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Create a PatternFly Element


Before you begin, make sure you've followed the Prerequisites in Setup.

The PatternFly Element Generator

Use the PatternFly Element generator to start the scaffolding process. From the root directory of the PatternFly Elements repository, run the following command.

npm run new

The generator will ask you a series of questions to set up your project.

  1. Your element name:

    • Your element's name should be lowercase and needs to contain at least one hyphen. For rules on naming custom elements, refer to the W3C Custom Elements Working Draft.
    • PatternFly Elements prefixes elements with pfe-. However, prefix your elements with whatever fits your project.
    • As an example, we'll create pfe-cool-element.
  2. The NPM scope for the package. For example, patternfly elements packages like @patternfly/pfe-core are published under the patternfly scope.

  3. A number of questions about the npm package, including the author's name and email, etc.

After answering the questions, your new component will be created and bootstrapped in the repository.

Once that's done, switch directories to the element you just created. We'll cd into the pfe-cool-element directory.

cd elements/pfe-cool-element

Open your code editor to view the structure of the element. The element's source files are located directly in it's package root, in our case: - pfe-cool-element.ts - The element class declaration - pfe-cool-element.scss - The element's SASS style module

These two files are the most important as they contain the actual element definition. In addition, there are a number of config files. Do not edit these files unless you know what you're doing. - custom-elements-manifest.config.js - Configuration for the custom-elements-manifest analyzer. - custom-elements.json - A manifest of your package's JS exports and custom elements. - package.json - NPM package configuration and scripts - tsconfig.json - TypeScript configuration for your monorepo.

For now, your custom-elements.json file is empty. If you'd like to generate content for it, run the analyze script in your element's workspace:

npm run analyze -w @patternfly/pfe-cool-element

This happens automatically when you build or publish your elements, so don't worry about forgetting to run it.

The demo directory contains an HTML partial that you can edit to provide an interactive demo of your element.

The test directory contains unit test files for your elemen.

You'll also notice that the generator editted the root tsconfig.json, adding a path to our new element. This is important so that TypeScript knows where each of our packages in the monorepo are.

Using Other PatternFly Elements in your Package

If you want to compose existing PFE elements into your new package, make sure to reference them in your package's tsconfig.json. For example, a package that makes use internally of <pfe-icon> should have a references section in the tsconfig that looks like this:

"references": [
{ "path": "../../core/pfe-core" },
{ "path": "../../tools/pfe-tools" },
{ "path": "../pfe-icon" }

Although this extra step is cumbersome, it lets TypeScript build and check the entire project much faster.

Read more about project references on the TypeScript docs.

Next up: Structure