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Storybook: UI component explorer for front end developers (storybook.js.org)
197 points by defaulty 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 86 comments

After using Storybook for a couple years at work, I've soured on it. The Canvas / Docs distinction is weird and confusing. There are lots of poorly documented aspects (did you know pressing "S" causes the sidebar to disappear without any sort of visible way to open it again?). The controls are awkward to build complicated components around.

Consider just rolling your own component showcase. You can do it in a day and probably get a much cleaner and more straightforward static site out - all you really need is a sidebar and then display areas hooked up to buttons. That's it. Storybook is just a heavy, complicated, awkward set of abstraction layers over that very simple core experience.

My initial reaction to this was to think, “heresy!” SB has been amazing for developing components in isolation and setting up a design system. Then I thought it over. Yeah, the great thing is implementing a design system and developing components in isolation, not SB. And it’s not hard to set up a bespoke system to develop components in isolation. Setting up custom tooling in SB was possible, but was certainly made a lot harder by the fact that I had to jump through their hoops. And then I think about how many times they’ve changed the format for defining a component story over the years and I start to get annoyed. Yeah, next time around I might just roll my own.

Oh, and that “S” thing. Yeah, I hit that. Grr.

Don't forget when you wanna upgrade Webpack but you can't because Storybook still only works with the old version months in

>developing components in isolation

Nice "isolation" they have when they bundle in whole corejs into component view.

My component was parsing a lot of dates from RFC3339 string via `new Date` and it was mind-blowlingly slow. I opened dev tools and was greeted with javascript re-implemenation of the Date constructor in all glory.

Suffice to say that I had zero intentions to ship that into production bundle. Thanks Storybook, isolated playground indeed.

1000% this. It’s a nightmare and the maintainers have been less than receptive in the past. The fact it’s built on react which apparently means it needs a million react dependencies. Fair enough but when the dependencies break your eg Vue app because of the deeply flawed way NPM resolves dependencies and screws things up in mysterious and frustrating ways, it’s just a non starter.

Writing documentation for the components is a weird mix of JSX, interpolated strings, and markdown. Often overlapping, confusing, and conflicting ways of doing the same thing.

Same here but for other reasons: it just keeps breaking all. the. fucking. time.

Change anything about your webpack config? Good luck. Updating SB itself is also always a complete pain in the ass.

Worst of all, there are conflicts between its internal code and your app code. "isolated" is a lie, your components are webpacked along with theirs so if you use Emotion for styling for instance, suddenly you have a conflict in the style context.

Building a custom solution can be worth it depending on how many features you use.

This was my experience. I ended up using Docsify for my web component library (https://shoelace.style) as it renders markdown on the fly and works well with custom elements.

The idea behind Storybook is great, but it’s gotten slower and heavier over the years and it seems like the project has lost direction. Is it a component sandbox or a documentation website? IMO, it does neither of them well anymore. The UI is hard to customize, the shortcuts are annoying (pressing S while focused in an input toggles the sidebar, for example), and it takes forever to install and launch.

I moved on a few years ago and haven’t missed it.

Thank you! My team was looking for a tool like this and storybook was the only one I knew about. I linked to it in slack as an option and the people delegated to implementing the component library hopped on board. After looking at how complex it was I knew it would be a terrible idea for what we needed: something very basic. I tried to veer them away from it. I even rolled my own component showcase like you were talking about before they put storybook in. No luck, they implemented storybook and after a couple months the people delegated to roll it out lost interest in it.

We still use it, because management doesn’t like the idea of how much time we’ve already sunk into it. Storybook is a nightmare to maintain and train devs on.

If anyone needs to be able to not fall for the sunk cost fallacy, it’s management. That’s rather concerning.

> Consider just rolling your own component showcase. You can do it in a day and probably get a much cleaner and more straightforward static site out - all you really need is a sidebar and then display areas hooked up to buttons.

It gets more complicated when you want to let people play with the component's props/parameters from within the GUI. I hand-rolled one of these once and was able to use a library that scraped prop info from our React PropTypes automatically and put it into a JSON file, but it was fiddly and eventually broke when we started using TypeScript. I don't know if something better exists now (or how Storybook solves this), but it's a hard problem. And it's not just about gathering metadata: you have to dynamically set aside a piece of state for each prop that hooks in accordingly. Sometimes, like with value/onChange, you need to hook two different props together into the same piece of state. Etc.

