Using CodeMirror to Build a JavaScript Editor with Linting and AutoComplete

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Using a library might seem easy at first glance, but how do you choose the right library? How do you upgrade an existing one? And how do you wade through the documentation to find what you want?

In this workshop, we’ll discuss all these finer points while going through a general example of building a code editor using CodeMirror in React. All while sharing some of the nuances our team learned about using this library and some problems we encountered.

86 min
30 Nov, 2022


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Video Summary and Transcription

This Workshop covers various topics related to software development, including using the CodeMirror library to create custom editors, exploring CodeMirror setup and themes, adding multiple editors and custom themes, implementing linting and autocomplete features, and adding custom autocompletion in CodeMirror. It also discusses the Hydrogen and Oxygen tools for creating custom storefronts in Shopify, introduces the Polaris Viz UI library, and shares experiences and backgrounds of team members. The Workshop emphasizes the complexity of React code, the challenges and benefits of using TypeScript, and the importance of collaboration and communication with maintainers in open source projects.

Available in Español

1. Introduction to CodeMirror Library

Short description:

In this part, we will discuss CodeMirror, a powerful library that allows you to create your own editor. We will cover the basic setup, adding themes, linting, and auto-complete features. The library is widely used at Shopify and we had to upgrade it to meet our specific needs. Despite the thorough documentation, we had to navigate through examples to implement linting and custom auto-complete. We will be using ReactCodeMirror, a helpful library that simplifies the usage of CodeMirror. Let's dive into the coding process and follow the instructions.

This text is the first part: "Course 3. Developing in a Web browser"... I'm going to explain how to install React playoffs..." I'm Hussain, I'm a staff developer here at Shopify. I mostly focus on the front end. I've been using React for Seven years, closely. I mean, when it came out, let's talk about CodeMirror.

So what are we doing with CodeMirror? Today, the agenda is, we're going to talk about the library itself. We're going to talk about some basic setup. We're going to add our own themes and use additional themes that they have. Add our own linting. So, the ability to catch some errors. Adding a general auto-complete, something more complex of an auto-complete in JavaScript, and we're going to do more custom auto-complete.

I will be using JavaScript just because I think it's more accessible. Not everybody uses TypeScript. I wanted to just make it more general. Also, it saves a lot of time here and all the errors we might get. So, why are we talking about this? CodeMirror itself is a very, very, very powerful library. It allows you to create your own editor out of the box, and it has a lot of features and a lot of documentation. How we landed on this problem was at Shopify, we have a few places across our app that merchants use. Different across different code bases that other developers use in our docs, where we want to show a code editor, whether you can edit it or not, in different languages, adding certain syntax. Across the app, and Shopify has been around for a long time, I've only been there for a year, we noticed that CodeMirror was the main one being used. Also, it wasn't the most up-to-date version, so part of what I did was had the learn CodeMirror and add a new feature where merchants are able to add their own code, essentially, add their own code and fire off events in those codes. What that means is a merchant can say, after I make a sale, please send Facebook the message about my sale, meaning tell them that I sold something, this particular product at this particular price with these parameters. We fire off that event for you, but you put in the code that you want to fire off because you want to send it to Facebook anywhere else. So we had to have a coding environment and that's just one of the use cases that we had it at.

So I think a lot of what we do here as developers, because you can create your own, you can write your own CodeMirror, you can create your own editor and that's cooler, so to speak, but generally, we find ourselves if there's something out there that's better, maybe it's not the best thing that you should do, and we all know that and we all have to make those difficult decisions about should we use this? Should we make our own? And something like this that already existed in the code base that other teams were using, it was a good idea to use this. But the problem is it wasn't up to date. We had to upgrade it. And I think that leads me to the point about why this is so important is because I found myself, I I've been developing for about 10 years. I found the most important, the thing I'm doing the most is not writing new, cool stuff and cutting edge innovation. Generally speaking, I'm giving libraries on the front end or backend, but let's just say front end, and I have to, what I call wrangle them. I have to make them work for what I want it to do. At the end of the day, it's nice when the library just works. But rarely, is that the case because business means code and business makes code complicated. So, um, what I've had to do with CodeMirror and what our team had to do was essentially make it work for our use case. And it was an environment where you see documentation like this and you get very excited because it's, it's very thorough, but documentation, what I learned is very nice. But the problem is when it's very thorough, it doesn't mean it's very easy to find out to do what you want. So we had to do a linting. We had to do autocomplete. We had to add our own, but it wasn't very apparent from the examples, but the documentation was there. So let's get through here and let's start coding here. But I just thought that introduction would be important. So one thing to know here is we're using ReactCodeMirror. This just makes using CodeMirror a lot easier. You can make your own wrappers on what our teams do, but this library here is quite useful. It essentially just makes things into its own packages and you'll see that we have a lot of packages here and that's just the architecture they decided to do to allow you and give you more flexibility. They give some basic examples of what you can do. They support multiple languages, so it's easy to use out of the box when you're using React. So let's follow the instructions here. One thing that's cool about StackBlitz is that you don't actually need to install these libraries directly, so you should do Yarn add.".

2. Exploring CodeMirror Setup in StackBlitz

Short description:

In this part, we explore the basic setup of CodeMirror in StackBlitz. We discuss the speed and architecture of StackBlitz, highlighting its use of WebAssembly for fast execution. The basic setup of the code editor allows control over height, provides autocomplete, collapsing, and line-gutter features. We also touch on the power of extensions in CodeMirror and the challenges of navigating the extensive documentation. Additionally, we mention the ability to add TSX True and the limitations of adding divs within JavaScript.

So you'll see here, if you're following along with StackBlitz, I'm going to take this code here with the basic setup and I'm just going to paste it in here. And I'm just going to change this to app.js. If it works, if it doesn't work, we'll revert it back.

So as you can see here, it's already asking me to I have the 10-D list here, so I can't see a lot of what I'm doing. Okay. It's going to ask me to install these parameters. Pretty cool. I don't know if you noticed, but StackBlitz is actually pretty, pretty fast compared to a lot of the stuff here. And a lot of the other kind of environments, I think Code Sandbox particularly is what I used. And what's really interesting about their architecture is everything I think is written in, correct me if I'm wrong, Covey is in WebAssembly, and just loaded on your browser instead of like, you know going back to your code, sorry, going to the cloud every time you update something and asking a server for things. So as far as I know, that's what they do. And it's very, very fast if you use it. So I don't know if you notice that or if you're a user, I just found out about this pretty recently from a call.

Yeah, there's an interesting difference between how they execute code on CodeSandbox versus in StackBlitz. I don't know the details of it, but I do know that StackBlitz is local, which is awesome. Yeah, so, thanks for that, Covey. So as you can see here, we have a basic setup of a code editor. And you see, we didn't really need to do much here, but there's some important nuances. The first one here is, we can control height. Pretty easy thing here. You can make this 250 if you want. You'll see that it increased in size. You see here, we have initial kind of value. And my mouse is going crazy. And another thing that you can do here is, you can see you have some things out of the box, like autocomplete. For example, for of loop, we have it right here. We could do an if statement. It's going to do an if block out of the box. There's no linting errors or anything like that out of the box. But you can see here, with the basic setup, you can even do some collapsing, which is really nice. You have this, what's called a line-gutter or the gutter, which allows you to show the lines. And they have different colors for highlighting and everything like that. Also, let's see here. You can do a trycatch block if you want. And it's pretty nice out of the box. So what makes this possible is you have, you're plugged into these language kind of plugins or packages. And JavaScript allows you to essentially make this editor specifically for JavaScript. And you call it as a function, and it's inside the extensions. The extension is the most powerful thing in Codemirror, and what I love about it is, everything, every feature you want to add, you can do through extensions. Now, the problem with it, I found is that the documentation is extensive. But it's also confusing because a lot of times what they do is they'll use their own kind of terminology in other objects and just say like, oh, it provides this and facets. And what I found with that is like, I'm, you know, it's a bit overwhelming and you got to like dig into more to understand what's really going on. I don't know about you, but I like to follow examples. So, and that's how I was trying to do things. So a lot of it was trying to find things and do things online. And with the JavaScript extension, you can also add, I think, TSX True in here. And I think you, it'll give you the ability to add things like divs, but I think they have to be inside some JavaScript here I can't remember here. OK. Let me see, is it in here? OK, doesn't seem to be working, but that's OK. That's how demos go.

