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React Development Tutorial From Scratch

By gswardman January 31, 2022

A software engineer at Facebook, Jordan Walke, created React and released an initial prototype referred to as “FaxJS”. XHP, an HTML PHP component library inspired him. React was first deployed in 2011 on Facebook’s News Feed and in 2012 on Instagram. In May 2013, at JSConf US, React Native was open-sourced. Here are some of the things you need to know about React development.

What is React Development?

ReactJS is an open-source and free JavaScript library for developing user interfaces depending on UI components. Meta, previously Facebook, and a team of other companies and individual developers maintain it. Developers can use React hook as a foundation in developing one page, or mobile applications.

Is React a Language or Framework?

React is a Library.

What is React built on?

React is built on the JavaScript framework and based on JSX.

Does React need HTML and CSS

Having a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is necessary when using React, especially when you begin developing complex applications. In this case, you will need to acquire the conventional CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code layers, often matching and mixing conventional web code with React seamlessly.

How does React Compare to Angular?

Options for front-end development frameworks and libraries are fast becoming competitive. Among all the JavaScript libraries and frameworks available, React and Angular takes center stage among developers. Angular is an open-source JavaScript framework written in TypeScript. Built and powered by Google Chrome, Angular is compatible with various code editors. The development of powerful websites and web apps requires the use of Angular in its front-end development. Some of the projects developed with Angular include Microsoft Office Home. The React library splits a webpage into individual components to simplify interface development. The development of React started in 2012 when Facebook ad management using HTML coding became difficult. The library has been used extensively in the Instagram and Facebook user interface.

Differences between Angular and React

Differences between Angular and React Through React, programmers can determine the appearance of their application for the user. It also enables them to understand how users will interact with their app. React comes in handy to facilitate the development of native-rendered, web, and mobile applications. Besides reusable library code, React comes with JSX and virtual DOM, core features that JavaScript developers love. While React is generally used by technology giant companies, it also works well for smaller projects line the BMI calculator. React libraries range from React.js templates to groups of individual user interface features that facilitate the development of user interfaces from scratch.

Angular vs. React: Dom & Performance

Both Angular and React are ideal for front-end development and perform well in large-scale application development. However, React.js leverages the virtual document object model (DOM – allows developers to access and modify document structure, layout, and contents) while angular relies on real DOM. With the virtual DOM, you don’t have to rewrite the whole HTML doc to make updates or changes. As a result, apps built on the virtual DOM are fast regardless of their size. Angular’s real DOM feature slows down its applications when handling large data requests.

Data Binding

Data binding involves integrating data between UI and business logic. Angular uses one and two-way data binding. Worth mentioning is that changing view stimulates data modifications while changing data affects the view. React leverages one-way binding. When outlining a React application, developers usually cover child components with high-level parent components. One-way binding stabilizes the code. As a result, debugging a React-based app is easier. However, working with Angular’s one and two-way binding is simpler. It also enhances the framework’s flexibility.

Component Design

React builds UIs by splitting them into components. Developers create components that control their state and arrange them into more sophisticated UIs. If your project is based on React you will need different supporting tools and integrations like:
  • Redux
  • Webpack, a basic module bundler.
  • Babel
Angular is a full-fledged framework that features numerous out-of-the-box features such as:
  • Angular CLI, a robust command-line interface
  • RxJS, which introduces reactive programming to JavaScript
  • Angular Universal which facilitates server-side rendering
Noth React.js and Angular feature powerful ecosystems. Understanding React is easier but it needs numerous integrations to leverage its full potential.

What are the Benefits of React Development?

React JS offers numerous benefits, as seen below.

·       Declarative

React facilitates considerable data changes resulting in automatic adaptation in the outlined parts of user interfaces. Due to this functionality, you do not have to perform any additional function to upgrade your user interface.

·       Speed

React enables developers to use single sections of their applications on the server-side and the client-side, accelerating the speed of the development process. Different developers can write individual sections without harming the application’s logic.

·       Flexibility

The React code is flexible and easy to maintain as a result of its modular structure compared to other frontend frameworks. This flexibility saves businesses costs and time.

·       Offers Reusable Components

React offers recyclable components that developers can reuse and develop a new application. With this feature, developers can reuse components build for another application with similar functionality, minimizing the development effort and guaranteeing flawless performance.

