React from Scratch
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React from Scratch

A friendly guide for absolute beginners

About the Book

This book is my answer to the question: how to teach React to a complete beginner, in as little time as possible?

Need to learn the basics quickly? This is your book.

About the Author

Ajdin Imsirovic
Ajdin Imsirovic

Ajdin Imsirovic is a full-stack web developer who has published several courses (way back in 2015) on the subject of web design and web development. 

Before self-publishing books on Leanpub, he authored four books on front-end development for Packt Publishing:

  1. Vue CLI 3 Quick Start Guide (Build and maintain Vue.js applications quickly with the standard CLI), May 2019
  2. Vue.js Quick Start Guide (Learn how to build amazing and complex reactive web applications easily using Vue.js), October 2018
  3. Elm Web Development (An introductory guide to building functional web apps using Elm), March 2018
  4. Bootstrap 4 Cookbook (Over 75 recipes to help you build elegant and responsive web applications with Bootstrap 4), June 2017

Additionally, he's published a number of books on the Leanpub platform, specifically:

  1. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - The Basics:
  2. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Built-in Objects:
  3. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Useful Snippets:
  4. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Mini Apps:
  5. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Advanced JavaScript:
  6. Angular From Scratch:
  7. Vue.js From Scratch:
  8. React from Scratch:
  9. Building Amazing Layouts - Learn the Basics of HTML5, CSS3, and Bootstrap 5:
  10. Building Amazing Layouts - Bootstrap 5 Layouts in Depth:

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 0: Before we start
    • 0.1 Disclaimer
    • 0.2 Assumptions: Things to have before we start
  • Chapter 1: Building the simplest possible React app
    • 1.0 What is React?
    • 1.1 Install React Developer Tools in your Browser
    • 1.2 Let’s build the simplest possible React app
    • 1.3 Run our default React app and examine it in the browser
    • 1.4 Inspecting the app using React Developer Tools
    • 1.5 What happens when we run the npx create-react-app <appName>?
    • 1.6 Understanding our default React app’s folder and file structure
    • 1.7 Inspecting the contents of package.json
    • 1.8 Altering the default app
  • Chapter 2: Serving React from a CDN and running it without a build step
    • 2.1 Re-building the simplest app without a build step using
    • 2.2 Load another node into another div
    • 2.3 Challenge: Render three more h2 headings
    • 2.4 Adding HTML attributes using React.createElement
    • 2.5 What happened to the DOM?
    • 2.6 Some Conclusions
    • 2.7 Optimizing our simplest example’s code, the React way: introducing JSX
    • 2.9 Exercise: Find at least one interesting React Codepen
    • 2.10 Making our simplest app a bit more dynamic, using JSX
  • Chapter 3: Build React Apps Locally Without a Build Step
    • 3.1 Build React Apps Locally Without a Build Step, pt 1 (no HTML attributes)
    • 3.2 Build React Apps Locally Without a Build Step, pt 2 (with HTML attributes)
    • 3.3 Build React Apps Locally Without a Build Step, pt 3 (nested HTML elements)
    • 3.4 Build React Apps Locally Without a Build Step, pt 4 (improved nested HTML code)
  • Chapter 4: What is JSX?
    • 4.1 Adding HTML-like code as a parameter to the root.render() call
    • 4.2 Using the ternary operator in JSX
    • 4.3 Using variables in JSX
    • 4.4 Why does JSX look like HTML?
  • Chapter 5: Components and props
    • 5.1 The simplest possible app using a component
    • 5.1 Is it render or return?
    • 5.2 You must have a single wrapping element when returning JSX
    • 5.3 Props in React
    • 5.4 The hierarchy of React components
    • 5.5 Transpiling JSX using Babel to inspect the props object
    • 5.6 The list of completed learning objectives
  • Chapter 6: Assets in React
    • 6.1 Working with images
    • 6.2 Working with JSON
  • Chapter 7: JSX and styling
    • 7.1 How to include CSS in plain HTML?
    • 7.2 Some of the possible ways to style components in React
    • 7.3 Importing styles using the link element
    • 7.4 Inline styles using object literals
    • 7.5 Inline styles using variables
    • 7.6 Composable styles using the spread operator
    • 7.7 Third-party styling libraries
  • Chapter 8, Build a Static Bootstrap Layout
    • 8.1 Prototyping our website layout’s components
    • 8.2 Adding the Bootstrap navbar
    • 8.3 Adding Bootstrap’s CSS
    • 8.4 Extracting MainMenu component and importing it into App.js
    • 8.5 Adding another component (the Jumbotron)
    • 8.6 Adding the Card component and repeating it multiple times
    • 8.7 Working with the children prop
    • 8.8 Using the children prop in the CardsWrapper component
    • 8.9 Adding the footer component
  • Chapter 9: Looping over data (repeating cards)
    • 9.1 The starting app for Chapter 9 (with non-repeating cards)
    • 9.2 Extracting data to a separate object
    • 9.3 Looping over JSON data
    • 9.4 Improving readability of the passed-in data with props
    • 9.4.1 Bonus: Calling a single prop in the rendered Car component in App.js
    • 9.4.2 Bonus 2: Cleaning up code using object destructuring
    • 9.4.3 Bonus 3: Taking object destructuring one step further (destructuring nested objects)
  • Chapter 10: The very basics of data and events in React
    • 10.1 Data in React
    • 10.2 Working with state data in a React component
    • 10.3 Updating the state data in a React component using events
    • 10.4 Exercise
  • Chapter 11: Conditional rendering
    • 11.1 Product component example app
    • 11.2 Using if-else in a component to render it conditionally
    • 11.3 Rendering classNames conditionally using ternary operators
    • 11.4 Simplifying rendering classNames conditionally using ternary operators
    • 11.5 When rendering a list of items, skipping an item if a prop value is an empty string
    • 11.6 Conditionally returning a different string than the one passed in from a prop
    • 11.7 Conditionally rendering different components
    • 11.8 Extracting the return values as variables
    • 11.9 Extracting the return values as variables, and rendering them using the ternary operator
    • 11.10 Conditionally rendering components using the logical AND operator (the && operator)
  • Chapter 12: Conclusion
    • An overview of concepts learned and apps built

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