3. Adding Basic Styling and Introducing Themes

Short description:

In this part, we add basic styling to the CodeMirror editor by adding a border. We encounter a small issue but resolve it by refreshing the page. Adding styling is a simple process, and we will explore more advanced options, such as adding themes, in the next section.

Anyways, so let's add some styling here. So we have the styling. We're just going to add some very basic styling, and we're going to add just a little border around, just to make it a little nicer, just to show you that you have access to things out of the box here. So I think it expects it to be TSX. That's OK, I'll give it TSX. So let's see here. Uh oh. Well, this is new. Let me just refresh here, see what happens. OK, so now, refresh to the rescue. We got our little border here, everything works fine. So you can see before, we didn't have that. It was just a matter of adding a couple of lines here. That's something that you can do, you can get very sophisticated with it, and I'll show you how to add themes in a moment.

4. Adding Multiple Editors and Custom Themes

Short description:

In this part, we learn how to add multiple editors in one screen using CodeMirror. Each editor is responsible for its own state. We explore examples of using multiple languages, such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and even Python. The state management is handled by CodeMirror, and we can use the view update callback to manage the state. We also learn how to install custom themes and explore the available themes in the React CodeMirror documentation.

So let's go here and add multiple editors. So the next step here is I want to show you how you can have multiple editors in one screen. They'll all be responsible for their own state. So let's go ahead and do that. You can just copy and paste it, install missing plug-ins, I love this, and then you should be done.

All right, so you can see here, now we have a JavaScript editor, we have an HTML editor, and we have a CSS editor. In terms of the HTML, inside of it, you'll get some autocomplete as well, like you could do like section here, and you're gonna have like a div, same thing here, and maybe like a span inside of here. All right, or no, there we go. So that's an example of what you can do here. CSS is not as useful to autocomplete, but it does give you some available tags if you want. Like we can add an H2 here like that, we can even add a div. So it does give you some basic abilities. I don't know if it's gonna know the selectors or things like that, but I just wanted to show you that you can use multiple languages. You can even use Python if you want. So I'll show you how easy it is if you wanna do a Python editor. So we'll go into the React code mirror, I'll look for Python. I'll copy this in. This is not in the instructions, but I just wanted to show you this. Let's go ahead and add this language here. So import. Sorry, my keyboard is having some issues of course. All right, we're gonna add Python, replace the CSS, let's see what happens here. It allows you to install it. All right, so now this is Python, so you can see I have some autocomplete already. Let's do a for loop and it's a Python for loop. The tab's already there. So that's pretty cool, that's just out of the box. You see that took two seconds to do that. So, now one interesting thing here is the unchange here, you can see that the state is managed entirely by CodeMirror, so you don't have to worry about inserting the states. They do provide some helpers within the unchange, or sorry, the callback here is the view update. That's very powerful, essentially view update gives you access to the view itself and you can manage all the state inside of it. You'll see some examples here that might be a bit convoluted, might be a bit complex, but it makes use of this view update to get access to everything inside this document, essentially the syntax tree is what we're gonna look at later on.

So now that we've built this, let's look at installing some themes. So one thing that we're gonna do here is add some custom themes. And you can see here in the React Codemirror documentation, they've gave you a list of themes here that already exists. There's probably more, but this is something cool, depending on what you kind of like, and a lot of developers, this is our preferences. Some people like hate light modes, some people want dark mode, things like that. So that gives you the option, and it's pretty nice. So let's go ahead and do that. So let's import this code here, or let's just copy over this code, copy and paste. Let's see what comes up, we install the missing packages. And you can see here that we have different themes here. We have Sublime, GitHub Dark, Okadia. You can even have GitHub Light if you want. So you can do GitHub Light. So, and you can see here, each one has their own kind of styles and colors, but the functionality still exists more or less. So, if block, things like that, good to go. So hopefully you're following so far. I know these are just basic examples, but this is kind of something that's just out of the box for you. But now the question becomes, what happens if you want to do your own custom theming? And this is something that they give you access to in a pretty nice way.

5. Adding Custom Theme and History

Short description:

In this part, we learn how to add our own custom theme in CodeMirror. We explore the use of the lezer parser to customize syntax highlighting, specifically focusing on JavaScript comments. This allows us to change the color of comments to meet our organization's preferences. We then move on to exploring the history feature in CodeMirror, which allows us to save and access the editor's history in local storage. This feature was recently added to the documentation and provides a convenient way to implement undo/redo functionality. By copying the provided code and following the instructions, we can easily incorporate these features into our application.

So let's look at this part. Adding our own custom theme. So here create a file called custom, custom theme.js. So how you do that is you go to the plus button here, custom theme.js and just copy over this code. And we're going to copy and look at it. And then we're going to explain it here just to make things easier. So now that I've copied this over, please go ahead and add the new code right underneath. I have it for you here. So let's go back to the app.tsx, add that in, and install the missing dependencies and the ones that rely on it.

And you can see here I have two examples of JavaScript, one with a custom theme and one with the theme out of the box. So you can see there's a few differences here. Mostly in just basic syntax. So when I do an if block, let's say, let's see, I do cons test equals four. We'll do the same here, but you'll see that it will look different, right? So it gives you some access. And one thing I'll show you here is maybe we can change the comment color. And how does this work? You can see in the custom themes, you have access to something called lezer. And it works really well with the React CodeMirror. Lezer, if I think I'm pronouncing it correctly, is kind of a parser, a language parser written in JavaScript that helps you kind of like write, either write your own parser for a language or understand your own parser for a language. So, it kind of plugs in nicely. And maybe I'm not explaining it the best way, but essentially, it allows you to get access to certain tags in a language, certain variables. So, you can see here what we've done is we can specifically have access to the JavaScript comments. And have that tag, send it in as a style, and then give it its own color. So, if I go here and just say, if it's an ugly color here, let's just say blue, you can see here that the comments have changed in color. So, it gives you pretty minute access. And why that's useful is, it depends on your organization. Maybe they want the colors to be a specific way. And these are the kind of things like for developers, could be a nightmare for front-end developers when this stuff isn't given to you. Like if somebody gives you this stuff and it's not available out of the box, it could be pretty, not catastrophic, but it could take a lot of time and your time to kind of figure out. And you might not do an elegant solution. So, I think this very much gives you a very elegant solution to be able to customize your own theming.

So, enough about styles. Let's go into some really cool thing here with the history. So, this is an example given out of the box, but I think it's really interesting to kind of use. So, what we're doing here essentially is we're gonna have our own history and we're gonna save this in local storage. So, saving the local storage isn't something very unique, but having access to the history in local storage is what makes this pretty cool. So, this is a recent example that they added. And what's interesting to this is that this didn't used to be in the documentation, I believe, and now it's in there. So, if you wanted to do this beforehand, maybe it was a little more complex. So, one thing that I guess we could do as a community is add more to the documentation and maybe I should do that as well and to give people kind of out of the box ways to do things that might be helpful for them. So, just gonna copy this over. You can do the same. Go to app.tsx. We'll install the missing package commands and we'll see what we come up with here. Alright, so, what are we doing here? Now, we're gonna have, we're gonna see that it actually saves what we have. So, if I do, I don't know why I always start off with an if block. Just do a regular for loop. We go into here and say const s equals four. So, if I go here and add another if block, if else block. You know, I know this doesn't exist in scope, but let's do something like this. So, if I refresh now, you can see that it's there because it's in local storage and if I undo, my undo history is actually there, even after I refresh.

