I am a fan of Angular. When it comes down to develop mobile applications, I always turn to the ionic framework for the benefit of leveraging my HTML and javascript knowledge. I heard the react framework from Facebook for quite awhile and I was turned off by JSX syntax until recently. I love the promise of virtual dom and immutable state. At the same time, there is a need to build a mobile application for code camp I am volunteering. So I decided to take the challenge to learn the react native and try to take notes during the process. This is the first one: setting up.

Preparing the dev environment for react-native is a relatively straightforward process by following the Facebook get started documentation at here.

Now I need a start point for the project. And my another favorite is the Typescript. I have been using it for my work and really love the static code analysis, the lastest and evolving javascript features and the ability to target the older version of javascript.

So here are my two requirements

  • a starter boilerplate
  • the ability to use Typescript

I could have used the




as Facebook includes in the documentation. However, my googling gave me another choice


It is created by InfiniteRead and I like the example app they created for Chain React conference. There are many excellent react-native boilerplate tools. The Ignite is my choice to create the boilerplate project.

Create New Project

So Let's bring up the terminal.

   npm install -g ignite-cli

This is going to install the ignite globally.

  ignite new MyStarterProject

Now I have a new react-native project after I answer a couple of questions prompted.

  cd MyStarterProject
  react-native run-ios

Here it is, the first react-native app running in the iOs simulator.

Setup Typesctipt

We will then install the typescript

  npm install typescript

it will be very useful to have the lint and react type info as well.

  npm install --save-dev tslint @types/react-native @types/react

Typescript files need to be compiled to javascript before buddled into an application. It is possible to have

   tsc -w

to monitor the ts/tsx file change and compile them before sending them to the packager. It would be nice to have them compiled in place and fit into the dev process. Good news, the react-native provides the hook to specify your own transformer. Better, you can specify rn-cli.config.js to configure itsource.

module.exports = {
  getTransformModulePath () {
    return require.resolve('react-native-typescript-transformer')
  getSourceExts () {
    return ['ts', 'tsx']

then we will need to provide tsconfig.json for tsc comipler

    "compilerOptions": {
        "target": "es2015",
        "module": "es2015",
        "jsx": "react-native",
        "moduleResolution": "node",
        "allowSyntheticDefaultImports": true,
        "allowJs": true

Finially, as a good programer, a lint can help us to spot the typing errors with help of editor

    "extends": "tslint-config-standard"

Here is it, a react-native starter project with the ability of coding in typescript. Enjoy coding.