Vue + Nuxtjs + Vuex starter
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assets
components
docs
layouts
pages
static
store
.eslintrc.js
.gitignore
LICENSE
README.md
config.js
nuxt.config.js
package-lock.json
package.json
serverapi_ajax.js
serverapi_localstorage.js

README.md

This is my minimal yet functional Vue starter kit and demo app as of August 2018.

If you feel tired of Javascript fatigue, and want to get started quick and easy, take a peek of this. Developing a modern Vue app does not get much simpler than this.

LIVE DEMO nuxtjs.tomicloud.com

Screenshot

The demo app is a static site, a basic single-page-app that has a few addressable pages that are lazy loaded on-demand. It demonstrates basic CRUD operations: 1) list movies, 2) view movie details, 3) create/edit and 4) delete a movie.

The demo uses browser localStorage for the data storage, which means it runs without a backend. The sources do contain a module that does real AJAX calls to a REST backend - you just need to enable the module and write a server, and you are in good track to have a real web app. I have developed RESTPie3 Python REST API server which implements this simple movie API as an example.

Building blocks

The demo app consists of a simple but powerful tech stack that provides the essential functionality for creating modern web apps. It stands on the shoulders of a few great libraries:

  • Vue is a practical and elegant Javascript library for modern web dev
  • Nuxtjs is a lightweight Javascript framework that provides structure and basic core functionality for Vue apps
  • Vuex is a quick and easy state management library that Nuxtjs supports natively
  • SASS is the good old CSS extension language that still does the job fine
  • Axios is a popular AJAX library based on Promises

Source tree

├── /assets/                    # assets to be processed by Nuxt
│   └── /layout.sass              # main layout of site
├── /components/                # vue components used by pages
│   └── /myheader.vue             # site header component
├── /layouts/                   # page top-level layouts
│   └── /default.vue              # main site layout
├── /pages/                     # pages
│   ├── /about.vue                # about page
│   ├── /index.vue                # home page, lists movies
│   ├── /moviedetails.vue         # details page, views a movie
│   └── /movieedit.vue            # edit page, edits a movie
├── /static/                    # static assets, accessed/exported as is
│   ├── /favicon.ico              # favicon
│   └── /exampledata/
│       └── /movies.json          # sample list of 4 movies - loaded initially
├── /store/                     # data stores managed by Vuex
│   └── /index.js                 # the single store for this app
├── config.js                   # app config, select ajax or localstorage
├── nuxt.config.js              # nuxtjs config
├── package-lock.json           # npm something
├── package.json                # list of npm packages required
├── README.md                   # this doc
├── serverapi_ajax.js           # API, talks AJAX to a real backend
└── serverapi_localstorage.js   # API, talks to localStorage

Local development

Here's how to run the starter in your local machine:

$ git clone https://github.com/tomimick/tm-nuxtjs-starter
$ cd tm-nuxtjs-starter
$ npm install
$ npm run dev

Then point your browser to http://localhost:3000.

When any of the dependant files is modified, the changes are hot loaded and become visible instantly. Enjoy the dev!

Nuxt.js

Nuxtjs is a great little framework that brings structure and core SPA functionality to Vue-based apps. It makes it easy to start the app development, letting you focus on your core app, but also provides practices to guide you in creating a more complicated app.

Nuxt.js benefits in a nutshell:

  • Minimum configuration - no need to tinker with webpack or babel configs, unless you want
  • Enforces structure to the source files - guidance for crafting apps in a logical and documented manner
  • Hot reloading of pages to speedup the dev work
  • Built-in SPA routing logic
  • Automatic code splitting of pages, transpiling of js
  • Deployment options: export a static server-less site or run Node.js in the backend

Nuxt.js takes advantage of Vue's Single File Components which is an excellent practical solution to encapsulate the template, logic and styling of a Vue component together in the same source file.

Nuxt.js is directly inspired by Nextjs which is the same framework for the React ecosystem. Nuxt.js introduces a little more hierarchy, having folders for layouts, plugins, and middleware.

