A webapp for accessing information about the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Python HTML JavaScript CSS PHP Shell Ruby
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The Blue Alliance

The Blue Alliance is a FIRST Robotics tool to help teams scout for, compete at, and relive competitions. You can see how the whole site works here, or even write code to make it better!

Help Build The Blue Alliance

Stay in Touch

Add Data

  • Facebook Join our group, #moardata @ The Blue Alliance, to submit video and match data we're missing on the site.
  • Submit missing videos using the "Add Video" links on the site.
  • Submit missing webcasts, team photos, etc using other links on the site.

Contributing Code

  1. Fork this project!
  2. Make a branch to hold your changes.
  3. Make changes!
  4. Send over a pull request from your fork.
  5. We'll review it, and push your changes to the site!

If you're having trouble getting set up, reach out to us at our mailing list and we'll help you through it!


We have a beta development container setup that uses vagrant+docker. Install those two dependencies for your system (run vagrant --version and ensure what you have is newer than 1.8.1), then run vagrant up --provider=docker && vagrant rsync-auto to bootstrap the environment and kick off file syncing.

To debug, ssh into the container using vagrant ssh and then run tmux attach to see the GAE devserver logs (use ^B-D to detach from tmux).

Setup (manual)

  1. Learn a bit about Git and GitHub:
  1. Install Python 2.7.X
  2. Install App Engine
  • Specifically use the Standard Environment Python SDK
  • Windows/OS X: Run the installer and allow it make symbolic links (it might ask you to enter your root password)
  • Linux: Unzip the .zip file and add the location of your google_appengine directory to your PATH environment variable.
  1. Get the latest version of The Blue Alliance
  • Fork TBA by clicking on "Fork" in the top right of its GitHub page
  • Run git clone https://github.com/USERNAME/the-blue-alliance.git where USERNAME is your GitHub username, or use GitHub's Windows or OS X app to clone it to your computer
  • For detailed instructions see the GitHub guide on contributing
  1. Install initial required Python packages
  • pip install -r requirements.txt
  1. Install Node.js which includes Node Package Manager
  2. Install UglifyJS by running npm install uglify-es -g and UglifyCSS by running npm install uglifycss -g
  3. Install gulp by running npm rm --global gulp && npm install --global gulp-cli. This removes any version of gulp that was previously installed globally so it doesn't conflict with gulp-cli. Gulp is used as the build tool for Gameday2.
  4. Install all node dependencies by running npm install. This includes less, which is used to build CSS files for production, as well as a number of packages used in Gameday2.
  5. Fill out static/javascript/tba_js/tba_keys_template.js and save it in the same directory as tba_keys.js. It's okay to leave a key blank if you're not doing any development that requires it, but the file tba_keys.js must exist or else JavaScript won't compile.
  6. Fill out test_keys_template.json and save it in the same directory as test_keys.json. These are used for unit testing on your local machine only.
  7. Run paver setup to install remaining dependencies and do an initial build of static files (CSS, HTML templates, javascript) to get you going
  8. Run the app in GoogleAppEngineLauncher according to the directions below, and visit the local URL to see your own copy of The Blue Alliance!

Run a Local Dev Server

  1. Import the project into Google App Engine Launcher
  • NOTE: If you have the Linux version, skip to step 2, as it does not come packaged with the App Engine Launcher. You will be manually adding the ports and modules as options when launching the server.
  • Open App Engine Launcher
  • File > Add Existing Application...
  • Set the Application Path to your the-blue-alliance directory
  • Set port 8088
  • Add modules (dispatch.yaml, app.yaml, app-backend-tasks.yaml, and app-backend-tasks-b2.yaml) as extra flags https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/python/modules/#devserver.
  1. Run the app in App Engine Launcher and view its Logs window
  • If you are using the Linux version, you can start the application by moving into your the-blue-alliance directory and running dev_appserver.py --port 8088 dispatch.yaml app.yaml app-backend-tasks.yaml app-backend-tasks-b2.yaml on the command line.
  • Alternatively, run paver run.
  1. You should now have a basic development installation!
  1. Get some data into the local server
  1. Ignore these warnings in the local dev server:
  • pytz is required to calculate future run times for cron jobs with timezones (The pytz library is in the source tree and works fine.)

Run an App Engine Server

See myTBA Configuration for how to create and configure an App Engine server.

Setup notes:

  • You could edit the app.yaml file to change its application: setting from tbatv-dev-hrd to your app's Project ID, but then you'll have to remember to not check in that edit. Better yet, write a script like the following mydeploy.sh file (that filename is in .gitignore):

      appcfg.py --oauth2 --application=<MY_PROJECT_ID> update app.yaml app-backend-tasks.yaml
      appcfg.py --oauth2 --application=<MY_PROJECT_ID> update_dispatch .
  • Note that it needs your application's "Project ID", not its "Project name".

  • The --oauth2 argument of appcfg.py saves repeating the login steps each time. If you skip it or deploy via the App Engine Launcher, you'll have to enter your name and password each time. If you use 2-Step Verification for your Google account (you should!), that means generating an App password each time.

  • The cron.yaml file in master will create cron jobs that use up daily free AE Datastore quotas.

    • To avoid that in a dev server, checkout a no-op version of cron.yaml.
    • If it's already happening in a dev server, deploy a no-op cron.yaml via appcfg.py update_cron, then delete the tasks in the usfirst queue.)
    • If you try to deploy a server while it's over Datastore quota, appcfg will say "there was an error updating your indexes. Please retry later with appcfg.py update_indexes." The fix is to wait until the next day's quota then use appcfg.py update_indexes or appcfg.py update.
  • When you set sitevars, the server automatically internalizes them.

  • You don't need a sitevar for firebase.secrets even though that's the placeholder text for a new sitevar name.

  • Ignore these deployment warnings:

    • Cannot upload both <filename>.py and <filename>.pyc
    • Could not guess mimetype for static/ovp/<filename>.xap. Using application/octet-stream.
    • WARNING old_run.py:88 This function, oauth2client.tools.run(), and the use of the gflags library are deprecated and will be removed in a future version of the library.
  • Ignore these warnings in a deployed server's logs:

    • Exception: Missing sitevar: firebase.secrets. Can't write to Firebase (It just means that no push notifications to GameDay will be sent, which is OK for a dev server.)
  • Make sure static/javascript/tba_js/tba_keys.js exists


Paver Commands

Paver is an easy way automate repetitive tasks. For The Blue Alliance, these tasks are stored in pavement.py. To install paver, use one of the methods below:

Paver commands include:

  • paver javascript -- combine and compress JavaScript files
  • paver less -- translate LESS files to CSS and combine with other CSS files
  • paver setup -- build CSS and JavaScript files
  • paver lint
  • paver test_fast -- run tests that don't require HTTP

CSS Icon Sprites

Icons get combined into single files called sprites to reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to render a page. To simplify development, we add icons normally (not to the sprite), and every so often we will combine them all into a sprite and fix all necessary CSS.

Potentially useful: http://spriteme.org/


Build Status

Testing is implemented using a combination of unittest2 and the Google App Engine testbed framework. Test coverage is a work in progress, and focuses on maintaining datafeed integrity in the face of optimizations and changes to FIRST's data formats.

To run the tests, or just the offline (fast) tests:

  • paver test
  • paver test_fast