Set up ESLint and Prettier for React Native projects - Three29

Set up ESLint and Prettier for React Native projects

Vasile Stefirta

Full Stack Developer

Posted in app

When writing clean and well-formatted JavaScript code, you can save quite some time if you’ll make use of tools like ESLint and Prettier.

What is ESLint?

ESLint is a linting tool for JavaScript that allows developers to find problematic patterns or code that doesn’t adhere to certain style guidelines.

Examples:

1. You declared a variable, but you never used it (leads to dead code);

2. You’re trying to use a variable that wasn’t previously declared (leads to code execution errors).

What is Prettier?

Prettier is a tool that will format the code for you based on some defined rules. Being able to simply save your file and then have the code being auto-formatted for you, it’s simply amazing. This will also ensure that the code will be formatted in a consistent manner when two or more developers collaborate together.

Enough with the theory, let’s get to real work, right?!

When you write React Native apps you basically write JavaScript, which means we can easily make use of ESLint’s and Prettier’s awesomeness here as well. In fact, when you bootstrap a brand new React Native app using the React Native CLI, the final base project will come with ESLint and Prettier configs built-in, but we’ll delete those and start from scratch.

Install and setup ESLint

Here are the steps to get started with ESLint in your React Native project.

1. Start a new React Native app using React Native CLI:

# follow the steps from the link above to setup your development environment
cd <your_dev_projects_folder>
npx react-native init ReactNativeEslintPrettier
cd ReactNativeEslintPrettier

2. React Native 0.64 (at the moment of this writing) comes with a predefined eslint config, but we’ll remove that package because we’ll create our own config.

npm uninstall @react-native-community/eslint-config

3. React Native 0.64 (at the moment of this writing) doesn’t come with the latest eslint version, so we’ll simply uninstall it and then install it again to pull the latest version.

npm uninstall eslint

# install the latest eslint package version
npm install eslint --save-dev

4. Set up a configuration file for eslint. This command will ask you a few questions via CLI. Here’s a list of them, and the answers we’ll need to choose ( and symbols indicate the selected answers):

npx eslint --init
# question 1:
? How would you like to use ESLint? …
  To check syntax only
  To check syntax and find problems
❯ To check syntax, find problems, and enforce code style

# question 2:
? What type of modules does your project use? …
❯ JavaScript modules (import/export)
  CommonJS (require/exports)
  None of these

# question 3:
? Which framework does your project use? …
❯ React
  Vue.js
  None of these

# question 4 (select "No", because we won't add TypeScript support for this project):
? Does your project use TypeScript? › No / Yes

# question 5:
? Where does your code run? …
  Browser
✔ Node

# question 6:
? How would you like to define a style for your project? …
❯ Use a popular style guide
  Answer questions about your style
  Inspect your JavaScript file(s)

# question 7 (we'll rely on Airbnb's JavaScript style guide here):
? Which style guide do you want to follow? …
❯ Airbnb: https://github.com/airbnb/javascript
  Standard: https://github.com/standard/standard
  Google: https://github.com/google/eslint-config-google

# question 8:
? What format do you want your config file to be in? …
  JavaScript
  YAML
❯ JSON

# the final prompt here is where eslint will ask you if you want to install all the necessary dependencies. Select "Yes" and hit enter:
Checking peerDependencies of eslint-config-airbnb@latest
The config that you have selected requires the following dependencies:

eslint-plugin-react@^7.21.5 eslint-config-airbnb@latest eslint@^5.16.0 || ^6.8.0 || ^7.2.0 eslint-plugin-import@^2.22.1 eslint-plugin-jsx-a11y@^6.4.1 eslint-plugin-react-hooks@^4 || ^3 || ^2.3.0 || ^1.7.0

? Would you like to install them now with npm? › No / Yes

As a result, you’ll end up having a .eslintrc.json file in the root of your project, which looks like so (we’ll modify it a little bit later on):

{
    "env": {
        "browser": true,
        "es2021": true
    },
    "extends": [
        "plugin:react/recommended",
        "airbnb"
    ],
    "parserOptions": {
        "ecmaFeatures": {
            "jsx": true
        },
        "ecmaVersion": 12,
        "sourceType": "module"
    },
    "plugins": [
        "react"
    ],
    "rules": {
    }
}

NOTE: React Native comes (at the moment of this writing) with a .eslintrc.js config, and if that’s still the case for you, then simply remove it, since we’ll use the JSON format of that config.

