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Illinois Open Source Queue

Build Status

A micro-service queue for holding open office hours.

Join the #queue-general channel on the UIUC OSS Slack team to keep up with the queue!

Using the Queue at Illinois

At UIUC, this queue is hosted as a free service by Computer Science and EngrIT.

Contribution Guidelines

  • Join the #queue-dev channel on the UIUC OSS Slack team to seek development support
  • Claim an issue by commenting on an open issue in order to indicate to others that you are working on the task
  • Once you are ready to submit for review make sure to:
    • Include a entry following existing format
    • If making API changes, note the change in
    • If your change requires new dependencies, add them to package.json
    • Tag a lead developer in the reviewers section

If you wish to report a bug, feature request, etc., please open a new issue (first checking that your issue has not already been filed).


The Queue can be configured via a variety of environment variables:

  • PORT: controls which port the app will be served from.
  • BASE_URL: allows the app to be served from somewhere other than the server root. This affects asset and API routes, websocket endpoints, generated links, and more. Note that for this to work effectively, the app must still receive the base URL as part of the request; this is important if the app is reverse-proxied behind Apache. For instance, if the queue is served from /my/path/, then you should run with BASE_URL=/my/path (note the lack of trailing slash), and a request for queue 1 should be received as /my/path/queue/1.
  • JWT_SECRET: a secret key used to sign JSON Web Tokens for our users.
  • UID_NAME: official name for user ids (default: email)
  • UID_ARTICLE: article used in reference to UID_NAME (default: an)
  • EPPN_SUFFIX: the expected suffix for all valid Shibboleth eppn attributes. If this variable is not present, then all Shibboleth responses will be accepted.
  • INSTITUTION_NAME: to set branding other than 'Illinois'.

There are also a number of environment variables that are used to configure the database connection; see src/models/index.js for the list of environment variables that are used. Note that the failure to set DB_DIALECT will result in an error like the following:

Dialect needs to be explicitly supplied as of v4.0.0

Environment variables can be set however you prefer. If you like to store your environment variables in files on disk, the Queue supports dotenv-flow, a variant of the popular dotenv library with built-in support for multiple environments and local overrides that aren't tracked by git. Check out the dotenv-flow README for more information on the different config files that can be used and their precedence.

The Queue includes a default .env.development file, which points at a local sqlite database. This ensures that local dev mode works out of the box!

Running the Queue from Source

Running locally in dev mode

  • Clone the repository
  • Install node and npm
  • Install dependencies: npm install in the cloned directory
  • Start the server: npm run dev
    • Access the queue from a browser at localhost:3000
    • You can run it on a different port by setting the PORT environment variable

Builing and running for production

Before running the queue in production mode, ensure you have a .env.production.local file containing the relevant database connection details. If you're running in production mode locally for testing, you can simply copy the values from .env.development to a .env.production.local file.

Run npm run build to build assets for production, then run npm run start to start the application.