6. Exploring History and Adding a Custom Linter

Short description:

In this part, we explore the history feature of CodeMirror, which allows us to save and access the editor's history in local storage. We also discuss the process of adding our own linter and the philosophy behind CodeMirror's approach to linting. By using extensions, we can easily plug in our own linter and have access to the code state through the view. This enables us to detect errors and provide diagnostic objects. Let's now move on to the next stage.

So, that's pretty cool. So, if I go like this, you know, whoops. Refresh. Now, you see that it's there and the history's there which is pretty cool. I know when you're adding code, the history could be very important, especially in this context when you're probably don't have source control, it can become very useful. So, it's really cool how they're doing it.

Essentially, you have the ability through the history field here to have access to the state and send it in as the initial state. And then as it updates, and this is what I mean by what view update can do for you, you have access to the state which is the entire state tree here and you convert it to a JSON string and then send it in, stringify it and add it to local storage. So that's kind of how it works. And that's very easy to do because you have access to the state so easily and you can convert it into different kind of versions as you find fit. So, I hope that was really cool to show.

Let's go ahead and move on to the next stage. So, now we're gonna add our own linter. So, linting here is very interesting. This example is something that took a lot of hours to do for us. But it's just a matter of, you can see the basic example there but you're trying to fit it to your use case. And that was something that I just wanted to point out there because they have a very interesting philosophy here. They're not gonna give you, just like auto-complete, they're not gonna give you something out of the box. They say, linting is very specific, use your own linter. But we'll give you the ability to plug into our code pretty easily through our extensions. So what we'll do here is we'll just copy this and make a new file called jslinter.js, naming, right? Okay, so we'll copy that in. So now we have our linter here and we'll do the same thing and explain it later. But I just want to get a working version first. So let's update our code. And let's go to the app.tsx and update that. And start missing dependencies as always. All right. So now what we have is, let's see here if we actually have any issues from the start here. Cause it looks like it might've not worked. JSlinter. So we have a custom import here. Let's see const. Oh, here we go. It is working. Just I think it's lagging behind a bit. So one thing here, we could do const. Oh, my keyboard is having some issues. Sorry about that everyone. We could do cons test equals four. So that's fine. But now if we try to reassign it, it will complain. And it'll say, attempting to override tests, which is a constant variable. So this is something that's pretty cool. And how this is managed is through this linter that we wrote. So how does this work? You have to use your own linter. So in this case, as an example, we're using js-hint just as a basic linter that's able to detect your errors. How they facilitate it for you is once you pass it through the extensions, you can have access to the code state through the view. And what we're doing is we're passing the code as text to the js-hint parser or function. And then we're able to deduce our errors from here. And then we go through the errors and what they expect us to do is give them a diagnostic object.

7. Linting and Autocomplete

Short description:

The diagnostic object is where the errors were from and to. We push it into an array and give them this array. This is how you do it in a nutshell. You can have your own linter to introduce specific errors. LintGutter, from CodeMirror's lint package, adds error underlining. Linting options allow you to manage error strictness. This is provided by your linter, such as Jshint. You can have similar functionality in any language using helpful libraries like ESLint. Let's move on to autocomplete.

The diagnostic object is simply where the errors were from and to. In this case, we're just doing the entire line just for demonstration purposes. And then we can give the severity and the reason, which comes from js-hint. And then we push it into this array and we give them this array. And that's how they're able to underline this and tell us that something is wrong. So that's essentially how you do it in a nutshell. So you can have, as long as you have your own linter, you can even kind of do this yourself if you have specific errors that you wanna introduce and say, maybe they'll be a little more complicated but you can get something out of the box here that can help users and know that these are gonna cause them errors in that particular language. So again, we entered this as an extension with options and I'll explain that in a second with this LintGutter, all this LintGutter does this comes out of the box from CodeMirror in one of its packages, from the lint package. And it essentially, it adds this here so that it could show you your error kind of more clearly. So let's talk about these options here. So one thing here is actually it's pretty strict. So if I go like this, it'll underline and say you're missing a semicolon. Other thing is I don't think you could just call like just a variable by itself, it expects an expression. So maybe you don't want these things to be as specific. So in your actual linter, you can pass in, for example the linting options that you have. And that's why I have this here. If you actually pass this on here, let's add these options to your linter here, you can see that now these don't give you any errors but still if you try to reassign it, it's gonna give you an error. But it doesn't care about semicolons anymore. So this is something not provided by CodeMirror. This is something provided by your linter in this specific case Jshint to give you the ability to manage the complexity or the I guess, the strictness of the errors that you're showing. So that's pretty cool to have as well. So with this you can have something like this in any language that you want. These libraries come very helpful. You could, I think ESLint, you could use as well just as long as these packages play nice and all you need them to do is give you the ability to give you an error on a specific line kinda like Jshint does. So that's in terms of linting. Let's now go into the next step about autocomplete but before that, I just wanna take a very brief pause cause we went through a lot and see if there are any specific questions. Are people having issues with stack splits itself? How are you managing so far? Feel free to leave it in the chat or the discord, it's up to you. So Omar says all good, that's good so far. Okay, we'll just wait another couple seconds. In the meantime, all of this looks very easy but I'm telling you how these things go. It was very complex to kind of get to an understanding of this while you're trying to do this like in production code. All right, Sebastian is good as well. So there's also, it might be helpful to expand that console cause if you're ever having any errors like with the code here, then you can debug and see what you're logging on the console if that would help. Oh, you mean right there? Yeah. Yeah, actually I shouldn't mentioned that. Thanks Cubby. But yeah, let's go on to the next step now which is the autocomplete. So you saw here, we have some autocomplete out of the box. Oops. So we have some autocomplete out of the box. It's pretty nice but maybe you want to get a bit more complex with it. And this is where the kind of, you know, I think it's a really cool part and it's a bit complex, but also very, very powerful. So what we're going to do here is create a complete JS doc that JS file and the naming I know it's bad. Sorry about that in advance but I just wanted to get something working here for us. So, we added here, let's see that it added complete js doc.js and inside of it, we're going to paste this right here, this code right here and then we're going to plug it in into our extensions just like we always do. So again, copy and paste it here. I hope having all the code here was actually useful because I hate to just, you know, when tutorials just kind of give you the thing that you, the code that you should enter and then you don't know exactly where to put it. And then you spend a lot of time being like, where do I actually put this in my code? And so I was hoping to avoid that. I know it's a lot more code, but I feel like that's more explicit. Sometimes explicit is better.

8. Exploring js doc completion in CodeMirror

Short description:

In this part, we explore the functionality of js doc completion in CodeMirror. By utilizing the syntax tree provided by the language package, we can parse the code and access specific nodes. This allows us to provide autocomplete suggestions based on the code context. We demonstrate how to check for block comments and retrieve variable names. Additionally, we discuss the optimization of providing regex and the types of auto-return. We also mention the importance of adding extensions without overriding the original autocomplete functionality. Let's now move on to adding a different kind of autocompletion.

