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Our First Encore

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Create a new file: webpack.config.js. Here's how Webpack works: we create a config file that tells it which file to load, where to save the final file, and a few other things. Then... it does the rest!

But... Webpack's configuration is complex. A fully-featured setup will probably be a few hundred lines of complicate config! Heck, our Webpack tutorial was over 3 hours long! Very simply: Encore is a tool that helps generate that complex config.

Setting up webpack.config.js

Click on the documentation to find the "First Example". Hey! A webpack.config.js file to get us started! Copy that! Then, paste it in our file. But, I'm going to simplify and delete a few things: we'll add this stuff back later. Just keep setOutputPath(), setPublicPath() and addEntry():

var Encore = require('@symfony/webpack-encore');
// the project directory where all compiled assets will be stored
// the public path used by the web server to access the previous directory
.addEntry('rep_log', './public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js')
// export the final configuration
module.exports = Encore.getWebpackConfig();

And hey, check out that first line! Since this file will be executed by Node, we can require stuff! This imports the Encore object:

var Encore = require('@symfony/webpack-encore');
... lines 2 - 15

Then, at the bottom, we ask Encore to give us the final config, and we export it:

... lines 1 - 12
// export the final configuration
module.exports = Encore.getWebpackConfig();

There are only three things we need to tell Webpack: the directory where we want to save the final files - public/build - the public path to that directory - so /build since public/ is the document root - and an "entry":

... lines 1 - 2
// the project directory where all compiled assets will be stored
// the public path used by the web server to access the previous directory
.addEntry('rep_log', './public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js')
... lines 12 - 15

Point this to our JavaScript file: ./public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js. Change the first argument to rep_log:

... lines 1 - 2
... lines 4 - 9
.addEntry('rep_log', './public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js')
... lines 12 - 15

This tells Webpack to work its magic on RepLogApp.js. The first argument will be the name of the final file, .js - so rep_log.js.

Running Encore

And... that's it! Find your terminal. Encore has its own executable. To use it, run:


Wait! Before running encore, first delete the .babelrc file (if you have one). This is left-over from the previous tutorial and is not needed: Encore handles it for us.

./node_modules/.bin/encore dev

The "dev" part tells Encore to create a "development" build. And... cool! Two files written to public/build. Let's check them out! Alright! There's rep_log.js. We'll talk about manifest.json later.

Cool! Let's point our script tag at the new file. Open templates/lift/index.html.twig. This is the template that runs our main page. At the bottom, change the path to build/rep_log.js:

{% extends 'base.html.twig' %}
... lines 2 - 53
{% block javascripts %}
... lines 55 - 57
<script src="{{ asset('build/rep_log.js') }}"></script>
... lines 59 - 65
{% endblock %}

If you're not a Symfony user, don't worry, the asset() function isn't doing anything special. Ok, let's try it! Find your browser and, refresh! Woo! It works! People, this is amazing! We can finally organize JavaScript into multiple files and not worry about "forgetting" to add all the script tags we need. The require function is a game-changer!

If you look at the compiled rep_log.js file, you can see a bunch of Webpack code at the top, which helps things work internally - and... below, our code! It's not minimized because this is a development build. We'll talk about production builds later.

Making PhpStorm Happy

If you're using PhpStorm like me, there are a few things we can do to make our life much more awesome. Open Preferences and search for ECMAScript. Under "Languages & Frameworks" -> "JavaScript", make sure that ECMAScript 6 is selected.

Then, search for "Node" and find the "Node.js and NPM" section. Click to "Enable" the Node.js Core library.

And finally, if you're using Symfony, search for Symfony. If you don't see a Symfony section, you should totally download the Symfony plugin - we have some details about this in a different screencast. Make sure it's enabled, and - most importantly - change the web directory to public. This will give auto-completion on the asset function.

