Bonnie Eisenman bio photo

Bonnie Eisenman

Software engineer, author, knitter, Esperantist. Member of NYC Resistor and author of Learning React Native.

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React Europe

I spent this past week at ReactEurope (and then hanging out afterwards, naturally).

I gave a talk entitled React Native Retrospective. The audience was from a mix of backgrounds: about half said that they had never worked with React Native before; about half said that they had experimented with it a bit; and a small percentage said that they had actually shipped an app to the App Store.

My talk was evidently well-received, and I had a lot of good conversations with folks afterwards. Here’s some Twitter chatter!

The React community - and really, the JS community in general - is so excitable, and optimistic, and enthusiastic. I walked away from the conference with renewed excitement, and I’m eyeing a bunch of side projects that I had previously placed on the back burner. Ah, the dangers of infectious enthusiasm! I did a write-up of my conference notes here.

React Linkspam

In honor of the conference, here’s some React-themed linkspam. Regularly scheduled linkspam will return next week. is, as someone described it, “Pinterest for React components.”

I gave the Deco IDE for React Native a spin this week. It’s still a bit rough, and doesn’t support the Android emulators, but I love the integration with the iOS simulator.

Cheng Lou gave us a great talk on the tradeoffs between different abstractions. The JS build pipeline case is of particular interest to me.

Relatedly, thomasboyt has a gist about why he thinks Webpack is the right approach to build pipelines. I don’t agree with all of these reasons, but I totally agree that webpack is way nicer than gulp/grunt.

Khan Academy has a great writeup from their React Native evaluation. For folks looking for examples of how companies evaluate tools like React Native, this is a great doc. TLDR; they’re excited, but not adopting it yet.

React Native is super cool! We find lots of things attractive about it, and would really like to be able to share lots of code between our iOS and Android apps. We’ve done two internal projects so far evaluating RN and how it would fit with our requirements.

there are still enough [barriers] that we’re not going to jump in quite yet.

As a counterpoint, Calvium discusses why React Native is a good fit for them.

“React Native maximises our team’s native and JavaScript skills. It allows the delivery of real native Android and iOS apps quickly, accurately and at a much lower cost than traditional native development, without the usual tradeoff in performance or look-and-feel of browser-based hybrid systems, such as Cordova.”

Here’s an ode to React Native’s LayoutAnimation, complete with GIFs.


I also read two books this week: Binti and Who Fears Death, both by Nnedi Okorafor. Who Fears Death is the best fantasy novel I’ve read in a while; expansive, mythical in tone, and almost…I’m gonna say “vindictively joyful” in execution, especially as the plot resolves. Binti is a super-short sci-fi novella, pretty straightforward, but I still really enjoyed it.