11.10.2018

11 Best Open Source React Developer Tools and Apps

Article by
Kairat Karzhauov
4 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What do Facebook, Skype, Tesla, and Airbnb have in common? They all use React, a JavaScript library for creating captivating user interfaces with building blocks called components (we have been writing about best React websites here). Therefore, combined with helpful React developer tools, this handy library helps to build fully-functional single-page or mobile applications quickly.

React web development has recently gained a lot of traction because it provides developers with a solution to some of the most important frontend concerns. Above all, React allows developers to bring HTML into their JS code with the help of its unique syntax called JSX. What makes this library stand out is the idea of components that allow breaking complex UI features into isolated and reusable building blocks which can be then populated with custom data.

But React would never become so popular if Facebook didn’t release it as open source. Today, React benefits from a massive ecosystem of tools and apps created by third-party developers, including practical component libraries, extensions for code editors and web browsers, IDEs, boilerplates, and many others.

Hence here are 11 best open-source React tools and apps you need for taking full advantage of the library.

React developer tools you should know

 

1. React Navigation

 
What is it for?
The tool offers an extensible and usable navigation solution based on JavaScript. Therefore, developers can get started instantly with the help of built-in navigators that provide a seamless experience. As a result, the tool boasts over 13 000 stars on Github.

Creator: Brent Vatne
 

2. Reactide

 
What is it for?
A dedicated IDE for React development. This cross-platform tool allows rendering React components without build or server configuration, also running an integrated Node server and custom browser simulator. Moreover, developers can use it to create state flow visualizations as well.

Creator: Mark Marcelo
 

3. ReactXP

 
What is it for?
A library for cross-platform React development. Writing an app with ReactXP enables sharing view definitions, styles, and animations across multiple target platforms. Additionally, developers can still selectively provide platform-specific UI variants.

Creator: Sergei Dryganets
 

4. Create React App

 
What is it for?
This single command-line tool was released by Facebook to help developers speed up the process of setting up environments for new React projects. The tool provides a frontend build pipeline, sets up a developer environment, and optimizes the app for production. As a result, developers don’t need to spend any time configuring it and can use it with any backend language.

Creator: Facebook
 

5. React Styleguidist

 
What is it for?
An interactive environment for developing isolated React components. Thanks to Styleguidist, developers can focus on building one component at a time, and then see all its variants and work faster with hot reload. In a result a team can share components easily and keep all of them in one place for clarity. The tools work with Create React App out-of-the-box and support ES6, Flow and TypeScript.

Creator: Artem Sapegin
 

6. Redux Offline

 
What is it for?
This tool helps in building offline-first apps for React and React Native or standalone containers for any web app. It’s a small, modular library that offers full support for offline-first applications. What’s worth mentioning, Redux Offline was made to be easy to use and works with any backend API.

Creator: Jani Eväkallio
 

7. React Developer Tools

 
What is it for?
This is a Google Chrome extension that allows inspecting the React component hierarchy right inside the browser (including component props and state). After installing the extension, a new tab called “React” appears in Chrome DevTools. By using it, developers can see how changing a single component can affect other components, all to help them design a better component structure. The tool counts over 1 million users. Most noteworthy, Facebook released React Developer Tools as a Firefox extension as well.

Creator: Facebook
 

8. React 360

 
What is it for?
This is a framework for creating interactive 360 experiences that run in web browsers. It combines the declarative power of React with modern APIs such as WebGL and WebVR to help developers create applications that can be accessed through various devices. Taking advantage of web technologies and the robust React ecosystem, the tool is geared toward simplifying the construction of cross-platform 360 experiences.

Creator: Andrew Imm
 

9. React Cosmos

 
What is it for?
This is a practical developer tool that helps to build reusable React components. It first scans React projects for components and allows rendering them with any combination of props, context, and state. React Cosmos provides developers with an opportunity to mock any external dependency such as localStorage or API responses to let developers see the state of their app in real-time.

Creator: Ovidiu Cherecheș
 

10. React Sight

 
What is it for?
This React visualization tool provides developers with the visual representation of React apps structure. The tool requires the React Developer Tools for Chrome mentioned earlier. Therefore, developers who want to use it need to install React Sight as a Chrome extension as well – it adds a new “React Sight” panel to Chrome DevTools. The tool provides support for React Router and Redux.

Creators: David C. Sally, Grant Kang, William He
 

11. Razzle

 
What is it for?
Razzle abstracts the complex configuration needed for SSR into a single dependency. It offers developers the experience similar to create-react-app, but allowing them to have full control over frameworks, routing, and data fetching.

Creator: Jared Palmer
 

The Takeaway

 
It’s thanks to these and many more tools that React has become such a valuable library for frontend developers who want to build beautiful and functional user interfaces. Of course, this list contains just a handful of great tools. What is your favourite? Let us know, we’ll be happy to expand the list!

Are you planning to create an amazing web application? Reach out to the experts in our software development agency and get started right away. Our development teams are well-versed in React and will make sure that your project takes full advantage of this incredibly productive framework.


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