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    This is Yak Shaving

    I sat down to write about a rendering technique I use to quickly wrap random D3 code in React components. I call them "blackbox components" because they're a black box.

    It's already a chapter in React+D3v4 and a CodePen. How hard can it be to write a post?

    Then I thought, โ€This is dumb. People shouldn't keep rewriting this. It should be an npm module.โ€

    So I started making a library.

    Then I remembered that compiling libraries sucks.

    So I went to copy config files from an old transition library I did. But the files were old and out of date. Possibly copied from a 0.2.x version of create-react-app.


    So I looked for a create-react-lib because the -app version creates too much stuff that libraries don't need. Like all the setup for index.html and assets and webpack dev and webpack prod and eslint and jest and a default app page andโ€ฆ

    Couldn't find one. Used create-react-app, ejected, copied config files, removed the parts I don't need.

    30 minutes in: no post, no library, but Iโ€™ve got the config I need to get started.

    So I copied the code from CodePen and cleaned it up and added some imports and exports. Made it Real Codeโ„ข.

    Then I thought, "You know, this technique can work for things that aren't SVG. There's plenty of stuff people might wanna use."

    So I added a version that uses <div> instead of <g>.

    Then I compiled. node_modules/babel-cli/bin/babel.js src --out-dir lib. It worked! ?

    Now, how do I test this? ?

    So I started writing an example project. Create react app and all of that. npm link to use unpublished library. Neat trick, that.

    I started with the same axis example from CodePen. import BlackboxSvgHOC, use it to make an Axis component, render in an <svg>.

    Error. Files not found.

    Investigate, find a typo in the filename, fix, reload, renders default React app.

    Waitaminute! Where's my example axis? How am I gonna add more awesome examples if I can't even load an axis?

    Sigh. There's a nasty error in the console. Pretty sure I've never seen that one before.

    How do you even debug that? ?

    So I went to play Dirt3 for 20 minutes. To regain focus, ya know.

    Then I wrote this story. And I wish I was kidding, but it took me an hour. Twitter is distracting.

    3 hours after I started: no article, no library, no working code, no example project.

    This is yak shaving. Don't do this.

    Published on January 27th, 2017 in Writing

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    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

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