So let's go here, probably have to install some new extensions. Let's see here. Now we've added the js doc completion. Let's see if it actually works. So what is a js doc completion? We add our comments here. And if you want to add say, something like a constructor, a constructor, deprecated, whatever we want here, and it's all for demonstration purposes, not for accuracy. And I know it doesn't highlight the variable name after writing your account like we do it, but it's just, again, providing you some autocomplete that's pretty specific. Because you see now that we're outside the comment block, or if we have regular comments, it's not gonna show up. So how does Codemeeror make this possible? Okay. Oh, thank you for that, Cody. We're gonna look at this example here, and what you'll see here that's different is something called a syntax tree. The syntax tree is provided by the language package. And what this allows you to do is parse the code essentially as a node that you can go through and be a little more specific with. So in this case, what we're doing is we're checking the node name before, so we get the node, we process it, and you can console.log this, and maybe we should here to see how this looks like. And as we typed, oh, I think the object is too big. So it has to be in the browser console. Okay, that's not good, but we'll do it. Maybe got logged to the browser? You check in the... Yeah, yeah, it's gonna get logged, but what I'll do, I'll do here. Nice. You can see here it parses things, like a variable name, it thinks it's a variable name. A for loop, a for statement, it thinks it's a line comment. So that gives you access to something very powerful, or you can actually look for the actual name of the variable if you want. And that's what's making this possible, is they're actually checking if this is a block comment. See here, I can't actually see because of the camera. All right, I don't know how to detect if it's a block comment. Oh yeah, there we go, because you're inside of it. Now, what we're doing here is being very explicit. We're saying if it's not a block comment, if this doesn't exist in the block comment, particularly the two stars, then don't do anything. And this happens every time you type. So it is pretty, I think, pretty, it could be pretty expensive in terms of writing this, but we've had some very big code multilines and it hasn't done, it hasn't slowed things down. But anyways, that's not the general use case that we're using it for and it seems to be working pretty well out of the box. Now, in terms of what you're returning that it expects is where the auto-complete starts and then your options and then also you can provide a regex. And this is an actual, just an optimization, particularly just to make sure that as you're compiling this again and again, it doesn't do some extra work, as far as I understand. And then here we're providing the types of auto-return, the JS docs that we wanna do, we can even add our own here. So when we come here and we say something like test, you can see that it's available now. So all this is made possible by the syntax tree. And again, all we're doing is we're coming in and we're adding it as a JS doc extension, sorry, as an extension to CodeMirror through this JavaScript language kind of line here. And you see, this is another thing with these lines, I couldn't get this to work initially, what happened was the original, the way they tell you to do this in the docs is to use an override. And you might see there like an override in the docs, well, what the override does is it's very hard or what it takes away is the original autocomplete, like this very nice one. So it takes that away completely. So I have to kind of dig through some examples and actually, you know, code sandbox examples, looking at different ones across the internet and I finally found that this is the way you're supposed to do it. Maybe I'm just bad at reading the docs, but I didn't think that was very easy to find. So this kind of line took me quite a bit to find, but that makes it easy for you to add your own auto completions and you'll see here, it will add more with the addition of keeping the original one. Because if you do an override, like they tell you in the documentation, you'll lose the original autocomplete that's very useful.

9. Adding Complete Global Object Autocompletion

Short description:

In this part, we explore a different kind of autocompletion - the complete global object autocompletion. We demonstrate how to add this feature by making changes to the code and removing some TypeScript stuff. We discuss the availability of auto-completion on various objects and functions within the window object. Additionally, we mention the existence of a similar example in the CodeMirror documentation that focuses on JavaScript autocompletion. Finally, we introduce the concept of adding custom autocompletion and mention that we will cover it in the next part.

Okay, so let's now go and add a different kind of autocompletion. So this is gonna be the whole global scope and this one, I like a lot. So what we're gonna do here again, make a new file, we've done this many times so far and add our syntax tree here, our processor and we'll change our code one more time. Not one more time, a couple more times here.

Oh, actually I didn't add that original one. What we'll do here is, oh, okay. I don't think I updated something. Sorry about that everyone. But what we'll do here is we'll see, we can just add this manually, actually. So I think, I don't think I committed it. Let's see here. So we wanna import, see here. I think this will actually work. Just let us know if you're having any trouble with this. What I'll show you to do here is just to remove some TypeScript stuff, which I think will make it work. Yeah, I think I removed that from the readme just like 10 minutes before this, but I don't think you refreshed it in time. Oh, okay, okay. It's actually in there. It should work. Yeah, it should be gone, those type ins. Oh, nice, okay, so I just need to refresh my own screen, is that what you're saying? Yep. Wow, that's awesome. All right, so now what do we have? So now we have our original auto-completion. We also have our JSDoc auto-completion. And now we, in addition to that, have our complete global object auto-completion. What you can see here is now the documents. I have a lot of stuff here. I have my event listener. I can add a click here. And my function, I can do things like go into the window object and add some other functions that I want. And you see, I have everything available. And I believe there's auto-completion on some of them. I'm not sure if that works entirely out of the box. But this is an example kind of given on their website. Actually removed it from their documentation. I don't know why. So if you look at their kind of documentation on auto-complete for some reason here, and let's go to the examples. Where's the auto-completion? We see the main example here is the one that we showed with the JS doc. It used to be the one with the global object. I find this kind of useful for when you're using JavaScript. But maybe they found this too complex or people complained about it. But it works exactly the same way, except that it does this little neat trick here where it looks for the variable name and you enter inside the window object and that's how it knows that it can auto-complete within it. So that's just another one that is very useful, I think, and adds things more out of the box. But here's the last thing here. So what if you wanna add your own custom auto-completion? All right, and that's the one I think, I don't think I added it here. All right, so I'll grab this from another CodeMirror instance that I have, because I've been practicing this as you can probably imagine. Let's look at here. So what I'm going to do, and sorry if there's a bit of confusion here, is add our own custom auto-complete. So you don't have to follow along here. Maybe you can, maybe we can add it to here very quickly.

10. Adding Custom Autocompletion in CodeMirror

Short description:

In this part, we explore the process of adding custom autocompletion in CodeMirror. We create a custom complete.js file and manually add the necessary code for autocompletion. By using the custom completions variable, we can define our own autocomplete suggestions within the editor. We demonstrate how to control the cursor position and discuss the flexibility of the syntax tree in providing custom autocompletion options. We also mention the importance of careful naming to avoid potential side effects. Let's now dive into the details of how this is accomplished.

I'm going to, let's see. Okay. So this should be it. So I'm just going to go and commit YOLO. And let's see here. Okay, looks good. Let's take that here for a run. And what we'll do here is we'll create our own file here. Let's call it custom autocomplete or custom complete.js. And we'll post it in here. And we'll add it just like we do everything, except I'll do it a bit manually here. But it should be easy.

So we say custom complete. So I'll call this custom complete. Um, OK. We'll come here. We'll make a new variable. Call it custom completions. We'll add this here. See if it works out of the box. We'll install this missing package. And I think it'll ask you to install another one, potentially. Yeah. OK. And what this gives us here is I've added my own custom one. So I do test.sub. I know these names are bad. And then I have the ability to create my own auto-completion within that. And then my auto-completion actually completes it how I want. And it says your code here. So again, I'll do that again. And I'll say test.sub. I'll open up some brackets. I'll go like this. And actually, the cursor ends up over here. But I've done it in ways where you can actually control where the cursor ends up. And I just didn't do that for that example. So again, I know the naming's a bit weird here, but we can change that to be whatever we want. But we can maybe say func method on it. Let's see if that changes it. But you know what? Actually, I don't want to change that because it'll have some side effects. So we'll keep it like this. So what am I doing here? How are we accomplishing this? So now that you have the syntax tree available, you can be as custom with this as you want. So in this case, I'm checking for completions for anything with in addition to doing just a general completion for just test itself. So one thing that I'm doing is I'm checking, let's see here. Test itself, actually I didn't add that one. Sorry about that. But when I see the word test as a variable, I have the ability to add any autocomplete that I want to it. So I can add here in case of it sub, I can add label another one let's say. And when I come in here, I go test.another one or sub.

11. Exploring Auto-completion and Shopify Projects

Short description:

In this part, we explore another layer of auto-completion in CodeMirror. We discuss the process of checking for the existence of a string and providing custom auto-completions. We demonstrate how to add and apply custom function syntax and provide specific events. We also highlight the importance of the sequence of code and the use of if blocks to ensure the auto-complete feature works properly. Additionally, we summarize the topics covered so far, including the basic setup, themes, custom linter, multiple layers of autocomplete, and the ability to add custom JS docs. We emphasize the benefits of using CodeMirror and the collaborative environment at Shopify. Finally, we introduce Kavya and Helen, who share their experiences and projects at Shopify.

