Nefarious Planetary Meddling
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0.0.3 • Public • Published

DX: State of the Art Web Development

This is brand new, not ready for production unless you are ready and willing to contribute to the project. Basically just building something we want here, if it interests you, please help :)

Also, it has no tests. Also, it's awesome.

Get Started

mkdir best-app-of-your-life
cd best-app-of-your-life
npm init .
npm install dx --save
dx init
npm install
npm start

Now open http://localhost:8080.

Go edit a file, notice the app reloads, you can enable hot module replacement by adding AUTO_RELOAD=hot to .env.


npm test


NODE_ENV=production npm start

Minified, gzipped, long-term hashed assets and server-pre-rendering.


  • React

    • React Router
  • Modern JavaScript with Babel

    • ES2015
    • JSX
    • Stage 1 proposals (gotta have that { ...awesome, stuff })
    • configurable with .babelrc
  • Server rendering (with express)

  • Server-only routes (what?)

  • Document titles

  • Code Splitting

    • vendor/app initial bundles
    • lazy route config loading
    • lazy route component loading
  • Auto Reload

    • Refresh (entire page)
    • Hot Module Replacement (just the changed components)
    • None (let you refresh when you're ready)
  • Webpack loaders

    • babel
    • CSS Modules
    • json
    • fonts
    • images
  • Optimized production build

    • gzip
    • minification
    • long-term asset caching
    • base64 inlined images/fonts/svg < 10k
  • Test Runner

    • Karma
    • Mocha

Future Features (Pull Requests Welcome!)

  • Hot reloading server code ( does this)
  • Better Test runner implementation see here
  • Redux + data loading (probably just keep it in the blueprint)
  • Server side test runner (for the stuff in /api)


  • Cut the crap and start building an app right away
  • Wrap up the stuff that is good for all apps.
  • Keep the app in charge. Config lives in the app, defaults provided by the framework are imported into the app, the app is not imported into the framework.
  • Escape hatches are important.

Semver Versioning

As soon as I ship a real app with this, I'll ship 1.0.


dx CLI

dx init

Initializes the app, copies over a bluebrint app, updates package.json with tasks, etc.

dx build

Builds the assets, called from npm start, not normally called directly.

dx start

Starts the server. Called from npm start, not normally called directly.

dx --help


dx --version


npm scripts

After running dx init your package.json will have some new tasks.

npm start

Starts the server. It's smart enough to know which NODE_ENV you're in. If NODE_ENV=production you'll get the full production build.

npm test

Runs any files named modules/**/*.test.js with karma and mocha.

Implementation needs work

Desired API is:

  • App doesn't need tests.webpack.js context junk.
  • App only has a karma config and a webpack tests config
  • Karma config:
    • configurable on package.json dx, like "karma": "karma.conf.js"
    • blueprint default is export { KarmaConfig } from 'dx/test'
  • Webpack test config
    • one more export from webpack.config.js
  • Both configs should be babel'd.

This way people can mess w/ the default configs (both webpack and karma) or take full control.

ENV vars


# web server port

# webpack dev server port

# where to find assets, point to a CDN on production box

# "hot", "refresh", and "none"


import { lazy, ServerRoute } from 'dx'


Convenience method to simplify lazy route configuration with bundle loader.

import { lazy } from 'dx'
// bundle loader returns a function here that will load `Dashboard`
// lazily, it won't be in the intial bundle
import loadDashboard from 'bundle?lazy!./Dashboard'
// now wrap that load function with `lazy` and you're done, you've got
// super simple code splitting, the dashboad code won't be downloaded
// until the user visits this route
<Route getComponent={lazy(loadDashboard)}/>
// just FYI, `lazy` doesn't do anything other than wrap up the callback
// signatures of getComponent and the bundle loader. Without `lazy` you
// would be doing this:
<Route getComponent={(location, cb) => {
  loadDashboard((Dashboard) => cb(Dashboard.default))


Defines a route to only be available on the server. Add handlers (functions) to the different http methods.

Note: You have to restart the server after making changes to server routes. But only until somebody implements HMR for the server.

You can nest routes to get path nesting, but only the final matched route's handler is called (maybe we could do somethign cool later with the handlers?!)

import { ServerRoute } from 'dx/server'
import {
} from './events'
export default (
  <Route path="/api">
    <ServerRoute path="events"
      <ServerRoute path=":id"


createServer({ renderDocument, renderApp, routes })

import { createServer } from 'dx/server'
createServer({ renderDocument, renderApp, routes }).start()

Creates and returns a new Express server, with a new start method.

renderDocument(props, callback)

App-supplied function to render the top-level document. Callback with a Document component. You'll probably want to just tweak the Document component supplied by the blueprint.

callback(err, reactElement)

renderApp(props, callback)

App-supplied function to render the application content. Should call back with <RouterContext {...props}/> or something that renders a RouterContext at the end of the render tree.

callback(err, reactElement)

If you call back with an error object with a status key, the server will respond with that status:

callback({ status: 404 })


The app's routes.




npm i dx

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