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Digital Paper Edit - Client

An application to make it faster, easier and more accessible to edit audio and video interviews using automatically generated transcriptions form STT service.

See intro and slides for more info on the project and user journey for a high level overview of the user journey.

Current status

The client and API was initially developed to be portable to any platform - i.e local, web, cloud provider, and Electron. We are currently developing and maintaining a firebase version that merged the functionalities of the client (this repo) and API. The BBC is not actively working on this repo and digital-paper-edit-api. This is because we are prioritising getting Digital Paper Edit in front of our journalists. For the full list of active/inactive DPE repos, see here.

A fork of the client and API is still being developed in the open, in a separate fork, thanks to @pietrop.

We don't want the opensource collaboration to stop, so we will be pulling in changes from the forks. If there's a valuable feature that we haven't yet implemented from the fork, please open an issue in this repo or get in touch with us!

Collaborating across forks

We will look at the changes in the fork and manually add them to our firebase version.

When manually adding changes to the changes from a fork - there are challenges of pulling in dependencies, such as:

  ("@bbc/aes31-adl-composer": "^1.0.1"),
  ("@bbc/digital-paper-edit-react-components": "^1.3.2"),
  ("@bbc/fcpx-xml-composer": "^1.0.0"),
  ("@bbc/react-transcript-editor": "^1.4.0")

These dependencies (non-exhaustive) they might've been forked also. In this case, this is a matter of updating the BBC's version with the newest changes from the dependency's forks and making sure everything works together.

For understanding the approach see this PR.

Project Architecture

It's a React, Express, Electron, Adobe CEP, AWS stack to be able to deploy one modular code base as a Web app or Cross platform Desktop app (for Mac, win and linux).

The project is organised across these repository




Micro services for web app backend

See here to see them as a list in github.

See modular architecture section for more details on the stack and the Modular Architecture ADR for more info on the implementation

The projects use npm semantic versioning

The project is divided into concurrent milestones as described here

And there are github project board for each milestone

With UX being an overarching milestone that cuts across these different parts

See UX Approach in docs guides for more info.


See optional getting setup with the visual code workspace to get up and running with the various repository needed for this project.

git clone
cd digital-paper-edit-client

Optional step to setup nvm to use node version 10, otherwise just use node version 10

nvm use || nvm install`

in root of project

npm install

Usage - development

In root of the client project (cd digital-paper-edit-client) start React

npm run start

To developer for the web app you will need to start setup and the API server as well.

Runs the app in the development mode.
Open http://localhost:3000 to view it in the browser.

The page will reload if you make edits.
You will also see any lint errors in the console.

Usage - production

The project is also publicly available in the npm registry @bbc/digital-paper-edit-client

you can add it to your project

npm install @bbc/digital-paper-edit-client

and eg in an express server you can serve the static build as follows

app.use("/", express.static(path.join(__dirname, '..', 'node_modules/@bbc/digital-paper-edit-client')));

System Architecture

Client - React, is setup using Create React App.

You can learn more in the Create React App documentation.

To learn React, check out the React documentation.

Development env

Node version is set in node version manager .nvmrc


See docs folder

An architectural decision record (ADR) is a document that captures an important architectural decision made along with its context and consequences.

We are using this template for ADR


npm run build

Build of react client side will be in build

Builds the app for production to the build folder.
It correctly bundles React in production mode and optimizes the build for the best performance.

The build is minified and the filenames include the hashes.
Your app is ready to be deployed!


See docs for more information on how this works with Electron.

In public/index.html:

if (window.process && window.process.versions.electron) {
  const ElectronWrapper = require("../src/ElectronWrapper/index.js");
  window.ElectronWrapper = ElectronWrapper;

ElectronWrapper needs to be on the Electron render process otherwise (i.e. from the main process) the app will hang.

  1. run npm run build which will output a build folder
  2. move the build folder to digital-paper-edit-electron repository
  3. from digital-paper-edit-electron, run npm run start:prod

Running in development (npm start:dev) in digital-paper-edit-electron will not work. In development mode, the electron-main.js looks for the app served by webpack in src/ElectronWrapper/index.js, which doesn't resolve as that is in a different repository.



Test coverage using jest, to run tests

npm run test

During development you can use

npm run test:watch

Launches the test runner in the interactive watch mode.
See the section about running tests for more information.

Environment variables

.env contains environment variables config for the React client side app.

Do not store credentials in .env during development.

REACT_APP_NAME App name is used in browser title and navbar component.


npm run publish:public

for more info on Create React app deployment:

See the section about deployment for more information.

Demo page on github pages

To update demo on github pages

npm run deploy:ghpages


See guidelines and guidelines.



Legal Disclaimer

Despite using React and DraftJs, the BBC is not promoting any Facebook products or other commercial interest.