State of the art web development with React

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import reactProject from '';


React Project: State of the Art Web Development

A dependency--not a boilerplate--to make your React project a delight to develop.

This is brand new, not ready for production unless you are ready and willing to contribute to the project. Basically just building something we want here, if it interests you, please help :)

Also, it has no tests. Also, it's awesome.

Node/NPM Versions

I'm running node v5.7.0 and npm v3.6.0 as I tinker, there's no plan to support older versions at the moment.


Please see

Getting Started

The quickest way to get started is to use create-react-project.

npm install -g create-react-project
create-react-project the-best-app-ever
cd the-best-app-ever
npm install
npm start

Now open http://localhost:8080.

Go edit a file, notice the app reloads, you can enable hot module replacement by adding AUTO_RELOAD=hot to .env.


npm test


NODE_ENV=production npm start

Minified, gzipped, long-term hashed assets and server-pre-rendering, and more.

You can use this as a dependency of an existing app. For now, the result of create-react-project is your best documentation on how to do that.


Future Features (Pull Requests Welcome!)

Please see and help out :)


  • Cut the crap and start building an app right away
  • Wrap up the stuff that is good for all apps.
  • Keep the app in charge. Config lives in the app, defaults provided by the framework are imported into the app, the app is not imported into the framework.
  • Escape hatches are important.
  • Upgrading should be simple, benefits should come w/o changing app code usually.

Semver Versioning

As soon as I ship a real app with this, I'll ship 1.0.


npm scripts

After running react-project init your package.json will have some new tasks.

npm start

Starts the server. It's smart enough to know which NODE_ENV you're in. If NODE_ENV=production you'll get the full production build. If you're shipping to heroku, for instance, deploying is just git push heroku master. It'll create a production build up there.

npm test

Runs any files named modules/**/*.test.js with karma and mocha.

Implementation needs work

Desired API is:

  • App doesn't need tests.webpack.js context junk.
  • App only has a karma config and a webpack tests config
  • Karma config:
    • configurable on package.json react-project, like "karma": "karma.conf.js"
    • blueprint default is export { KarmaConfig } from 'react-project/test'
  • Webpack test config
    • one more export from webpack.config.js
  • Both configs should be babel'd.

This way people can mess w/ the default configs (both webpack and karma) or take full control.

ENV vars

React Project will use environment variables to know how to build for production v. development. For local development, you can edit the .env file to change environment variables, in production you'll want to set them on the box.

Typical Production Environment variables

PUBLIC_PATH=/ # or a cdn you push your assets to

When npm start is called on a machine with those environment variables, your app will be optimized with things like gzip compression.

Development environment variables

# the host webpack assets are served from

# the port webpack assets are served from

# reload the browser on app changes

# "hot" reload changed modules only (no page reload), careful, this
# thing can be finicky

# don't reload anything on code changes


import { lazy, ServerRoute } from 'react-project'


Convenience method to simplify lazy route configuration with bundle loader.

import { lazy } from 'react-project'

// bundle loader returns a function here that will load `Dashboard`
// lazily, it won't be in the initial bundle
import loadDashboard from 'bundle?lazy!./Dashboard'

// now wrap that load function with `lazy` and you're done, you've got
// super simple code splitting, the dashboard code won't be downloaded
// until the user visits this route
<Route getComponent={lazy(loadDashboard)}/>

// just FYI, `lazy` doesn't do anything other than wrap up the callback
// signatures of getComponent and the bundle loader. Without `lazy` you
// would be doing this:
<Route getComponent={(location, cb) => {
  loadDashboard((Dashboard) => cb(Dashboard.default))


Defines a route to only be available on the server. Add handlers (functions) to the different http methods.

Note: You have to restart the server after making changes to server routes. But only until somebody implements HMR for the server.

You can nest routes to get path nesting, but only the final matched route's handler is called (maybe we could do something cool later with the handlers?)

import { ServerRoute } from 'react-project/server'
import {
} from './events'

export default (
  <Route path="/api">
    <ServerRoute path="events"
      <ServerRoute path=":id"

serverRouteHandler(req, res, { params, location, route })

  • req an express request object
  • res an express resonponse object
  • params the url parameters
  • location the matched location
  • route the matched server route



import { createServer } from 'react-project/server'

createServer((req, res, cb) => {
  cb(null, { renderDocument, renderApp, routes })

Creates and returns a new Express server, with a new start method.

renderDocument(props, callback)

App-supplied function to render the top-level document. Callback with a Document component. You'll probably want to just tweak the Document component supplied by the blueprint.

callback(err, reactElement, initialState)

  • reactElement is the react element to be rendered
  • initialState is initial state from the server for data re-hydration on the client.
renderApp(props, callback)

App-supplied function to render the application content. Should call back with <RouterContext {...props}/> or something that renders a RouterContext at the end of the render tree.

callback(err, reactElement)

If you call back with an error object with a status key, the server will respond with that status:

callback({ status: 404 })


The app's routes.

react-project CLI

It's not intended that you use this directly, task should be done with npm scripts.

react-project init

Initializes the app, copies over a blueprint app, updates package.json with tasks, etc.

react-project build

Builds the assets, called from npm start, not normally called directly.

react-project start

Starts the server. Called from npm start, not normally called directly.

react-project --help


react-project --version