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The Opinionated Guide to React 05 - ReactJS packages Part 2

On Storybook and GraphQL

Written by Eva Dee on (about a 4 minute read).

Storybook permalink

  • Is a tool to document and test your components in isolation.

  • 👍 There's a ready-made create-react-app storybook integration and a storybook CLI.

  • Create a .storybook/main.js in the root of the project` and a stories file.

  • For adding the CRA preset (inside main.js):

module.exports = {
  addons: ["@storybook/preset-create-react-app"],
  stories: ["../src/**/*.stories.js"],
  • All we need to do for this is to create a file that ends with stories.js in one of the components folders, and we will already see something.


import React from "react";
import Button from "./";
export default {
  title: "components/Button",
  component: Button,
export const basic = () => <Button>Hello Button</Button>;
  • Storybook comes with a bunch of add-ons:

  • @storybook/theming

import { addons } from "@storybook/addons";
import { themes } from "@storybook/theming";
  theme: themes.dark,
  • addon-actions: add-on to trigger actions (onClick etc) on our form components, like our buttons.

  • addon-knob: allows you to interact with your components and change their properties in real-time

  • addon-a11y: to test the accessibility of our components

  • Further links: Emma Bostian's FrontEnd Masters workshop notes

GraphQL permalink

  • Is a strongly typed query language and runtime for your data
  • It gives clients the power to describe exactly what data they want
  • It's just a query language (how your query an API)

🤔 vs. REST API

  • GraphQL only has one URL (endpoint), typically a POST request. It does not need a resource URL + verb combo.
  • In REST, the shape and size of the data resource is determined by the server. With Graphql, it's determined by the query (request)
  • In REST, you have to make multiple API calls to retrieve relational data. With GraphQL, you can start with entry resource and traverse all the connections in one request
query {
  • It returns a JSON object.

GraphQL Playground permalink

  • hit ctrl + space for a list of available queries

  • hover over a field and press command - which will link to the schema

  • use the Query Variable panel to pass in variables

  • you can send tokens through the HTTP Headers panel

  • The schema defines:

    • available queries
    • allowed types
  • Further links: Scott Moss' FrontEnd Masters workshop

🤔 What is apollo? It' a bunch of tooling around GraphQL that encapsulates HTTP logic used to interact with a GraphQL API. It doubles as a client-side state management alternative as well (you can use GraphQL for querying local state). Framework independent. Provides extra features if you also use Apollo Server.

🤔 The real power of GraphQL is connecting different data points.

  • If you have more than one (unnamed) query - you have to name them.

  • Queries are used to request specific data from the endpoint.

  • Mutations are another type of GraphQL operation that are similar to queries, but they are used when you need to change any data on the backend.

  • Fragments are selection sets that can be used across multiple queries. They allow you to refactor redundant selection sets, and they are essential when querying unions or interface types.

  • Interfaces are similar to Unions in that they provide a mechanism for dealing with different types of data.

  • Unions are used when we want a GraphQL field or list to handle multiple types of data.

  • A GraphQL API can push new data to the client with the Subscription Type.

Other permalink

  • for date: date-fns
  • for icons: react-icons
  • UI toolkits:
    • unstyled: Reakit
    • styled: Chakra UI