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EJ uses gamification and machine learning to promote discussions and participation in a virtual democracy
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EJ Platform

You can visit EJ website at

Getting started

First clone the repository and point to it:

$ git clone
$ cd ej-server

If you use docker, you can quickly start the development server using the command:

$ sudo docker-compose -f docker/docker-compose.yml up

For most cases, however we recommend that you prepare your machine with some tools. Developers may choose between docker or virtualenv for day to day development. In both cases, we recommend that you have Invoke >= 0.23 installed in your machine.

Docker will probably get you started quicker, but in the long run it may be harder to integrate with your tools and often requires long builds not needed when using virtualenv.


Local development (virtualenv)

EJ platform requires you to Prepare environment + with the development headers. Please install those packages using your distro package manager. This is a list of packages that you should have installed locally:

  • Python 3.6
  • Virtualenv or virtualenvwrapper
  • Invoke (>= 0.23)
  • Sass
  • Node.js

Once everything is installed, and your virtualenv is activated, just run the script:

$ sh

Grab a cup of coffee while it downloads and install all dependencies. If everything works, you should be able to run the server using the inv run command.

Running it

Unless you prefer to type long django management commands, use Invoke to start the dev server:

$ inv run

Before runing, make sure you regenerate the PO files and compile. It's necessary to compile sass either:

$ inv i18n

$ inv i18n -c

$ inv sass run

To run on brazilian portuguese:

$ export COUNTRY=brasil

Tests are executed with Pytest:

$ pytest

Invoke manages many other important tasks, you can discover them using:

$ inv -l
Semi-manual installation

The script installs the invoke task runner, fetches all dependencies from pip, and initializes the database. If you prefer (or if something goes wrong with the previous instructions), you can do all steps manually. The first step is to install the Invoke task runner to run each step of the installation (if you are not familiar to Invoke, think of it a Python reinterpretation of Make:

$ pip install invoke

You can install dependencies manually using the files in /etc/requirements/, or simply use the update-deps task. The later is preferable since it installs the volatile dependencies in a special folder that makes it easier and faster to do further updates:

$ inv update-deps --all

Invoke allow us to execute a sequence of tasks very easily. The command bellow will run migrations and populate the database with fake data for local development:

$ inv update-deps db db-assets db-fake

This creates a few conversations with comments and votes plus several users and an admin:admin <> user.


Documentation can be updated with $ sphinx-build docs build/docs and will be available at http://localhost:8000/docs.

Using docker

If you want to use docker, build the containers and just start docker compose:

$ sudo docker-compose -f docker/deploy/docker-compose.yml build
$ sudo docker-compose -f docker/docker-compose.yml up -d

After the command, ej-server can be accessed at http://localhost:8000.

At some point, you probably will want to execute commands inside the container. It is possible to open a bash shell in the main "web" container with:

$ sudo docker-compose -f docker/docker-compose.yml run web bash

In fact, it integrates with invoke and we can replace "bash" by any sequence of invoke tasks. For instance, we can migrate the database and run tests afterwards by doing:

$ sudo docker-compose -f docker/docker-compose.yml exec web db tests

If you have invoke installed on the host machine, you can use the short version:

$ inv docker-run dev

There are two ways to locally execute tests using docker-compose:

$ sudo docker-compose -f docker/docker-compose.yml run web tests

or using inv:

$ inv docker-run run -c tests     # uses postgresql
$ inv docker-run single -c tests  # uses sqlite3
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