I suppose you could just hand-code all the controls for each component, but at that point it seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth (especially the ongoing maintenance burden every time one of the base components changes)

How useful is the knob thingy anyway? The devs using this would be looking at the code anyway and all you need is to document your props properly and let hot reload takes care of it

It's the main benefit IMO. It's great for quickly seeing what a component can do, but it's also fantastic for testing the different features. You can click through all the states (and transition between them), mix and match every permutation you can think of to make sure they all work together, etc. I've discovered several bugs this way in the past by selecting an odd combination of flags and finding out they break when used together.

Tbh without the ability to play with props I wouldn't even bother with a storybook-like interface. As you say, they probably have the code (and all its comments) in front of them, so what's the point of pretty documentation at that point?

I’ve found that with semantic prop names + values and good documentation there is no real need for developers to play with the components. E.g. if you have a boolean property called `filled` on a button, and the mock has a filled button, a junior developer can easily figure out how to get the button to look according to the mock without any need to open the story book and play with the knobs.

The only benefits for the knobs I see is to provide a nice interface for the designers to scrutinize the system on an atomic level. However I am not a designer so I don’t know how valuable it is for them to do that through story book over exploring the actual app or a custom showcase. And if the benefits to the designers are only marginal, you have to ask if it is worth it for devs to maintain the storybook interface.

When I used one we didn't have a designer at all, much less neatly-organized mockups.

But even if we had, we might not have discovered things like "oh, if you have the modal set to show a close button in the corner and also give it a really long title and make the window narrow then the button gets awkwardly pushed to the next line". The kind of stuff that mockups often don't cover, but real-world users might encounter some day.

I kind of agree because I had some pain points with storybook on a large legacy project with a lot of quirks. But on a fresh project where you don’t try to do fancy things, it’s perfect.

Actually storybook has become sort of a litmus test: If you need to hack storybook to death to make your fancy thing work, then it means that you will have trouble with other tools anyway (Jest, Cypress, some CI tool or some Browsers), so maybe reconsider it first.

So your mileage will vary. But on fresh modern project my advice would be: go for it (and use Chromatic as well in your CI, it is super cool!). If you have to use fancy stuff that make storybook too complicated then drop it.

It’s easy to drop, but not easy to insert in an existing project. But for me the storybook / chromatic Combo has a 10x ROI on a project in 2021.

The bit that really fucked me over was the fact storybook runs rolls it's own webpack instead of integrating into whatever your project has. Cause of this, my components were rendering differently in prod to storybook.

For frameworks with complex webpacks (e.g. gatsby) it's actually really hard to integrate well, particularly when you don't really want to get that deep into webpack itself.

I agree it’s fairly easy nowadays to maintain a "live" demo of your components with Vue or React.

It’s useful also to keep semi static mockups when you do revisions on a homepage for example (as the html/css guy) so you can preview something with the team.

And nowadays you have simple Markdown + Vue plugins for eg. Vite, so you could even write your styleguide / demo as .md files.

Agreed, I found it heavy weight, if a noble idea.

Isolated components that can be tested under different scenarios is a great idea, but I've found it uncovered almost no bugs and served almost exclusively as a showcase.

Completely agree. I've seen Storybook used at 2 different companies now, and always found it confusing and the docs incomplete. Developers get excited about auto-generating docs but in the end it's nowhere near as good as just setting up a static page of rendered components with hand-written documentation alongside (as another sibling comment suggests).

When I first heard of storybook I was not able to understand what exactly it did. I feel like this is similar with a lot of cool technologies built. At least for beginners or potential users, it's hard to get an idea of what something does if it's not presented clearly. Maybe just for me though.

It is such an over-engineered piece of crap that I regret spending so much time trying to use it. Use a templating language of your choice and some simple npm and Gulp scripts to build html and you'll be so much better off.

Hard agree. The overhead of fixing all the issues with the Storybook versions of components made a lot of people just skip it all together.

This is why I created timvir (https://timvir.vercel.app). It really doesn't take much more than a few custom components that you can compose in MDX files to create documentation pages. The timvir blocks are whatever I needed at that time, a lot of them are still experiments, others I use regularly. Since MDX, Timvir are just React in the end, I can even show, document, test interactive components. It's probably not as convenient as SB at this point though.

Since Timvir is basically just a component library and not a build tool on its own, integrating it is quite easy, and won't break whenever you upgrade Next.js, Webpack etc. That was one my my main motivations: tools that come with their own build system are hard to make, and even harder to make reliable. You are buying convenience in the short term, but getting pain in the long term.

