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WARNING: The react4xp packages have been moved to @enonic/react4xp. There are breaking changes, follow the upgrade documentation.


2.0.0 • Public • Published


Part of the react4xp NPM bundle. Not really meant for separate installation or use. Better start with the React4xp introduction.


About webpack externals

Webpack externals is a way to keep certain dependencies out of compilation, putting them aside and telling compiled code that it can expect (the results from) those dependencies to be available in global namespace at runtime.

Take for example, a collection of react component source files (which all could start with import React from 'react). By compiling them with a webpack config that has an attribute externals: {"react": "React"}, the compiler will not compile React into the output JS, and won't throw a tantrum if react isn't available from node_modules. That way, the final web page can import react from outside the bundle, from a CDN - or similar.

What does this package do?

This is an example of that "or similar" part. react4xp-runtime-externals supplies a webpack config for compiling a JS bundle that only consists of the dependencies that are marked as externals.

By default, the react4xp externals are react and react-dom. This is tweakable, controlled by the EXTERNALS attribute/parameter in react4xp-buildconstants.

So basically, running the compiled output bundle in a browser is equivalent to getting react/react-dom from a CDN. But in addition, this package plugs into the backend flow of react4xp, supplying necessary externals to the server-side rendering engine.

Note that this package does not supply built-in react or react-dom! By design, it's expected to be used by a root react4xp project that supplies those by itself.

Why not just use a CDN?

For a purely client-side react app in XP, you probably could. It should be as easy as skipping this package in the setup.

But getting the backend SSR engine to run react/react-dom is much easier with this package than setting it up yourself. And more importantly: the parent XP project gets to decide the react/react-dom versions for the backend and the frontend, defined in one single place (package.json). This ensures that react is kept in sync: the server always renders react components with the same react version as the client side. And since react is only imported in one place, some errors are prevented that may occur when different instances of react/react-dom are accidentally used at once.

API and context

The parent project using this package will run the webpack.config.js supplied here, and is expected to supply its own versions of the packages in the EXTERNALS object - by default react and react-dom.

Since react4xp-runtime-externals are only declaring react and react-dom as peerDependencies, the parent project gets to decide the used versions in its package.json.

The webpack config takes one or more CLI arguments. These are one the form of --env X=Y, where X is any of the _ capital-letter_ keys below (X is the parameter name, Y is the value, usually a string - but if it's an object then Y is expected to be a valid JSON string)

The usual caveat about these parameters: these are among a set of working default values that come from react4xp-buildconstants, where all the parameters have the same name as below (and are better described!). The values can be changed as parameters to react4xp-runtime-externals, but apart from the mandatory REACT4XP_CONFIG_FILE, it's recommended to override these parameters in _ react4xp-buildconstants_ instead. Use the same-name input parameters there. That will affect the general config file instead of only this package's behavior, the rest is handled for you (as long as you use the gradle setup from the starter, see for example the gradle-basic-setup section in the README of lib-react4xp).

Webpack parameters

  • REACT4XP_CONFIG_FILE is a mandatory webpack CLI argument: the name of a shared general react4xp config file.

  • EXTERNALS is the main point of interest. By react4xp's default it looks like this:

          "react": "React",
          "react-dom": "ReactDOM",
          "react-dom/server": "ReactDOMServer"

    ...where the objects are import source names in JS and the values are their name in the global namespace after importing (e.g. the familiar import React from 'react').

  • EXTERNALS_CHUNKS_FILENAME and CHUNK_CONTENTHASH: results in the output asset file name externals.<contenthash>.js.


Produces a JS asset: build/resources/main/assets/react4xp/externals.<contenthash>.js.

This is used both by the serverside and clientside renderer (and since it creates React and ReactDOM in the client's namespace, other non-react4xp components can also use it - no need for an additional CDN). When using render from lib-react4xp, this is automatically handled.

Content-hashed for caching and cache-busting, and also produces a housekeeping JSON file that lets the runtime know the hashed name of the asset.




npm i react4xp-runtime-externals

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