Working on the React UI

Nothing terribly exciting to report from today. We continued working on the front end API which consists of a web app serving up a React app that runs in the browser. We need the web app to do a bit more work than just serve up the React app though. We need it to be able to keep track of queries the users of the React app create (by create I mean change a parameter, nothing complicated). So we’re using a Node.js-based web app framework to create this, just like we did for the back end API before. We decided to use Koa instead of Express this time though. We found Express to be a bit heavy before. For the back end API, we ended up just falling back to pure Node.js instead of even using Express. For this, we will need some routes but Koa is more modern (it uses JavaScript generators instead of callbacks to improve maintenance) and smaller. You choose components to add to your project rather than getting the whole framework. Don’t need a view engine? Don’t need routes? No problem, don’t import those modules. Koa is actually created by the team that made Express, so it’s thought of as the successor to Express for the ES6-and-beyond world of JavaScript server side web development.

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