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Custom SPFx generator: Make Yarn your default package manager

The most straightforward example to make you familiar with how to create a custom SPFx Yeoman generator is to use Yarn instead of NPM as your default package manager. The approach to change the default package manager is simple, and many people already use it as there default package managing solution.

So, instead of adding the ‘–skip-install’ option whenever you start a new project just add this option to a generator.

The first step is, as always, to create a new NPM package.

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Major CSS Class changes in Communication Site and Workbench

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at SharePoint Saturday Helsinki organised by Jussi Roine and Jussi Mori. With more than 170 attendees and 20 speakers, it was the best place to be in Helsinki on this Saturday.

While I was checking my demos for my session, I recognised a problem that currently exists on the Online Workbench for SPFx. The demo based on my blog post on how to make your web parts responsive to the parent container. In this blog post, I make use of the Office UI Fabric grid system class names and colour the content of the web part differently according to the parent container. A method beneficial to support the responsive flow of web parts and to improve the user experience.

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Handling CSS naming conventions in SPFX

The new SharePoint Framework has a smart way to avoid conflicting CSS definitions. Therefore all style sheet classes will be post-fixed with a unique random string and converted to a JSON object. In your web part code, you can use the same class name as you used in your style sheets and the variable will be automatically replaced with the random class name string. So far the good parts of the SharePoint Framework.

In practice, this has some limitations and challenges.

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Alternative to innerHTML in SharePoint Framework web parts

When you create a new project without any framework, the default web part content in the code will be added through innerHTML.
Technically there is nothing wrong with this approach, but you might run into a problem when you add more content to the web part afterward using the same method. In this case, the previously added content will be overwritten.


To avoid this behavior, you can use jQuery and the ‘append‘ or ‘prepend‘ methods to add your content. It works well but requires an external library.
Instead of using jQuery, there is a native method in the document object model of HTML available.

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How to run SharePoint Framework Pattern and Practices Samples through Docker

I planned to write a blog post how to run the SharePoint Framework Workbench in a Docker container on Azure. After I found out this is currently not possible I switched the scope of my trial. Instead, I tried to create Docker container dynamically for projects based on SPFx.


There are two key takeaways explained in this post. You will learn how to build your Docker file specific for your upcoming projects, and you get to know how you can demo and try out all SPFx Pattern and Practices samples regardless the version currently needed by those projects.

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