Vuex state management

Since Nuxtjs has the tooling to support developing an app with lots of data and code, one usually needs some kind of state management solution for sharing data across pages and components.

Nuxtjs natively integrates with Vuex state management library. This is a well crafted library which is authored by Evan You, the same talented guy who created Vue. Vuex is simple enough to learn quickly. You construct your store from state data, and mutations and action functions.

To activate vuex, you just drop a store component in the store/ folder, where Nuxt picks it up from and makes it available as this.$store in all Vue page components. That is all to it, no further configuration is required.

It is also possible to use other state libraries like MobX but because of the built-in integration, Vuex is a natural choice with Nuxtjs.

Generating a static site

The ability to generate a static site with Nuxtjs is an important tool which makes it possible to run apps without a backend server. You can export the site to GitHub pages, Netlify or Amazon S3. (But check a few gotchas with site+link prefixes with Github pages.)

Another win of static generation is to be able to hook up the app with any REST backend no matter what is the language of the backend. Clean separation of frontend and backend also provides modularization at tech level and possibly at team level.

To generate a static site, simply run

$ npm run export

And the static files will be generated in the dist-folder.

To test the static site locally via a local www-server, I quickly run a python script: (python3 -m http.server)

$ npm run pyserve

And then test the site at http://localhost:8000.

Size of Javascript

Nuxtjs performs well, generating a home page whose size is only about 69KB minified and gzipped. This is a good result out of the box.

The browser loads the home page with a total of 4 requests, and each new page that is loaded on-demand makes a single js request once.

Page Size Inspector Report
URL: https://nuxtjs.tomicloud.com/

REQUEST                                       REQ     BYTES

TOTAL___________________________________________4____68,802

Document________________________________________1_______960
-nuxtjs.tomicloud.com/                                  960

Script__________________________________________3____67,842
-nuxtjs.tomicloud.com/_.../0b088016842f5f4f735       53,552
-nuxtjs.tomicloud.com/_.../1c78d24f170a4f6d1ea       13,680
-nuxtjs.tomicloud.com/_.../f17a22e19f8ece7f59c          610

(Report by my Chrome extension Page Size Inspector.)

Vue vs React - my opinion

Vue and React are both really good choices for modern web dev: they are based on modern reactive/virtual DOM concept, they are lightweight and hugely popular with big ecosystems. A developer can't always choose between these two, but if one can, in the end it maybe a matter of taste which one a developer considers better. The taste decision usually comes down to a philosophy of whether you like JSX or templates.

If I can choose my weapon for a front-end project, I would choose Vue. The primary reason for me is code readability and personal productivity. I can read and write HTML templates with Javascript ASIDE more easily than JSX. Long JSX runs can be dizzying and somewhat noisy. A template decorated with just a few directives just feels more readable to me. I like to see the HTML building blocks first in the line, not JSX map()-functions or ternary operators or short-circuits. I suppose templates feel more natural to me because of my history of working with the 3 elementary building blocks of the web, HTML, JS, and CSS, long before the Javascript overlord took over the world.

I highly appreciate the separation of 3 concerns that is practiced in Vue Single File Components. I guess I represent the old school thinking which says that the view, logic and styling should have some separation between them and should not be mixed all-together. They DO have coupling between them, that is a natural thing, and they should be located NEAR each other, preferably in the same source file, but not intermixed. Too tight coupling may end up in spaghetti.

However, I also understand the opposing views which state that React is better over Vue, and which argue that another template DSL is the weaker approach. If you come from a Javascript background, React may feel more natural for you. I can work with both choices (I even made these 2 starter kits!) but maybe Vue has a slight edge for me.

If you want to read about one of the recent decent Vue vs React debates, check this Reddit thread.

Need help?

Go ahead and take this Vue starter and perhaps my RESTPie3 Python REST API server too and build your great service.

You can also contact me to ask if I am available for freelancing work.

React version

If you prefer React over Vue, I have also coded this same starter with React Nextjs.

License

MIT License