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Multi-platform UI application for OVN (Open Value Network) & REA (Resource / Event / Agent) backends- including Sensorica NRP, FreedomCoop OCP, GoPacifica DEEP & eventually django-rea project.
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README.md

Welcome to the REA client application. This project uses ZenHub to manage our workflow, please install it and navigate to 'Boards' to see what is being developed currently.

Note that many issues are logged only for gathering future requirements and exist as placeholders. These are placed into the ZenHub 'icebox' for later analysis and development and should not be seen as active work items.

Getting started

Here are the things you'll need to run this project and details on how to configure them.

Nodejs

The latest release of node at time of writing is 7.7.2. You should be able to run with any other 7.x version, but this is untested; some tools depend on particular node versions.

The best way to install node for development is to install NVM and then run nvm install 7.7.2. This allows you to easily run different node versions for different projects. If you use NVM, you may also wish to add this to your .bashrc, which will ensure your node version is synced with any projects which define an .nvmrc file:

cd () { builtin cd "$@" && chNodeVersion; }
pushd () { builtin pushd "$@" && chNodeVersion; }
popd () { builtin popd "$@" && chNodeVersion; }
chNodeVersion() {
    if [ -f ".nvmrc" ] ; then
        nvm use;
    fi
}
chNodeVersion;

Note that any commands installed via NPM or Yarn will only be available if you are using the same node version as was active at install time.

Package Manager

This repository actually uses two package managers: Lerna & Yarn. Lerna manages multi-package repositories (like this one), Yarn does the same thing as node's built-in package manager (NPM), but is much faster at it.

Before starting, you must install Yarn globally. Contrary to the install instructions, the easiest way to install is via NPM: npm i -g yarn. Note however the following caveats:

  • If installed via NPM then Yarn is only available for the node version it was installed in.
  • Current versions of Yarn (0.17.x - 0.21.3) install global modules to their own location which does not play nicely with NVM. Use npm i -g instead of yarn global add for installing global packages, but feel free to use Yarn for all other package-related tasks.

Development tools

  • The Redux Devtools Extension is a must-have for time-travel debugging and inspection of app state changes.
  • The Redux dispatch CLI is a nice way of firing actions to the dispatcher for testing your app: npm i -g redux-dispatch-cli

Linting

Linters are basically a requirement for writing 'good' JavaScript code, since there are so many 'bad' ways to do it. This will also keep your code style aligned with other contributors.

1. Install tslint. You will need at least tslint 5.3.2.

npm i -g typescript tslint tslint-react tsutils

2. Setup your editor.

Sublime Text 3:

  • Install Package Control if you haven't already
  • Install SublimeLinter
  • Also install the package SublimeLinter-contrib-tslint
  • Check your linter settings (Preferences > Package Settings > SublimeLinter > Settings [User]). Ensure your linters are enabled under user.linters and that your node paths are set correctly under user.paths. Note that the global node packages must be installed in the same node version as you specify here.
  • Use the command SublimeLinter: Enable Debug Mode and bring up the ST console (CTRL/CMD + ~) if you need more help!

Other editors

Please add instructions here!

Typescript

We use Typescript to author the app. Typescript is a typed superset of JavaScript, which adds a lot of code intelligence and safety features on top of JS.

Something you might need to be aware of from time to time with Typescript is that TS modules, standard nodejs modules (ie. 'commonjs') and ES6 JavaScript modules are all slightly different formats; and you will have to deal with them differently.

  • For TS modules: import myModule from 'mymodule' works fine, as does import { something } from 'mymodule'.
  • For ES6 modules: things are compatible with the Typescript import syntax for the most part and the above should also work.
  • For commonjs modules: import * as myModule from 'mymodule' is required, as there is no such thing as a 'default export'. The abbreviated form will error.

(Note: Babel is still used in the codebase, but only to process files generated by the SVG loader plugin.)

Setting up the codebase

Now that you have all the prerequisites ready, you can setup the project. Clone this repo, then:

  • Run yarn to install all dependencies

Running locally for development

  • npm run dev to spin up a development server

Recommended editor plugins

Environment variables

The app accepts the following env vars to control its behaviour:

  • NODE_ENV: as usual, set to production to run a non-debug build, omit to use debug mode or set to test when running tests.
  • IP and PORT specify the interface and port to listen on. Defaults to 0.0.0.0:3000. If running in development, the webpack-dev-server will be run on (port + 1).
  • API_URL: sets the base path to the OCP API. If not provided will default to http://localhost:8000/api for connecting to a local instance.
  • PUBLIC_PATH sets the base URL to the website. If not provided, will default to /.

Running package commands individually

Since the repository is setup with Lerna, often when you try to run NPM commands within each packge rather than at the top level they won't be able to find the right dependencies. To workaround this, simply use Lerna's scope option to target the specific package, for example: lerna run --scope @vflows/views test.

Running in production mode

In order to run for production, you need to configure the correct environment variables. This has to be done both when building the code and when running the webserver, as some configuration is compiled into the packaged JS files whilst others are read during execution of the pre-render webserver. Simply set the appropriate values in the below string and prepend it to each command you run.

NODE_ENV=production PORT=3000 WEB_BASEURL=http://localhost:3000 ASSET_BASEURL=http://localhost:3000 API_URL=http://localhost:8000/api/graph

First, build the app by running the build command. This will generate packaged assets into the dist folder within the app package.

{ENV_SETTINGS} npm run build

To run the webserver, use the serve command:

{ENV_SETTINGS} npm run serve

That's it!

In practise, you'll probably want to run the app via a process manager like PM2, to keep it online. Here's the PM2 control file for our test server as an example:

{
  "apps" : [{
    "name": "kamasi",
    "script": "index.js",
    "cwd": "app/static/kamasi/packages/app/",
    "watch": true,
    "env": {
      "NODE_ENV": "production",
      "PORT": 4430,
      "WEB_BASEURL": "http://testocp.freedomcoop.eu:4430",
      "ASSET_BASEURL": "http://testocp.freedomcoop.eu:4430",
      "API_URL": "https://testocp.freedomcoop.eu/api/graph"
    }
  }]
}

Along with the process file, you'll also need to configure PM2 to start on boot. Since it's running in watch mode, all that should be necessary is to rebuild the app and it will automatically update. If you prefer you can save some system resources by disabling this and running pm2 start / pm2 restart etc manually.

Frameworks & conventions used

  • UI architecture based on Atomic Design principles.
  • CSS is written with modern W3C css and processed via PostCSS plugins. See http://cssnext.io/features/
    • Caveat: local files must be imported with double quotes! Otherwise, postcss-import won't combine them correctly.
  • Built with pure view components (packages/ui-views) bound to Redux by way of higher-order components (packages/ui-bindings). Essentially the design goal is enforcing one-way dataflow and separation of concerns, this is done by writing the UI as simple functional transforms of props data (pure view components) which bind to a single application state (in Redux) by way of accessor functions which pull the data out (higher-order components). All data going back in is sent through Redux's reducers by way of firing a Redux action.
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