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Ask anything to Expo Team

Expo is a free and open source toolchain built around React Native to help you build native iOS and Android projects using JavaScript and React. Ask anything to the team.

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  • React native
  • Building apps using Expo
  • Current state of hybrid apps

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Are you planning some kind of "plugin" feature where 3rd party (developers / companies) can bring their "native modules" to Expo?

There's a lot of discussion around this here: https://expo.canny.io/feature-requests/p/native-plugins

It's not clear to me what this would look like in practice. We have been considering making it possible to inject plugins in the build step (exp build:ios/android), but not the Expo client.

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Hi awesome Expo team!

I love what you guys have achieved so far! Congratulations! 🎉

What are the few limitations/restrictions of building React Native apps using Expo in 2018?

Hi!

We wrote up a page in our docs address this: https://docs.expo.io/versions/latest/introduction/why-not-expo.html

Here are the high level bullet points:

  • Expo apps don’t support background code execution
  • not all iOS and Android APIs are available in Expo (in particular, payments and bluetooth and real time video streaming are still in the works)
  • If you need to keep your app size extremely lean, Expo may not be the best choice
  • If you know that you want to use a particular push notification service

There are also reasons why you may not want to use React Native. For example, if you are doing some kind of real time fluid simulation, or having the fastest possible cold boot time is critically important.

We have plans to address all of the things listed above but it will take us a little bit of time.

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What was the inspiration behind Expo's new design? 😁

Jim Lee, who is the person behind the new design -- along with design help from Bakken & Baeck and illustrations from Timo Kuilder, had this to say:

Hey great question!

Out of the many goals for our design, two stand out.

Expo has got to be a place where professionals feel like they can publish their projects and attract people who would have never crossed paths with their projects before. We think it is really cool when any creator is able to see engagement from people outside of their network, and we definitely want way more of this.

Second, Expo wouldn't be a great platform if people couldn't come to learn and get started with our tools. So we worked to made it easy to search our documentation, learn how to get started, and soon we'll make it even easier to see example code.

Over time our design will evolve with our users, and I think today we are really well positioned for that!

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I would like to tease out one of Kashish's (many) questions because I think it deserves to be addressed on it's own.

> Right now anything I build in Expo has a file size of about 26 MB. I read on your website that "this is because Expo includes a bunch of APIs regardless of whether or not you are using them". Is this something which can be solved someday?

Hi Chris!

Yes, this can absolutely be solved. We've been working on infrastructure and refactoring necessary to support "optional modules" -- this would allow you to selectively opt in and out of APIs to include in your standalone app. We'd also let you select which versions of the Expo SDK to include -- usually this would just be the one version that you're using. More info on versions in this reply: https://hashnode.com/ama/with-expo-team-cjdqxyifm04hwt3wt80z47mf7#cjdulxcq00579z0wufh2exvby

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Thanks for your amazing work, Expo Team!

I would like to ask about development workflow of the service for example:

• How are features picked?

• How do you discuss problems as a team?

• What other services do you use?

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Our way of planning stuff to do is probably close to what you would guess.

We spend some time after each SDK release planning what we want to go into the next one.

We use a variety of inputs into this, including votes from the feature request board at https://expo.canny.io/feature-requests and also just stuff we want ourselves or that is new. And from doing proactive interviews with users of Expo. We especially try to listen to people who are doing really cool stuff with Expo or building really big apps with it. Jason and I and sometimes other people have also been spending time talking to people who don't use Expo to find out what they would need to make Expo make sense for them.

From there, Ben who is the team's PM and Jesse who is the team's engineering manager lead a process to take all this stuff we want to do, assess how hard or complicated it all is, and then synthesize a coherent vision for the next SDK that we then work towards.

Sometimes random things happen also, like Nikki going on vacation to India and coming back having built EXGL on a lark.

If you want to get stuff onto the Expo roadmap, post or vote on here https://expo.canny.io/feature-requests or if you have a longer rationale for something that doesn't fit there, post in the forums at https://forums.expo.io/

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