So I can make my own methods here if I want. But you see here there's no auto-completion here. And what's happening here, this is another layer of auto-completion that we can do. Is now I'm checking specifically for this. And maybe this is not the best way, but this is one way that you can do it is you can test specifically for the existence of a string. And then from there, provide your own auto-completions. And with it, you have the ability to add and apply. And with the apply, I'm just adding my own function syntax here, and then providing the events that I want to show. So you can add this as a.sub. Or you can do.another one if you want. But as you can see, the sequence here matters. This needs to be afterwards from this. And that's a little bit of an annoying thing. But as part of the syntax tree, it's being read very fast. You can see here that completion here, I'm putting this in an if block here, just to make sure that we have This is needed just for making sure that the auto-complete keeps working as you go as you type in. Otherwise, if you don't add that property name, it will stop auto-completing after you write the first 8. So that's why that exists.

So, so far, what we've done is we've added basic setup with JavaScript, looked at CSS, HTML, added even some Python, looked at themes that exist out-of-the-box, looked at our own custom themes, added our own linter with using JSHint, looked at adding two additional layers of autocomplete on the window object or the document object, in addition to adding our own custom JS docs, and finally, looking at a more complex or customized version of autocomplete, which you might want to do. So as you can see, all this was made possible by Codemirror. And I think building something like this from scratch could be even more complicated than doing this, than following along with Codemirror. But I think a lot of things that happen in our field is that it's always about trade offs. Maybe here we spend a lot of time learning the exact way we're doing this with Codemirror, but what we found is that we're able to share this across our entire organization, because we found out that we're not the only code base using it. There's a lot of code base using it, and in fact, we established kind of like a group where we help each other with different groups who are using Codemirror just to say, oh, how are you doing auto completion? How are you doing this? How are you doing that? And helping us with kind of making sure that we're following either best practices or just having a different person who kind of went in a different rabbit hole and helping us from what they have done.

Maybe we can find out a bit about the people that are here. What are you working on? Does anybody want to kind of tell us like what team they are, where they're coming from, what they're working on, what you've thought so far. If you have any thoughts about this, feedback, we can use that time right now to do that if you want. So, Kavya, like how long have you been at Shopify? What kind of front end have you been doing? I've been at Shopify for about a year and a half now. What kind of front end have I been doing? Mostly React TypeScript stuff, although lately I've been writing more Ruby. But yeah, just getting familiar with Shopify's TypeScript infrastructure is definitely a whole journey on its own. So, that's been a learning experience for me over the course of my time at Shopify, for sure.

And you've been, so far you've been on automations, you've done now marketing insights, correct? Yeah. So, essentially, we have a marketing section for our merchants, and one thing that Kavi's been a part of, I think, from the beginning, was automations. So, that is actually the ability for merchants to, you know, essentially, like, add a path for how they wanna send their emails. And it's through kind of like a user interface, and we're integrating with another kind of app within Shopify, and you can essentially say, once somebody buys from my store, once somebody abandons my checkout, I have the ability to send them a sequence of emails based on actions. This was a kind of like a year project or so to kind of get fully out there and working properly, and it's generally now available. So, that's the first product you're a part of. Yeah, yeah, definitely. You can send a link to Shopify's marketing automations if that's interesting to anyone. And maybe we'll use that time in the panel if you have any specific questions about that. But Helen, did you have... Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing at Shopify? Sure. So, hi everyone. I'm Helen. I've been in Shopify for four years and I'm currently on the Hydrogen team. And what we do is build a framework that is best suited for Shopify commerce platform. So it is a framework that allows developers to build their custom storefront really easily and really quickly. And of course to connect it with our Oxygen so that it can be deployed very quickly. And yeah, we've put a lot of thoughts and efforts into thinking about how we can make all of those dev problems, not your problem, but our problem to deal with. I heard you have source control as part of Hydrogen.

12. Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Custom Storefronts

Short description:

Merchants can connect their Shopify projects to their GitHub repositories, allowing for easy setup and integration with the Oxygen infrastructure. Hydrogen offers the ability to create custom stores from scratch, using UI components in React or similar frameworks. While Hydrogen Version 1 uses the React server component, the upcoming V2 will incorporate Remix and Remix build. The goal is to simplify the development process, allowing developers to focus on building features rather than worrying about framework details. The separation between server-side and client-side code is being minimized, making it easier to build custom storefronts. Oxygen provides multiple environments and previews for storefronts, but there are still some missing APIs, such as draft products. The team is working to fill these gaps and improve the API functionality. Overall, Hydrogen and Oxygen offer powerful tools for developers to create and customize their Shopify stores.

Is that true? Like merchants can have some kind of source control. Is that part of it or no? If you mean by source control, it's a direct connection to the GitHub repository. So essentially when you create a project in the Shopify admin, you can connect to your, I believe GitHub. And then there was another one, I think was BigBucket. And I wasn't, I'm not too sure, but GitHub for sure will generate a project into your GitHub account, create a project for you, set up the web hook so that it's connected to our Oxygen infrastructure automatically. And it's all done in like, I think it was like 30 seconds for you. And you can start your project, you can see the preview of your project, connect it to your store and all of that ready for you.

Okay, awesome. So just give me a bit of background. Currently, when you set up your store, it's kind of like you choose a template and you have the ability to make some customizations on it. But with Hydrogen, you can make a completely custom store from your own code from scratch. Is that correct? Set the next level. Yeah. And we provide kind of like UI components that you can use, I think it's in React or something similar that you can just kind of like use to build like as building blocks for it. At the moment right now, we're using, for Hydrogen Version 1, we're using the React server component. So there was a lot of exploration into this, I would say, somewhat, well, it's new, but it's like two years new kind of thing, concept, that React team is working on. And now it's like with Next.js. And so we were on that path, and as you all know, recently we had the Remix acquisition. So now it's part of us. So V2 will be with Remix and Remix build. So that's kind of like where it's at right now. But yeah, overall our goal is to provide something with developers so that they can very quickly to build their storefront on the framework. So there it is.

So in V2, you're gonna have the ability to just use Remix in addition to server components or just Remix? At the moment it's just Remix. We're still thinking about React Server Component, how it can fit into Remix. But yeah, that just details. Developers shouldn't actually have to worry about React Server Component. Implementation kind of, or actually framework detail. But if they have to, then it's not quite where we want to be. So that separation of concerns between which code runs on the server versus like which code runs in the client. Is something you guys want to like make less relevant in Hydrogen? In Hydrogen, like I would say the goal would be more so in the sense that developers should be just worrying about building features for their custom storefront. And not worry about a bug in React or like React server component. So I think that's where the line draws is like, developers shouldn't have to worry about React server component, they should worry about how I make internationalization work? How do I add a card form kind of thing. And we want that to be just like a plop in, you just like add this component and give some properties and then, off you go. You're done. And it should never be complicated to build a custom storefront. That's awesome, so what I like about the source control specifically is like that aspect is like right now, if you make edits on your store without hydrogen, and if you make a mistake, like basically you have to have two versions of your store, like one staging and one production. Is that what people are generally doing before hydrogen? Do you know? For hydrogen, that's actually more of the oxygen infrastructures. So oxygen, you are able to have multiple environments. We do have like previews for your storefront before you deploy to production. So that's one aspect. There's still quite a bit of missing APIs, for example, like the drafts that you can have on the online store that's not available in the storefront API. So people can't see draft products at the moment on hydrogen. So that's one of the things that we're trying to fill the gap at the moment with the API team. Got you. That's really cool. I can say that definitely when I saw hydrogen content, oxygen come out, I was like, what am I working on versus what are these folks working on? Definitely a lot more complicated than what I'm doing. But that's awesome. I think with me specifically, I've been only in the core team, started off with automations in one year, then got moved to the Pixels projects, which inspired using CodeMirror here for people to add their own code and eventually moved into Marketing Insights, which is what's with Covey right now for the past month. Now we're going more deep into creating lots of charts and stuff like that.