·       Performance

React.js is designed to offer high performance. It offers server-side rendering and a virtual DOM program that accelerates complex apps.

·      Usability

React deployment is easier, especially when you have a basic understanding of Javascript. Professional JavaScript developers can learn everything to do with React framework within one or two days.

·       Mobile App Development

Mobile App Development React is ideal for both web and mobile development. Facebook recently upgraded the library to facilitate the development of mobile applications for both iOS and Android cross-platforms.

What can React do?

React enables developers to large web applications that can convert data without having to reload the page. The core purpose of React is to be simple, scalable, and fast it only operates on user interfaces in an application, corresponding to the MVC template view. React can be used together with other JavaScript libraries or frameworks like vue.js, next.js, and Angular JS in MVC.

What are React Developers?

They are front-end developers that build advanced UI components to enhance application performance. They rely on their CSS, HTML, and JavaScript knowledge and collaborate with project managers, web designers, and testers to develop an effective and robust application.

How to Become a Good React.js developer

While learning how to become a good React developer can be a daunting task, knowing how to become one can make it easier. Learning React does not have to be a struggle. Here are some steps you can follow to become a skilled React developer.

·       Read Notes on ReactJS.org Comprehensively

Reactjs.org is one of the best sources where you can start learning React. Many developers rely on this site to gain and improve their skills. Read through the available documentation extensively to familiarize yourself with the necessary concepts. You can also run the code examples available on Reactjs.org.

·       Build Small Applications and Mast the Art of Adding Features on the Go

After perusing through the documentation at Reactjs.org, start developing small apps. You can begin compiling a to-do application from scratch. Create a complete router application that comprises simple and well divisible parts. Register or sign in to your Github account to save your work. A Github account enables you to search for and learn how other developers built similar applications. Include new features depending on what you learn.

·       Ask Questions Always

Research plays a huge role in your journey of becoming a developer. Search the web for answers should you encounter problems. Track your questions and bookmark the solutions for future reference.
  • Become an active coder
  • Develop applications similar to what you use every day
  • Identify your best projects and include them in your resume for potential employers to see.

What’s the Best Place to Learn React.js

The internet is the ideal place where you can learn react.js. Numerous resources are available online like free and paid online courses, tutorials, and books.

What is the future of React?

React has fast become the future of web development because it is easy to use and versatile. Many developers are now opting for React over other libraries.

Thinking in React Component

Here is a summary of how to think in React component.
  • Break the user interface to create a component hierarchy
  • Develop a fixed version in React
  • Determine the least but complete depiction of user interface state
  • Determine where your state should dwell
  • Incorporate inverse data flow

The Concept of Virtual DOM

The VDOM is a programming approach where a virtual UI representation is integrated with the real DOM via a library like ReactDom. This approach enables React’s declarative API, developers inform React of their preferred UI state and ensure the DOM matches the state. Doing so abstracts out the manual DOM, event handling, and attribute manipulation that you would have used to develop your application. The virtual DOM is not a technology but a model. As a result, people often opine that it defines different things. In the React realm, virtual DOM is affiliated to React elements because they are the elements that represent the user interface. React also leverages fibers, internal objects that carry extra information on the component tree. Fibers can also play a role in the virtual DOM execution in React.

Setting up Working Environment

Follow the steps below to configure a React development environment. To test it, download and run a model React application.

Writing React Directly in HTML

Writing React Directly in HTML While developers can write React directly in HTML, they will need Node and NPM to utilize React in production. Here is how to about it.

·       Include a DOM Container in the HTML

Launch the HTML page you need to edit. Include a clear <div> tag to indicate where you want to exhibit something with React. For instance: <!– … existing HTML … –> <!– … existing HTML … → <div id=”like_button_container”></div>

·       Include Script Tags

Include three <script> tags into the HTML page before the </body> closing tag. <!– … other HTML … –>  <!– Load React. –>  <script src=”https://unpkg.com/react@17/umd/react.development.js” crossorigin></script>  <!– Note: when deploying, replace “development.js” with “production.min.js”. –>  <!– Load our React component. –>  <script src=”https://unpkg.com/react-dom@17/umd/react-dom.development.js” crossorigin></script>  <script src=”like_button.js”></script> </body>

·       Build a React Component

Design a file known as like_button.js and position it close to your HTML page
  • Launch the starter code and paste it to the file you designed
  • Include two lines of like_button.js: after the starter code
// … the starter code you pasted … const domContainer = document.querySelector(‘#like_button_container’); ReactDOM.render(e(LikeButton), domContainer);

What Is JSX?

