Reapit Elements is a UI library for building AppMarket Web Applications

Announcing Elements v4! A full UI refresh, loads of new components and frictionless upgrade path from v3.

What is Elements?

Elements is a React UI Component and CSS library Reapit has developed internally from the ground up and open sourced. The Developer Portal and AppMarket itself uses Elements extensively and if you are building a React app to be installed by clients, we recommend you do too.

Documentation for this package is found as always at the dedicated UI tab in the Reapit Developer Portal and at the public link below to the elements standalone site.

At v4, the UI of Elements has undergone a full refresh to align the Reapit Group of companies around a common design system, including:

  • A fresh new color palette, font family and more neutral, modern UI

  • Multiple new components, templates & layouts

  • New logos and iconography

The changes are significant but in the vast majority of cases should not break your app. For a full changelog see here.

Migrating from earlier versions

Significant care has been taken to make the upgrade from v3 to v4 as painless as possible. In most cases, apps will not break at all and only a few visual tweaks may be required. For the v3 migration guide visit the docs here and the changelog here.

When upgrading from v1 or 2, the process will be much more involved as v3 was a ground up re-write. You can however do this slowly by including v3 components in your code from the v2 library and be assured of compatibility with v4. See this guide for examples.

Elements v2 - Long Term Support

Elements v2 is nearing the end of LTS and will be sunset in June '24 when v3 will take over as the LTS release. If you haven't yet attempted the upgrade from v1-2, we strongly recommend doing so before this date.

v2 Documentation

Until the sunset date, we will keep the legacy docs live here:

Whilst Elements v1.x.x has it's limitations, we are very mindful our developers have already successfully built a number of applications with the library and as such, require both a Long Term Support schedule and a straightforward upgrade path where possible.

Elements v2.x.x is a UI theme refresh, giving the style-guide a lift to ensure better visual consistency and appeal. The release includes a new font, typography, colour pallet, form inputs, notifications and dialogue boxes. Essentially in line with the changes you will see in the Reapit Developer Portal and AppMarket from March 2021 to April 2021.

Whilst we can't guarantee that you will have no work to do upgrading v1 to v2, we have taken care not to add any breaking changes to the TypeScript / React Components and generated CSS classes in the Elements Stylesheet. Upgrading should be a case of incrementing the version number from v1.x.x to v2.x.x, running an NPM install and making any small visual tweaks required to your application.

Whilst no future development in terms of features will be added to v2, we will endeavour to provide long term support and security patches for the foreseeable future and when the time comes to deprecate the version, several months runway to upgrade before LTS ends.

v2 Usage

The documentation in the v2 Storybook is limited so it is worth reading this guide before using the v2 library.

The styles are based on the excellent Bulma UI library to provide sensible base defaults for common patterns. Although the components themselves are based on React, the project exports a regular stylesheet you can import as normal and markup in your preferred templating language see "What if I don't use React" below.

All of the Elements modules are rendered out using React Storybook and hosted on a standalone site. If you are not familiar with Storybook as a tool, it allows the developer to interact in live time with the pre-rendered components and their variants. You can adjust the code and see how they behave in live time, as well as providing copy-paste snippets to insert into your project.

To get started, in your terminal, execute;

yarn add @reapit/elements@2.1.0

Then insert the stylesheet, either as an import into another stylesheet;

@import '~@reapit/elements/dist/index.css';

Or into the head of your document in the normal way.

Then in your code you can either import a component with ES Modules;

import { H1, Alert } from '@reapit/elements'

Or, using CommonJS

const { H1, Alert } = require('@reapit/elements')

Then you can use the tags in your code as regular React Components;

export const MyCoolComponent = () => {
    return (
            <Alert message="Success!" type="success"/>

As well as React Components, we also export a number of useful utilities like form validators, date-time helpers and a HTTP fetch module.

Storybook: Code as documentation

When using Storybook, you can toggle between code examples and rendered output of components by using the ‘Canvas’ and ‘Docs’ tabs.

For React users we recommend very strongly using the "Docs" tab since it will give you the available props for each component and because we use TypeScript, also their expected type definitions. It also exposes a new feature in Storybook - "Controls". Controls are a list of the available props that can be edited in live time to see the effect on the mounted component.

See the image below for an example of an input rendered out in "Docs" mode, with Controls enabled:

If you prefer the old canvas view, you can still use this with controls enabled:

And see the code that generates the Component in the "Story" tab:

In this view, you should also toggle the "Show add ons" option from the menu.

As stated previously, we have used TypeScript throughout out estate, so each of our modules ships with TS definitions for free. If you use TypeScript, this is clearly a big help but even if you don't modern IDEs like VSCode will give you intelligent hints about prop types and parameters as you code.

What if I don't use React?

Although we use React heavily at Reapit and we recommend using our tooling as the most frictionless way of building marketplace apps, we understand that it will not work for everyone. As such our Elements Storybook also supports a vanilla HTML and CSS version, derived from the React JSX markup.

As a non-React developer you should navigate to the Canvas, HTML tab in each Storybook component as per below:

To use in your code, you would import the stylesheet as above, and simply apply the classes to your markup as displayed in the image above.

You can also selectors in the Bulma documentation in most cases. We have deliberately not diverted from Bulma's conventions where possible and where we have, we have tried to follow sensible naming conventions and predictable markup.

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