monkey-hot-loader

0.0.3 • Public • Published

monkey-hot-loader

A webpack loader which adds live updating functionality to a JavaScript system. View this post for gory technical details.

Summary

This loader acts similarly to react-hot-loader in that it uses webpack's HMR infrastructure to be notified when a module has changed. When it changes, it takes the new module's code and monkey-patches the live running system automatically, so all you have to do is edit a file and save it.

As described in my post, currently this only supports updating top-level functions in a module. That means given this code:

function foo() {
  return 5;
}
 
function bar() {
  return function() { 
    // ...
  }
}
 
module.exports = function() {
  // ...
}

only foo and bar will update in the live system when changed. Editing the function within bar will reload bar entirely; we have no support for patching arbitrary functions like closures.

Turns out this is still incredibly valuable, and much easier to rationalize about.

In the future, this could patch methods on classes as well which would cover the majority of JavaScript code.

Usage

See the gulpfile in backend-with-webpack to see a full setup. This is a bit confusing right now. If you check out backend-with-webpack, run npm install and gulp run you should have a full setup running.

1- Install the loader

npm install monkey-hot-loader

2- Add the loader to your webpack config, for example:

  module: {
    loaders: [
      {test: /\.js$/, exclude: /node_modules/, loaders: ['monkey-hot', 'babel'] },
    ]
  }

3a- For the frontend, you need to run the Webpack Dev Server to serve your assets. It will create a socketio server that your frontend uses to receive notifications. You can see an example of using the API in react-hot-loader's same code to fire up the server. Make sure to load your assets from this server (i.e. http://localhost:3000/js/bundle.js).

3b- In your webpack config, add 2 more files to load, which connect and listen to the dev server. Additionally, add the HotModuleReplacementPlugin to plugins.

Make sure that the adress & port of the webpack-dev-serve query points to the dev server instance.

var frontendConfig = config({
  entry: [
    'webpack-dev-server/client?http://localhost:3000',
    'webpack/hot/only-dev-server',
    './static/js/main.js'
  ],
  output: {
    ...
  },
  plugins: [
    new webpack.HotModuleReplacementPlugin()
  ]
});

4a- For the backend, do the same as the frontend except add only webpack/hot/signal.js file to your entry point. Also make sure to give a path to recordsPath.

var backendConfig = config({
  entry: [
    'webpack/hot/signal.js',
    './src/main.js'
  ],
  target: 'node',
  output: {
    ...
  },
  recordsPath: path.join(__dirname, 'build/_records'),
  plugins: [
    new webpack.HotModuleReplacementPlugin()
  ]
});

The signal.js file instruments your app to check for updates when it receives a SIGURS2 signal. This is the same signal that nodemon uses to signal a restart, but signal.js overrides this behavior. Instead of restarting, your app will simply patch itself.

4b- For now, this setup requires nodemon, but in the future there could be multiple ways to talk to your running app. If you are using gulp, start your app with nodemon like this:

nodemon({
  execMap: {
    js: 'node'
  },
  script: path.join(__dirname, 'build/backend'),
  ignore: ['*'],
  watch: ['nothing/'],
  ext: 'noop'
});

We tell nodemon to watch no files, since we don't care about that.

4c- Now, when webpack is done running, call nodemon.restart(). You will need to call webpack via that API. You should probably be doing all of this through gulp anyway.

webpack(backendConfig).watch(100, function(err, stats) {
  nodemon.restart();
});

I know it's confusing, but remember, this restart just sends the signal which our app captures and actually just does an update.

I recommend just checking out backend-with-webpack, installing with npm install and running with gulp run and playing with it there.

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Install

npm i monkey-hot-loader

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4

Version

0.0.3

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Collaborators

  • jlongster