How to write JSX and convert it to runnable React using Babel-Standalone in the browser.

What is JSX?

  • Mixes HTML and JavaScript together
  • Makes building the UI easier
  • Bound by HTML tags
  • Is transformed into ReactDom code
  • Is used everyday in React

Starting JSX

  • This is JSX Code
  <h1>Hello, React!</h1>,

Resulting ReactDOM code

  • This is the ReactDOM code the JSX creates
  'Hello, React!'
), document.getElementById('root'));

Resulting HTML in the DOM

<div id="root">
  <h1>Hello, React!</h1>

Key Concepts

  • JSX feels like HTML (inside of JavaScript)
  • JSX compiles to ReactDOM code
  • JSX is a 'syntax extension' to JavaScript
  • React can only render a single JSX component
    • but that component can have as many children as you want
  • ReactDOM builds the HTML from the virtual DOM

JSX can embed JavaScript expressions

  • When writing JSX you can escape back to JavaScript using curly braces {}
  • Any JavaScript expression can be used in JSX
    • but if the expresion doesn't return anything, nothing will be displayed

Lab: React Greeter

Let's create a page that greets a user by name.

  • create a new React app using create-react-app
  • add the following object to App.js:
let user = {
  firstName: Ada,
  lastName: Lovelace
  • Greet your user by their first and last name
  • When you change the object the greeting should change

React Greeter: Classified

Hard coding a user object is OK, but it's not ideal. Let's look a little ahead and change our functional component into a class based component so we can leverage the awesome power of state!

  • Replace the function keyword with the class keyword
  • remove the parentheses after your component's name
  • between the components name, and the opening curly brace add the following code: extends React.Component
    • the full line should now look like this class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  • wrap your return statement in a render method
  render() {
      //JSX goes here

Leveraging State

Now let's track the state of our component!

  • In our React component add a constructor
  • Add a single object named state to the constructor
    • use the this keyword this.state = {...}
  • In state add key value pairs for firstName, and lastName
  • Change your JSX to greet the user in state rather than the hardcoded object

React Greeter: Final Product

The App.js component should now look something like this:

import React from 'react'

class App extends React.Component{
    this.state = {
      firstName: 'Ada',
      lastName: 'Lovelace'

  render() {
    return (
        Hello, {this.state.firstName + ' ' + this.state.lastName}

export default App