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Enables React Native projects written in ClojureScript to use Figwheel's live reloading and REPL.
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React Native Figwheel Bridge

Enables React Native projects written in ClojureScript to use Figwheel's live reloading and REPL.

State of this library

This library is intended to only replace the functionality provided by the figwheel-bridge.js file in re-natal

This library is going to change. I'm using it as a base to understand the issues when integrating ClojureScript tooling with React Native tooling.

The things discovered here will inform changes to Figwheel-main and perhaps the ClojureScript compiler.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for this library in the first place and be able to support React Native directly from figwheel-main or even the ClojureScript compiler.

Because of this flux, this library is going to primarily be compatible with figwheel-main for now as I'm not going to be make incremental improvements to both figwheel-main and lein figwheel during this period of discovery.

I do advise that you use this library as it represents a very straightforward way to use React Native along with Figwheel.

Initial setup

First you will need to make sure you have React Native and its dependencies installed.

On the page you will want to click the poorly named Building Projects with Native Code tab, to get instructions on how to set your system up.

Once things are installed you can then follow the instructions below to get a React Native project setup for Figwheel development.

Initialize a project:

$ react-native init MyAwesomeProject

This will create an initial React Native project. Before you go any further you will want to ensure that everything is setup so that you can launch and run your application in a simulator.

Change in into the MyAwesomeProject directory and launch a simulator like so:

$ react-native run-ios  # or react-native run-android

If everything is set up correctly this should launch a phone simulator with the RN application defined in index.js and App.js.

If you have any problems please consult the React Native documentation. Actually, I really recommend reading all of the React Native Documentation as it is well written and will more than likely save you lots of headaches.

If everything is up and running go ahead an close everything so that we can setup a ClojureScript application that uses figwheel-main to support hot reloading and a REPL.

Notes on the React Native build environment

When you run react-native run-ios it launches the metro bundler which basically runs a babel based watcher/compiler process with some specific React Native presets on the index.js file. This compiles the index.js file to a bundle that is loaded by React Native framework code that is written in Objective-C.

You can see the Native code that loads the bundle in ios/MyAwesomeProject/AppDelegate.m.

The important thing to note about this, is that in terms of relating to ClojureScript and its tools, a React Native project is simply JavaScript that gets loaded into a React Native host environment.

Our goal is to get our compiled ClojureScript into the RN host environment and establish a REPL connection so that we can get reloading, editor integration, etc.

So this is not the hardest problem but there are a few tricky parts and that's where this library comes in.

One of the tricky parts is the use of require. require is not just used to include JavaScript libraries in React Native projects it's also used to pull in assets like images, data etc. However unlike node-js require doesn't actually exist in the JavaScript Core runtime environment. The React Native metro bundler process resolves and handles all requires in JavaScript code at compile time.

However, this doesn't work for hot-reloaded compiled ClojureScript code which doesn't get processed by the Metro bundler. So (js/require "images/splash-logo.png") won't work in hot-reloaded code without some sort of intervention.

The other tricky part for ClojureScript code is to support the requiring of of npm modules like react and react-native in ClojureScript ns forms like this:

(ns example.main
    [react :as react]
	[react-native :as rn]))
;; now rn/Text is available here	

So there will need to be an intervention for this as well.

We need to make requires available in a global object in the index.js so that they are available to ClojureScript at runtime and we need to inform the ClojureScript compiler which namespaces are to supplied by this global map so that it can bind them properly in the ns forms.

Finally, there is one more sticking point when integrating an optimizations :none ClojureScript build into a React Native tooling environment.

When React Native loads the Metro Compiled bundle it expects the root of the React Native component to be registered synchronously when the bundle initially loads. Unfortunately right now it is simplest to bootstrap and load the ClojureScript application code asynchronously. So we have to register a proxy component before the application code loads. This proxy in turn renders your actual application when the application code actually loads.

So these problems are addresses by the react-native-figwheel-bridge code. I encourage you to read it and understand it. I beleive that along with this explanation it will eliminate all the mystery and empower you to make your own decisions about how you want to load and run your ClojureScript application.

Integrating the ClojureScript and Figwheel

First we need to add the react-native-figwheel-bridge to our npm dependencies:

$ yarn add react-native-figwheel-bridge

Now we'll start setting up a basic figwheel.main project.

Create a deps.edn file in the MyAwesomeProject directory:

{:deps {org.clojure/clojurescript {:mvn/version "1.10.439"}
        com.bhauman/figwheel-main {:mvn/version "0.2.1-SNAPSHOT"}}}

Create a ios.cljs.edn file in the MyAwesomeProject directory:

^{:open-url false
  :npm {:bundles {"dummy.js" "index.js"}}}
{:main awesome.main}

If you have done React Native from ClojureScript before, then you will notice that I am not specifying a :target :nodejs in the compile options. This is intentional because we are not actually targeting Nodejs.

