The initial version, 0.3.0 of React is released on May, 2013 and the latest version, 17.0.1 is released on October, 2020. The major version introduces breaking changes and the minor version introduces new feature without breaking the existing functionality. Bug fixes are released as and when necessary. React follows the Sematic Versioning (semver) principle.
The salient features of React library are as follows −
Few benefits of using React library are as follows −
Few popular websites powered by React library are listed below −
As you see, most popular application in every field is being developed by React Library.
This chapter explains the installation of React library and its related tools in your machine. Before moving to the installation, let us verify the prerequisite first.
React provides CLI tools for the developer to fast forward the creation, development and deployment of the React based web application. React CLI tools depends on the Node.js and must be installed in your system. Hopefully, you have installed Node.js on your machine. We can check it using the below command −
You could see the version of Nodejs you might have installed. It is shown as below for me,
If Nodejs is not installed, you can download and install by visiting https://nodejs.org/en/download/.
To develop lightweight features such as form validation, model dialog, etc., React library can be directly included into the web application through content delivery network (CDN). It is similar to using jQuery library in a web application. For moderate to big application, it is advised to write the application as multiple files and then use bundler such as webpack, parcel, rollup, etc., to compile and bundle the application before deploying the code.
React toolchain helps to create, build, run and deploy the React application. React toolchain basically provides a starter project template with all necessary code to bootstrap the application.
Some of the popular toolchain to develop React applications are −
Tools required to develop a React application are −
Let us learn the basics of the above mentioned tools and how to install those in this chapter.
The serve is a lightweight web server. It serves static site and single page application. It loads fast and consume minimum memory. It can be used to serve a React application. Let us install the tool using npm package manager in our system.
Let us create a simple static site and serve the application using serve app.
Open a command prompt and go to your workspace.
Create a new folder, static_site and change directory to newly created folder.
Next, create a simple webpage inside the folder using your favorite html editor.
Next, run the serve command.
We can also serve single file, index.html instead of the whole folder.
Next, open the browser and enter http://localhost:5000 in the address bar and press enter. serve application will serve our webpage as shown below.
The serve will serve the application using default port, 5000. If it is not available, it will pick up a random port and specify it.
To install Babel and it’s React companion, run the below command −
Create React App is a modern CLI tool to create single page React application. It is the standard tool supported by React community. It handles babel compiler as well. Let us install Create React App in our local system.
React Create App toolchain uses the react-scripts package to build and run the application. Once we started working on the application, we can update the react-script to the latest version at any time using npm package manager.
React toolchain provides lot of features out of the box. Some of the advantages of using React toolchain are −