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A sample project demonstrating configuration of React, Redux, Webpack, Cesium, and Mocha
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React-Redux-Cesium-Testing Demo

This sample project demonstrates a variety of useful project configuration and setup techniques, including:

  • Application
    • Application code using React and Redux, with bare-basic usage of loading images and CSS
    • Creation of a React component that is loaded asynchronously and rendered when it becomes available
    • Usage of the Cesium 3D globe library inside a React component, with another React component attaching a Cesium billboard to the globe
  • Webpack
    • Configuration using a "base" set of config options, and multiple extensions of that for development, production, and multiple test execution approaches
    • Use of Webpack's DllPlugin and DllReferencePlugin to pre-compile specific dependencies, allowing later application builds to be faster since those dependencies don't need to be parsed
    • Use of Cesium as installed from NPM, and with the Cesium pre-built assets served directly from /node_modules/cesium/ instead of requiring a copy step during development
  • Testing
    • Test configuration using Mocha+JSDOM+Chai+Sinon+Enzyme, allowing execution of application tests and React component unit tests in a Node environment without the need for Karma or a browser
    • Testing of a React component that uses Cesium primitives
    • Demonstration of several different approaches for running Mocha tests:
      • Build bundle with Webpack, run Mocha against the bundle
      • Use of mocha-loader to run a live-watching test server, with results displayed in a browser
      • Use of mocha-webpack to run a live-watching test process, with results displayed in a console
  • Miscellaneous Setup
    • Basic ESLint configuration for style checking
    • Use of the shrinkpack tool for committing dependencies with minimal overhead, thus allowing dependable and repeatable installations while minimizing the risk of being affected by problems like NPM-Left-Pad-Gate

Note that this codebase started as a prototype / research project, and any actual code in here is probably pretty ugly and not well documented. The intent is to demonstrate a mostly-working project configuration that implements some specific capabilities, and might serve as a useful example for others interested in the same approaches. You probably don't want to use this as the basis for an actual production application :)

Getting started

Clone this repo, and run npm install. All the dependencies should be installed directly from the /node_shrinkwrap/ folder, rather than having to go out to the NPM servers.

Then, execute npm run dll:build to pre-compile the "vendor" and "cesiumDll" bundles, which need to be available during the development process.

Finally, run npm run dev to start development.

Development commands

These commands are NPM scripts defined in the "scripts" section of package.json

  • npm run dev: starts the local app development-mode server, at http://localhost:3000

  • npm start: same as npm run dev

  • npm run build: does a production compile of the source, and writes it to /dist

  • npm run dll:build: builds both the "vendor" and "cesiumDll" bundles

  • npm run dll:build:vendor: builds the "vendor" bundle

  • npm run dll:build:cesium: builds the "cesiumDll" bundle

  • npm run lint: executes ESLint to flag code style problems

  • npm test: does a compile of the test dependencies, writes to /disttest, and executes the test suite

  • npm run test:build: does the test compilation step

  • npm run test:run: uses the Mocha test runner to execute an already-built test suite

  • npm run test:dev: starts the local test-running development-mode server for mocha-loader, at http://localhost:3001

  • npm run test:fast: uses mocha-webpack to compile and execute the test suite once

  • npm run test:watch: starts mocha-webpack to execute tests in live-watching mode in a console

Managing Dependencies using Shrinkpack

The recent uproar over the unpublishing of "left-pad" and the subsequent breakage of thousands of NPM packages and build environments demonstrates the need to maintain a fixed list of all transitive dependencies. However, the common suggestion of checking in /node_modules/ is a bad idea. A typical /node_modules/ folder is easily 20K files and 150MB, and probably has platform-specific post-installation build artifacts (such as node-sass's native-code SASS compiler).

While researching this issue in 2015, I ran across a tool called , which seems to solve most of this issue. It simply refers to a npm-shrinkwrap.json file, and uses NPM's caching abilities to grab the tarballs for each exact dependency. It copies those to a /node_shrinkwrap/ folder, which can then be easily committed. That folder will probably be more like 500-750 files and 20MB - much more manageable. Re-running shrinkpack after a package update will just add or remove a few tarballs as needed, rather than having to re-commit hundreds or thousands of files under /node_modules/. In addition, having the pre-install packages available means that the project can have npm install run on multiple platforms, without worrying that a Linux build artifact got checked out on Windows. There's also no need for NPM to go out to a server during an install, as all dependencies are right here and pre-specified. That means a build environment doesn't have to have a network connection.

A typical Shrinkpack workflow for managing dependencies looks like this:

# one-time global install of shrinkpack
npm install -g shrinkpack

# install whatever packages you want to update
npm install some-package --save-dev

# once you are ready to persist the upgrade, then re-generate 
# npm-shrinkwrap.json, including devDependencies
npm shrinkwrap --dev  

# re-run shrinkpack to rewrite the shrinkwrap links to 
# point to ./node_shrinkwrap/some-tarball.tgz

# add new package files to version control
git add npm-shrinkwrap.json
git add node_shrinkwrap
git commit -m "Updated some-package"

Repo Layout

  • $REPO
    • dist: output folder for the production build
    • disttest: output folder for the test build
    • distdll: output folder for the "DLL" bundles
    • node_modules: local installations of JS build and app dependencies (NOT checked in)
    • node_shrinkwrap: downloaded zip files needed to install those dependencies (checked in)
    • src: application source
      • actions: Redux action creator functions ("fetch data", "update check state", "increment counter", etc)
      • assets: temporary folder holding a 3rd-party stylesheet
      • components: UI view classes
      • constants: exported constants referenced by actions and reducers
      • containers: another UI view classes folder - will probably be removed / merged
      • layouts: more UI view classes that are solely responsible for laying out structure on screen
      • reducers: Redux reducer functions that update state based on dispatched actions
      • selectors: reusable functions for extracting pieces of data from the Redux store
      • store: logic for initializing the Redux store on startup
      • styles: CSS and images
      • utils: utility functions
      • index.js: the client-side entry point
      • index.template.html: template for a generated HTML host page
    • test: test setup and test files
      • testEntry.js: used to recursively load all test files in the folder
      • mocha.opts: Mocha config options used when running in the CLI
      • mocha_helper.js: environment setup logic for Mocha in the CLI
      • testSetup.js: imports used when running Mocha in the browser
    • webpack: configuration options for Webpack, used for building Javascript bundles
      • copyCesium.js: a utility to copy portions of Cesium from /node_modules/ to the build output folder
      • webpack.base.config.js: common Webpack settings used by the different config variants
      • Webpack settings for the development mode server
      • Webpack settings for the production build
      • webpack.test.config.js: Webpack settings for the offline test build
      • webpack.testdev.config.js: Webpack settings for the Mocha development mode server
    • .babelrc: common config options for the Babel JS transpiler
    • .eslintrc: settings for the ESLint code style checker
    • config.js: common internal environment variables and app settings
    • devServer.js: the application development mode server
    • npm-shrinkwrap.json: the generated file listing all transitive app and build dependencies
    • package.json: the NPM project definition file, including top-level dependencies, npm run scripts, and project metadata
    • testServer.js: the Mocha test development mode server
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