Tinycanva: Clojure for React Developers
This is a course on Clojure for React developers in which we'll build a web-based graphics editor similar to Canva.
What You Will Learn
The concept of tree-based codes aka LISPs
Editor integrations that make writing LISPs easy
Mental models for Clojure's rich standard library
Understanding of tools like NREPL to aid fast feedback
Syntaxlessness and expressiveness of the language
How to create React applications with Clojure
Flux-like state management with Reframe
Integration with APIs using Google Firebase
Key-based authentication and access control
Integration with React Router and Fabric JS
Lazy loading and code splitting
Map of communities and resources that can help when you get stuck
Many developers praise the elegance and productivity Clojure allows, but for many it seems like an esoteric language with an "ugly" syntax that is impossible to get started with. This course will change that view and show you how to be productive with this marvelous language.
This course takes you from zero to an understanding of Clojure semantics, LISP tools, and building a production-ready React application in just a few hours.
We'll start with the basics and build up to writing a fullstack app with both frontend and backend in Clojure.
The backend is hosted on Google Firebase.
Throughout the course, we'll learn about tools like REPL that aid development. Towards the end, we'll learn about advanced concepts like code splitting and end-to-end testing.
By the end of this course, you'll have a superpower: the ability to write fullstack Clojure applications.
In this chapter, we'll setup our system to run Clojure. We'll install all the required dependencies and run the "Hello World" program.
We need help from our editors to tame the LISPy syntax. This chapter walks through the tools we will need and why.
Set up VS-Code for Clojure development.
IntelliJ IDE Setup
Setup IntellJ IDE for Clojure development.
Setup Emacs for Clojure development.
Clojure is neither compiled nor has its own VM. Instead, it runs on VMs of other languages. In this lesson, we'll learn about official and unofficial ports and support status.
Syntax and Native Data Types
Let's get our hands dirty with native data types and common operations.
C-style languages invisibly impose a syntax, whereas Lisps do not. This makes Lisps more expressive and easier to grasp.
Build tools and package management
Since Clojure is hosted, it can tap into ecosystems of other languages. This has led to multiple build tools for different ecosystems. Choosing the right build tool might get tough for a beginner as the pros and cons might not be known. In this module, we'll learn about the general state of build tools in Clojure and choose the right tool for our project.
Enough talking, let's create a new repository and set up a project from scratch, using Shadow CLJS.
Shadow CLJS API
Our first project is now in place. In this chapter, we'll learn how to build and run it. We'll also explore some other build targets and explore Shadow with Reagent, a ClojureScript wrapper to React.
NREPL and Inline Evaluation
The REPL is an essential element of a Lisper's toolkit. In this chapter, we'll solidify our grasp of the REPL and editor integration. We'll also learn about some problems that come with the REPL.
Paredit is a tool to help with structural editing. It helps you write and modify S-Expressions with so much ease that the brackets will almost disappear! In this chapter, we'll learn fundamental Paredit commands.
Clojure offers many control flow conditionals, like if-else blocks. In this chapter, we'll study the API of a few such methods.
Atoms are thread-safe containers for handling mutable state. In this chapter, we'll learn how to create and manipulate atoms. We'll also learn how to hook into an atom's lifecycle and execute side-effects.
There are many ways to define a function and parse arguments. In this chapter, we'll learn more about function definition, destructuring and some helpful higher-order functions.
Clojure sequences are abstract. In this chapter, we'll make sense of what exactly we mean by that, and learn about common operations.
Nested calls can become hard to manage. Threading macros help us take control. In this chapter, we'll learn about the concept of threading macros and study three commonly-used versions.
Walkthrough the components and concepts we will implement, with a video demo of the final app.
In this chapter, we will bootstrap a project using create-cljs-app and understand the code generated. We'll also study Hiccup, a CLJS alternative for JSX, and various ways to require namespaces.
Reagent is a minimalist Clojure wrapper for React. It exposes all React APIs including hooks and is one of the most popular Clojure projects. This chapter is a theoretical introduction to Reagent. We'll learn about components, third-party integrations and local state.
We have already learned how third-party components fit with Reagent. In this chapter, we'll implement React Router in the Tinycanva app.
UI and CSS
In this chapter, we'll set up our UI library and CSS build process using PostCSS.
Introduction to State Management
Reframe is a flux-like library for uni-directional data flow. In this chapter we'll study the six-step Reframe loop.
App Structure and Authentication UI
Let's implement the concepts learned in the chapter on Reagent and React Router to build a login page..... plus the magic of REPL!
Firebase Project Setup
Set up Firebase project and configure authentication.
Auth Event Handlers
In this chapter, we'll initiate the Reframe loop for our login form, dispatch form submit events and handle them, ie implement steps 1 and 2.
Auth Effects and Firebase Initialization
We dispatched an event and wrote a handler. The handler returned an effects map, with a custom effect `:firebase/email-auth`. In this chapter, we'll create the custom effect handler and initialize the Firebase app.
In this chapter, we'll connect the UI to the Reframe loop and create loading indicators and subscriptions to check if the user logged in successfully.
We have authenticated our users, but now they're stuck on the login screen. This chapter is about building re-usable containers to redirect users to authorized pages.
In this chapter, we will integrate Reframe and Firebase to save the graphic "entity". This is analogous to a POST request with a traditional REST API.
Read and Delete Graphics
Create Reframe handlers to read and delete graphics. Analogous to GET and DELETE in a REST API.
Create, Read and Delete UI
Integrate Reagent and Reframe to create UI for listing and deleting graphics.
Graphic details page
Making graphic list items clickable; and the editor(detail) route. In the process, we'll learn how to use React's Higher Order Components with Reagent.
In this chapter, we will integrate FabricJS with our app and create an HTML canvas-based editor.
We have an editor in place, but it doesn't save data to Firebase. It is also not equipped to load data from Firebase. In this chapter, we'll create Reframe components to store data. We'll then update the editor to load data from Firebase. We will also extend the editor functionality.
Packaging an app consists of multiple steps, like configuration, minification etc. In this chapter, we'll package our app with production configuration and create an optimized JS bundle, that can be deployed on any CDN.
Large apps degrade user experience and one way to control that is to split our code into chunks. This chapter will walk through tools afforded by Shadow to split our app code. We'll also implement the splits and analyze performance gains.
Shadow comes bundled with a test runner. Clojure comes bundled with a unit testing library. In this chapter, we'll implement the two and learn about testing techniques for Reframe handlers.
Going forward - information about online Clojure communities, server-side Clojure concepts, companies and job boards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is this course for?
What if I need help?
You can ask us questions anytime through the community Discord channel or by sending us a message.
Are there any prerequisites?
Yes. The course assumes that you have a fair understanding of React, SPA routing and Redux like state management.
Learn about Clojure
Build a web based graphics editor like Canva
Key based authentication
Integrate APIs with Google Firebase
41 lessons (2h 27m)
1 complete project
3,136 lines of code