13. Introducing Polaris Viz and Team Members

Short description:

In this part, we discuss Polaris Viz, an open-source UI library similar to Material UI. It offers customizable components, especially useful for building dashboards and displaying graphs. We also introduce ourselves, including our roles at Shopify and our experiences with React and TypeScript. Helen shares her journey from analytics to React and her work on the Hydrogen team. Tal talks about his transition from Java and C# to React and his role on the email team at Shopify.

Maybe you can post in the chat there, Covey, something about maybe give them something like Polaris Viz. I think Polaris Viz is available publicly, correct? Yep, definitely. That's something I think we have a lot here like Polaris is open-source same with Polaris Viz. These are like UI libraries equivalent to the material UI so just want to drop that in there if you're not familiar with those UI libraries. They're not as customized, they're not as general as material UI, I would say. But I think that it has a lot of cool things that you can use, especially if you're building something like a dashboard, especially with things like just getting bar graphs and stuff like that out of the box. We're using it at Shopify, so we need it to work well. So if it's not working well for you, we'll probably fix it because we need it to work well.

Let's see here, I'll start off with myself. I'm a staff developer here at Shopify, I've been at Shopify for about a year and I'm currently on the marketing insights team. So what we help with is giving the Shopify merchant, any merchants the ability to kind of look through their analytics in regards to how they're spending their money on ads and what kind of return it's bringing on for them. It's a fairly new project and it's my third Shopify team so far in the last year and been really fun so far. So I'm currently on the marketing team for Shopify. I've been using a lot of React and TypeScript every day and some Ruby on the backend but I don't touch that so much these days. So that's a bit about me, why don't we take it next to Kavi?

Thanks. I'm Kavi, been at Shopify about the same amount of time but mostly all in marketing. I'm at the front end, so React and TypeScript and in the browser but I recently moved further away towards Ruby and yeah, I'm based in Victoria, BC. That's about it for me, I think, also on marketing insights with the same. Helen? Yeah, so my name's Helen. I have been in Shopify for four years now and currently working on the hydrogen team which is fully React but I'm pretty flexible. Sometimes I will have to go into RubyStack or whatever else just to get things working. It could be anywhere as long as I need to get stuff done. I'm fairly flexible in that matter. How I got into React is that my previous company was building on it and I know nothing about React. But then I know a lot about instrumenting analytics and then there's a hell of a fix. Analytics on single page app is like, what? As you all know, analytics on single page app is not the easiest thing to deal with. That's how I get into React and been in the whole framework for quite some time and now Hydrogen, back to a single page app now. It's like full circle now. Yeah, that's what I thought. The going joke online is that we're going back to PHP. All right, so let's see. They do come full circle, I love it. Thank you Helen, let's go next with Tal.

Hey everyone, so yeah, my name is Tal. I've been with Shopify for eight months more or less. I've been working with the email team, mainly doing front end React. Yeah, and what we're doing is basically allowing merchants, I guess to better engage with customers, to increase conversions and revenue. Yeah, I think that's all pretty much. How did you get into React, Tal? So, for me, my background was with Java and C sharp. The company where I was working for... I felt like I'm not making any progress anymore. So I started taking some online courses. I was looking for some open source projects to contribute to, which really helped me and gave me some confidence to actually find and to find a role. Then I just found a job prior to it. And, after about one year, I left. I left there and joined Shopify. Nice, little-known fact, Tal and I worked together at that last company. And I was the engine manager there. Tal came in. What a talent! Had to try to get him at Shopify.

14. React Journey and Backgrounds

Short description:

So, we're not the same team, but we were under the same umbrella. Very happy to have him. Looks like he's doing great. It's been a great journey, so far, for sure. Awesome. Daniel. Hey, what's up? Yeah, I actually work with Alan. I am in the Hydrogen team. Yeah, like, before that, I used to do the same components, like UI components, in another team in Shopify. I've been around three years. Yeah, working in Shopify, a bit more doing React. And I originally was doing Rails before, and I think nobody was doing any frontend, and I remember in another previous company that it was a mess, the frontend. So I just kind of started grabbing that, and then I started to learn, oh, what is this React thing that some people at Facebook put out? And then that's how I started. But then slowly I started to get interested into frameworks, and that's why I joined this Hydrogen team, which is, I don't know, for those who are not familiar with that it's a framework for building custom storefronts from Shopify, and recently we worked with the Remix team to build on top of that. So that's been really fun, because I've gotten a lot of chance to work with those parts of the code base of Remix, and also Hydrogen, and it's been fun. So yeah. Cool. Awesome, so looks like we have quite a few folks from different backgrounds. Yeah, interesting, React myself I got into it by accident, it was kinda like, I joined the same company as Tal like a few years before, and it just had been popular at the end of 2015, for some reason when I joined my boss said, can you just build this in React? And I said, probably. I was using Angular and Ember at the time, I don't know if any of you've used EmberJS, but it was fairly popular. And I think what happened was they upgraded, they did an Ember 2.0 that was supposed to be a lot better. But it essentially broke Ember 1. So people got annoyed and just didn't upgrade and had ended up getting like phased out. Although yesterday I did see a job posting somebody said, you know, don't need to know Ember, looking for EmberJS developer some like ridiculous amount of money. And I'm like, wow, that's probably, that's very interesting that it's still around, but yeah, like, I guess everybody got it to react in different ways so.

So, we're not the same team, but we were under the same umbrella. Very happy to have him. Looks like he's doing great. It's been a great journey, so far, for sure. Awesome.

Daniel. Hey, what's up? Yeah, I actually work with Alan. I am in the Hydrogen team. Yeah, like, before that, I used to do the same components, like UI components, in another team in Shopify. I've been around three years. Yeah, working in Shopify, a bit more doing React. And I originally was doing Rails before, and I think nobody was doing any frontend, and I remember in another previous company that it was a mess, the frontend. So I just kind of started grabbing that, and then I started to learn, oh, what is this React thing that some people at Facebook put out? And then that's how I started. But then slowly I started to get interested into frameworks, and that's why I joined this Hydrogen team, which is, I don't know, for those who are not familiar with that it's a framework for building custom storefronts from Shopify, and recently we worked with the Remix team to build on top of that. So that's been really fun, because I've gotten a lot of chance to work with those parts of the code base of Remix, and also Hydrogen, and it's been fun. So yeah. Cool.

Awesome, so looks like we have quite a few folks from different backgrounds. Yeah, interesting, React myself I got into it by accident, it was kinda like, I joined the same company as Tal like a few years before, and it just had been popular at the end of 2015, for some reason when I joined my boss said, can you just build this in React? And I said, probably. I was using Angular and Ember at the time, I don't know if any of you've used EmberJS, but it was fairly popular. And I think what happened was they upgraded, they did an Ember 2.0 that was supposed to be a lot better. But it essentially broke Ember 1. So people got annoyed and just didn't upgrade and had ended up getting like phased out. Although yesterday I did see a job posting somebody said, you know, don't need to know Ember, looking for EmberJS developer some like ridiculous amount of money. And I'm like, wow, that's probably, that's very interesting that it's still around, but yeah, like, I guess everybody got it to react in different ways so.

