Daniel Strunk

A webkit React starter kit

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been prototyping a web application that I’ve had an idea for ever since jumping into Rails. It was on the backburner for a while until I could figure out how to handle such a dynamic UI… Then React came out. React is providing exactly the functionality I’m looking for—able to use components in a web application without hijacking the entire view (a la Ember), and with a cleaner separation of concerns (looking at Angular here).

It’s been a while since I’ve dabbled in the front end, though—and the landscape has changed. Webpack, Babel, widespread adoption of ES6… I was a bit overwhelmed for a couple of hours catching up. Because of this, I put together a webpack starter kit to easily pull down when prototyping new React projects:


To get started with this project, clone it or download the zip from GitHub. You’ll need a couple of things from NPM, so run the following commands:

npm install -g webpack
npm install -g webpack-dev-server

After installing webpack and webpack-dev-server globally, run the following to install package dependencies:

npm install

From there, you can simply run npm run start. This command (seen in our package.json file)

  • starts an http-server running our local directory on port 8080
  • starts webpack-dev-server on port 8090 which serves the webpack-dev-server runtime and our app.js file

… and that’s it! Once setup, you’ll have an environment that allows you to get started quickly with prototyping React applications, and keeps productivity high by watching files and refreshing when necessary.