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bce2a4a Jun 20, 2016
@maxogden @karissa @finnp @joehand
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Welcome to Dat!

If you are opening an issue because of a bug or technical problem, please provide a simple repeatable test case we can run!

Submitting pull requests

Before taking the time to code something, feel free to open an issue first proposing your idea to other contributors, that way you can get feedback on the idea before taking time to write precious code.

For any new functionality we like to see:

  • unit tests so that we can improve long term maintenance and catch regressions in the future
  • updates to the change log and relevant documentation

For Collaborators

Make sure to get a :thumbsup:, +1 or LGTM from another collaborator before merging a PR.

Release process:

  • if you aren't sure if a release should happen, open an issue
  • make sure the tests pass
  • npm version <major|minor|patch>
  • git push && git push --tags (or git push with git config --global push.followTags true on latest git)
  • npm publish

Development workflow

We use and write a lot of node modules and it introduces a bit of a learning curve when working on multiple modules simultaneously. There are lots of different and valid solutions to working on lots of modules at once, this is just one way.

Developing inside a node_modules folder

First make sure you are comfortable with how require works in node.

We recommend creating a folder somewhere manually called node_modules. For example in ~/code/node_modules. Clone all of your git copies of modules that you want to work on into here, so for example:

  • ~/code/node_modules/dat
  • ~/code/node_modules/hyperdrive

When you run npm install inside of ~/code/node_modules/dat, dat will get its own copy of hyperdrive (one if its dependencies) inside ~/code/node_modules/dat/node_modules. However, if you encounter a bug in hyperdrive that you need to fix, but you want to test your fix in dat, you want dat to use your git copy of hyperdrive at ~/code/node_modules/hyperdrive and not the npm copy of hyperdrive at ~/code/node_modules/dat/node_modules/hyperdrive.

How do you get dat to use the git copy of hyperdrive? Just delete the npm copy!

rm -rf ~/code/node_modules/dat/node_modules/hyperdrive

Now when you run dat, and it tries to require('hyperdrive') it first looks in its own node_modules folder at ~/code/node_modules/dat/node_modules but doesnt find hyperdrive. So it goes up to ~/code/node_modules and finds hyperdrive there and uses that one, your git copy.

If you want to switch back to an npm copy, just run npm install inside ~/code/node_modules/dat/ and npm will download any missing modules into ~/code/node_modules/dat/node_modules but wont touch anything in ~/code/node_modules.

This might seem a bit complicated at first, but is simple once you get the hang of it. Here are some rules to help you get started:

  • Never make any meaningful edits to code inside an "npm-managed" node_modules folder (such as ~/code/node_modules/dat/node_modules), because when you run npm install inside those folders it could inadvertently delete all of your edits when installing an updated copy of a module. This has happened to me many times, so I just always use my git copy and delete the npm copy (as described above) to make edits to a module.
  • You should never need to run any npm commands in terminal when at your "manually managed"" node_modules folder at ~/code/node_modules. Never running npm commands at that folder also prevents npm from accidentally erasing your git copies of modules
  • The location of your "manually managed" node_modules folder should be somewhere isolated from your normal require path. E.g. if you put it at ~/node_modules, then when you run npm install dat at ~/Desktop npm might decide to erase your git copy of dat at ~/node_modules/dat and replace it with a copy from npm, which could make you lose work. Putting your manually managed node_modules folder in a sub-folder like ~/code gets it "out of the way" and prevents accidents like that from happening.