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Edward the App

Write your first novel. tests

Build Setup

# install dependencies
npm install

# serve client app with hot reload at localhost:8080
npm run dev

# build for production with minification
npm run build

# build for production and view the bundle analyzer report
npm run build --report

# build and serve full-stack app at localhost:3000
npm run start
# OR
npm run server

# serve Node server app with auto reload at localhost:3000
npm run server-dev

# run Jest unit tests and API integration tests
npm run test

# run Cypress integration tests in the command line (headless)
npm run integration

# run Cypress integration tests in interactive mode
npm run cypress

Environment Variables

For local development, you'll need a root-level .env file with the following keys:

  • DATABASE_URL={connectionString}: A connection string for a local Postgres database. An empty database with a public schema and no tables should be sufficient; the ORM will create the tables and relations automatically.
  • DEBUG_DB={true|false}: When true, all database calls will be logged to the server console.
  • NO_SSL_DB={true|false}: When true, an SSL connection will not be used to connect to the Postgres database. This should be "true" for local development.
  • INSECURE_COOKIES={true|false}: When true, the "secure" parameter will not be set for auth cookies. This should be "true" for local development.
  • RECAPTCHA_SECRET={secret}: A valid Google Recaptcha site secret. If you're developing locally on /auth, you'll also need to set window.recaptchaSiteKey to a valid site key after page load. By default, this is set in auth.html.
  • SESSION_COOKIE_SECRET={secret}: A secret to use for encrypting and decrypting session cookies.
  • BASE_URL= The base URL of the app.
  • SMTP_HOST={hostname}: A host for sending emails via SMTP. For development, you might consider using NOTE: you can leave the SMTP attributes blank if you're not developing email or signup functionality.
  • SMTP_USER={username}: Your username for accessing the SMTP server.
  • SMTP_PASS={password}: Your password for accessing the SMTP server.
  • STRIPE_SECRET_KEY={key}: A secret key for use with the Stripe API. If you're developing locally on /auth, you'll also need to set window.stripePublicKey to a valid publishable key after page load. By default, this is set in auth.html.

Running the app locally

npm run dev serves the front-end site on port 8080. npm run server-dev runs the API server on port 3000. Run these in separate console windows, and API requests will automatically be proxied from port 8080 to port 3000.

The webpack dev server (port 8080) will automatically redirect from routes like /app and /auth to /app.html and /auth.html. On the express server (port 3000) the original routes work without a redirect.

For best results, it's recommended to visit instead of localhost.


npm run test is self-contained. Do not try to run it while a local server is already running. Port 3000 must be available.

If tests fail on a fresh install of Edward, it's probably due to missing tables. Run the tests a second time.

The Cypress tests require npm run server to be running in order to function. I recommend that you run this (and npm run cypress) in the Powershell console or Linux Bash, not in the Git Bash.


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