Some defaults for webpack configs at canopy

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Some defaults for webpack configs at Canopy.


  • Ensure webpack externals for common dependencies are correct. This ensures smaller bundle sizes.
  • Provide some defaults for people implementing sofe services.
  • Still be 100% overrideable.

Things we don't want

  • Hiding webpack configs at a level comparable to create-react-app or angular-cli. Nothing will need to be "ejected," you can always override anything you want.
  • Discouraging people from experimenting with their webpack config.
  • Discouraging people from knowing webpack.
  • Being overly opininated about how you do things like css (or other "autonomy" areas of building a sofe service).


First, install the library as a devDependency.
yarn add --dev canopy-webpack-config @babel/runtime @babel/plugin-transform-runtime

Now create a webpack.config.js file. This file will use canopy-webpack-config and allow you to override anything you want to about the defaults. Inside of the file, call the canopyWebpackConfig() function to get some defaults and add/override to your webpack config. See example below:
// webpack.config.js

const canopyWebpackConfig = require('canopy-webpack-config');

module.exports = canopyWebpackConfig('login-ui', {
  // Override or add anything you want to your webpack config
  module: {
    rules: [
      // e.g. apply a css loader if using css-modules
      { loader: 'css-loader' },

Finally, create the following scripts in your package.json:
  "scripts": {
    "build": "webpack --config webpack.config.js --env.analyze=static",
    "analyze": "webpack --config webpack.config.js --env.analyze=server",
    "start": "webpack-dev-server --port"

You'll need to add SSL certificates to ~/.canopy-ssl/, or define your own by changing the start script above to webpack-dev-server --cert {location} --key {location} --port
Now add yarn build to your .gitlab-ci.yml file for the build step. You can run yarn analyze at any time to see your bundle size and breakdown. And yarn start will start up a web server that is ready to go as a sofe override.


  • canopyWebpackConfig(name, config): The default export of the canopy-webpack-config npm library. This function requires both of its arguments.
The first argument is a string name for the library you are exporting. The second is a webpack config that will be merged with the defaults that canopy-webpack-config provides. The library will put the bundled files into the "build" directory. Note that this project assumes that you use babel-loader, but it does not install babel-loader. So you'll have to install it yourself, at whatever version you prefer.
  • --env.analyze=server|static|disabled: An option you can specify when invoking the webpack cli. For example: webpack --config webpack.config.js --env.analyze. This will open
a bundle analyzer that lets you see the byte size of all your code splits and bundles. And the breakdown of what libraries and files are big and causing the byte size to be large. See webpack-bundle-analyzer for more details.
  • An option you can specify when invoking the webpack cli. For example: webpack --config webpack.config.js This will force the webpack
build to be done in development mode. Note that this is unnecessary for webpack-dev-server, which already forces the config to be in development mode without you needing to do anything.


To see your full webpack config, simply add a --env.debug to your webpack cli command.

Features and assumptions

canopy-webpack-config assumes a few things about your project and provides defaults for those things:
  • It automatically uses babel-loader to compile js files.
  • It compiles your library to AMD format
  • It compiles your code into the build directory relative to where you started the webpack process.
  • It excludes all common dependencies from the build.
  • Requires webpack-dev-server >= 3.4.0


the webpack config for canopy-webpack-config will always create the output bundle in the directory that the webpack process was started in. This is different than how webpack configs normally work -- they usually create the output bundle in relation to the directory in which the webpack config file is placed.