quik1.0.1 • Public • Published
A quick way to prototype and build apps with React and Babel with zero-setup.
Tip: You can add
?transpile=false to the script src to skip the transpilation.
Quik also exposes a
koa middleware which can be easily integrated with your server.
- One-time installation, no additional setup required
- Hot Module Replacement
- Generates bundles for use in production
- Generates single standalone HTML file for sharing
- React, Redux, React Router and Radium are already included
- Quick prototyping with an optional starter template
You need at least Node 7.0 to run
npm install --global quik
Open the Terminal in any directory and run the following,
It'll start a simple server which will serve the files in the current directory. By default, it'll automatically watch the file
index.js if present.
index.html file is present, it'll generate and serve an HTML file with it's script tag pointing to
index.js file. Alternatively, you can specify the name of the script to include,
quik --run script.js
If you want to use a different port. For example, to run the server in the port
quik --port 8008
You can include any ES2015 file in a script tag in an HTML file and the script will be transpiled to ES5 on the fly. You can use JSX and Flow syntax as well as use ES2015 modules to import other scripts. It just works.
NOTE: You'll need to install any dependencies you use in the project manually.
Enabling Hot Module Replacement
Hot Module Replacement for React Components is automatically enabled if you have a script named
index.js in the directory, or if you specified a script to run with the
--run option, for example,
quik --run app.js
Alternatively, you can specify the filenames you want to watch for HMR,
quik --watch file1.js file2.js
When using the
--run option, the
index.html file is always generated on the fly and served. If you want to use your own
index.html file, just use
You only need to specify the entry points, not all scripts. Most of the time it'll be just one script. Note that Hot Module Replacement won't work for any components in the entry points.
The bundler provides an abstraction on top of webpack with sensible defaults for a React project. If you need additional customisation, use
webpack directly for bundling.
To generate a bundle wth
quik for use in your web application, run the following in a Terminal,
quik --bundle entry.js --output bundle.js --production
--production option performs minification on the resulting bundle. You can omit it if you're not going to use the file in production.
You can provide multiple entry points as arguments. In that case, you can use
[name] to get the name of the entry point while specifying an output file,
quik --bundle file1.js file2.js --output [name].bundle.js --common common.bundle.js
Sourcemap files are automatically generated when generating bundles.
Generating a sharable single HTML file
Sometimes you might want compile and inject bundles into an HTML file for easier sharing through dropbox, email etc. To do so, run the following in a Terminal,
quik --html --output output.html --production
You can also specify an HTML file, which
quik will parse for any local scripts. Then it will build them and inject into the HTML file. It'll also inline stylesheets as is, without any pre-processing. Just open the generated HTML file in any browser to preview.
quik --html index.html --output output.html
Specify browser to open
You can specify which browser to open when server starts. Refer opn's documentation on browser names.
For example, to use firefox as the browser, you'd do,
quik --browser firefox
To get started with a sample project, run the following in a Terminal,
quik --init AwesomeProjectcd AwesomeProject && quik
Refer the API documentation for more to know how to customize and extend the server.
How it works
quik middleware is just an abstraction on top of
webpack. It includes a base
webpack config and generates appropriate config files when needed. For example, when the
webpack config on the fly, the file is then transpiled with
webpack, and the server responds with the generated bundle instead of the original script.
The following posts inspired me to work on
One good thing about
quik is that it is highly opinionated, which means we don't worry about becoming generic and can focus on making it better at what it does. It doesn't allow additional
babel transforms, or loaders for
webpack as of now.
Inline styles are recommended for styling. When combined with a library like
radium, they provide much more flexibility than CSS.
The goal of
quik is to improve the tooling around React and Babel projects. While it'll be easy enough to support additional customization, it defeats the whole purpose of being zero-setup. If you need additional configuration, it will be better to go with
webpack directly. If you think something should be included by default, send a pull request or file a bug report.
quik itself doesn't provide additional customization, it's just a
koa middleware at the core. That means it's composable with other koa middlewares and you can add additional functionality easily.
Plans for improvements
Below are some ideas on how to improve
quik. It would be awesome to receive pull requests for these.
- Automatically parse HTML files to enable hot reloading without having to specify files with
- Cache bundles instead of re-building on every request
- Better error handling
- Atom plugin to make it easier to use without CLI
quik is not the only tool trying to solve this problem. There are few other tools which are also doing a great job at it.
- react-heatpack - a very minimal prototyping server for React with Hot Module Replacement
- nwb - similar, but has lot more options
- rwb - pretty similar to
quik, has Hot Module Replacement and can also build bundles for production
- run-js - works on top of
browserify, zero-setup, has live-reload functionality