Remixing Your Stack in a Monorepo Workspace

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Remix entered the stage with a unique and refreshing take on how to develop on the web. But how do you integrate it into your existing ecosystem of applications? Do you want to test-drive Remix on a small project, or do you want to go full-in, but it is tricky to do a big-bang migration from your existing React app? In this talk, we're going to explore how a monorepo-based code organization can help integrate Remix with your existing React and TypeScript infrastructure, facilitating high code reuse and a migration path to Remix.

Juri Strumpflohner
Juri Strumpflohner
22 min
18 Nov, 2022

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Video Summary and Transcription

Let's talk about remixing our stack in a Monorepo workspace, which allows for incremental migration and is suitable for transitioning from a Next.js app to a remix stack. Refactoring may be required for feature-specific and Next.js-coupled components, but the process is simplified because the features have already been moved out. Configuring the Monorepo to reference packages locally and linking them to the Next.js application is necessary. Nx provides benefits like fast refreshing, pre-configured setups, and features like local and remote caching.

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1. Remixing Stack in Monorepo Workspace

Short description:

Let's talk about remixing our stack in a Monorepo workspace. Your routing files should configure the routing for your specific stack, while the implementation of the feature should live elsewhere. You can organize your code by having a routing folder and a features folder inside your application. Alternatively, you can move the features into a dedicated packages folder, resulting in a clean and encapsulated structure. This setup allows for incremental migration and is suitable for transitioning from a Next.js app to a remix stack.

How to Remix Your Stack with ReactJS

Hey, let's talk about how we can remix our stack in a Monorepo workspace. And I would like to start with a quote, or actually a tweet from Ryan Florens from a couple of weeks ago, where he actually made a quite powerful statement and mentions that your routing files should actually just configure the routing for your specific stack. The actual implementation of that feature that's being visualized there, should live somewhere else, right? So, you import it, but then specifically depending on the stack you have, you configure the routing and you import it, and then it gets bundled and visualized on the webpage.

And this is a very powerful mechanism for architecting your system, but also for organizing your code. And we can take this even further. So normally, we see exactly this type of structure, what Ryan Florence mentioned. So you have kind of your application, you have the routing folder, which can be pages, routes, app, whatever. And then you should have, as Ryan mentions, like a different folder potentially inside that app, which is like your features. And then you have like the different folders for all those features. And the routing simply imports from them.

Now we could actually go a step further and even move them out of the application into dedicated packages folder. So this new structure, what you see now is we have an apps folder and now we have a packages folder. And in the apps folder, we still have our application with its routing mechanism. And then in the packages folder, we now have different folders for all of our features. And all of these features are now nicely kind of independent encapsulated, and they have a very clean API point where there is an index.ts file which exposes everything that can be used outside and everything else kind of remains inside that package. So you can imagine we get a very clean structure having such a setup here. Obviously, we can go ahead and just import as before. Our import might even look like as if we consumed it from some external package like some MPM registry. But it actually is just consumed locally in this case. But you can see it here from such an import statement.

So how does this help, actually? Well, potentially with something like incremental migration. Now, you might have noticed that in my example, I used a Next.js app, right? There's that pages folder. Well, if you use the new features or opt into new features, you might have a different routing folder there. But this was not by accident, but it was intentional. So you might nowadays have like a Next.js application with some already built in features, with some like an application that has been developed already for a couple of months or even years. And you might want to kind of slowly move over to a remix stack because for whatever reason, that is more suitable for you. So this is exactly what you could achieve in such a setup, because as you can see, our actual Next.js app and the actual feature folders are kind of already separate and nicely. And if you pay attention, this is actually already a monorepo. If you want, right. We have just a single app in there, but we have an app.

2. Adding Applications and Refactoring Features

Short description:

We can add another application to the monorepo and generate a new remix app. This allows us to migrate new features or keep both apps depending on the use case. Refactoring may be required for feature-specific and Next.js-coupled components. The process is simplified because the features have already been moved out. Juergen Stromflohner, a web technologies expert, demonstrates how this works using Annex, an extensible build system. The Next app with the features folder is organized, and refactoring involves creating folders, moving the app, and making the features autonomous with their own package.

We have a couple of packages. So this is totally a monorepo, a very simple one. So what we could do is we could just add another application in that case. For instance, add a new remix app, which is our target migration destination. Right. So where we want to move over new features or where we even want to keep them both depending on the use case or deployment strategy.

So we could just generate a new remix app with the create remix command and then just add that app inside our monorepo workspace and import the features that we already have. There might be some various feature specific things or even things that are coupled to the Next.js application, obviously. So those need or might need some refactoring. But it's much easier because there have already been moved out.

So how does this work in practice? Let me show you. But first, my name is Juergen Stromflohner. I'm a good developer expert in web technologies. I'm also an ACAD instructor. And I work as the director of developer experience for a tool called Annex. And Annex is a smart, fast, extensible build system that happens to work really well for monorepo setups and application structures that we have just discussed. So let's have a look.

So I have here my Next app with that features folder, which gets imported directly from our routing configuration. And those features are actually nicely organized. So there is an index.js file which exports our functionality, which is super simple. And then we have also the design system which exports here a single button. But this is organized in the same fashion. So how would we refactor this to get such a monorepo workspace with a more modular structure? Well, first of all, we would probably go ahead and create the folders. And by the way, these are fully up to you, however you name this. The normal naming is what you find out there is like apps and packages or Apps and Lips. But it's up to you how you want to choose those. And we would probably go ahead and move our next app in this case into this app folder. As the next step, we need to factor out these features and move them to their packages folder. So they are completely independent. And as a result, we should also now make all of these autonomous in a sense that they have their own package.

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