What I want to do here now is give the opportunity for the people here we have to ask any questions. You can drop them in the chat, feel free to open up your mic. Tell us a bit about yourself. If not, we'll continue on. And I will be essentially picking your brains on a few things. And one thing I wanted to know is you have a lot of context in Shopify about like three to four years, how has writing react change for you? Did you start writing, like when did you start, were you there when we first started writing react? How was that? Or if not, like what stage did you come in? Like, was it only on web? Was it new repos? How was it? I can give it a try. Well for me, it was like, react is how I got into it is, like I said it's like, it was like emergency. I need to fix something and I have like zero context of how react is coded and everything. So I was pairing with another engineer that knows react and it's like, I need to do this. And just tell me where I need to go in the code base and kind of figure out from there. And as time kind of like goes forward and I learned about react and it's more of just stumbling along the way of like trying to figure out things here and there. And ultimately in the end is like, it kind of got familiar, but I would say it's not familiar enough to understand what's going on until I need to like build a brand new kind of like component to figure out what's going on with React. And I would say that process was like, okay, it's the learning process, it's like get things done kind of situation. And compared to now, where like, there's so much more knowledge, especially at a time that was like learning about the whole new React 18 React server component, we didn't just like read the RFC and like, oh, okay, this is probably how it worked. We went into React Co and say, what in the world is going on? How is it working? How is streaming is working? How is the work scheduler is working? And then they figure out every detail, like, okay, if it go to the client side, what in the world is that doing to grab down the client components and then keep a reference of it? Then in future, like if other components go to the same components, so we use the same module that's already evaluated. It's like you go really deep into understanding like Node React developer have to do that, but for us, we need to understand the new protocol. So we did. And that process took long. At first, just like, if you think about it as a developer, oh, it's just a new programming language, it's just syntax thing. But no, this one is like, we had to go really, and I think even that took me like, three months to understand that codebase. Well enough, but not well enough. Wow, so you're saying you had to go into the React codebase to understand like server components more? Mm-hmm, yeah. Wow, and what would you say like, what would you say like when you look into React codebase, what did you not anticipate that you saw? Where you're like, oh, this does actually make sense, or is it like, huh, a little bit of both? Like, how's reading that code different than reading code that customers use at Shopify, you know what I mean? It's actually quite different. So, like, if it's like code that you would, as a developer on any framework, it's pretty obvious. It's like, oh, you just plop in a component here.

15. Understanding the Complexity of React Code

Short description:

When diving into the React code phase, it can feel overwhelming and complex. The interconnectedness of functions and the recursive nature of the code can make it difficult to follow. Console logging becomes essential for tracking the flow and understanding the execution order. It took me a while to grasp the intricacies of the code.

This is where you define a route for your router or anything like that. It's pretty obvious, in terms of like more developer facing. But when you go into like the react code phase, it feels like nothing is connected, but everything is connected. So you get like this scheduler function, which is called this like other function, which is that that does the parsing. And the other one is like, is recursively into like some other functions. Just like it's extremely hard to follow and end up like putting the console log everywhere to just follow the breadcrumb of like where and where I'm going. So it's recursively like in the tree in some crazy matrix situation. And then because it's like work scheduler, then you don't even know when which one is like scheduled to be executed on the next one. So it just like is complex. And that took me a long time to like understand what's going on.

16. Exploring React Code Base and Making Contributions

Short description:

When exploring the React code base, console.log can be a helpful tool to understand the code's functionality. React's code lacks comments, making it challenging to comprehend the purpose of functions without console.log statements. The React repository does not provide a primer explaining the code's inner workings. To explore the React package, developers often copy relevant code into their own projects and use tools like NPM alias link to modify it. Debuggers like the BS code debugger can also aid in understanding complex edge cases. However, contributing to open source projects like React and Remix can still feel daunting due to the complexity and uncertainty of identifying real bugs versus user errors.

And yeah, it's like it's very different. Wow. So what would you recommend to somebody who wants to read the React code base today? Like where do they start? Yeah, where should they start? How can they make the best use of their time when reading it? You know, to avoid kind of like maybe the initial confusion or just it has to be, it's a part of it. You mentioned some, you were like console.logging some things to see the results, but wondering your thoughts on that?

Personally, like I feel like console.log is the best because there are no comments in the repo. It's just pure code and just purely from the function names themself, you can't really tell what exactly they're trying to do until you like put in some like console.logs and figuring out where they are doing in like what process. And then you had to figure out what in the world the function is like trying to do. I don't think like React ever put out a primer that says this is what we're doing in our code. If there was there would have been a lot easier.

Oh, no, that's a great insight. Helen, you had to get your hand up. Yeah. I'm curious. So, like, I guess when you're trying to explore the internals of the React CD, of the React, like, package? Does that mean when you're writing these console logs, like, are you writing it in the files in the node modules folder? Like, you're actually going in that code? Oh, I see. A hundred percent. As React code is, like, itself, depending where you are, trying to download their repo is, like, near impossible. As in, it's a lot of code, and to understand where you need to be is even harder. So, quite often, we actually had to go and, say, copy a piece of code and put it into our own project so that we can modify it. And we'll just, like, NPN, like alias link, or just file link to that particular file so that it works. And then we can... Because if you... Yeah, so that's what I wouldn't understand. Like, if you add a console log in the NPM package thing, then how do you make it recompile? Or how do you make it adjust to those changes?

Well, we pulled down the ES module, so at least it's readable. Right. We're not dealing with compile code here. Because we referenced the file, not to the no module file, but actual file as part of pretending that we're actually creating a new package, which is a React copy, and then we just link to that. Oh, crazy. Yeah, it's confusing even to set that up for sure. Wow, that's super cool. I know Daniel, you had your hand raised, please. Yeah, I recently had experience with Remix. For example, we're trying to modify something, and usually the repos, if you're lucky, they have some sort of playground included, and they usually are also developing on it. So if you find how to set that up, then probably you have the thing easier to run. And as Ellen said, either Console Logs works, or I recently discovered the BS code debugger, where I just like running into debugger, and then just go through it very slowly to try to figure out what they were trying to do there, because sometimes there's so many edge cases that they're trying to take care of that if I don't go slowly, I miss what they are trying to do. And yeah, as Ellen said, it's like, I think what Remix they do, is they have the... They do, let's say, compile the code into a distributable, and then they copy it into the node modules of the playground that they create. So it's started a modification, it does it again. So then you have the latest version. If you are modifying, I want to test something, so I guess, you could theoretically do the same for other, I don't know, projects that you... Test projects that you have. You can have the node module, the node modules, and then kind of link it directly, and then that way you could get the latest version. Yeah. Do, so Daniel and Ellen, do you feel now, like more confident in making open source contributions to Remix or React, now that you've like, delved into the code? Like to somebody who kind of like, if you think like when I think about it, I'm like, oh man, that's daunting. Like me make a contribution to React, like who am I, you know what I mean? But now since it's part of your job, like you've went through it, does it feel less so or more so? Give and take, I would say? I mean, it really depends on the complexity of the stuff we're trying to try to fix. To me I would say like, it's still daunting because like in a sense of like, you don't know if it's a real bug or not, or it was just you using it wrong and then it's just like not anticipated. And yeah, so I would say like, it still feels the same. It still feel kind of daunting to contribute to open source. Yeah, it feels like you have to, sorry to interrupt. Go ahead, Elizabeth. No, no, no, it's okay. Go ahead.

17. Maintainers, Debugging, and First-Party Apps

Short description:

Sometimes, as a developer, it can feel like you have to talk to the maintainers to determine if something is a bug or not. The maintainers have a lot of power over the codebase, and their decisions can influence your work. It's not just about pushing code, but working through it in collaboration. It's interesting to see different approaches to understanding code, such as using console.log or a debugger. Both methods have their advantages and can be effective. It's important to find a workflow that works best for you. Switching gears, let's discuss the struggles and experiences of working on the email team, which is a first-party app within Shopify. Writing a first-party app has its challenges, especially when it comes to working within the Shopify environment. It's a different context, but also an opportunity to create a seamless user experience.

Yeah, it feels like sometimes, as you said, like you have to talk with the people that are the maintainers to figure out if it's a bug or not, and also to kind of agree before in an approach, because if you don't, then, yeah. Like, yeah, they probably have more context than you on where you're gonna put the code and what to do. And there are some features that definitely they won't allow you to move it in the direction that they don't want. So it feels like maintainers have a lot of power over the code basis. So even though you might know how it works, you might just influence maybe their decisions. Yeah, it's not just like I want to push the code and that's it. I kind of have to work through it a bit more than my code base. So that's funny.

