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Apollo

Apollo

Application and Data / Application Hosting / Platform as a Service

Decision at Airbnb about Apollo, GraphQL Playground, GraphQL, Prisma, BackendDrivenUI

Avatar of adamrneary
Engineer at Airbnb ·
ApolloApollo
GraphQL PlaygroundGraphQL Playground
GraphQLGraphQL
#Prisma
#BackendDrivenUI

At Airbnb we use GraphQL Unions for a "Backend-Driven UI." We have built a system where a very dynamic page is constructed based on a query that will return an array of some set of possible “sections.” These sections are responsive and define the UI completely.

The central file that manages this would be a generated file. Since the list of possible sections is quite large (~50 sections today for Search), it also presumes we have a sane mechanism for lazy-loading components with server rendering, which is a topic for another post. Suffice it to say, we do not need to package all possible sections in a massive bundle to account for everything up front.

Each section component defines its own query fragment, colocated with the section’s component code. This is the general idea of Backend-Driven UI at Airbnb. It’s used in a number of places, including Search, Trip Planner, Host tools, and various landing pages. We use this as our starting point, and then in the demo show how to (1) make and update to an existing section, and (2) add a new section.

While building your product, you want to be able to explore your schema, discovering field names and testing out potential queries on live development data. We achieve that today with GraphQL Playground, the work of our friends at #Prisma. The tools come standard with Apollo Server.

#BackendDrivenUI

17 upvotes·15.3K views

Decision about JavaScript, Rails, Apollo, React

Avatar of holman
Zach Holman ·
JavaScriptJavaScript
RailsRails
ApolloApollo
ReactReact

Oof. I have truly hated JavaScript for a long time. Like, for over twenty years now. Like, since the Clinton administration. It's always been a nightmare to deal with all of the aspects of that silly language.

But wowza, things have changed. Tooling is just way, way better. I'm primarily web-oriented, and using React and Apollo together the past few years really opened my eyes to building rich apps. And I deeply apologize for using the phrase rich apps; I don't think I've ever said such Enterprisey words before.

But yeah, things are different now. I still love Rails, and still use it for a lot of apps I build. But it's that silly rich apps phrase that's the problem. Users have way more comprehensive expectations than they did even five years ago, and the JS community does a good job at building tools and tech that tackle the problems of making heavy, complicated UI and frontend work.

Obviously there's a lot of things happening here, so just saying "JavaScript isn't terrible" might encompass a huge amount of libraries and frameworks. But if you're like me, yeah, give things another shot- I'm somehow not hating on JavaScript anymore and... gulp... I kinda love it.

15 upvotes·4 comments·37.2K views

Decision at The New York Times about Kafka, Node.js, GraphQL, Apollo, React, PHP, MySQL, AngularJS

Avatar of nsrockwell
CTO at NY Times ·
KafkaKafka
Node.jsNode.js
GraphQLGraphQL
ApolloApollo
ReactReact
PHPPHP
MySQLMySQL
AngularJSAngularJS

When I joined NYT there was already broad dissatisfaction with the LAMP (AngularJS MySQL PHP) Stack and the front end framework, in particular. So, I wasn't passing judgment on it. I mean, LAMP's fine, you can do good work in LAMP. It's a little dated at this point, but it's not ... I didn't want to rip it out for its own sake, but everyone else was like, "We don't like this, it's really inflexible." And I remember from being outside the company when that was called MIT FIVE when it had launched. And been observing it from the outside, and I was like, you guys took so long to do that and you did it so carefully, and yet you're not happy with your decisions. Why is that? That was more the impetus. If we're going to do this again, how are we going to do it in a way that we're gonna get a better result?

So we're moving quickly away from LAMP, I would say. So, right now, the new front end is React based and using Apollo. And we've been in a long, protracted, gradual rollout of the core experiences.

React is now talking to GraphQL as a primary API. There's a Node.js back end, to the front end, which is mainly for server-side rendering, as well.

Behind there, the main repository for the GraphQL server is a big table repository, that we call Bodega because it's a convenience store. And that reads off of a Kafka pipeline.

