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The contemporary front-end stack and build pipeline is a very opinionated place, with lots of choices for a lot of different setups.

Bates is a build config as a dependency, to help automate a specific set of choices for React front-end projects.

Quick start

Bates needs node >= 5 and npm >= 3.3

# check the versions
$ node -v && npm -v
# update if necessary
# use nvm to help you manage node versions
$ nvm i node # update node
$ npm i npm -g # update npm

Create a new project

$ mkdir my-project # create project folder 
cd my-project # get into folder 
$ npm init # setup npm for the project 

Install and run Bates

$ npm i bates -S # install and save bates 
$ npm run bates -- template # create base files 
$ npm start # start dev server. 
# The dev server hot reloads the components, run tests and lint on change. 
# Hit `ctrl+c` to close. 

Base files:

  • Site entry point is on src/main.js, theme and routes are defined there.
  • Entry component loaded by the template route is on src/Home.js.
  • Package entry point for when releasing projects as npm modules is on src/index.js.
  • Bates uses Stijl for the UI components of his template.

When you want to deploy the site run:

npm run bates -- deploy
# follow the prompt, choose your domain 
# the site will be available at 

For information on setting up Travis continuous deploy/releases see: travis setup

Folder Structure

  dist/ # site files go here 
    bundle.js # bundle is generated by webpack 
  lib/ # transpiled files from src, for releasing project as a npm pckg 
    index.js # npm pckg entry point 
    main.js # site entry point 
    *.test.js # colocated tests 


Bates adds its script to the package.json file. So that from the project folder he can be executed as npm run bates -- <args>.
Pay attention to the space after the double dash.


npm run bates -- template
If missing, add some base files to your project.

npm run bates -- start
Prune and update your dependencies.
Start a hot-reloaded, babel transpiled, server at localhost:3000.
Run tests and lint on change.
Tell you about your outdated packages, your last release and what have changed until now.
Alias: npm start.

npm run bates -- server
Run just the server from the start command.
The server defaults to port 3000, when the port is not available it uses the next one.
A PORT env var can also be passed. Eg: PORT=8080 npm run bates -- server

npm run bates -- test
Test and lint your /src. Test files need to be named *.test.js.
Alias: npm test.

npm run bates -- testWatch
Same as above, but for every time the source changes.

npm run bates -- cov
Run the test coverage and open a browser with the results.

Site deployment and package releases

npm run bates -- bundle
Generate a bundle file from /src/main.js on the /dist folder, for when you want to deploy your code as a website.

npm run bates -- deploy
Generate a bundle file from /src/main.js on the /dist folder and deploy that folder to
If you add a CNAME file, you don't need to fill any prompts here.

npm run bates -- bundleSize
Generate an analysis of the bundle size.

npm run bates -- lib
Transpile the code from /src to /lib, for when you want to release the code as a npm package.

npm run bates -- release
This command is aimed at automating releases on a CI server.
Using your git commit messages, check for the changes since your last release and suggest a new version. If approved, bump the package and push a new tag.

npm run bates -- githubRelease
This command should be used on TravisCI, after a release. Create release notes since your last release, using your git commit messages. Do a release on your github project.
Travis need to have a GIT_TOKEN environment variable set up with your project token.

npm run bates -- clean
Delete all build and transpiled files.