JSX is the short form for JavaScript XML. It is a syntax extension for JavaScript that allows developers to write directly in React in HTML. creating a template using JSX in React is easy. However, the template is powered by JavaScript.

Using the Create React App CLI

  • Launch the PowerShell or Command Prompt terminal
  • Design mkdir ReactProjects, a new project folder, and enter the cd ReactProjects directory.
  • Use Create react app to install React. This app is an ideal tool that installs all dependencies to develop and run a complete React.js application.
The process will need your authorization to install create-react-app and its affiliated packages. When the installation is completed you can change directories in your new app.

·       Launch your React app

Do so by applying the PowerShell and npm start command. The command will start up the node.js server and open a new browser window showing your application. Use Ctrl + c to stop the React app from running in your command line.

A Quick Look at React Component Types

A React component is one of the core React app building blocks. Components ease the UI building task. The two main types of components in React are Class and Functional components.

Enabling the Strict Mode in React Application

Strict mode scans are executed in development mode only and they do not influence the production developed. You can enable the strict mode from any section of your application. For instance: import React from ‘react’; function ExampleApplication() {  <div>  return (     <Header />   </React.StrictMode>        <div>      <ComponentOne /> <React.StrictMode>      <ComponentTwo />     </div>      <Footer />   </div>  ); The strict mode helps with:
  • Determining components with risky lifecycles
  • Providing warnings on legacy string ref API usage
  • Recognizing legacy context API
  • Giving alerts on deprecated find DOM Node usage
  • Identifying unforeseen side effects

The React Developer Tools

The React Developer Tools React Developer Tools is a Chrome DevTools extension for the React open-source code JavaScript library. It allows developers to analyze the React component ranking in Chrome developer tools. Two new tabs are available in your Chrome DevTools. These are Profiler and Components. The components tab indicates the root React components rendered on the page and the subcomponents rendered. By choosing any of the components on the React tree, you can assess and edit its state and props in the right panel. You can then assess the chosen component in the breadcrumbs and the component that created it. If you assess a React element using the ordinary Elements tab before transitioning to the React tab that element will be selected automatically on the React tree. The profiler tab enables you to record performance data. While this extension needs permissions to gain access to the page’s tree it does not transfer data remotely. It is entirely open source and its source code is available at https://github.com/facebook/react/tree/master/packages/react-devtools-extensions

Creating the Function Component

You can design a functional component in React by creating a JavaScript function. These functions may often receive data as parameters. However, sometimes they don’t. The return value in the functional components is the JSX code to facilitate rendering on the DOM tree. For example: Filepath- src/index.js: launch your React project directory. From the src folder, edit the index.js file import React from ‘react’; import Demo from ‘./App’; import ReactDOM from ‘react-dom’; ReactDOM.render(   <Demo />  <React.StrictMode>  </React.StrictMode>,  document.getElementById(‘root’) ); Filepath- src/App.js: launch your React project directory. From the src folder, edit the App.js file. import React from ‘react’;  const Demo=()=> { import ReactDOM from ‘react-dom’;  return <h1>Welcome to GeeksforGeeks</h1>; export default Demo;

Converting Class-Based Component to Function Component

Here is how to convert the class-oriented CurrencyCodePicker component to a function component.
  • Convert the class keyword into function and eliminate the extends React. Component section
  • Put the elements of the render () technique in the function body
  • Change all the techniques in the class to stand-alone functions
  • Take out the constructor function
  • Align any props in the function declaration with object destructuring
  • Eradicate any use of this. To reference variables or methods
  • Don’t change the redux boilerplate from connecting ()

Finally

Reactjs has become popular among many software development enthusiasts due to its flexibility and simplicity. Many backend developers say it represents the future of website development. Approximately 1,300 developers and more than 92,000 websites use ReactJS. If you are looking for a promising career in the development world, learning React can be ideal. Book a call today and have all your questions answered.