React Native is one of the lasting and controversial topics in the React ecosystem. Based on the conference feedback, it’s one of those themes that divides people.
On retrospect, putting the React Native session to the beginning of the second conference was a good idea as that let people not interested in the topic sleep longer. That said, we had three quality talks in the session looking at React Native from different angles.
Jamon Holmgren — Building a Community Around Ignite
If you haven’t heard of Ignite yet and you develop React Native, then you are in it for a treat. Ignite is a CLI designed to make it easier to develop React Native applications without having to dig for the best practices.
In his talk, Jamon Holmgren discusses how his company grew the project and built a community around it. In this way it’s related to Michel’s talk about MobX from the first day and it bridged the days together unintentionally.
Rick Hanlon — The Untouchable Web
Let’s say you want to develop a web application that works well for both desktop and mobile environments — what would you have to take into account? In his talk, Rick Hanlon shows how this simple sounding task becomes absurdly difficult as you begin to hit the differences in the environments while trying to adapt.
The conclusion is that better abstractions are needed. To get a glimpse to what the future of React development might look like, check out react-native-web.
Ville Immonen — React Standard Library
One of the problems in using React Native is the need to adapt to different platforms — how to do this effectively? According to Ville, unimodules are the way. The existing unimodules wrap a large amount of native functionality into easy to use modules for React Native.
Although not everyone likes it, I think it’s a good idea to cover React Native in a React conference. Especially topics, such as react-native-web, seem to bridge the gap between React Native and the web and show great promise. Projects like ignite and unimodules improve the developer experience of React Native and there’s a clear demand for the projects.