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A prepackaged Webpack for easy frontend demos.
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README.md

Demopack

Fire up a pre-configured, live reloading Webpack server that supports React, (S)CSS and files for quick demos and tutorials.

Like create-react-app, but without needing to create a new project and npm install all the things.

Supports JavaScript, JSX, Sass, CSS Modules and images out of the box. 0 configuration required!

Catch this quick demo on Youtube to learn more :).

But why?

I love Webpack, and I love tools like create-react-app, but they come with some set up cost.

  • For Webpack, it takes a reasonable amount of time to configure and set it up. I love this for full projects, but for quick experiments/demos, it's pretty slow.
  • Similarly create-react-app is great but the setup time in generating a new project can be relatively slow, especially on slow networks when you have to install all the dependencies!

The idea behind demopack is that it's a pre-packaged Webpack. It includes and configures everything you need, so all you have to do is install demopack once, and then when you run it there's no more setup.

Demopack is not designed for fully featured projects, but for small demos or one off projects where you need no extra configuration. For "proper" projects I recommend either Webpack from scratch or a tool like create-react-app.

Installation

Please note that demopack is very new and I'm sure it might not work right for all people on all machines. Please open an issue if you have any problems or suggestions!

You should install demopack globally so you can easily run it in a directory.

Unfortunately demopack is taken on npm, so you need to install the scoped version:

npm install --global @jackfranklin/demopack
yarn global add @jackfranklin/demopack

You'll need to be running Node 8 or higher.

Usage

Given a folder with the following file in it:

// index.js
console.log('Hello World!');

Running demopack in that directory will:

  • Fire up a Webpack server on port 8080 (or another free port).
  • Generate an index.html file that loads your JavaScript.
  • Parses any JavaScript (including JSX support) and SCSS for you.

What Demopack supports

Demopack has the following Webpack loaders configured out of the box:

  • babel-loader which parses .js and .jsx files. It runs using babel-preset-env, babel-preset-react and babel-preset-stage-0. This should mean any fancy JS you want to write should be supported :)
  • sass-loader, css-loader and style-loader to load your CSS and SASS (but regular CSS works just fine). If you pass --css-modules CSS Modules will be supported.
  • file-loader to load gif, png, jpg and svg files.

Demopack will run a small local server and will refresh automatically when you change files. Any errors are shown in the terminal and in the page.

If there's anything you think should be supported out of the box, feel free to open an issue and we can discuss it.

Production build

The primary goal of demopack is to be used for development, but you can generate a production build if you like with the --build flag.

This will run all the same plugins, with some extras (CSS is pulled into a separate file, JS & CSS is minified).

The build will output into ./demopack-built and will contain an index.html file alongside any assets.

Configuration

The goal of demopack is to be preconfigured out of the box, but there are some options you can configure. Running demopack --help will show you these:

Options:
  --help          Show help                                            [boolean]

  --version       Show version number                                  [boolean]

  --open-browser  Automatically open the browser when you run demopack. [default: true]

  --css-modules   Enable CSS Modules support.                   [default: false]

  --entry         The JavaScript file that demopack should build from. [default: "index.js"]

  --build         Output static files into a directory. JS and CSS will be minified [default: false]

Changelog

0.2.0

  • Initial release :)

Prior art / credit

  • Thanks to Eduard and his work on create-elm-app which I took a bunch of Webpack code from to make the Demopack terminal output super tidy.
  • Thanks also to everyone behind create-react-app which was the inspiration behind Demopack initially.
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