4 Ways To Boost Your Vue.js App With Webpack

4 Ways To Boost Your Vue.js App With Webpack

Webpack is an essential tool for developing Vue.js single page applications. It makes your development workflow much simpler by managing complex build steps and can optimise your apps size and performance.

In this article I’ll explain four ways that Webpack can enhance your Vue app, including:

  1. Single file components
  2. Optimising the Vue build
  3. Browser cache management
  4. Code splitting

What about vue-cli?

If you’re using a template to build your app from vue-cli, a pre-made Webpack config is provided. They’re well optimised and there are no improvements I can suggest!

But since they work so well out of the box, you probably don’t have much idea of what they’re really doing, right? Consider this article an overview of the Webpack config used in the vue-cli templates, as they include the same optimisations I’m discussing here.

1. Single file components

One of Vue’s idiosyncratic features is the use of HTML for component templates. These come with an intrinsic problem, though: either your HTML markup needs to be in an awkward JavaScript string, or your template and component definition will need to be in separate files, making them hard to work with.

Vue has an elegant solution called Single File Components (SFCs) that include the template, component definition and CSS all in one neat .vue file:

MyComponent.vue

<template>
  <div id="my-component">...</div>
</template>
<script>
  export default {...}
</script>
<style>
  #my-component {...}
</style>

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Extending VueJS Components

Extending VueJS Components

Do you have components in your Vue app that share similar options, or even template markup?

It’d be a good idea to create a base component with the common options and markup, and then extend the base component to create sub components. Such an architecture would help you apply the DRY principle in your code (Don’t Repeat Youself) which can make your code more readable and reduce the possibility of bugs.

Vue provides some functionality to help with component inheritance, but you’ll also have to add some of your own ingenuity.

Example: survey questions

Here is a simple survey made with Vue.js:

You’ll notice that each question has a different associated input type:

  1. Text input
  2. Select input
  3. Radio input

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Single Page App Backends: Where Laravel Beats Node.js

Single Page App Backends: Where Laravel Beats Node.js

I’ve been commissioned to write a book about building full stack Vue.js apps. Since many Laravel developers are interested in Vue (Vue now ships with Laravel), the publisher wants the book to focus on full stack Vue.js with Laravel.

In preparing for the book I knew I would have to answer a very important question for myself: why would anyone even want to use Laravel as backend for a single page app when they can use Node.js?

Node.js advantages

Like many web devs who learned to code in the last decade, I started out with PHP. But as I got interested in frontend development and SPAs (single page apps), I eventually made the switch to full stack JavaScript and I hadn’t really looked back since.

Node.js has some very clear advantages as an SPA backend:

  1. One language in the project (JavaScript) means it’s simply easier to code.
  2. There’s opportunity to share code between the frontend and backend apps or even make the app isomorphic.
  3. Node.js allows server-side rendering. This means you can render your page on the server before it hits the browser, allowing users to see the page quicker. (There are attempts to achieve this with PHP/JS extensions, but for the time being, these do not work with many SPA frameworks like Vue, and if they do, they’re much slower).
  4. Node has non-blocking I/O and is better at handling concurrent requests (PHP can do this now too, but again, slower).

Stuck with PHP

Given all of the above, my assumption for why you’d use PHP for a SPA backend is because you must be stuck with it, and Laravel is chosen because it’s simply the best of a bad situation.

You might be stuck with PHP if:

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Switching From React To Vue.js

Switching From React To Vue.js

So you’re a React developer and you’ve decided to try out Vue.js. Welcome to the party!

React and Vue are kind of like Coke and Pepsi, so much of what you can do in React you can also do in Vue. There are some important conceptual differences though, some of which reflect Angular’s influence on Vue.

I’ll focus on the differences in this article so you’re ready to jump into Vue and be productive straight away.

How much difference is there between React and Vue?

React and Vue have more similarities than differences:

  • Both are JavaScript libraries for creating UIs
  • Both are fast and lightweight
  • Both have a component-based architecture
  • Both use a virtual DOM
  • Both can be dropped into a single HTML file or be a module in a more sophisticated Webpack setup
  • Both have separate, but commonly used, router and state management libraries

The big differences are that Vue typically uses an HTML template file where as React is fully JavaScript. Vue also has mutable state and an automatic system for re-rendering called “reactivity”.

We’ll break it all down below.

Components

With Vue.js, components are declared with an API method .component which takes arguments for an id and a definition object. You’ll probably notice familiar aspects of Vue’s components, and not-so-familiar aspects:

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How To (Safely) Use A jQuery Plugin With Vue.js

How To (Safely) Use A jQuery Plugin With Vue.js

It’s not a great idea to use jQuery and Vue.js in the same UI. Don’t do it if you can avoid it.

But you’re probably reading this not because you want to use jQuery and Vue together, but because you have to. Perhaps a client is insisting on using a particular jQuery plugin that you won’t have time to rewrite for Vue.

If you’re careful about how you do it, you can use jQuery and Vue together safely. In this article I’m going to demonstrate how to add the jQuery UI Datepicker plugin to a Vue project.

And just to show off a bit, I’m even going to send data between this jQuery plugin and Vue!

See it working in this JS Bin.

jQuery UI Datepicker

jQuery UI Datepicker

The problem with using jQuery and Vue together

Why is doing this potentially hazardous?

Vue is a jealous library in the sense that you must let it completely own the patch of DOM that you give it (defined by what you pass to el). If jQuery makes a change to an element that Vue is managing, say, adds a class to something, Vue won’t be aware of the change and is going to go right ahead and overwrite it in the next update cycle.

Solution: use a component as a wrapper

Knowing that Vue and jQuery are never going to share part of the DOM, we have to tell Vue to cordon off an area and give it over to jQuery.

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