Hello World app in React with Webpack 1.13, Babel 6+ and React 15+. And I used ES5 all the ways since it has better support than ES6 and I am more familiar with it. The code is hosted on my Github account in case you'd like to check it out. Also, if you're looking for a good basic material on React, The React.js Way: Getting Started Tutorial might be useful.