Not to mention that every time you start Storybook, it seems to compile itself. At Aha! we use it for hosting our component library (which are web components written in Stencil, and which don't require webpack to be built), and even then, we spend about 20-30s waiting for webpack to startup and compile everything inside of Storybook.

Add to that that Storybook's TypeScript "support" doesn't actually rely on TSC. Instead, Storybook uses Babel to do the transpilation TS -> JS (meaning that types aren't actually checked; besides you run into weird bugs at times).

Personally, I found that working with clients where everyone, designers included, followed the principles laid out in atomic design[1] (or closely enough), not matter the tools used, and favoured reusing existing components, was much simpler and pleasant.

But it usually only went as far as having the designers follow it in Sketch, Figma or whatever, and the devs separately implementing the components themselves.

What is the (supposed) added value of something like Storybook over this?

[1]: https://bradfrost.com/blog/post/atomic-web-design/

> The Canvas / Docs distinction is weird and confusing.

Yes. While I otherwise like Storybook, the addition of docs along side canvas is not clear what the purpose is. Incremental way to introduce a new default? Very confusing to have both tabs available at same time.

What do you recommend then?

I think what most developers use Storybook for is development in isolation which is essentially what TDD is about.

In fact what we end up doing with Storybook is that we create the "stories" (literally .stories.ts files) that renders each component with a specific permutation of props. However this is pretty much a copy of the .test.ts file we write for the component itself - so many times it's literally doing pretty much the same stuff.

I find it so weird that in 2021 we don't have a way to just render our test files (which essentially is using some server-side dom abstraction) also to a browser so we can view the component and develop against it.

Then we wouldn't need storybook or story files that describe how a component is rendered - that's the test file responsibility.

Have you heard of the storyshots addon? I pretty much ignore its output but I've found it a useful sanity check to see that everything at least renders without errors without any additional effort. I no longer make simple render tests when a story suffices.


Have you looked into Cypress (https://www.cypress.io/)? If I understand you correctly, it may actually do what you are describing here.

The combination of cypress and something like percy (https://percy.io/) has made me completely lose interest in testing components independently. The components that make up a UI are an implementation concern that I don't really care about testing independently.

I can write automated tests to verify that a component in a relevant context still functions, and can have a check at PR time to verify that the UI hasn't changed unexpectedly.

Yes cool but I want to be able to run the test in command line like I currently do with Jest where everything is mocked (even DOM) so it runs super fast (during CI) but then I also just wanna run the test in a browser for my development workflow.

Running all tests in Cypress would result in slow CIs.

My main issue with Storybook is how much trouble it is to get everything else running with it. Need next-image? Routing? i18n on demand?

Tough luck - you'll need to implement it for both the app you're building and Storybook. And sometimes implementing it in the app itself is the _easy_ part. Nevertheless, I feel like it does improve the dev experience and intend to keep using it. You just need to know when to cut your losses and not use it for more complex use-cases.

I tried getting it going with linaria last year and just about lost my marbles. I think it was the deepest webpack rabbit hole I’ve ever gone down.

I love the idea of SB but haven’t come across a project where it actually works with the components.

Getting Strapi/GraphQL working on it for a sample comonent was so difficult, it took us longer than the actual Stapi/GraphQL setup and we gave up.

We've been using Storybook for isolated development of state-heavy components and it's been a nice productivity booster, compared to testing inside the actual app.

As a bonus, the stories that get created live in your codebase and can be integrated into several different types of testing - jest test suites, visual regression testing, and puppeteer / Selenium.

There's certainly an overhead for mocking data properly, but I tend to see that as part of the general challenge of testing frontend / JS code.

Yeah, I like having stories for the different states setup on those types of components too. Our actual app takes seconds to refresh in a development mode and then getting the components back into those states would take extra time, or require extra tooling anyway. Even with HMR some changes will require reloads or component state resets.

For complex data from the API I have actually added tooling very similar to VCR that allows me to record API req/responses from the backend into "cassette" JSON files that can be "loaded" on a per-story basis. Don't use it for everything, but it has worked out very well where it has been used.

What's the name of the "VCR" tool?

Custom code I wrote built on top of fetch-mock.

Is it public?

I use Storybook at work, and while it works ok for the most part, it wouldn't be my first choice to creating a UI component library. Most of what it offers is IMO not that important. And it's quite bloated at this point.

I also think that building a bespoke environment for building components in isolation isn't that hard and is probably worth doing if the company is thinking long term. I'll certainly be doing that in the future.

