Setting up React.js

React.js is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces. React.js combined with Kretes allows to quickly build full-stack TypeScript applications.

Install React.js

Reminder: Kretes uses pnpm instead of npm or yarn.

As of Aug, 2020 React.js does not provide ESM build. We will use [pika]'s fork that provides actively maintained ESM builds of React & React DOM.

pnpm add react@npm:@pika/react react-dom@npm:@pika/react-dom @types/react @types/react-dom

TypeScript Configuration

In config/client/tsconfig.json add the following options under the compilerOptions so that there won't be any errors for the JSX syntax:

"jsx": "react"

Init Script

In config/client/index.html, just before the closing </body> tag, add the init script pointing to config/client/index.tsx:

  <script type="module" src="/config/client/index.tsx"></script>

In config/client rename index.ts to index.tsx if you plan to use the JSX syntax.

Inside config/client/index.tsx put the following initialization script:

import React from 'react';
import { render } from "react-dom";

import { App } from 'Base/View';

render(<App />, document.getElementById('app')!);

Create App Component

Let's create a simple component that says Hello to a fixed name (set in the application state).

import React, { useState } from 'react';

function App() {
  const [name, setName] = useState('Zaiste');

  return (
    <div className="max-w-2xl mx-auto">
      <div className="p-4 bg-white shadow">
        Hello, <span className="font-semibold">{name}</span>

export { App };

REST Endpoint

Kretes is all about building full-stack applications in TypeScript. Let's create a REST endpoint that returns a name and let's connect it with our App component to dynamically display it.

In features/Base/Controller create browse.ts. The naming is important. The browse name corresponds to the HTTP GET request that is supposed to respond with a collection of a given resource. In this case for simplicity reasons, we will return a collection of one element - a hash with the name key and a random name as its value.

import { Handler, response } from 'kretes';

const { OK } = response;

const names = [ 'Rick Deckard', 'Harry Bryant', 'Roy Batty', 'Dr. Eldon Tyrell', 'Hannibal Chew',
  'Niander Wallace', 'Taffey Lewis', 'Dave Holden', 'Ana Stelline', 'Leon Kowalski'];

export const browse: Handler = ({ params }) => {
  const nameAtRandom = names[Math.floor(Math.random() * names.length)];

  return OK({ name: nameAtRandom });

We create a handler function that describes the action that will happen once such request is received. In Kretes, handlers are functions that take HTTP requests as input and return HTTP responses as output. The OK convenience wrapper corresponds to the 200 OK response. We define the list of names in memory for convenience, as the names variable.

Data Fetching

We can now connect the front-end with the REST endpoint using the useEffect hook and the built-in fetch browser API. In the App component function just after useState add the following piece of code

function App() {
  const [name, setName] = useState('');

  const fetchData = async () => {
    const response = await fetch('/base');
    const { name } = await response.json();

  useEffect(() => {
  }, [])



馃帀 Congrats! You built a simple, but still full-stack TypeScript application using React.js and Node.js. Did you notice there's no Webpack or Rollup setup needed? It works out-of-the-box with zero configuration. That's cool, isn't?

Here's the source code for this application

React.js with Kretes

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