13 upvotes·1 comment·33.9K views

Decision at Airbnb about Apollo, GraphQL, Visual Studio Code, Git, GraphQLSchema

Avatar of adamrneary
Engineer at Airbnb ·
ApolloApollo
GraphQLGraphQL
Visual Studio CodeVisual Studio Code
GitGit
#GraphQLSchema

One of the joys I wanted to demonstrate in a GraphQL Summit talk I did is having so many helpful tools at my fingertips while building our product at Airbnb. This includes access to Git in Visual Studio Code, as well as the integrated terminal and tasks for running frequently-needed commands.

Of course, we also had some fun stuff to show for GraphQL and Apollo! The part that most people had not seen was the new Apollo GraphQL VS Code Extension. There is no need for me to copy over all juicy features from their marketing site (there are many!), but I will elaborate on one feature: Schema Tags.

If you are going to lint your queries against the schema you are working on, you will invariably be presented with the decision of “which schema?” The default may be your production schema (“current,” by convention), but as we discuss in the demo, if you need to iterate and explore new ideas, you need the flexibility of targeting a provisional schema.

Since we are using Apollo Engine, publishing multiple schemas using tags allows us this flexibility, and multiple engineers can collaborate on a single proposed schema. Once proposed schema changes for a service are merged upstream and those changes are naturally flowing down in the current production schema, we can flip back to “current” in VS Code. Very cool.

#GraphQLSchema

9 upvotes·8.1K views

Decision at StackShare about Redis, CircleCI, Webpack, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon S3, GitHub, Heroku, Rails, Node.js, Apollo, Glamorous, React, FrontEndRepoSplit, Microservices, SSR, StackDecisionsLaunch

Avatar of ruswerner
Lead Engineer at StackShare ·
RedisRedis
CircleCICircleCI
WebpackWebpack
Amazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront
Amazon S3Amazon S3
GitHubGitHub
HerokuHeroku
RailsRails
Node.jsNode.js
ApolloApollo
GlamorousGlamorous
ReactReact
#FrontEndRepoSplit
#Microservices
#SSR
#StackDecisionsLaunch

StackShare Feed is built entirely with React, Glamorous, and Apollo. One of our objectives with the public launch of the Feed was to enable a Server-side rendered (SSR) experience for our organic search traffic. When you visit the StackShare Feed, and you aren't logged in, you are delivered the Trending feed experience. We use an in-house Node.js rendering microservice to generate this HTML. This microservice needs to run and serve requests independent of our Rails web app. Up until recently, we had a mono-repo with our Rails and React code living happily together and all served from the same web process. In order to deploy our SSR app into a Heroku environment, we needed to split out our front-end application into a separate repo in GitHub. The driving factor in this decision was mostly due to limitations imposed by Heroku specifically with how processes can't communicate with each other. A new SSR app was created in Heroku and linked directly to the frontend repo so it stays in-sync with changes.

Related to this, we need a way to "deploy" our frontend changes to various server environments without building & releasing the entire Ruby application. We built a hybrid Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFront solution to host our Webpack bundles. A new CircleCI script builds the bundles and uploads them to S3. The final step in our rollout is to update some keys in Redis so our Rails app knows which bundles to serve. The result of these efforts were significant. Our frontend team now moves independently of our backend team, our build & release process takes only a few minutes, we are now using an edge CDN to serve JS assets, and we have pre-rendered React pages!

#StackDecisionsLaunch #SSR #Microservices #FrontEndRepoSplit

8 upvotes·7.4K views

Decision at StackShare about Redux.js, Apollo, React, GraphQL, FrontEndFrameworks

Avatar of ruswerner
Lead Engineer at StackShare ·
Redux.jsRedux.js
ApolloApollo
ReactReact
GraphQLGraphQL
#FrontEndFrameworks

Earlier this year we decided to go "all-in" on GraphQL to provide our front-end API. We needed a stable client library to power our React app. We decided to use Apollo Client for a few reasons:

1) Stability 2) Maturity 3) Heaps of features 4) Great documentation (with use cases) 5) Support for server-side rendering 6) Allowed us to stop using Redux and Mobx

Overall we've had great success with this library, along with a few minor hiccups and work arounds, but no show stoppers. If you are coming from Redux.js land, it takes a bit of time to settle into a new way of thinking about how your data is fetched and flows through your React app. This part has been the biggest learning curve of anything to do with GraphQL.

