HLS Nuremberg Trials Project
This is a Django client for the digital archives of the Nuremberg Trials Project maintained by the Harvard Law Library. It is intended as a open-access web app for scholars, researchers, and members of the public, exposing the digitized documents, full-text trial transcripts, and rich search features for the same in a friendly, modern interface.
nuremberg: Top-level namespace for organizational purposes only.
.core: Top-level URL routing, test frameworks, base templates and middleware, and site-wide style files.
.settings: Environment-specific Django settings files.
.content: Files for static pages with project information, etc.
.documents: Files for displaying digitized document images.
.transcripts: Files for full-text transcripts and OCR documents.
.photographs: Files for displaying images from the photographic archive.
.search: Files for the search interface and API.
This document covers the following topics:
- Setting up a development environment
- Running the test suite
- Configuring project settings
- Packaging static assets
To run the app in a development environment, you'll need:
- Python 3.5
- Python dependencies
- Solr 4
You may want to run Python in a virtualenv wrapper to keep your dependencies clean.
virtualenv -p python3 venv source venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
If you will be running the test suite, you need to install test dependencies:
pip install -r nuremberg/core/tests/requirements.txt
In order to compile static assets (which is configured to happen automatically while running the development server), you will need to install
lessc from npm:
npm install -g less
The easiest way to set up the dev database is loading the test fixtures:
mysql -uroot -e "CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS nuremberg_dev" mysql -uroot -e "CREATE USER nuremberg; GRANT ALL ON nuremberg_dev.* TO nuremberg" mysql -unuremberg nuremberg_dev < nuremberg/core/tests/data.sql
Again, if you want to run the test suite, you should do the same for the test database. (Our tests run on a persistent database):
mysql -uroot -e "CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS test_nuremberg_dev" mysql -uroot -e "GRANT ALL ON test_nuremberg_dev.* TO nuremberg" mysql -unuremberg test_nuremberg_dev < nuremberg/core/tests/data.sql
Solr is needed for the Haystack search engine to run. The app is developed against Solr 4.10.4 -- Solr 5, the latest version, is incompatible with Haystack. Make sure it's installed and configured in the appropriate
You will need to install the Solr schema by running:
manage.py build_solr_schema --filename=/location/of/solr/schema.xml curl 'http://localhost:8983/solr/admin/cores?action=RELOAD&core=$SOLR_CORE'
Then update the index itself:
(It will take a couple of minutes to reindex fully.)
Do this any time you make changes to
Run the server
You should now be all set to run the local server:
python manage.py runserver
Then visit localhost:8000.
Tests in the project are generally high-level integration acceptance tests that exercise the full app stack in a deployed configuration. Since the app has the luxury of running off of a largely static dataset, the test database is persistent, greatly speeding up setup and teardown time.
Make sure you have installed test dependencies and initialized the test database in Setup above. Then simply:
Pytest is configured in
pytest.ini to run all files named
There is also a Selenium/PhantomJS suite to test the behavior of the document viewer front-end. These tests take a while to run, don't produce coverage data, and are relatively unreliable, so they aren't run as part of the default suite. However they are still useful, as they exercise the full stack all the way through image downloading and preloading. They can be run explicitly when necessary:
The browser tests require PhantomJS to be installed (
npm install -g phantomjs), and they generate screenshots in
/screenshots to aid in debugging.
Running the test suite will print a code coverage report to the terminal, as well as an interactive HTML report in
coverage/index.html. Template code is included in the report. Coverage settings are configured in
NOTE: There is an open issue #25 with django_coverage_plugin which will hide certain warnings related to template coverage settings, thus the requirement of the emmalemma@e083da1 fork. The plugin works fine, but if you see 0% coverage in templates, double-check your debug settings.
To improve test compliance, there is a git pre-commit hook to run the test suite before each commit. It's self-installing, so just run:
Now if any test fails, or test coverage is below 95%, the hook will cancel the commit.
NOTE: An example configuration used for the demo site on Heroku is in the heroku branch as
Environment-specific Django settings live in the
nuremberg/settings directory, and inherit from
nuremberg.settings.generic. The settings module is configured by the
DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable; the default value is
Secrets (usernames, passwords, security tokens, nonces, etc.) should not be placed in a settings file or committed into git. The proper place for these is an environment variable configured on the host, and read via
os.environ. If they must live in a
.py file, they should be included in the environment settings file via an
import statement and uploaded separately as part of the deployment process.
(The only exception to this is the defaults used in the dev environment.)
Since it is expected that this app will host a largely static dataset, there isn't an admin interface to speak of. Updates can go straight into MySQL. Just ensure that any changes are reindexed by Solr.
The test fixture database dump is, for all intents and purposes, a production-ready database at the time of this writing. However, that file should only be updated when necessary to support testing new features.
Solr indexes are defined in relevant
search_indexes.py files, and additional indexing configuration is in the
search/templates/search_configuration/solr.xml file used to generate
The Solr schema must be maintained as part of the deploy process. When deploying an updated schema, make sure to generate and upload the
schema.xml file using
manage.py build_solr_schema, then run a complete reindexing.
WARNING: Be cautious when doing this in production-- although in general reindexing will happen transparently, certain schema changes will cause a
SCHEMA-INDEX-MISMATCHerror that will cause search pages to crash until reindexing completes.
If writes are relatively infrequent, manual reindexing using
manage.py update_index should work fine. If writes happen relatively often, you should set up a
cron script or similar to automate reindexing on a nightly or hourly basis using
--age 24 or
--age 1. (Note: This will restrict reindexing only for indexes that have an
updated_at field defined; currently,
photographs does not, but completely reindexing that model is fast anyway.)
Even a full reindex should only take a few minutes to run, and the site can continue to serve requests while it happens. For more fine-grained information on indexing progress, use
--batch-size 100 --verbosity 2 or similar.
There is a management command
manage.py ingest_transcript_xml which reads a file like
NRMB-NMT01-23_00512_0.xml (or a directory of such files using
-d) and generates or updates the appropriate transcript, volume, and page models. Since some values read out of the XML are stored in the database, re-ingesting is the preferred way to update transcript data. If database XML is modified directly, call
populate_from_xml on the appropriate TranscriptPage model to update date, page, and sequence number.
Remember to run
manage.py update_index transcripts after ingesting XML to enable searching of the new content.
CSS code is generated from
.less files that live in
nuremberg/core/static/styles. The styles are built based on Bootstrap 3 mixins, but don't bundle any Bootstrap code directly to ensure a clean semantic design.
Compilation is handled automatically by the
django-static-precompiler module while the development server is running.
core/static/scripts, and are simply included in
base.html. App code is modularized using
modulejs, to ensure that only code in the module defined in the relevant template is run.
documents/scripts. That functionality is organized as a set of Backbone.js views and viewmodels. There is a smaller amount of code in
transcripts to handle infinite scrolling and page navigation, which is implemented in pure jQuery. There are also a handful of minor cosmetic features implemented in
compressor. (The exception is the rarely-needed dependency
When deploying, you should run
manage.py compress to bundle, minify and compress CSS and JS files, and
manage.py collectstatic to move the remaining assets into
static/. This folder should not be committed to git.
For deployment to Heroku, these static files will be served by the WhiteNoise server. In other environments it may be appropriate to serve them directly with Nginx or Apache. If necessary, the output directory can be controlled with an environment-specific override of the
STATIC_ROOT settings variable.