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React js tutorial for beginners with EcmaScript6 (es6) is my recent web app development tutorial in the reactjs series. Here you will learn how to set up react from scratch step by step. We’ll install node.js (nodejs) use npm (node package manager) command line tool to install babel, babel watch, es2015 presets, react and react-dom. (no webpack installation needed for this tutorial.)
This react tutorial goes over the set up process and setting up the development environment from the command line (cmd) on a PC under Windows 7 Operating System (OS). I tried to make this tutorial as simple as possible, because I was thinking more along the lines of a tutorial for beginners
Get my book React Gems at for more web development education goodness.
— Setting up reactive web development environment —
But react development assumes setting up your web development environment in the way that professional web developers do. It requires basic knowledge of the command line tool in Windows. On Mac OSX you would use the Terminal to do the same.
It’s actually kind of fun once you figure out how the command line tools like npm work.
— All of these other dependencies! —
React depends on node.js, babel, es2015 preset, JSX preprocessor and optionally webpack. Node’s npm (node package manager) is the tool used to install all of the required presets and plugins.
The good news is that all you have to do is install node js from their website and you’re good to go. It includes everything you need.
I know this sounds like a bunch of gibberish if you’ve never heard of these programs and libraries before. But by following my tutorial to build your first react application you will see & quickly understand how they all work.
It might take a bit of time to sink in, but this is the kind of thing professional web developers use who work at Instagram and Netflix. And I made sure that my tutorial explains in great detail and insight of how it all works.
— What in the world is babel & transpiling? —
There is a command line program tool called “babel”, which is part of node js installation.
Babel transpiler is the tool that makes converting ES6 to ES5 possible. Developers of babel have already figured out and implemented ES6 standard. Including the import keyword that no browser supports today as of this writing.
Node for windows comes as a simple .msi installer file. Just click “Next” button until it’s finished and you’re ready to start using it and all the packages it includes.
Once instaled… simply go to cmd.exe on your Windows and install babel using node’s npm tool and you’re ready to start transpiling. My video tutorial explains how to do it.
And if you’ve never heard of JIT compiling before. What shall we say about transpiling?
Transpiling is the act of converting source code of one language into another. In this particular case of EcmaScript, we will actually be transpiling ES6 back to ES5. Again, this process is detailed in my tutorial. Just watch it and you will learn how it works.