Aquib Baig

[GSoC 2019] Migrating legacy applications to webpack (Part 2)

June 07, 2019


Going further

Till this point, we have learnt how to create webpack.config.js and add CSS/JS files to the configuration. Also we have learnt how to render these entries inside our twig templates. Next comes the advanced Webpack configuration before production/deployment.

Adding custom loaders

Webpack Encore provides some prerequired methods such as addRule() and addLoader() to add custom loaders to parse specific files included in your project. For example: In my project, I used a file called classifications.yml which can’t be normally parsed through webpack. So, I had to use a npm package called js-yaml-loader and added a custom rule as follows:

    test: /\.ya?ml$/,
    use: 'js-yaml-loader'

Final steps

Before building webpack for production, you need to take care of a few things first

  • Source map the development and production builds to enable webpack to read from entrypoints.json
  • For the files that are being used commonly for multiple files, use createSharedEntry() to minimise file sizes.
  • Run the development and Production builds to check if everything is working file and the website doesn’t break.

Common problems and their fixes

This section contains some major issues I faced during my project and how I fixed them through lot of searches.

  1. Problems with webpack commands:

    • yarn encore dev to start webpack in the development server. This command compiles every entry you added in your config and the corresponding dependencies to create build inside your public/build/ or web/build/ (#whatever you have specified in your webpack config file).
    • yarn encore dev --watch to start webpack in dev server with a configuration that watches over your files for changes and recompiles. For VM’s you may need to set up polling options inside webpack.config.js (#only if this command doesn’t work).
    • yarn encore production to create a production build, for which we may or may need to set up source maps if your website breaks at this command. This may happen if your website did not use Symfony Flex and you hadn’t used twig helpers to render entries. This happens because your production builds are hashed and have different name than your dev builds. So, you may need to link manifest.json in your Symfony project (#only if your website breaks).
  2. Sometimes JQuery and Bootstrap plugins don’t work properly. Don’t you worry because this is happening only because we are trying to eliminate all the global variables from our website. JQuery provides a global $ variable and Boostrap expects this variable to be global so that it can add functions to it. A well defined import includes installing them through yarn and then,

    import $ from 'jquery';
    import 'bootstrap';

    ~inside your external js entry file.

If you want to even set up global jQuery variable, use global.jQuery = jQuery or use autoProvideJQuery() function inside webpack.config.js

Valuable Tutorials

I found these two resources really helpful while my work. I hope they would be of help to you as well.

A short note on my Project

  • I migrated from existing Assetic configuration for my project Librecores of Fossi Foundation in the first week of coding of Google Summer of Code 2019. It was a long and hefty task because a lot of stuff was not clear for me online and had to do a lot of research to get stuff up and running.
  • This was the approach which I used and I guess this will be for most people out there. The Pull Request is yet to be reviewed and can be found here.
  • At the end, tutorials and everything will always be there but it comes down to personal preferences and project requirements that majorly directs your approaches. Also, for anything that you have faced problems with, it’s 99% probability that someone else in this world has faced it too and solved it. You just need maybe 10 minutes to find that on the Web, a big great thing. However that comes down to your Googling skills. Don’t arrest me for that.

Thank You, Peace!

Image source: Medium

Aquib Baig

This blog belongs to Aquib Baig who is a Web Developer and Architect at Zairza. Apart from writing code, I like to play soccer, listen to music and play video games. I am currently working as a summer intern at the umbrella organisation "FOSSi Foundation" under Google Summer Of Code. Follow me on Github