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Build Status


This pattern library uses as its starting point with HEAD at sha e52ced8551000b7c6b97a01f419e2af8a07e2fd1


This sets up PatternLab to generate the html from mustache templates, and Gulp to handle transformation of scss to css, and other various build-related tasks. Note that artefacts generated from running Gulp are inputs for the generation of PatternLab files, so Gulp needs to run before PatternLab. When developing, it’s recommended to run watch tasks for both, which will take care of this.

1. Dependencies

You'll need:

  • PHP (for Patternlab)
  • nodejs (for gulp)

2. Automatic setup

From the root directory run

$ ./bin/dev

This will install and run the commands needed to get started, starting a web server on port 8889. If you need a custom port pass this as the first argument:

$ ./bin/dev 1234

This will run on localhost:1234

You should be good to go, open your browser and you will see the pattern lab.

Manual setup

1. Set up PatternLab

  • Clone pattern library: git clone
  • Create the public folder: cd pattern-library && mkdir public
  • Copy dependencies: cp -r ./core/styleguide ./public/

2. Set up and run Gulp

  • if you have not used gulp before, then install the gulp cli globally with npm install --global gulp-cli
  • install required npm packages with npm install
  • run gulp to build the css & js files.
  • then run gulp watch to watch for changes to files or do both in one fell swoop with gulp && gulp watch (the watch task on its own will not compile your assets until a file is changed).
  • run gulp local:test:unit --mocha-grep=something to pass the --grep option to mocha and run a subset of tests.
  • if generating files intended for website production, invoke with the production flag, like this: gulp --environment production. The minifies css & js files.

3. Generate PatternLab

To run a one-off generation of the patterns, it's php ./core/builder.php -g

Alternatively to set up a watch task for pattern generation, run php ./core/builder.php -w

4. Verify the setup

The static files defining the patterns should now be available in the public directory.

Verify the generated static site by serving the public folder locally. One quick and dirty way to do this is to run the built in PHP server in the public folder:

  1. Open a new terminal
  2. cd into the public directory
  3. run the webserver php -S localhost:8889
  4. in a browser go to http://localhost:8889 and verify you can see the generated patterns.

Using patterns

For patterns that are being exposed as resources (ie the Mustache template can be used in an application), there is a YAML file located alongside the template. This contains details of any CSS files that it requires, and a JSON Schema that documents what input is expected.

You can run bin/validate, which checks all data files for a pattern against the schema.

There is also a list of js file dependencies for each pattern, but individual js files have not yet been implemented and so these lists are currently all empty.

Running tests


node_modules/webdriverio/bin/wdio wdio-local.conf.js --spec ./test-selenium/hello.spec.js

will run a single test file. This set up relies on your locally installed Firefox.

gulp test:selenium:local

will instead run all the Selenium tests.

gulp test:selenium

is used inside the pattern-library VM and should not be used elsewhere.

Docker setup

docker-compose build

(re)builds all images:

  • elifesciences/pattern-library_assets-builder is a Node-based image for Gulp usage
  • elifesciences/pattern-library_assets is a lightweight image containing assets/
  • elifesciences/pattern-library_ui-builder is a PHP-based image for generation of the UI
  • elifesciences/pattern-library is a nginx-based image serving the UI
  • elifesciences/pattern-library_ci is used to run tests
  • an anonymous selenium image extension.
docker-compose up

runs containers so that the static website is accessible through a browser at http://localhost:8889

docker-compose run --rm ci ./

runs all tests.

To create an exploratory session with the browser used by the Selenium test suite:

docker-compose up -d
curl -v localhost:4/wd/hub/session -d '{"desiredCapabilities":{"browserName":"firefox"}}'

Connect to this browser by using a VNC client (such as vinagre) on localhost:5900, with password secret. You can visit the pattern-library static website at http://ui.

For a local build, run:

ENVIRONMENT=development docker-compose build assets

To watch for changes, run:

docker-compose build  # only necessary after switching branch or installing new dependencies

Changes to assets/js (and similar) will be propagated to the gulp watch process. Changes to source/_patterns (and similar) will be propagated to the php core/builder.php --watch process.

You can pass options to the underlying gulp:

bin/watch --sass-lint=false

To run additional gulp command in the same container where gulp:watch is running:

$ docker exec -it pattern-library-gulp-watch /bin/bash
elife@...$ node_modules/.bin/gulp test:unit

The watch loop keeps a read-only host folder up-to-date with the latest assets:

$ ls .container_source_assets/
css  fonts  img  js

Exit from this script with Ctrl+C.

To watch a particular test in a browser:

$ bin/tests-watch test/hypothesisopener.html

Visit the URL that is printed out:


The browser will refresh and rerun the test upon changes to it. Exit from this script with Ctrl+C.


All assets paths in Mustache templates must be wrapped in {{#assetRewrite}}, which allows implementations to rewrite the path for cache-busting purposes. The path must also be prepended by {{assetsPath}}.


All code in this repo is MIT licensed, apart from the web fonts, which are are licensed separately under the SIL Open Font License. See the LICENSE.MD file in /assets/fonts/ for details.