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Development setup

This site uses Vuepress as static page generator. It is a static page generator based on vue.js and created to write the documentation of that framework.

Vuepress is based on markdown files. Each HTML-page on the site has a corresponding markdown file in this repository.

Requirements and recommended tools

The following tools are required to build and develop the site.

  • NodeJS (latest LTS) and the corresponding version of npm

The following tools will help you developing

Setup / Commands

After cloning the repository you probaby want to run the following commands:

  • npm install (required) installs the dependencies libraries and is required for building the site.
  • npm run dev runs a webpack-dev-server, usually on port 8080. This server features live-reloading. Styles will automatically be updated when you change the source files. Changes in markdown changes and Vue.js components will be visible immediately. Note that changes to the file src/.vuepress/config.js are not part of the live-reload and require a restart of the command.
  • npm run preview should be run prior to creating a pull-request. It will clean the build-directories, run tests and linters, the site. A production-like preview of the site can be viewed at port 9080

Other commands are not needed as often:

  • npm run fix trys to fix all eslint errors and runs prettier to format everything. This is also done in a pre-commit hook so it should not be necessary to run this command manually.
  • npm run clean removes all cached and built files. This can be helpful if you have errors that you cannot explain and that just won't go away.
  • The scripts test,lint, format and build just exist to make the other commands in the package.json more readable.

Differences between dev-server and production

The Vuepress site is a Vue.js application. While the dev-server runs the whole application in the browser, the production site is pre-rendered with subsequent changes running in the browser.

Vue.js components that only work in the browser will work correctly in the dev-server, but will fail in production.

See Browser API Access Restrictions for details.

A few notes on the site and the build processes

  • The site uses the Vuepress default-theme with a few custom styles.
  • Markdown files in this repository automatically become HTML-files on the site.

Files and directories

The src folder contains all sources of the page. That includes

  • src/**/*.md: Markdown files, one for each HTML files containing the actual content.
  • src/.vuepress/styles: stylus files that adjust the CSS styles of the website (TODO add documentation link)
  • src/.vuepress/components: custom Vue.js components and Layouts created for this site (TODO add documentation link)
  • src/.vuepress/public/: root directory for public files that are copied to the site as-is.
  • src/.vuepress/plugins/: Vuepress-plugins created for this site.


The deployment has two phases:

  • The preview site at is automatically updated when changes are pushed to the master-branch. The Github-pages are hosted in the gh-pages-branch of this repository.
  • The production site (currently the temporary site is updated when changes are pushed to the production-branch. The Github-pages for the production site are hosted in the master-branch of the docs-prod-ghpages repository.

In both cases, the deployment itself is performed via Travis-CI job

The Travis-CI job uses the handlebars-site-bot account to update the github-pages of this repository.