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angular-seed — the seed for AngularJS apps, now with CoffeeScript

This project is an application skeleton for a typical AngularJS web app. You can use it to quickly bootstrap your angular webapp projects and dev environment for these projects.

The seed contains a sample AngularJS application and is preconfigured to install the Angular framework and a bunch of development and testing tools for instant web development gratification.

The seed app doesn't do much, just shows how to wire two controllers and views together.

Getting Started

To get you started you can simply clone the angular-seed repository and install the dependencies:


You need git to clone the angular-seed repository. You can get it from

We also use a number of node.js tools to initialize and test angular-seed. You must have node.js and its package manager (npm) installed. You can get them from

Clone angular-seed

Clone the angular-seed repository using git:

git clone
cd angular-seed

Install Dependencies

We have two kinds of dependencies in this project: tools and angular framework code. The tools help us manage and test the application.

We have preconfigured npm to automatically run bower so we can simply do:

npm install

Behind the scenes this will also call bower install. You should find that you have two new folders in your project.

  • node_modules - contains the npm packages for the tools we need
  • bower_components - contains the angular framework files

Run the Application

We have preconfigured the project with a simple development web server. The simplest way to start this server is:

gulp dev

Now browse to the app at http://localhost:8000.

Directory Layout

  ├── app                          --> the application source code
  │   ├── css                      --> css files
  │   │   └── app.css              --> default stylesheet
  │   ├── img                      --> image files
  │   ├── index.html               --> app layout file (the main html template file of the app)
  │   ├── js                       --> javascript files
  │   │   ├──           --> application
  │   │   ├──   --> application controllers
  │   │   ├──    --> application directives
  │   │   ├──       --> custom angular filters
  │   │   ├──      --> custom angular services
  │   │   └──         --> defines module for the view templates
  │   └── views                    --> angular view partials (partial html templates)
  │       ├── partial1.hamlc
  │       └── partial2.hamlc
  ├── bower.json                   --> define external dependencies like AngularJA.
  ├── dist                         --> all of the files to be used in production (CoffeeScript and HAMLC compiled to javascript)
  ├──              --> the build system
  ├── package.json                 --> node external dependencies for the build system
  └── test                         --> test config and source files
      ├── e2e                      --> end-to-end specs
      │   └──
      ├──        --> config file for running unit tests with Karma
      ├── protractor.conf.js       --> config file for running e2e tests with Protractor
      └── unit                     --> unit level specs/tests
          ├──  --> specs for controllers
          ├──   --> specs for directives
          ├──      --> specs for filters
          └──     --> specs for services


There are two kinds of tests in the angular-seed application: Unit tests and End to End tests.

Running Unit Tests

The angular-seed app comes preconfigured with unit tests. These are written in Jasmine, which we run with the Karma Test Runner. We provide a Karma configuration file to run them.

  • the configuration is found at test/karma.conf.js
  • the unit tests are found in test/unit/.

The easiest way to run the unit tests is to use the supplied npm script:

gulp test

End to end testing

The angular-seed app comes with end-to-end tests, again written in Jasmine. These tests are run with the Protractor End-to-End test runner. It uses native events and has special features for Angular applications.

  • the configuration is found at test/protractor.conf.js
  • the end-to-end tests are found in test/e2e/

Protractor simulates interaction with our web app and verifies that the application responds correctly. Therefore, our web server needs to be serving up the application, so that Protractor can interact with it.

gulp dev

In addition, since Protractor is built upon WebDriver we need to install this. The angular-seed project comes with a predefined script to do this:

npm run update-webdriver

This will download and install the latest version of the stand-alone WebDriver tool.

Once you have ensured that the development web server hosting our application is up and running and WebDriver is updated, you can run the end-to-end tests using the supplied gulp script:

gulp protractor

This script will execute the end-to-end tests against the application being hosted on the development server.

Updating Angular

Previously we recommended that you merge in changes to angular-seed into your own fork of the project. Now that the angular framework library code and tools are acquired through package managers (npm and bower) you can use these tools instead to update the dependencies.

You can update the tool dependencies by running:

npm update

This will find the latest versions that match the version ranges specified in the package.json file.

You can update the Angular dependencies by running:

bower update

This will find the latest versions that match the version ranges specified in the bower.json file.

Serving the Application Files

While angular is client-side-only technology and it's possible to create angular webapps that don't require a backend server at all, we recommend serving the project files using a local webserver during development to avoid issues with security restrictions (sandbox) in browsers. The sandbox implementation varies between browsers, but quite often prevents things like cookies, xhr, etc to function properly when an html page is opened via file:// scheme instead of http://.

Running the App during Development

The angular-seed project comes preconfigured with a local development webserver.
Then you can start your own development web server to serve static files from a folder by running:

gulp dev

Moreover, Gulp will sit and watch the source files for changes and the application is live reloaded in the browser.

TODO: show enabling proxy

Running the App in Production

This really depends on how complex is your app and the overall infrastructure of your system, but the general rule is that all you need in production are all the files under the dist/ and bower_components/ directory. Everything else should be omitted.

TODO: dist+bower_components. Show S3 deploy

Angular apps are really just a bunch of static html, css and js files that just need to be hosted somewhere they can be accessed by browsers.

If your Angular app is talking to the backend server via xhr or other means, you need to figure out what is the best way to host the static files to comply with the same origin policy if applicable. Usually this is done by hosting the files by the backend server or through reverse-proxying the backend server(s) and webserver(s).

Continuous Integration

Travis CI

Semaphore is a continuous integration service, which can monitor GitHub for new commits to your repository and execute scripts such as building the app or running tests.

Add your project to Semaphore then create the following build commands:

npm install
npm run test

This will cause Travis to run your tests when you push to GitHub.

Travis CI

Travis CI is a continuous integration service, which can monitor GitHub for new commits to your repository and execute scripts such as building the app or running tests. The angular-seed project contains a Travis configuration file, .travis.yml, which will cause Travis to run your tests when you push to GitHub.

You will need to enable the integration between Travis and GitHub. See the Travis website for more instruction on how to do this.

Note: I haven't tried this project on Travis.


For more information on AngularJS please check out


Seed project for angular apps (with CoffeeScript).




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