Yeah I think like a couple interesting things about that. The one thing is like how you both described your kind of process of understanding. And one of you, how they mentioned console.log, then you mentioned like the debugger. And I found that like an interesting workflow because like I know when I started out, some people would say to me Oh you don't know the debugger, like what's wrong with you kind of thing. And that's kind of like the school way that I was kind of brought up. And then I read this book called Coders at Work. And then I saw some like, I think what one of the main contributors to Linux or the invention looks like that's exactly what he does. And he's just like, I just print state everything. And you're like, well, I guess it just works for him. So whatever makes it work faster, maybe somebody who do need a debugger. But I guess it's like if that's your flow and how you work, it's definitely a valid way and it looks like it can get a lot done, you know what I mean? So yeah, I just wanted to comment on that cause I thought that it's a particularly interesting way.

So if you can put a course on diving into React or Remix and I ended up having that on Udaby. So I want to switch gears here a little bit to figure out a bit about what TAL they've been doing on the email team. So the email app is a first party app. What have been some of your struggles with it working so far or good and bad, and how are you finding working in a first party environment because you're not really in Shopify web, but you are in Shopify, or you're not really in web, but you are in web and core, right? So how is it writing a first party app?

18. React Development and TypeScript

Short description:

Opening React DevTools was challenging. The rich text editor in email is the most complicated part. We use the Slate library. We are all writing TypeScript and have positive experiences with it. TypeScript has many benefits and makes production code safer. Getting used to TypeScript takes time, but it is worth it.

So yeah, that's definitely something I'm not used to be doing, because first of all, like as an app on Shopify admin, like you no longer... Yeah, I mean the context is a bit different, right? Because you're up is within Iframe. So I feel like this is the first thing that was challenging for me. Opening React DevTools, I mean, it looks different. I think there is a way to do it, which I'm trying to figure out how to have it like as part of your Chrome developer tools. Or what we use right now is like an external DevTools window, which it's a bit of a different experience. So I would say that was definitely one of the most challenging. Yeah. One of the challenge challenges when I started working on it, was definitely different from what I did before. And then specifically for email, I think probably the hardest thing we're doing is the rich text editor. So basically you want to allow a user to be able to just add text, buttons, whatever they need. Basically to create an email, just like if you go on Google Doc and create a document, so very similar experience. They should be able to select the text and then modify it by changing fonts, colors, et cetera. So I would say this is the most complicated part of, at least for me up until now, and talking about open source, what we use is a library called Slate, and definitely, I mean, it's not a very straightforward one. We do have like helpers, but still it's pretty challenging, at least for me so far. So you are writing everything in TypeScript, correct? Like everything is still pretty much the same thing? Yeah, that's right. Got you, got you. And I'm curious like, I'm not sure if you could share it more this publicly, but like Daniel and Helen, are you writing in React or are you writing in another language? Definitely in React with Hydrogen. It's all React based. Got you, got you. TypeScript? TypeScript, yeah. I guess it's not always really 100% React, but yeah, mostly. Okay, okay. Yeah. So I think yeah, we're all writing kinda TypeScript and I'm just curious like your thoughts so far on it. Like I've been probably using it for two years but like I'm using it seriously for like a year. And yeah, definitely I can see like the way I used to write, was like, I could just compare it to like a cowboy. Just like you write your test, but just kinda write and you kind of hope for the best when you write with a TypeScript, like in a way, like you're running tests, but like, there's a lot of if statements. There's a lot of things that I realized like, wow, this is catching a lot of things beforehand. But it took me a while to get used to and still getting used to the types. And like, essentially when I did the workshop today, like I wanted to avoid that. So I just liked did JavaScript. And I think like a lot of people maybe don't know it. So like I started off with JavaScript in a personal project, I probably will do JavaScript because I just want to avoid, you know, the old, you know, because if you just end up using any, you end up like, why are you using TypeScript, but I'm curious what you thought and then how's your experience been with TypeScript so far. Me fairly positive, but yeah, getting used to it. And this is open for anyone, of course. I would like to profess my like love for TypeScript. I have like slowly like gotten more obsessed with it. And I was still like discovering new capabilities it has especially for inferring types at runtime. There are just so many benefits, I think it's scary. Using an untyped language like JavaScript in production. I think it's just a scary idea that like Shopify used to kind of like run on that, and all these different frameworks. Like it's hard for me to imagine a time before TypeScript or like production code in a browser was like safe. But yeah, I don't know. I'm super into TypeScript, at least so far. Microsoft hasn't done anything that would, I don't know, put me off it, that type of thing. That's awesome. Any other thoughts? I mean, I think I share a similar opinion, like I mean, like TypeScript would throw me off at times, but yeah, I think for the most part, yeah, when I first started like using TypeScript, I think it was like, it was hard, but I don't know. For me, I think it takes just getting used to it. And today I like it much more, versus when I first started.

19. TypeScript: A Love and Hate Relationship

Short description:

TypeScript is a love and hate relationship. It's great when expectations are clear, but challenging when dealing with changing specifications and complex types. Despite frustrations, TypeScript brings security and benefits to developers. Sheltering from complexity within our ecosystem has led to a greater appreciation and comfortable development environment. Having a well-built system and tools like ESLint provide additional support. TypeScript, along with other Microsoft tools, has made a significant impact. Thank you for joining and making the time.

And today I like it much more, versus when I first started. Yeah, I think that's, and anybody else have something to share, but yeah, I mean. I can share something. Yeah, please. I would say TypeScript is a love and hate relationship. I love it if we know exactly it's like this is what I'm expecting and this is the shape that we know that we should be expecting. But then, I hate it in the sense of because we have to build it for developer facing and there are some points where we don't know what we're gonna get, but we're expecting some certain stuff that's there, and then we're not too sure what we're gonna return because that spec is also changing. Then, how do you write a TypeScript for that is like, and also like propagate through is just like very gnarly and I just like, it's difficult to write for that, but then we kinda have to do it, mainly because like we're dealing with developers that would benefit greatly if they know what they're gonna get and what they should input in there. How should they input it so they can get what they wanted? And all of that shape is just hard. And then quite often, because we had to deal with TypeScript, you just like, it got to the point, it's like, this is too complex for TypeScript. It's like, what do you mean? Yeah, go ahead, Daniel. That is the exact example that I wanted to talk about, that it's great until TypeScript is telling you that things are too complex, I love this specific error that says that your types are too complex. And I'm like, what is that? What should I do about this? It's just like, yeah, I think if the types are too complicated, that's when you really can get frustrated. But if everything is kind of simple made and understandable, then it's great. But as soon as maybe you start doing to do some really complicated types, it can get really frustrating. So I think that's the part where you're like, okay, I don't know if I'm doing it incorrectly or, I don't know. I still think that it's worth it, when you get it working and then just like, everything's great. Brings you so much security, but yeah, there's some frustrating moments sometimes where you just wanna get done with the feature. Yeah, I'm not gonna type screen complaining for hours. That's sort of. Yeah, I think I've been sheltered from that complexity in a lot of ways, because like living in a web where the data you get back from our API layers all typed and all the packages we use like in web are all typed. And so you're very like sheltered from I guess that like additional complexity that would come from like building stuff from scratch or just like using stuff that exists outside of our like nice little ecosystem. So I think that sheltering has led me to appreciate it a lot more and to build with it in a way in a more comfortable environment for sure. Yeah, definitely like, you know, having a good especially like a good built system that can help us, you know, run through additional testing and things like that, to shelter you further. I remember when we first started like something like ESLint and we did it in a way where like it would break your actual code if you had an error. Like it wouldn't just show it in the browser like it would just break it, it wouldn't recompile it. And that was like common and in some parts in React, like people would do that. And then now we do, it's like, you know, well like the build phase is when it kind of does the additional like sheltering and like it helps you additionally there. But yeah, I feel like, you know, with TypeScript yeah, like definitely feel that love and hate relationship. And it's good like the stuff that's Microsoft is coming up with like VS code, TypeScript, like some great stuff. I mean, I can't imagine, like, I remember I was going through different ideas every day and now I'm just like, well, I kind of really like this one. I don't want to change. Thank you everyone for joining. I didn't want to prolong get further. I can't think of anything particularly, but I just want to make sure that, you know, well, thank you for making the time to coming down here.

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