An FSA student-led workshop by @sw-yx. Live Demo (pre react) here:
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An FSA student-led workshop by @swyx.

Lecture Videos:

  • Section 0 and A: - is a live coding session with 2 students, a lot happens offscreen sorry
  • Section B: - is a review and demonstration session, so its much more concise! CORRECTION from the video - binding this in the constructor is ACTUALLY better than binding in the render() function because it only binds once rather than every time you render. also read up on super.

The goal of this project is to familiarize FSA students with React by completely refactoring an old, familiar project to use React.

The Trip Planner is an ideal candidate to do this exercise because 1) it already uses webpack, 2) it already uses internal state, 3) it has components that need to talk to each other and also render app state.

Because React is purely a front-end framework, we will not need to touch any of the backend nor the CSS. We will only be editing the clientside javascript and to a lesser extent the base index.html.

We start with the official final solution to the Trip Planner - Live workshop, contained in the tripplanner-live-STARTHERE folder. We will end with a Reactified version, which is in the react-tripplanner-live-ENDHERE folder.

Shall we begin?

High level Table of Contents

Full Table of Contents

Created by gh-md-toc

Steps to convert FSA Trip Planner-Live to React Trip Planner



run these things to set up initially:

make sure you have postgres running with a database named tripplanner.

npm i
node server/seed
npm start

you should now have a normally running Trip Planner on localhost:3000


Step 1: add the react loader to your webpack.config.js (under rules):

        "exclude": "/node_modules/",
        "include":  __dirname + "/browser/",
        "loader": "babel-loader",
        "options": {
          "presets": ["es2015", "react"]
        "test": /\.jsx?$/

Note: FSA React Juke uses loaders, we are using rules. The two seem to be incompatible. i found this webpack solution here

Step 2: npm install --save-dev babel-core babel-loader babel-preset-es2015 babel-preset-react

if you want, you can do npm start to doublecheck that nothing has changed.


Step 1. npm install --save react react-dom

Step 2. Scaffold out our new frontend, we're not going to touch client:

mkdir browser
touch browser/index.js browser/Main.js browser/Navbar.js browser/Map.js browser/Panel.js

Step 3. Fill out browser/index.js with basic React and ReactDom scaffolding:

import React from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'

ReactDOM.render(<h1>Hello world</h1>, document.getElementById('myApp'))

Step 4. Comment out index.html so that the <body> only has one <div id='myApp'></div>

Step 5. Switch the webpack entry point from ./client/index.js to ./browser/index.js

npm start to see your new clean React app!



Fill out Main.js with the basic Component scaffold and initialize the state with empty arrays. Why do we need a separate Main.js from index.js? Honestly, we don't really. But we do want the top level thing to be able to store state, which we will find useful when we pass data from Panel to Main later on.

'use strict';

import React, {Component} from 'react'

export default class extends Component {
    constructor() {
        this.state = {
          hotels: [],
          restaurants: [],
          activities: []
    render() {
        return (<div>
                  <h1>Hello world</h1>

You can then import Main.js into index.js and carry on.


Step 1. Fill out Navbar.js with the stuff you commented out in index.html. Remember to switch class to className when converting HTML to JSX.

Step 2. import Navbar into Main.js. Remember that component names have to start with a capital letter in React.

refresh and you should now see a navbar back again! Great, you can close Navbar.js and never worry about it again. Modularization for the win.


Step 1. Port over the Maps html to Map.js and import Map to Main.js. elevate the <div id="app" className="clearfix"> to Main.js as you will put the Panel as a sibling to Map

Step 2. Why is the map not rendering?? oh, right. it uses javascript. Port that over from the old client/index.js. Port just enough so that the map shows up, nothing more.

Hint: if you try to stick mapboxgl.Map into the render() function, you get an error because map-canvas doesn't yet exist on first render. What is a good lifecycle hook to use to call javascript only AFTER a component has rendered?


Step 1. Port over the Panel html to Panel.js and import Panel to Main.js (as a sibling component to Map, as mentioned above).

You should at this point have a fully recreated UI of Trip Planner done in React, but none of the functionality works yet!


Do not get trapped into trying to copy+paste from the old javascript into your new React code. the old javascript relied on updating state and creating and destroying DOM components every change you made. In React, this.state simply contains your current data state, render() renders your JSX according to the data in this.state, and the only way you trigger a re-render is by calling this.setState() which then calls render() again based on your new state. This is called "one way data flow" - you NEVER, EVER, directly manipulate this.state anywhere in your code except in the constructor. Repeating for emphasis: you



directly manipulate this.state anywhere in your code outside the constructor.

You only update state with this.setState, which allows you to get the benefits of re-rendering and DOM-diffing that you would otherwise have to program manually like you did in the old javascript.



Step 1. Copy over attractions.js from /client/ to /browser/, we will simply reuse it

Step 2. use attractions.js in Panel.js to populate your JSX select tags with an array of javascript-generated options.

