Effective React
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Effective React

About the Book

React, which is built and maintained by a team of engineers at Facebook, is a JavaScript library that is primarily responsible for handling the "view" component of a JavaScript single-page application by rendering data-driven UIs in an efficient, dynamic, and visually appealing manner. It is flexible enough that it can be used in a diversity of capacities and contexts regardless of the technology stack you are using. Since its initial release in 2013, React has been very well received by the JavaScript community and its popularity has only been ever-increasing since. There are *many* positive aspects in terms of performance, scalability, and simplicity that React can provide to application development as it progresses along in both size and complexity when data changes over time. React will automatically manage all your UI updates when the underlying data changes... and it will do it fast! That’s one of the many things that developers like about it. Gone are the days where you had to worry about managing your own visual updates with jQuery! 

This book will teach you how to implement React into your own applications and will go from the basics of rendering simple sets of data and local variables all the way up to dynamic visualizations and integration with APIs. Common tools utilized within the React ecosystem -- such as Node.js, Grunt, Babel, and Browserify -- are also covered in depth as well. There is also a chapter entirely dedicated to ECMAScript 6, the latest version of JavaScript, and how you can incorporate it into your React applications.

You don't want to miss out on learning all about this exciting new technology! This book will allow you to get up and running with React in an efficient and effective manner. Working code samples for each chapter covering the same topics written in the same style as the code within the book is also included!

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    • React
    • JavaScript
    • Software
    • Computers and Programming
    • Node.js
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About the Author

Ian Chursky
Ian Chursky

Should I write in the 3rd person here? Ian Chursky (that's me) is a Seattle-area developer who has been working in the development world since interning as a web developer during the dotcom bubble days of early 2000 before attending college at Seattle University, graduating with a degree in Biology and minoring in Computer Science. After college he has worked at both giant, evil, multinational corporations and small creative dev shops and everything in-between. Professionally, he spends a lot of time in JavaScript (React, TypeScript, Vue.js, Knockout.js, Node.js Express.js) and in the Microsoft stack of technologies (ASP.NET/C#, .NET WebAPI, Azure, etc.) but has also been called upon to venture into the worlds PHP, Python, and Java. He lives in the general greater Seattle area with his wife and 2 daughters.

Table of Contents



What is React?

Who This Book Is For

Required Tools


Command Line Shell/Terminal

Local Web Server

JSX Compilation with Babel & Browserify

Task Runners / Module Bundlers

ECMAScript 6


Work in Progress


Chapter 1: Getting Started With React

Setting Up: Local Web Server, Task Runners & JSX Transpiler

An ECMAScript 6 Primer

Class Syntax

Module Loading

"Hello World" in React

Properties & Displaying Data With this.props

Configuring webpack to Watch Our Files for Changes

Configuring webpack to Minify JavaScript

Using webpack as a Web Server


Chapter 2: To Do: Create Your First React Application

Setting Up

Writing a "To Do" Application

Component Composition

Properties With this.props

Handling Events & State

Binding Context

Adding "To Do" Items & Handling User Input

Improving Our Code


Removing "To Do" Items & Passing Click Events From Child Component to a Parent Component

Editing "To Do" Items

Conditionally Displaying Elements Within Components

CSS Styling & Polish in React


Chapter 3: Styling React Components

Philosophy of React Styling

Styling Our "To Do" Application

Initial Styling

Combining Multiple Styles



Chapter 4: API Integration With React

What is an API?

Creating a REST API in Node.js

Integrating our API with React

Sending Data to the Server

React Component Lifecycle

Mounting - Creating & Adding Components

Unmounting - Deleting & Removing Components

Initial Component Prop Values & Component State Changes


Chapter 5: React Router

JavaScript Routing at a Glance

Setting Up the Project

Implementing React Router

Adding Links

Nested Routes

Index Route

Active Links

Browser History


Chapter 6: Miscellaneous React Stuff

Globally Accessible Variables

Using the Global Namespace

Singleton Pattern / Exporting Class Instances

Using Event Channels in React


Chapter 7: State Management Libraries in React

Getting Started

Flux Application Structure






Putting it All Together


Setting Up

Integrating Redux Into Our Application





Connecting the Store, Actions & Reducers



Appendix A: Code Samples & Repos

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