React with Gulp, Babel, and Browserify | Christopher Vachon

React with Gulp, Babel, and Browserify


Recently I have started working with React for a prototype for an upcoming project. I have found a large community out there, and have started using Browserify, Babel, and Gulp to streamline the process of transpiling the react code.

However I have found it slightly frustrating that with most of the workflows I have found, that my with poor working knowledge of react at this time, that browserify bundle method was crashing and kicking me out of gulp watch and browser sync.

This was driving me nuts, so I did some research and have amended what was the working files I had started from. This took a fair of scrounging to get work out, which is why I am writing this post.

I have added 2 components to the setup.

Bundle Error Handling

Adding this small bit of code to the begining of the pipe allowed for a graceful stop when a transpil error was found.

browserify('...', {}).bundle().on('error', function (err) {

JSX File Handling

I also wanted to clarify my files, and seeing as though react uses jsx instead of js (not a requirement by the way, just a lot nicer to do), I wanted to use the jsx file extension and syntax highlighting schemes (atom has more than a few of them available).

However, I found that babel could not natively find the imported files when using import.  This was solved with the following configuration.

var bundler = browserify('src/jsx/app.jsx', {
  extensions: ['.js', '.jsx'],
  debug: true

Final Setup

With these found and added, here is my resulting package.json and gulp.babel.js files.