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Deep Symmetry UI

This project produces the UI bundle for Deep Symmetry’s documentation sites that are generated with Antora. You can see an example at

    snapshot: true
The snapshot flag tells Antora to fetch the UI when the --fetch command-line flag is present. This setting is required because updates to the UI bundle are pushed to the same URL. If the URL were to be unique, this setting would not be required.

Read on to learn how to customize the default UI for your own documentation.

Development Quickstart

This section offers a basic tutorial to teach you how to preview the UI locally and bundle it for use with Antora. A more comprehensive tutorial can be found in the documentation at {url-antora-docs}.


To preview and bundle the UI, you need the following software on your computer:


First, make sure you have git installed.

$ git --version

If not, download and install the git package for your system.


Next, make sure that you have Node.js installed (which also provides npm).

$ node --version

If this command fails with an error, you don’t have Node.js installed. If the command doesn’t report an LTS version of Node.js (e.g., v10.15.3), it means you don’t have a suitable version of Node.js installed. In this guide, we’ll be installing Node.js 10.

While you can install Node.js from the official packages, we strongly recommend that you use nvm (Node Version Manager) to manage your Node.js installation(s). Follow the nvm installation instructions to set up nvm on your machine.

Once you’ve installed nvm, open a new terminal and install Node.js 10 using the following command:

$ nvm install 10

You can switch to this version of Node.js at any time using the following command:

$ nvm use 10

To make Node.js 10 the default in new terminals, type:

$ nvm alias default 10

Now that you have Node.js installed, you can proceed with installing the Gulp CLI.

Gulp CLI

You’ll need the Gulp command-line interface (CLI) to run the build. The Gulp CLI package provides the gulp command which, in turn, executes the version of Gulp declared by the project.

You can install the Gulp CLI globally (which resolves to a location in your user directory if you’re using nvm) using the following command:

$ npm install -g gulp-cli

Verify the Gulp CLI is installed and on your PATH by running:

$ gulp --version

If you prefer to install global packages using Yarn, run this command instead:

$ yarn global add gulp-cli

Alternately, you can use the gulp command that is installed by the project’s dependencies.

$ $(npm bin)/gulp --version

Now that you have the prerequisites installed, you can fetch and build the UI project.

Clone and Initialize the UI Project

Clone the UI project using git:

$ git clone &&
  cd "`basename $_`"

The example above clones the Deep Symmetry UI project and then switches to the project folder on your filesystem. Stay in this project folder in order to initialize the project using Yarn.

Use npm to install the project’s dependencies inside the project. In your terminal, execute the following command:

$ npm install

This command installs the dependencies listed in package.json into the node_modules/ folder inside the project. This folder does not get included in the UI bundle and should not be committed to the source control repository.


If you prefer to install packages using Yarn, run this command instead:

$ yarn

Preview the UI

The default UI project is configured to preview offline. The files in the preview-src/ folder provide the sample content that allow you to see the UI in action. In this folder, you’ll primarily find pages written in AsciiDoc. These pages provide a representative sample and kitchen sink of content from the real site.

To build the UI and preview it in a local web server, run the preview command:

$ gulp preview

You’ll see a URL listed in the output of this command:

[12:00:00] Starting server...
[12:00:00] Server started http://localhost:5252
[12:00:00] Running server

Navigate to this URL to preview the site locally.

While this command is running, any changes you make to the source files will be instantly reflected in the browser. This works by monitoring the project for changes, running the preview:build task if a change is detected, and sending the updates to the browser.

Press Ctrl+C to stop the preview server and end the continuous build.

Package for Use with Antora

If you need to package the UI so you can use it to generate the documentation site locally, run the following command:

$ gulp bundle

If any errors are reported by lint, you’ll need to fix them.

When the command completes successfully, the UI bundle will be available at build/ You can point Antora at this bundle using the --ui-bundle-url command-line option.

If you have the preview running, and you want to bundle without causing the preview to be clobbered, use:

$ gulp bundle:pack

The UI bundle will again be available at build/

Source Maps

The build consolidates all the CSS and client-side JavaScript into combined files, site.css and site.js, respectively, in order to reduce the size of the bundle. Source maps correlate these combined files with their original sources.

This “source mapping” is accomplished by generating additional map files that make this association. These map files sit adjacent to the combined files in the build folder. The mapping they provide allows the debugger to present the original source rather than the obfuscated file, an essential tool for debugging.

In preview mode, source maps are enabled automatically, so there’s nothing you have to do to make use of them. If you need to include source maps in the bundle, you can do so by setting the SOURCEMAPS environment variable to true when you run the bundle command:

$ SOURCEMAPS=true gulp bundle

In this case, the bundle will include the source maps, which can be used for debugging your production site.

Copyright © 2017-present OpenDevise Inc. and the Antora Project. Copyright © 2019-present Deep Symmery, LLC.

Use of this software is granted under the terms of the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0 (MPL-2.0). See LICENSE to find the full license text.


Development of Antora is led and sponsored by OpenDevise Inc. Local modifications of the UI for Deep Symmetry were made by James Elliott.


A fork of the default Antora UI for building our project documentation modules




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