Make maintainable workarounds with codegen 💥

This last week Andrew Blick filed
an issue on
glamorous indicating that
the UMD build of glamorous doesn’t work with React 16. The problem is that
glamorous does a lazy-require for the
prop-types module and apparently
when building the UMD bundle,
rollup can’t handle the CommonJS require
and make the UMD pass it in from the global object.

You can see this problem
in the
UMD file. The fact
that PropTypes isn’t included at the top with global.Glamor and
global.React is an indication of the issue. If you look further down, you’ll
also see: PropTypes = require('prop-types')and it’s that require statement
which is the problem. It’s not transpiled due to the aforementioned issue.

This is the part where we get frustrated at our tools and their authors right?

a bird saying nope

Definitely not! What we do is we
file an issue with a reproduction
and suggest a solution! Then we implement the solution when the maintainer says
they’re good with the solution! Woo!

The big bird saying yep

In my case, I had no idea where to start and I don’t have time to look into it
any further (I did, just have my fourth kid less than two weeks ago afterall).
So I filed
the issue with the reproduction
in part to verify that the issue was Rollup. Then I started thinking about a
good workaround.

Here’s where codegen comes in.
babel-plugin-codegen is
a babel plugin I wrote inspired by my other plugin
babel-plugin-preval. Both
of these ship with a babel-macro
and they each have a companion package to make using that easier.

So I installed codegen.macro
and changed from a simple PropTypes = require('prop-types') to this:

PropTypes = codegen`  
  if (process.env.BUILD_FORMAT === 'umd') {  
    module.exports = "(typeof window !== 'undefined' ? window : global).PropTypes"  
  } else {  
    module.exports = "require('prop-types')"  

What codegen does is it will take the string of code you provide and run it
like a regular module, then it takes the string of code that you export and will
replace itself with that string of code. Because this happens at build-time,
it’s a great way to do these kinds of optimizations.

Note, generally it’s advisable to avoid putting too much code in a string
because you lose a lot of benefits like syntax highlighting and lintability, so
if it’s a fair amount of code in there, you can pull it out into another file
and do:

PropTypes = codegen`module.exports = require('./prop-types-workaround')`

Anyway, these changes we’ve made will leave all the other builds as it was
before, but for the UMD build, it’ll pull PropTypes from the global.

What I love about this kind of workaround is that because it’s using a
babel-macrothe magic involved is pretty optimized and localized. So it’s much
more straightforward than other workarounds would be and literally took less
than 10 minutes.

I hope this is helpful to you! Good luck to you all! 👍

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