Watching for Changes

Back to Encore! There's one big bummer when introducing a "build" system for JavaScript like we just did: each time you change a file, you will need to re-run Encore! Lame! That's why Encore has a fancy "watch" option. Run:

./node_modules/.bin/encore dev --watch

This will build, but now it's watching for changes! Let's just add a space here and save. Yes! Encore already re-built the files. Stop this whenever you want with Ctrl+C.

Oh, and since this command is long, there's a shortcut:

yarn run encore dev

or, better... use the --watch flag:

yarn run encore dev --watch

Build Notifications!

Great! But... sometimes... we're going to make mistakes. Yes, I know, it's hard to imagine. Let's make a syntax error. Back at the terminal, woh! The build failed! But if you weren't watching the terminal closely, you might not realize this happened!

No problem! Let's enable a build notification system! In webpack.config.js, just add enableBuildNotifications():

... lines 1 - 2
... lines 4 - 11
... lines 14 - 17

The "watch" functionality has one weakness: whenever you update webpack.config.js, you'll need to restart Encore before it sees those changes. So... stop it and run Encore again:

yarn run encore dev --watch

Bah, error! Scroll up! Check this out, it says:

Install webpack-notifier to use enableBuildNotifications()

And then it tells us to run a command. Cool! Encore has a ton of features... but to stay light, it doesn't ship with the all of the dependencies for these optional features. But, it's no problem: if you need to install something, Encore will tell you. Copy that command and run:

yarn add webpack-notifier --dev

Run encore again:

yarn run encore dev --watch

It works! And cool! A desktop notification. Now, make a mistake! Yes! An obvious build error. Fix it and... build successful!

Ok, we've got a pretty sweet system already. But Webpack is going to let us do so much more.

Leave a comment!

What PHP libraries does this tutorial use?

// composer.json
    "require": {
        "php": "^7.2.0",
        "ext-iconv": "*",
        "composer/package-versions-deprecated": "^1.11", // 1.11.99
        "doctrine/doctrine-bundle": "^1.6", // 1.8.1
        "doctrine/doctrine-cache-bundle": "^1.2", // 1.3.2
        "doctrine/doctrine-fixtures-bundle": "~3.0", // 3.0.2
        "doctrine/doctrine-migrations-bundle": "^1.2", // v1.3.1
        "doctrine/orm": "^2.5", // v2.7.2
        "friendsofsymfony/jsrouting-bundle": "^2.2", // 2.2.0
        "friendsofsymfony/user-bundle": "dev-master", // dev-master
        "sensio/framework-extra-bundle": "^5.1", // v5.1.5
        "symfony/asset": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/console": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/flex": "^1.0", // v1.17.6
        "symfony/form": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/framework-bundle": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/lts": "^4@dev", // dev-master
        "symfony/monolog-bundle": "^3.1", // v3.1.2
        "symfony/polyfill-apcu": "^1.0", // v1.7.0
        "symfony/serializer-pack": "^1.0", // v1.0.1
        "symfony/swiftmailer-bundle": "^3.1", // v3.1.6
        "symfony/twig-bundle": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/validator": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/yaml": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "twig/twig": "2.10.*" // v2.10.0
    "require-dev": {
        "symfony/debug-pack": "^1.0", // v1.0.4
        "symfony/dotenv": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/phpunit-bridge": "^4.0", // v4.0.4
        "symfony/web-server-bundle": "^4.0" // v4.0.4

What JavaScript libraries does this tutorial use?

// package.json
    "devDependencies": {
        "@symfony/webpack-encore": "^0.19.0", // 0.19.0
        "bootstrap": "3", // 3.3.7
        "copy-webpack-plugin": "^4.4.1", // 4.4.1
        "font-awesome": "4", // 4.7.0
        "jquery": "^3.3.1", // 3.3.1
        "node-sass": "^4.7.2", // 4.7.2
        "sass-loader": "^6.0.6", // 6.0.6
        "sweetalert2": "^7.11.0", // 7.11.0
        "webpack-notifier": "^1.5.1" // 1.5.1