Chapter 12. Building a Web Client with React

The original idea behind hypertext was to take related documents and link them together: if academic paper A references academic paper B let’s make it easy to click something and navigate between them. In 1989, a software engineer at CERN named Tim Berners-Lee had the idea to combine hypertext with networked computers, making it easy for someone to make these connections regardless of the location of the documents. Every cat photo, news article, tweet, streaming video, job search site, and restaurant review is indebted to the simple idea of globally linking documents.

At its heart, the web remains a medium for linking documents together. Each page is HTML, rendered in a web browser, with CSS for styling and JavaScript for enhancements. Today, we use these technologies to build everything from personal blogs and small brochure sites to complex interactive applications. The underlying advantage is that the web provides universal access. All anyone needs is a web browser on a web-connected device, creating an inclusive-by-default environment.

What We’re Building

In the upcoming chapters we’ll build the web client for our social note application, Notedly. Users will be able to create and sign in to an account, write notes in Markdown, edit their notes, view a feed of other users’ notes, and “favorite” other users’ notes. To accomplish all of this, we’ll be interacting with our GraphQL server API.

In our web application:

  • Users will be ...

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