Create a new file: webpack.config.js. Here's how Webpack works: we create a config file that tells it which file to load, where to save the final file, and a few other things. Then... it does the rest!

But... Webpack's configuration is complex. A fully-featured setup will probably be a few hundred lines of complicate config! Heck, our Webpack tutorial was over 3 hours long! Very simply: Encore is a tool that helps generate that complex config.

Setting up webpack.config.js

Click on the documentation to find the "First Example". Hey! A webpack.config.js file to get us started! Copy that! Then, paste it in our file. But, I'm going to simplify and delete a few things: we'll add this stuff back later. Just keep setOutputPath(), setPublicPath() and addEntry():

15 lines webpack.config.js
var Encore = require('@symfony/webpack-encore');
Encore
// the project directory where all compiled assets will be stored
.setOutputPath('public/build/')
// the public path used by the web server to access the previous directory
.setPublicPath('/build')
.addEntry('rep_log', './public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js')
;
// export the final configuration
module.exports = Encore.getWebpackConfig();

And hey, check out that first line! Since this file will be executed by Node, we can require stuff! This imports the Encore object:

15 lines webpack.config.js
var Encore = require('@symfony/webpack-encore');
... lines 2 - 15

Then, at the bottom, we ask Encore to give us the final config, and we export it:

15 lines webpack.config.js
... lines 1 - 12
// export the final configuration
module.exports = Encore.getWebpackConfig();

There are only three things we need to tell Webpack: the directory where we want to save the final files - public/build - the public path to that directory - so /build since public/ is the document root - and an "entry":

15 lines webpack.config.js
... lines 1 - 2
Encore
// the project directory where all compiled assets will be stored
.setOutputPath('public/build/')
// the public path used by the web server to access the previous directory
.setPublicPath('/build')
.addEntry('rep_log', './public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js')
;
... lines 12 - 15

Point this to our JavaScript file: ./public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js. Change the first argument to rep_log:

15 lines webpack.config.js
... lines 1 - 2
Encore
... lines 4 - 9
.addEntry('rep_log', './public/assets/js/RepLogApp.js')
;
... lines 12 - 15

This tells Webpack to work its magic on RepLogApp.js. The first argument will be the name of the final file, .js - so rep_log.js.

Running Encore

And... that's it! Find your terminal. Encore has its own executable. To use it, run:

./node_modules/.bin/encore dev

The "dev" part tells Encore to create a "development" build. And... cool! Two files written to public/build. Let's check them out! Alright! There's rep_log.js. We'll talk about manifest.json later.

Cool! Let's point our script tag at the new file. Open templates/lift/index.html.twig. This is the template that runs our main page. At the bottom, change the path to build/rep_log.js:

67 lines templates/lift/index.html.twig
{% extends 'base.html.twig' %}
... lines 2 - 53
{% block javascripts %}
... lines 55 - 57
<script src="{{ asset('build/rep_log.js') }}"></script>
... lines 59 - 65
{% endblock %}

If you're not a Symfony user, don't worry, the asset() function isn't doing anything special. Ok, let's try it! Find your browser and, refresh! Woo! It works! People, this is amazing! We can finally organize JavaScript into multiple files and not worry about "forgetting" to add all the script tags we need. The require function is a game-changer!

If you look at the compiled rep_log.js file, you can see a bunch of Webpack code at the top, which helps things work internally - and... below, our code! It's not minimized because this is a development build. We'll talk about production builds later.

Making PhpStorm Happy

If you're using PhpStorm like me, there are a few things we can do to make our life much more awesome. Open Preferences and search for ECMAScript. Under "Languages & Frameworks" -> "JavaScript", make sure that ECMAScript 6 is selected.

Then, search for "Node" and find the "Node.js and NPM" section. Click to "Enable" the Node.js Core library.

And finally, if you're using Symfony, search for Symfony. If you don't see a Symfony section, you should totally download the Symfony plugin - we have some details about this in a different screencast. Make sure it's enabled, and - most importantly - change the web directory to public. This will give auto-completion on the asset function.

Watching for Changes

Back to Encore! There's one big bummer when introducing a "build" system for JavaScript like we just did: each time you change a file, you will need to re-run Encore! Lame! That's why Encore has a fancy "watch" option. Run:

./node_modules/.bin/encore dev --watch

This will build, but now it's watching for changes! Let's just add a space here and save. Yes! Encore already re-built the files. Stop this whenever you want with Ctrl+C.

Oh, and since this command is long, there's a shortcut:

yarn run encore dev

or, better... use the --watch flag:

yarn run encore dev --watch

Build Notifications!

Great! But... sometimes... we're going to make mistakes. Yes, I know, it's hard to imagine. Let's make a syntax error. Back at the terminal, woh! The build failed! But if you weren't watching the terminal closely, you might not realize this happened!