One of the downsides to Apollo Client, once you build a larger application, (past the size of most of the documented use cases and sample apps) the state management tends to get distributed through various places; and not just components. Apollo Client has a state management feature that relies on a normalised local cache. Mastering the knowledge of how this works is key to getting the most out of the library and to architecting your component hierarchy properly.

#FrontEndFrameworks

8 upvotes·1 comment·896 views

Decision at StackShare about GraphQL, Apollo, Rails, React, React Storybook

Avatar of ruswerner
Lead Engineer at StackShare ·
GraphQLGraphQL
ApolloApollo
RailsRails
ReactReact
React StorybookReact Storybook

Our front-end team decided to use React Storybook for our primary React development environment. It allows us to write components in isolation without the need to fire up our Rails stack. When writing components in isolation; you can focus on styling, behaviour and prop design. It forces you to think about how your component is going to be used by others. React Storybook uses webpack and hot module reloading under the hood. This allows us to write components very quickly since it hot reloads in the browser as you code!

The knobs add-on is great for testing different edge cases for the component props. There is even an add-on that will auto-render and snapshot your components with every prop permutation allows by your defined knobs. These snapshots can then be part of your CI testing.

We have a step in our build process that publishes a static React Storybook site on our production server. This allows our entire team to interactively test components before they are integrated into larger features. Once we are happy with our components in isolation, we integrate them into connected feature components which are wired up to Apollo and GraphQL to provide the data and state.

There are heaps of React Storybook add-ons to checkout. If you aren't using it, you should be.

7 upvotes·888 views

Decision at Airbnb about Apollo, Figma, Zeplin, React Storybook, StorybookDesignStack, StorybookStack, ReactDesignStack

Avatar of adamrneary
Engineer at Airbnb ·
ApolloApollo
FigmaFigma
ZeplinZeplin
React StorybookReact Storybook
#StorybookDesignStack
#StorybookStack
#ReactDesignStack

The tool we use for editing UI is React Storybook. It is the perfect place to make sure your work aligns with designs to the pixel across breakpoints. You get fast hot module reloading and a couple checkboxes to enable/disable browser features like Flexbox.

The only tricks I apply to Storybook are loading the stories with the mock data we’ve extracted from the API. If your mock data really covers all the various various possible states for your UI, you are good to go. Beyond that, if you have alternative states you want to account for, perhaps loading or error states, you can add them in manually.

This is the crux of the matter for Storybook. This file is entirely generated from Yeoman (discussed below), and it delivers the examples from the Alps Journey by default. getSectionsFromJourney() just filters the sections.

One other hack you’ll notice is that I added a pair of divs to bookend my component vertically, since Storybook renders with whitespace around the component. That is fine for buttons or UI with borders, but it’s hard to tell precisely where your component starts and ends, so I hacked them in there.

Since we are talking about how all these fabulous tools work so well together to help you be productive, can I just say what a delight it is to work on UI with Zeplin or Figma side by side with Storybook. Digging into UI in this abstract way takes all the chaos of this madcap world away one breakpoint at a time, and in that quiet realm, you are good down to the pixel every time.

To supply Storybook and our unit tests with realistic mock data, we want to extract the mock data directly from our Shared Development Environment. As with codegen, even a small change in a query fragment should also trigger many small changes in mock data. And here, similarly, the hard part is tackled entirely by Apollo CLI, and you can stitch it together with your own code in no time.

Coming back to Zeplin and Figma briefly, they're both built to allow engineers to extract content directly to facilitate product development.

Extracting the copy for an entire paragraph is as simple as selecting the content in Zeplin and clicking the “copy” icon in the Content section of the sidebar. In the case of Zeplin, images can be extracted by selecting and clicking the “download” icon in the Assets section of the sidebar.