Make an empty ./dummy.js file so that we can use :global-exports:

$ touch ./dummy.js

Create a src/awesome/main.cljs file in the MyAwesomeProject directory:

(ns awesome.main
  (:require [react]
            [react-native :as rn]))

(def <> react/createElement)

(defn renderfn [props]
  (<> rn/View
      #js {:style #js {:backgroundColor "#FFFFFF"
                       :flex 1
                       :justifyContent "center"}}
      (<> rn/Text
          #js {:style #js {:color "black"
                           :textAlign "center"}}
          (str "HELLO"))))

;; the function figwheel-rn-root must be provided. It will be called by 
;; react-native-figwheel-bridge to render your application. 
;; You can configure the name of this function with config.renderFn
(defn figwheel-rn-root []
  (renderfn {}))

Edit the index.js file in the MyAwesomeProject directory:

cljsExports = {};
cljsExports["react"] = require('react');
cljsExports["react-native"] = require('react-native');
cljsExports["create-react-class"] = require('create-react-class');

var figBridge = require("react-native-figwheel-bridge");

figBridge.start({appName:   "MyAwesomeProject",
                 optionsUrl: "http://localhost:8081/target/public/cljs-out/ios/cljsc_opts.json"});

Now we are ready to launch our ClojureScript application:

First we will start the figwheel-main process to watch and compile and create a Websocket for REPL communication.

$ clj -m figwheel.main -b ios -r

The in another terminal window change into the MyAwesomeProject directory and start react-native

$ react-native run-ios

When using figwheel-main figwheel bridge will take care of auto refreshing the application for you when figwheel reloads code.

You can see this behavior by editing the src/awesome/main.cljs file. Try changing the "HELLO" to "HELLO THERE". You should see the application change when you save src/awesome/main.cljs.

Further explaination

The magic line above is in the ios.cljs.edn file.

:npm {:bundles {"dummy.js" "index.js"}}

This line causes figwheel-main to read the cljsExports statements index.js file and adds the following to your compile options (The specific cljsExports name is parsed by figwheel):

{:main awesome.main
 :foreign-libs [{:file "dummy.js"
                 :provides ["react" "react-native" "create-react-class"]
				 :global-exports {react              cljsExports.react
				                  react-native       cljsExports.react-native
								  create-react-class cljsExports.create-react-class}}]}

The :global-exports config option allows us to reference these exports via the :requires in our ns forms.

(ns awesome.main
  (:require [react-native :as rn]))
;; global exports allows us to refer to ReactNative.Text like this
(rn/Text #js {:style ...} "Hello world")

The :global-exports that we need are already provided by top level bundle compiled by Metro. We pretend that the empty dummy.js file is providing them so we can utilize the Global Exports feature. Hopefully the ClojureScript compiler will add top-level :global-exports option to the compiler options so that this hack isn't necessary in the future.

Configuration options

These are the options that you can pass in the configuration Object to start.

appName: (required) the name that you created your React Native project with.

optionsUrl: (optional) a url that will resolve to a cljsc_opts.json file. I modifed figwheel-main to output this file as a JSON version of the cljsc_opts.edn file that the ClojureScript compiler outputs. This contains all the information needed to effectively boostrap and load a ClojureScript application. If a optionsUrl is not supplied you will need to supply the asset-path, main, preloads, and closure-defines options directly.

renderFn: (optional) the JS munged name of the function that returns the React elements for your application - defaults to figwheel_rn_root

asset-path: (optional) this a url that resolves to the base of the :output-dir in most cases this is "http://localhost:8081/target/public/cljs-out/[[build-name]]" and in the current example this would be "http://localhost:8081/target/public/cljs-out/ios"

main: (optional) the JS munged namespaces string of your root application namespace ie. "my_example.core"

preloads: (optional) an array of JS munged namespace strings to load before the main ns is loaded.

closure-defines: (optional) a JavaScript Object literal that provides custom values for your goog-defines. Most importantly this should contain a figwheel.repl.connect_url so that figwheel-main knows where to connect.

Controlling Reload

After everything is loaded a figwheelBridgeRefresh function is registered on goog. You can call this function to force the root element to reload.

So for the above example you could set the autoRefresh option to false.

In index.js this looks like:

figBridge.start({appName:   "MyAwesomeProject",
                 optionsUrl: "http://localhost:8081/target/public/cljs-out/ios/cljsc_opts.json",
				 autoRefresh: false // <-- setting auto refresh to false

and control reloading via figwheel.main's reload hooks

in src/awesome/main.cljs this looks like:

(ns ^:figwheel-hooks awesome.main
  (:require [react]
            [react-native :as rn]))

(def <> react/createElement)

(defn renderfn [props]
  (<> rn/View
      #js {:style #js {:backgroundColor "#FFFFFF"
                       :flex 1
                       :justifyContent "center"}}
      (<> rn/Text
          #js {:style #js {:color "black"
                           :textAlign "center"}}
          (str "HELLO"))))

(defn figwheel-rn-root []
  (renderfn {}))

;; adding the reload hook here
(defn ^:after-load on-reload [] (goog/figwheelBridgeRefresh))

Based on previous work

This code heavily modified from the figwheel-bridge.js file in which in turn was taken from the now non-existant

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