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Scaffolding your first Dojo app with the Dojo CLI

Anthony Gubler & Rene Rubalcava January 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

Dojo CLI

It is easy to get started with Dojo using the Dojo CLI and create app command to scaffold a new project using the dojo template application. First install both @dojo/cli and @dojo/cli-create-app globally.

npm install @dojo/cli @dojo/cli-create-app -g

The @dojo/cli-create-app command provides a number of options to customize the template application. By default the template application uses the programmatic API (however for this blog we'll be using --tsx to create an application template that uses TSX) and provides theming and routing out of the box so you can quickly get started with some features that you will leverage in a larger application.

To create the template application run the dojo cli create app command providing the application name

dojo create app --name my-first-dojo-app --tsx

If you don't want to install the dependencies globally, you can also use npx to create your first dojo application.

npx -p @dojo/cli-create-app -p @dojo/cli -- dojo create --name my-first-dojo-app --tsx

Now let's take a look at the structure you get with the new template application.

create app structure

More details about routing are found in the Dojo routing documentation. The key concept here is that each view for a route is defined by an Outlet, a wrapper for widgets that gets displayed in view of that route.

// src/App.tsx
import { tsx, create } from '@dojo/framework/core/vdom';
import theme from '@dojo/framework/core/middleware/theme';
import Outlet from '@dojo/framework/routing/Outlet';
import dojo from '@dojo/themes/dojo';

import Menu from './widgets/Menu';
import Home from './widgets/Home';
import About from './widgets/About';
import Profile from './widgets/Profile';

import * as css from './App.m.css';

const factory = create({ theme });

export default factory(function App({ middleware: { theme } }) {
	if (!theme.get()) {
	return (
		<div classes={[css.root]}>
			<Menu />
				<Outlet key="home" id="home" renderer={() => <Home />} />
				<Outlet key="about" id="about" renderer={() => <About />} />
				<Outlet key="profile" id="profile" renderer={() => <Profile username="Dojo User" />} />

Ok, so let's break this down a bit. The application is using TSX to create virtual DOM nodes. In this case there is a top level Menu with a div underneath. Within this div each Outlet gets defined with an id, key (optional), and what to display gets specified in the render method.

We won't go into detail for each view as they are fairly standard Dojo widgets, but let's take a look at the routing aspect. Routes get defined in a simple object.

// src/routes.ts
export default [
		path: 'home',
		outlet: 'home',
		defaultRoute: true
		path: 'about',
		outlet: 'about'
		path: 'profile',
		outlet: 'profile'

Each route has a path, with the name of the outlet id, which simply coincides with the id of the outlet defined in the previous snippet. You can also see that the home route is defined as the defaultRoute.

Here is how the examples comes together.

// src/main.tsx
import renderer, { tsx } from '@dojo/framework/core/vdom';
import Registry from '@dojo/framework/core/Registry';
import { registerRouterInjector } from '@dojo/framework/routing/RouterInjector';
import '@dojo/themes/dojo/index.css';

import routes from './routes';
import App from './App';

const registry = new Registry();
registerRouterInjector(routes, registry);

const r = renderer(() => <App />);
r.mount({ registry });

The routes get registered with the Router using the registerRouterInjector utility function, along with the registry instance. Once routes get registered, you can then mount the application with the registry.

We hope that the new dojo cli template application gives Dojo users a solid start with routing and an introduction to the registry, key components of building scalable applications.

Now, why is routing important in progressive web apps? Routing allows you to lazy load portions of your application until the users need them. For example, in the template application, some users may never click on the profile view, so why should the application unnecessarily load the files for that view.

lazy laoding

Here, you can see that the files for the views are not loaded until they get clicked. This is code splitting, something Dojo 1.x was fantastic at solving and that the new Dojo provides automatically by using the @dojo/cli-build-app command.

Adapted from Rene Rubalcava's original post on learn-dojo.