ReactDesignStack #StorybookStack #StorybookDesignStack
6 upvotes·1.6K views

Decision about Relay, GraphQL, Apollo

Avatar of holman
Zach Holman ·
RelayRelay
GraphQLGraphQL
ApolloApollo

Apollo is my favorite open source project.

Two things you need to worry about when making a statement like that: is the tool good, and how is the tool being built?

From a tool perspective... yeah, Apollo is great. I'm convinced that GraphQL is the way forward for me, and Apollo's just a great way to tackle it. Even beyond that, it just offers a good mentality to how you should build your database-backed app. I've used Relay in the past, back before they made a bunch of changes with Relay Modern (which all seem positive!), but switching to Apollo is just night-and-day. They've been doing better in the last 12 months or so at making smart abstractions in the React Apollo library, to the point where I'd just get these monster all-red pull requests where I can delete all my cruddy code and replace it with far fewer lines of their great abstractions.

But from a build perspective... Apollo fares even better, I think. By this, I mean their project inertia, their progress, their ability to ship stable code — but still ship meaningful new functionality, too. They're not afraid to move their ideas in other directions (integrating with React Native, for example). Kills me to see projects that are just heads-down on their little world as the world passes them by, and so far... yeah, Apollo's been on top of it.

Anyway, big fan. It's really changed how I write frontend code, and I feel hella confident while working with it.

6 upvotes·1.4K views

Decision at ReactQL about Koa, React Router, Foundation, Semantic UI, Bootstrap, PostCSS, Less, Sass, styled-components, React Helmet, Webpack, TypeScript, JavaScript, Apollo, GraphQL, React, Apollo, GraphQL, HTML, Async, StyledComponents., Css, React., JSX

Avatar of leebenson
KoaKoa
React RouterReact Router
FoundationFoundation
Semantic UISemantic UI
BootstrapBootstrap
PostCSSPostCSS
LessLess
SassSass
styled-componentsstyled-components
React HelmetReact Helmet
WebpackWebpack
TypeScriptTypeScript
JavaScriptJavaScript
ApolloApollo
GraphQLGraphQL
ReactReact
#Apollo
#GraphQL
#HTML
#Async
#StyledComponents.
#Css
#React.
#JSX

ReactQL is a React + GraphQL front-end starter kit. #JSX is a natural way to think about building UI, and it renders to pure #HTML in the browser and on the server, making it trivial to build server-rendered Single Page Apps. GraphQL via Apollo was chosen for the data layer; #GraphQL makes it simple to request just the data your app needs, and #Apollo takes care of communicating with your API (written in any language; doesn't have to be JavaScript!), caching, and rendering to #React.

ReactQL is written in TypeScript to provide full types/Intellisense, and pick up hard-to-diagnose goofs that might later show up at runtime. React makes heavy use of Webpack 4 to handle transforming your code to an optimised client-side bundle, and in throws back just enough code needed for the initial render, while seamlessly handling import statements asynchronously as needed, making the payload your user downloads ultimately much smaller than trying to do it by hand.

React Helmet was chosen to handle <head> content, because it works universally, making it easy to throw back the correct <title> and other tags on the initial render, as well as inject new tags for subsequent client-side views.

styled-components, Sass, Less and PostCSS were added to give developers a choice of whether to build styles purely in React / JavaScript, or whether to defer to a #css #preprocessor. This is especially useful for interop with UI frameworks like Bootstrap, Semantic UI, Foundation, etc - ReactQL lets you mix and match #css and renders to both a static .css file during bundling as well as generates per-page <style> tags when using #StyledComponents.

React Router handles routing, because it works both on the server and in the client. ReactQL customises it further by capturing non-200 responses on the server, redirecting or throwing back custom 404 pages as needed.

Koa is the web server that handles all incoming HTTP requests, because it's fast (TTFB < 5ms, even after fully rendering React), and its natively #async, making it easy to async/await inside routes and middleware.

4 upvotes·2.9K views