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Saurabh Dashora
Saurabh Dashora

Posted on • Originally published at progressivewebninja.com

How to create and run your first Svelte Rollup Application?

In this post, we will learn how to run our first Svelte Rollup Application.

To make things easy to understand, we will create a small Svelte app from scratch and write a basic Rollup configuration to build and run the application.

But before that, let's go through some basics about Svelte.

1 – What is Svelte?

Svelte is a new front-end library. It is known for its blazing fast speed. Unlike other UI libraries such as React, Svelte is more of a compiler. While traditional frameworks like React or Vue do much of the work in the browser, Svelte shifts that work into the compile step.

Basically, browsers do not directly execute Svelte code. When we write Svelte code, we need to have a build step that translates that code into standard HTML, CSS & Javascript. This makes it faster while also transferring less code to the browser when the user makes a request.

2 – Setting up a new Svelte Project

To demo our Svelte Rollup application, we will create an extremely simple Svelte application. To achieve it, we have to first setup our project.

First, we will create a new directory to place our application files.

$ mkdir my-first-svelte-app
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Next, we navigate into the directory and then initialize a new npm project.

$ cd my-first-svelte-app
$ npm init -y
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The above commands will generate a package.json file for our application. Now we can install the required packages. As a first step, we install the svelte package.

$ npm install svelte
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After the installation is completed, we are ready to write some code for our demo application.

3 – Creating the Svelte App

By convention, we put all our code into the src directory. You can use any editor of your choice or the terminal to create the same. Inside the src directory, we create two files App.svelte and main.js.

The App.svelte file will contain the actual component code as below:

App.svelte

<script>
    export let name;
</script>

<p>Hello {name}</p>
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A very simple component indeed! We only have a paragraph that displays a hello message. The name within curly braces is a prop for the App component.

Next, we configure the main.js file as below:

main.js

import App from './App.svelte';

const app = new App({
    target: document.body,
    props: {
        name: 'Web Ninja'
    },
});

export default app;
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Here, we create a new instance of the App component. We also specify that we want to load the component in the document body. Lastly, we supply the name as part of the props object.

With this our Svelte application is ready. Time to delve into how to actually run the application.

4 – Installing Svelte Rollup Packages

As discussed earlier, we will be using Rollup to build and run our application.

But what exactly is Rollup?

Rollup is basically a module bundler for Javascript applications. It takes our application code and bundles it into files that browsers can easily parse. In other words, Rollup converts our .svelte files into browser-understandable HTML, CSS and Javascript.

To get started with Rollup, we first need to install the required package.

$ npm install -D rollup
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Please note that this is a development dependency.

Next, we also need to install two more Rollup development dependencies. See below:

$ npm install -D @rollup/plugin-node-resolve rollup-plugin-svelte
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The @rollup/plugin-node-resolve package helps Rollup resolve any third party plugins. The second dependency rollup-plugin-svelte is a third party plugin that helps Rollup understand how to handle Svelte applications.

As with rollup, both of these dependencies are also development only.

5 – Rollup Configuration File

Rollup also requires a configuration file to understand what it needs to do with our source code.

We will start by creating a very simple Rollup configuration file. It will simply bundle our Svelte application file into the public/build folder.

See below:

rollup.config.js

import svelte from "rollup-plugin-svelte";
import resolve from '@rollup/plugin-node-resolve';

export default {
    input: 'src/main.js',
    output: {
        file: 'public/build/bundle.js',
        format: 'iife',
        name: 'app',
    },
    plugins: [
        svelte({
            include: 'src/**/*.svelte',
        }),
        resolve({ browser: true }),
    ],
}
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Let us understand what we are doing here.

  • In line 1 & 2, we have the necessary imports.
  • In line 5, we specify the path to the input file. This is the main.js file of our application where instantiate our component.
  • In line 6, we specify the output. Basically, this is the destination of our built artifacts. We also specify the format as iife (immediately invoked function express). Along with this, we specify the name of the variable to which we assign the iife output value. In this case, we name the variable as app.
  • Lastly, from line 11 onwards, we specify the other configuration items. Basically, we tell Rollup the path to our .svelte files. Also, we indicate that we are building our application to work on a browser.

6 – Adding Rollup to NPM Script

The next step is to add Rollup to our NPM scripts so that we can build and run our application.

To run Rollup, we add a new script to our package.json file.

package.json

"scripts": {
    "dev": "rollup -c -w",
}
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The -c flag specifies that we want Rollup to use a configuration file. By default, it checks for a file named rollup.config.js. We already created the file in the previous section.

The -w flag instructs Rollup to watch our files for changes. In case we make changes to our source code, Rollup will automatically rebuilds the artifacts.

We can now run npm run dev to build our Svelte application. The built files will be placed inside /public/build folder.

7 – Serving the Content

Though we have successfully compiled our application, we still need a way to serve it. Therefore, we create an index.html file in the public folder.

index.html

<html>
    <head>
        <meta charset="UTF-8" />
        <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge" />
        <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />
        <title>My First Svelte App</title>
        <script defer src="build/bundle.js"></script>
    </head>
    <body></body>
</html>
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Important thing to note is the script tag where we specify the location to our newly built bundle.js file.

To serve the application, we will install a simple web server available with the sirv-cli package.

$ npm install -D sirv-cli
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Finally, we add a script to run the application.

package.json

"scripts": {
    "dev": "rollup -c -w",
    "start": "sirv public"
},
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We can now start our application by running the command npm run start. The application will be accessible on http://localhost:5000. You should see the hello message in the browser window.

Conclusion

With this, we have successfully learnt how to create and run a Svelte Rollup application. We created a new Svelte app from scratch and also wrote a basic Rollup configuration.

The code for this post is available on Github .

In the next post, we will look at how to configure Svelte Rollup Hot-Reload feature so that we can improve the development experience.

If you have any comments or queries, please feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

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