Hint: How do you embed {JSX generated via javascript} inside JSX?

Hint: If you are generating an array of JSX, what property do you need to assign each element of the array so that React works properly? (you get a warning in console if you don't do this)

Hint: As soon as you see the pattern, refactor the javascript generator code to a makeOptions function that you then call dynamically, eg {makeOptions('hotels')}, {makeOptions('restaurants')}, etc.

You should now have a Panel that loads the full list of Hotels, Restaurants, and Activities.

But the buttons don't work yet!


Let's make this clear, we could make the buttons work (adding whatever is selected to the bottom panel) very easily within Panel.js by adding a few fields to this.state.

But we are not going to do that.


The info that the buttons generate need to be reflected in the bottom panel AND in the Map component!

The Map component is a sibling of the Panel component. How do you pass data from a sibling to a sibling?

You put the state at their parent (Main) and then pass the state (and eventHandlers that manipulate the state) down to its kids as props!

Step 1. in Main.js, write two event handler functions, addFunc and delFunc, that will setState based on parameters you pass: add to this.state[attractionType], and remove from this.state[attractionType]

REMINDER: Sparkly fairies die every time you try to set this.state directly.

Hint: you can clone objects like this.state easily with Object.assign({}, this.state)

Hint: Don't forget to .bind(this) in the constructor, on functions that you are going to pass on down.

Extra hint: addFunc pseudocode:

    addFunc(attractionType) {
      // get the selectedId from the DOM element corresponding to attractionType
      // retrieve the corresponding selectedAttraction data from `attractions.find()`
      // clone this.state into a new object so that you can modify it
      // modify your cloned object with selectedAttraction
      // setState with the modified cloned object

Extra hint: delFunc pseudocode:

    delFunc(attractionType, id) {
      // clone this.state into a new object so that you can modify it
      // filter out anything that has the target id from the new object[attractionType]
      // setState with the modified cloned object

Step 2. Time to use React Component props! pass this.state and both functions down to Panel.

Hint: if your component needs to use its props, you need to declare it in constructor(props) and then take it down in super(props). Don't ask me why.

Step 3. In Panel.js, Wire up your addFunc to a button's onClick attribute via an anonymous function.

Hint: why does onClick require a function that calls addFunc instead of simply addFunc? What happens when you just give it addFunc?

Step 4. In Panel.js, add a generator function makeLi to make the list items for each section in the bottom panel (just like makeOptions).

Hint: don't forget to add className="itinerary-item" to the li and className="btn btn-xs btn-danger remove btn-circle" to the delete button

Whoo! that was a lot of work! You should now be able to add things to the bottom panel by clicking the corresponding buttons!

It's mostly Downhill from here. Let's make the delete button work!

Step 5. In Panel.js, wire up delFunc to the delete button of each li. Remember delFunc takes an attractionType and a place id.

Great, now you can add and delete stuff! only the map markers left!


Ok I lied a bit above (this is what happens when you write tutorials at 3am in the morning). You are not passing data down from Main to Map. instead, you are passing a reference to the map UP to its parent!!! Whaaaa?

This part is a bit tricky and not yet covered in the Juke React workshop, but is probably really good to know. Read about refs here!

Step 1. in Map.js, you only need to do one modification: instead of assigning your new mapboxgl.Map to a variable called map, attach it to the component with Now a parent component can access it with refs!

Step 2. copy marker.js from the client folder into browser

Step 3. in Main.js, declare buildMarker as require("./marker")

Step 4. to retrieve the ref you attached to your Map object, pass it a callback function that assigns its map variable to your map variable. When initially rendering, Map can be null so be sure to handle that:

<Map ref={(x) => !x ? '' : =}/>

Step 5. Phew. now you can proceed. in addFunc,

  1. build the marker,
  2. addTo( which you just assigned in the callback function in the previous step,
  3. attach your new marker to the selectedAttraction object so that you can call .remove() on it later
  4. add at the end

Your map now adds markers and flies to it when you select places!

Step 6. Now to delete. because we were careful in step 5, deleting simply requires you to call .remove() the attached marker to the attraction being deleted while you are filtering in delFunc.


You have now completely refactored the trip planner app to use React. This new architecture is:

  • modular (Main.js is able to treat Navbar, Map, and Panel as abstract components and only focus on coordinating state)
  • scalable (you can arbitrarily add state variables - which are the basic building blocks behind features) and not worry about manipulating the DOM, because you are not storing state in the DOM)
  • concise (writing JSX to build out your data-dependent HTML, instead of calling document.createElement. Removing JSX elements is literally as easy as removing from this.state)
  • high confidence (because the DOM always reflects the internal data state, there is a much lower chance of edge cases and bugs where internal state is "desynced" from the external-facing DOM)

thanks for trying this tutorial. If you liked it, please share it around; if you didn't, I would love your feedback.