Vue on Django, Part 11836 words. Time to Read: About 18 minutes.
Vue.js is another in a long line of front-end frameworks designed around a more realtime and pleasant user experience, with live-updating DOM elements and asynchronus server updates behind the scenes that happen without reloading the entire page the whole time. I personally think they took some of the best things from React and Angular and Elm and others and combined them in a nice way. At least, that’s my opinion with exactly one week of front-end framework experience under my belt.
2. Getting Set Up
The way that we’re going to be doing this, we’ll be using Webpack to handle module bundling and more. Since Webpack is still essentially hoodoo sorcery to me, I’ll explain enough to get the job done. The first thing we’ll need is the
vue-cli tool. This will make our lives nice by mostly setting up Webpack for us among other things. You will need Node and NPM though.
For those of you more used to Python and Django, NPM is kind of like pip, if pip had some of the abilities of the standard Django manage.py.
We are going to be using a template from Github for our vue project as you can tell from the command. You can see it here. Go through the prompt answering all the questions it asks. When you’re done, you should have a new project folder. We’ll go over most of the stuff inside later, so don’t panic.
At this point, feel free to begin your git repository as well. I’ll leave that to you. Some important things now.
main.js is the file where your app is actually instantiated. Vue apps are made up of components composed together to simplify complicated things. We are not about to do complicated things, so no worries. All we want to have is a todo list that you can enter items into and clear entirely. Two actions. The main component is already created and can be found in
src/App.vue. We’ll be changing that shortly. First create a directory called
components, if it doesn’t already exist, within the
src directory. If it already exists, there may be a
Hello.vue file. You can delete that.
3. The Components
Our app will be three primary components. 1) The TodoList, which displays each todo. 2) The Todo, which will be the basic unit displayed. 3) The UserInput, which contains the input box and the clear button. Does it need to be that complicated? No. But it will help show some of the functionalities available within Vue. Let’s create our first one. Create
That’s it. There are two main ways to do Vue components: in one file, and with single-component modules. We’re doing this via modules. Each component will contain a template that lays out the HTML structure of the component, a script tag that contains the brains of the component, and optionally, a style tag that contains custom styles local to the component. These components are laid out in a hierarchy, which you’ll see, and parent components can pass data to their children in the form of props, which you have to declare for the component to be able to use them. You can see that in the script tag above. Don’t get too hung up on the
export default nonsense. That’s the way that Webpack is handling modules and imports. When the Todo.vue module is imported, the object that it exports will be what is passed (essentially the “soul” of the component). That will hopefully become more clear as we move on. Let’s do the TodoList component so you can see how
props are passed.
Some things of note here. You can see the
v-for option used in the
li element. That tells Vue to loop through every item in the todos variable and create an li element from it. You can see us creating our first custom element:
v-bind allows us to send data into the child component as a prop. When you are making a list of items, Vue makes you provide an id for each item so it can keep the list straight and make speedy changes. You can see this component claims the Todo as its child component in the
script section by including the
components key. Lastly, the
data key provides the initialization of the variable todos. Once we get into the data model we can initialize this from actual data as opposed to hard-coding values.
We’re also seeing more of the “module” syntax in the
import Todo from './Todo.vueline. By writing this, the variable Todo is filled with the object that was exported from the Todo.vue file. Similar, but a slightly more controlled import than Python imports, although you can achieve a similar effect by explicitly setting the
__all__variable… but I’m getting off-track.
Here’s the UserInput component.
What’s new here? You can see our first event handlers! The input responds to a
keyup.enter event which does what is predictable. You can see the
createTodo method declared within the
script tag’s method section. Notice again we define a variable in the
data section, but this time we’re using
v-model, which is syntactic sugar for a two-way bind. Anytime you change the input text,
newTodoText gets updated, and anytime you change
newTodoText programatically, the text in the input box gets changed.
Almost done. Go ahead and modify the existing
Nothing new to see here. One thing I should note: see how the modules and objects in the
script tag are CamelCase? See how the template custom elements are kabob-case? Vue manages that translation automatically since HTML is case-insensitive.
4. Take a Look
Here we go, the moment of truth!
Head on over to
localhost:8080 and see your handiwork. You should see the following masterpiece of software design:
Some possibilities for error: if you see
COULD NOT GET /, you should check your terminal. You probably angered the ESLint gods. I had about 7 billion style fails the first time. Fix those and refresh the page. If you see any warning about npm failing, it’s possible you forgot to install the node_modules. Run
npm install and try again.
Once you get it working, pull up your browser’s devtools and type in the input and hit enter. You should see it log as your
createTodo function commands it to. Click the clear button. You should see a second appropriate log. So ends the first whirlwind part of the tutorial. Next time we’ll get the data store (think Flux/Redux – we’ll be using Vue’s version: Vuex) setup.
As a note, this is my first time really using ES6-type syntax for the front-end, my first time using Vue, Webpack, ESLint, and my first time really using npm scripts and node_modules. If you see any ways that I’m Doing It Wrong™, let me know (gently, please 😁).Author: Ryan Palo | Tags: vue django es6 tutorial | Buy me a coffee