No problem! Let's enable a build notification system! In webpack.config.js, just add enableBuildNotifications():

17 lines webpack.config.js
... lines 1 - 2
Encore
... lines 4 - 11
.enableBuildNotifications()
;
... lines 14 - 17

The "watch" functionality has one weakness: whenever you update webpack.config.js, you'll need to restart Encore before it sees those changes. So... stop it and run Encore again:

yarn run encore dev --watch

Bah, error! Scroll up! Check this out, it says:

Install webpack-notifier to use enableBuildNotifications()

And then it tells us to run a command. Cool! Encore has a ton of features... but to stay light, it doesn't ship with the all of the dependencies for these optional features. But, it's no problem: if you need to install something, Encore will tell you. Copy that command and run:

yarn add webpack-notifier --dev

Run encore again:

yarn run encore dev --watch

It works! And cool! A desktop notification. Now, make a mistake! Yes! An obvious build error. Fix it and... build successful!

Ok, we've got a pretty sweet system already. But Webpack is going to let us do so much more.

Leave a comment!

  • 2018-06-05 Victor Bocharsky

    Hey Xi,

    Yeah, "Git Bash" is very cool - it has most unix commands out of the box! I used to like it a lot when using Windows :)

    Cheers!

  • 2018-06-04 Xi Wang

    IMHO I would just use 'Git Bash' instead of 'Command Prompt' - it saves you from headaches of inconsistency issues and feels very close of using a native bash. (for those of us stuck with windows ;))

  • 2018-05-17 Diego Aguiar

    Yes, finally!
    It must to be something about paths, but I'm not 100% sure. Anyways I'm glad that you could fix your problem :)

    Cheers!

  • 2018-05-17 Andrea

    Don't ask me why but running
    > yarn run encore dev
    It works!

  • 2018-05-17 Andrea

    Thanks for the advice but... nothing, same error. :(

  • 2018-05-16 Diego Aguiar

    Ok, I have one last idea. Try using back slashes ".\node_modules\.bin\encore dev"
    If that doesn't work either, I'll ping Ryan to give it a check (it may take some time)

  • 2018-05-16 Andrea

    Unfortunally i tried both with same result.
    The last one is yarn.

  • 2018-05-16 Diego Aguiar

    Hmm, maybe if you try running it through "npm" or "yarn"?

  • 2018-05-16 Andrea

    Yes, but i'm on windows system, so without "node" it doesn't works at all.

  • 2018-05-16 Diego Aguiar

    Hey Andrea

    Have you tried running it without the word "node"? i.e `./node_modules/.bin/encore dev`

    Cheers!

  • 2018-05-16 Andrea

    Hi, when i run "node ./node_modules/.bin/encore dev" i've got this error:

    C:\..........\node_modules\.bin\encore:2
    basedir=$(dirname "$(echo "$0" | sed -e 's,\\,/,g')")
    ^^^^^^^

    SyntaxError: missing ) after argument list
    at createScript (vm.js:80:10)
    at Object.runInThisContext (vm.js:139:10)
    at Module._compile (module.js:616:28)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (module.js:663:10)
    at Module.load (module.js:565:32)
    at tryModuleLoad (module.js:505:12)
    at Function.Module._load (module.js:497:3)
    at Function.Module.runMain (module.js:693:10)
    at startup (bootstrap_node.js:188:16)
    at bootstrap_node.js:609:3

    Can you help me?

  • 2018-04-06 weaverryan

    Hey Shaun!

    Victor is right... though it’s a bit mysterious, because Encore should kick your Webpack at v3. Could you post your package.json and webpack.config.js file?

    Cheers!

  • 2018-04-06 Victor Bocharsky

    Hey Shaun,

    What Webpack version installed do you have? It may be related to the new Webpack 4, probably downgrade it to v3 wil lfix this issue. If not, can you give us a bit more context about what file threw this error, it would be good to see stack traces below the error

    Cheers!

  • 2018-04-05 Shaun

    When I try to run ./node_modules/.bin/encore dev I get the following error:

    Error: Chunk.entrypoints: Use Chunks.groupsIterable and filter by instanceof Entrypoint instead

  • 2018-03-02 Victor Bocharsky

    Hey Vince,

    Thanks for sharing it with others! That's probably because Windows has permissions problem. I think you can try to add "node" in front of "./node_modules/.bin/encore", i.e.:

    node ./node_modules/.bin/encore dev

    In order to execute this file though Node. This way it should work. But I'd recommend to use "yarn run encore dev" which is a nice shortcut.

    Cheers!

  • 2018-03-02 Vince Liem

    "./node_modules/.bin/encore dev" command line doesn't work in windows.
    neither does "node_modules/bin/encore dev".

    You can run "yarn run encore dev" instead