Getting started with Facebook’s Create React App

React was always a bit hard for the average developer to easily get started with. Facebook’s open-source library was meant to encourage developers to efficiently create apps as well as their interfaces within JavaScript. Unfortunately, developers also had to learn a lot of other tools besides JavaScript just to set up their React projects.

Yes, Facebook has mentioned its own tooling for React. However, the simple truth is that the majority of developers and small startups just don’t have the generous resources that a huge company like Facebook has. Finally, Facebook has done something about the barrier to entry that these types of developers face.

In a recent blog post on the React website, the company introduced Create React App, its brand-new, open-source project that consolidates the tools required to get up and running with React into a single command-line tool. In the past, projects like this usually failed in the React environment. A lot of “React CMI” projects have failed to get off the ground at Facebook. Likewise, community tools with parallel goals also exist, yet they haven’t gained sufficient traction up to now.

The good news for developers is that they won’t have to be concerned with any configuration files anymore with Create React App, which was born from a hackathon. Plus, their environment is going to be automatically set up for the developer and production.

Other notable changes include the arrival of a single tool and, consequently, a single dependency. This tool is going to utilize many of the already existing tools within the React and Javascript environments, tools such as ESLint, Babel and Webpack.

One big gripe among developers is that services of this kind usually lock developers in. Instead, developers will have the power to run a single command that’ll basically eject their configuration and build any dependencies into a new project that’s going to be independent of Create React App.

The so-called ejecting feature allows developers the luxury of leaving the Create React App setup any time they choose. When they run a single command, all of the build dependencies, configurations, and scripts are transferred right into their project.

Here’s what it boils down to for developers: They can customize all that they want right now, yet they can fork React’s configuration and make their own path.

There’s no doubt that this will make getting started with React a whole lot easier, which is why beginner and even intermediate developers must check it out. Any developer who’s felt that getting started with React in the past had presented them with too much friction can give it another try now.

Just the same, more experienced developers shouldn’t pass up checking out this new tool for themselves. In particular, even experienced designers will enjoy the quickness with which new projects can be deployed and the worry-free ease of setup.

You can find Create React App on GitHub.

Marc’s a copywriter who covers design news for Web Designer Depot. Find out more about him at More articles by Marc Schenker
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