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This implements an archive for OpenStax documents, holding published "books" and "pages". It implements a public read-only API. See cnx-publishing for the companion write API.

Merge pull request #327 from Connexions/sql-positional

Use dbapi positional arguments for the tree query.
latest commit b4a9bc3cba
@reedstrm reedstrm authored


Connexions Archive Repository

This is an archive for Connexions documents. It holds published documents and collections of documents. It is accessible to the public via a read-only API. It has an optional write API for publishing content from an unpublished repository.

Getting started

This installation procedure attempts to cover two platforms, the Mac and Debian based systems. If you are using a platform other these, attempt to muddle through the instructions, then feel free to either file an issue or contact Connexions for further assistance.

Install the PostgreSQL database

This will require a PostgreSQL install that is greater than or equal to version 9.3. We have two postgres extension dependencies: plpythonu and plxslt.

On a Mac, use the PostgresApp (currently using version 9.4). See Documentation for installing Command Line Tools.

On Debian (and Ubuntu), issue the following command:

apt-get install postgresql-9.3 postgresql-server-dev-9.3 postgresql-client-9.3 postgresql-contrib-9.3 postgresql-plpython-9.3

Verify the install and port by using pg_lscluster. If the 9.3 cluster is not the first one installed (which it likely is not), note the port and cluster name. For example, the second cluster installed will end up by default with port 5433, and a cluster named main.

Set the PGCLUSTER environment variable to make psql and other postgresql command line tools connect to the appropriate server. For the example above, use:

export PGCLUSTER=9.3/main

Installing the PostgreSQL plpythonu extension

The plpythonu extension comes with the PostgresApp, which you don't have to install this one manuallly. We've included the postgresql-plpython package in the previous installation command, for Debian and Ubuntu.

Installing the PostgreSQL plxslt extension

The plxslt package can be found on github at petere/plxslt). You'll need to build and install this package manually.

On a Mac, this can be done using the following commands, assuming you have both PostgresApp and homebrew installed.

Make sure that pkg-config is properly install by typing pkg-config --version. If it isn't installed type brew install pkg-config to install it.

brew install libxml2 libxslt
which psql # Make sure this returns: /Applications/
           # Otherwise, you may need to add this path to ~/.profile
git clone
cd plxslt
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/opt/libxml2/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/opt/libxslt/lib/pkgconfig
make && make install
cd ..

On a Debian based system, the installation is as follows:

apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt-dev
git clone
cd plxslt
make && make install
cd ..

Set up the database and user

The default settings for the database are setup to use the following credentials:



Not that it needs to be said, but just in case... In a production setting, you should change these values.

If you decided to change any of these default values, please ensure you also change them in the application's configuration file, which is discussed later in this instructions.

To set up the database, issue the following commands (these will use the default cluster, as defined above)

OSX Note: You may need to create the postgres user: psql -d postgres -c "CREATE USER postgres WITH SUPERUSER;"

psql -U postgres -d postgres -c "CREATE USER cnxarchive WITH SUPERUSER PASSWORD 'cnxarchive';"
createdb -U postgres -O cnxarchive cnxarchive
psql cnxarchive #to confirm the the table has been created.

Install memcached (optional)

If you want to use memcached, you can install memcached and configure the memcached servers in development.ini:

apt-get install memcached

Installing the application

Note: cnx-archive requires the packages in this section to be installed with the system python. Specifically it needs to be installed to the python that postgresql uses for python triggers.

OSX Development Note: (Use at your own risk!) Instead of installing system python packages (so Postgres has access to them) you can link your virtualenv site-packages directory to your Home sitepackages dir:

# Create the virtualenv dirs
virtualenv .
# Note: replace `getusersitepackages` with `getsitepackages[-1]` if postgres is not running as you
USER_SITEPACKAGES=$(python -c 'import site;print(site.getusersitepackages())')
# Make sure the user/system site-packages dir exists.
# Link the virtualenv site-packages to the user/system
ln -s ./lib/python2.7/site-packages ${USER_SITEPACKAGES}
# Start up the virtualenv
source bin/activate
# Follow the steps below

Before installing cnx-archive, you need to first install the dependencies that have not been released to the public package repositories:

git clone
cd cnx-query-grammar
python install
cd ..

git clone
cd rhaptos.cnxmlutils
python install
cd ..

# Install bug-fixes branch of plpydbapi
git clone -b bug-fixes
cd plpydbapi
python install
cd ..

To install the application itself:

python install

OSX Note Make sure that XCode command line tools is installed by typing in:

xcode-select --install

This will install the package and a few application specific scripts. One of these scripts is used to initialize the database with the applications schema.

cnx-archive-initdb development.ini

You can optionally pass --with-example-data to the database initialization command, which will populate the database with a small set of content.

To run the application, use the paste script with the serve command. (The paste script and serve command come from PasteScript and PasteDeploy, respectively.)

This example uses the development.ini, which has been supplied with the package. If you changed any of the database setup values, you'll also need to change them in the configuration file.:

paster serve development.ini

You can then surf to the address printed out by the above command.

Running tests

The tests use the standard library unittest package and can therefore be run with minimal effort. Make a testing config, such as testing.ini, and set the environment variable TESTING_CONFIG to the name of that file:

export TESTING_CONFIG=testing.ini

Then, use either of the following to invoke the test suite:

$ python -m unittest discover
$ python test

This uses example data found in the cxarchive/tests/data directory.


This software is subject to the provisions of the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3.0 (AGPL). See license.txt for details. Copyright (c) 2013 Rice University

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