For a bit more simple alternative I might suggest Fractal - https://fractal.build . While it doesn't have so much knobs and whistles as StorybookJS, it's easier to set up and get running for smaller projects.

Looks very interesting. The docs for it appear to be using VuePress.

So I checked it out and it’s not clear to me how if it all it supports different frameworks. All the examples seem to be for handlebars based components not actual components in the JS framework sense of the word.

Fractal doesn't seem simple in terms of dependencies:


Is there a similar project without, e.g. the React dependencies for projects that might not include React?

For anyone interested in this space and wishes something like this existed for Android, I got you covered! I open sourced this project last year - https://github.com/airbnb/Showkase

It was a godsend, I always wanted something like this. I’ve used it in around 10 projects over a year (2019-2020j and it broke every time, suddenly, from a day to another.

I hope nowadays it’s more stable. Personally I’ve ended up rolling my own and it works as a charm, integrated with unit tests

It's been in very active development for the past couple years or so. Lately it seems like it's been stabilizing and I'm now pretty happy with Storybook.

I agree it's still heavy and when it breaks may god help you. But when it works, it's pretty nice. I am really happy with how clean stories files can be now, for example: https://github.com/city41/smaghetti/blob/main/src/components...

For those looking of component showcase i'd kindly advise to also look at https://bit.dev, https://github.com/teambit/bit . It is a standalone service that hosts your components, providing each of it as a npm package.

You end up developing the components in a separate repo, and in your main app repo you install each component as dedicated npm package. Those who get excited by `separation of concerns` pattern should find this a real joy.

I took a look at that, and it's completely incomprehensible to me why I should use it and what actual benefits I get for adding all this extra tooling and complexity as compared to just having a company monorepo for reusable components.

I’m very big on the monorepo approach and it’s benefits so that will be a pass for me.

I like to be able to modify my component and immediately (one hot reload) be able to modify a site of use of this component one second later. Having 1+min of npm publish and npm install get in the way is not what I want.

But I can understand the utility for some different use cases.

Storybook is breaking our build. It has Reach Router as a dependency. Reach router does not support React 17 - they PR to support it has been open for nearly a year!! So this week, we were required to upgrade to React 17.0.2 and Storybook broke our build because of its dependency of Reach Router. i.e. NOT FUN!!

I feel like storybook is more complicated than it needs to be, but it's still valuable. I've used it with success in the past. It essentially gives you a standardized way to build out a fully implemented design system rather than just the spec for one in something like Figma.

That said, I've really wanted a good alternative for React Native that's similar. Storybook ostensibly works there, but it's more than a little clunky.

For those who are using Storybook: Do you develop your component in storebook first? Then implement on your actual page?

Also are you able to leverage it for automation test? I.e. if you have a photo gallery...have a state where it has 0 photos, 1, 2.. and have some UI automation test (i.e. Selenium) run against it?

If not do you have any recommendations for something like this kind of use case?

Yes we develop on storybook first, it’s a bit like TDD but for UI.

And yes, we use Chromatic (their hosted service) and it’s been hugely beneficial, I would say a 10x ROI. Super useful for visual regression testing, sharing with non technical people in the org, etc...)

My recommendation in this field is Storybook. It’s the best tool for this use case. We also use Cypress for integration tests and heat for unit tests.

Hi - Thanks for your reply! Glad to hear of success amid a sea of negative experiences.

I tried looking up "Heat" but was not able to find a framework/util. Could you send me the link please?

It looks like the testing feature of Chromatic is to take screenshots of the deployed component and visually compare them? So there's literally no code writing if comparing one commit to the next.

Sorry, autocorrect transformed « Jest » to « Heat ». I meant « Jest »

And yes you are right about Chromatic. It informs you directly in GitHub PRs about the number of stories that changed, visually or at the dom level. And has a nice UI to review changes visually in a click.

I've had a lot of success with Storybook as a development aid on a large legacy application where VueJS is slowly taking over.

Will use it for building components of any complexity and size under "screen" leaving just the "last mile" to work out in the legacy app. Have it configured so the API can be hit and/or pre-recorded API calls can be used.

It has made cross-browser testing and fixes(looking at you Safari) quite quick. Leaned on it for large CSS/SCSS refactors and style updates.

Could something like this be written from scratch? Sure, but why? It's a set of conventions already in place and documented. Setting it up was a breeze and creating a "story" can be just about as simple or complicated as you want.

> Could something like this be written from scratch? Sure, but why?

There's lots of reasons: it is simple enough that it can be done in an afternoon. It is a great learning exercise, especially for junior devs. It has hard dependencies on React, Webpack, Babel, Reach Router, PostCSS that can cause you project to break if you're not careful, not to mention the bloat. If you use Vue, Typescript or other bundler you have a lot of redundancy now, and possibly some quirks due to incompatibilities between bundlers. Also there's UI/UX quirks. And it's harder to customise than a plain page.

I'm all for reusing other projects and saving time, but the automatic reflex we have of automatically adding dependencies without considering the downsides becomes very problematic in non-trivial projects.

> There's lots of reasons

Boy howdy. Of course, every NIH project that turns into a huge wasted time sink has a rationalization chock-a-block with reasons.

It depends. YMMV. etc.

The fact you tried to rudely and defensively turn my "consider the downsides" (that you actually asked for!) into "rationalization chock-a-block" tells me it doesn't really "depend" for you.

If you think I'm taking a side by merely pointing out something has downsides: you're projecting. Neither reusing nor building from scratch should be automatic decisions taken without consideration.

I'm on my second team that's tried and failed to implement this (well, I consider the current setup a failure, the leads apparently don't?).

Extra work for no benefit, broken builds, type and lint ignores everywhere, demos always out of date or incomplete.

If your designers are skilled and organized, you don't need this. "But my team doesn't have skilled or organized designers!" ... well then you probably have bigger problems, messing with Storybook is the last thing you want.

I wonder how many folks use Storybook primary as a component library or primarily for its regression testing functionality.

Both ! That’s the cool thing about it.

and for development in isolation

So, so many people in the comments saying "good to design components in isolation".

Why would design your components in isolation? Do they never interact with each other? Appear next to each other on a page? Participate in a layout?

This is my main gripe with Storybook in particular and any design system and design system tool in general: they never consider how components work together and force into a mindset of just documenting separate components complete isolation.

Build* in isolation the same way we chunk up server side code and test that in isolation. These are unit tests for UI.

Storybook gives you the framework to run them. Add something like cypress on top and you have the whole testing loop.

Making and updating the components in isolation reduces how much you need to reason about when building highly composable components.

The higher up you go (ie more composition) the less you can do in isolation.

But this is only building, you should design with as full an understanding of the rest of your components. Behaviours need to match, style needs to be consistent.

You don’t build a whole program at once, in the same way you can’t build a whole UI at once. At some point, you focus in on one area.

This because exponentially helpful when you team grows to a size larger than one.

> Making and updating the components in isolation reduces how much you need to reason about when building highly composable components.

How do you know they are composable if you make and update them in isolation?

Do you never use unit tests or integretion tests ?

When you are building an app bottom up, you will be working on components “in isolation” 100% of the time all the way up. Integration between components is just part of the behavior of a component higher in the hierarchy.

You can make stories of larger components assembling smaller components, entire pages, and even your entire app!

It’s been very valuable for my teams, especially coupled with Chromatic.

> When you are building an app bottom up, you will be working on components “in isolation” 100% of the time all the way up.

What? When you're building an app, you will always have components interacting with each other and being used with each other.

Yes but my point is that “components interacting with each others” is really just the implementation of another component higher up in the hierarchy.

E.g, the interaction between the submit button and the email input box is just the behavior of the whole form component. In react at least, your app is a component, so literally all the logic of your app is in a component in the end. And you can rest this component in storybook. So really there is no limit to what you can test in storybook in that sense.

> Yes but my point is that “components interacting with each others” is really just the implementation of another component higher up in the hierarchy.

It's not "just another component up in the hierarchy". If your components are truly composable, you don't need to create another "component" to be able to use them. But you do need to show how they can be used together.

> And you can rest this component in storybook. So really there is no limit to what you can test in storybook in that sense.

And yet, I keep seeing "components in isolation" and all examples (and all storybooks I've seen) have little to no examples of how these isolated components are used together.

I don’t know what you mean. I have dozens of stories showing components of all layers in the hierarchy. I have single button stories, stories for entire views, stories of entire apps.

And storybook allows to show the code of stories, which is equivalent to a « getting started » or usage example for each of these components in docs. Except that it is guaranteed to be evergreen, since if these examples break, my CI wouldn’t pass.

Labelflow is a public repo I manage with storybooks like that. We use Chromatic with storybook in there. Search for folders named « __stories__ » for stories at all level of the hierarchy. https://github.com/labelflow/labelflow

You're one of the few people who does things right then :)

Layouts are the parents concern, not the child. You test the parent for that.

I have no idea what you mean. Even Storybook's front page shows a video of completely isolated components. And every single example reinforces the idea of isolated components.

As if components existed in a void.

What I mean is, if a component is supposed to have two children side by side with even spacing, make a test _for that parent component_ such that with arbitrary children, they end up side by side with even spacing. If your children have that logic encoded in them, then you have brittle components (the moment you move that component elsewhere, it will be applying styles for a different layout)

I’ve used storybook for 4-5 years (basically since day one) in teams of 1-15 devs and I’d say it’s a must have for any serious react app with 3+ full time developers. It has its rough edges sure but the ROI is 10x nonetheless in my experiences.


- Testing components in isolation forces some good practices and allows to keep the codebase in check by encouraging good practices (limited coupling of unrelated parts of the codebase

- It’s super productive because it is both a form of unit tests, useful during development of UX in « TDD mode », and a very good documentation of your UI components. It greatly reduces the effort needed for both these aspects.

- For DX, the hot reload is generally faster in storybook than in the App (except if you use vite/snowpack in your app, so far..) because reloading a single component is faster than reloading the whole app and its state. In a large CRA our hot reload could sometimes take up 1min in complex cases, while storybook was taking 3s.

- Coupled with Chromatic (their hosted platform) and its GitHub integration it makes QA and visual regression testing a joy, 10x faster than alternatives, I really recommend that.

- It allows to share/iterate easily your ongoing developments with non-tech people in your organisation at early stage. A very good bridge between Figma and the final UI. A good support during Daily meetings about UI, just share the deployed story url to ask for feedback.


- It has its own Webpack config. So if you have a custom Webpack config in your app (don’t do that anyway, unless absolutely necessary) then be prepared to duplicate the customizations in your storybook config

- Global React Contexts needs to be duplicated in your storybook config and, if necessary, configured for individual stories. For example if your signup button changes based on an Auth status stored in a global context, then you will have to use Story.parameters to customize the content of the Auth context.

- We had a couple instances where storybook was the limiting factor for us to embrace some new/fancy tech, like yarn v2 or service worker. However maybe that’s a good litmus test: things that storybook support are state of the art JS and generally safe to use. Things that storybook does not support out of the box will cause you problems with other tools anyway: if it’s not storybook, some other tool like Cypress, Jest, Next, or some browsers will cause you trouble with your “shiny new tech”

- It can be slow to startup. We had a storybook with 300+ complex stories and it took 5min to startup and 10min to build in the CI

- It had some API changes/ migration pains a couple years back. However I think the new API is very good and will last a long time so this is behind.

Overall I definitely advocate to use storybook, especially with Chromatic, the ROI is 10x. If you find yourself limited by it in 2021 despite configuring it, maybe question your own tech stack.

Don’t try to implement your own storybook copycat (we had a colleague develop an alternative https://github.com/remorses/vitro , but i think it was not worth the effort)

If you want to see a state of the art monorepo in NextJS that uses storybook extensively with some customizations, check https://github.com/Labelflow/labelflow/

Storybook is too complex and hard to understand. It adds to the growing frontend complexity.

A component system is very useful though. Wish something simpler was available.

I used to complain about this several month/years back, but it don’t think it’s the case anymore with the new API.

Have you tried it recently ? It’s pretty simple to add decorators and data loaders if you need customization.

It is not zero-cost though of course but I find the ROI to be closer to 10x than to 0.

We had a tricky UI state component recently -- a sharing panel complete with notifications, RBAC, entitlements, loading indicators, and error handlers -- which was a religious moment for us on Storybook. A way to specify the expected states of interest and being able to click through them helps a lot!

as react-native dev, storybook feels like pilling a bunch of cards, you don't want to have to mess around with your base configuration, it's the worst. I've looked into alternatives multiple times, the closest I got is react-cosmos.

There should be adjustable knobs atop a figma design. Just make a component withKnobs that wraps the component on a parent which passes it's knob controlled state to child

I have no idea what this does, their intro video is like a generic marketing mumbo jumbo, skimming the docs doesn't help either.

You are not alone. I guess it's of those things one need to see before giving any judgement. I spent 5 minutes on their website and the best I could gather was that it's not a React only thing. Definitely sounded like it.

In my experience the react crowd is more likely to use other people's components instead of rolling their own, even when it barely makes sense or is counter productive

Storybook seems way overengineered in my experience. Most small teams will be better off building their own simple tool.

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