5. React Hooks are very popular at this point and most likely every new React Native project will make use of them, so let’s add the recommended ESLint rules for hooks. For that, update the extends section of your .eslintrc.json file like so:

{
    //...
    "extends": [
        "plugin:react/recommended",
        "airbnb",
        "airbnb/hooks"
    ],
    //...
}

6. Add support for React Native specific ESLint rules:

npm install --save-dev eslint-plugin-react-native

7. After installing this package, update the plugins section of your .eslintrc.json file like so:

{
    //...
    "plugins": [
        "react",
        "react-native"
    ],
    //...
}

as well as the env section like so:

{
    "env": {
       "browser": true,
       "es2021": true,
       "react-native/react-native": true
   },
}

8. Create a .eslintignore file in the root on your project to tell ESLint to ignore specific files and directories, and then add the following contents:

node_modules/

In our case, we simply want to ignore the node_modules folder from being linted.

9. Last step here, is to configure your code editor to lint the code for you. If you’re a VS Code user, simply install the ESLint VS Code extension. The only ESLint configuration you need to add to your VS Code settings is the following:

{
    "editor.codeActionsOnSave": {
        "source.fixAll.eslint": true
    }
}

NOTE: You may want to add these VS Code settings as Workspace settings instead of User settings, meaning that they will only apply to this specific project and not to any project you’ll open in VS Code. Read more on the VS Code Documentation page.

Install and setup Prettier

1. Add the prettier package as a dev dependency to your project. We’ll also install and use the Prettier VS Code extension later on, which already comes with the prettier package bundled in, but in general, it’s a good practice to add the npm package to your project directly as well, just in case some people won’t use VS Code as their code editor of choice.

npm install --save-dev --save-exact prettier

2. We’ll use Prettier for code formatting concerns, and ESLint for code-quality concerns, so we need to turns off all ESLint rules that are unnecessary or might conflict with Prettier.

npm install --save-dev eslint-config-prettier

Once the package has been installed, we need to update the extends section of our .eslintrc.json file like so:

{
    //...
    "extends": [
        "plugin:react/recommended",
        "airbnb",
        "airbnb/hooks",
        "prettier",
        "prettier/react"
    ],
    //...
}

3. Create a .prettierrc.json configuration file in the root of your project with the following options:

{
    "arrowParens": "always",
    "bracketSpacing": true,
    "jsxBracketSameLine": false,
    "jsxSingleQuote": false,
    "quoteProps": "as-needed",
    "singleQuote": true,
    "semi": true,
    "printWidth": 100,
    "useTabs": false,
    "tabWidth": 2,
    "trailingComma": "es5"
}

For more Prettier configuration options and an explanation of what each option does, see Prettier Documentation.

NOTE: React Native comes (at the moment of this writing) with a .prettierrc.js config, and if that’s still the case for you, then simply remove it, since we’ll use the JSON format of that config.

4. Last step here, is to configure your code editor to format your code using Prettier. If you’re a VS Code user, simply install the Prettier VS Code extension. After the extension has been installed, add the following settings to your VS Code JSON config:

{
    "editor.defaultFormatter": "esbenp.prettier-vscode",
    "editor.formatOnSave": true
}

Final Step

If you’re planning to have your React Native components written in .js files (which how this sample React Native project does), then you’ll need to update the react/jsx-filename-extension ESLint rule for React to allow JSX in .js files:

{
    //...
    "rules": {
        // allow .js files to contain JSX code
        "react/jsx-filename-extension": [1, { "extensions": [".js", ".jsx"] }]
    }
}

The final version of your .eslintrc.json file should look like this.

You can enable/disable/modify any ESLint rules within the rules section of your .eslintrc.json file. You can find a full list of ESLint rules here.

Quick Demo:

Photo by Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash.