Go Orchids Django application (wrapper on Go Botany for customizations)
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Go Orchids

Running Go Orchids on your workstation

First, check out the repository and run dev/setup to install the application and its dependencies in a Python virtual environment (that lives inside of dev/venv in case you ever need to access it):

git clone git@github.com:newfs/goorchids-app.git
cd goorchids-app
git submodule init
git submodule update

Next, make sure that you can access your local PostgreSQL server, which you can confirm with a quick psql -l, and then start up a Solr full text index server with:


At this point the application should at least run, even though most pages will give errors if your database is not set up yet. To start the application, simply run:

dev/django runserver

You should then be able to visit the application at:


Before importing data into your database, ensure you have your AWS credentials set in your environment variables, which is often accomplished by sourcing a shell script kept outside the repository. This is needed to ensure that image importing will work.

If you are starting fresh and have no database set up yet, or want to start over because some tables have changed or Sid had released a new CSV file, then you can rebuild the database with these commands (the first one will give an error if you do not have a gobotany database already sitting in your way; in that case, ignore the error):

dropdb gobotany
createdb -E UTF8 gobotany
dev/django syncdb
dev/django migrate goorchids.core
dev/django createsuperuser

At this point you are done installing and should be able to test and develop the application!

You can load initial data by visiting /admin/core and following the Import Data link. Choose the latest auth export to load user data, click Import; Then choose the latest core export and click Import to load the Orchid data.

If you ever need to activate the virtual environment so that Python prompts or scripts run from your shell have access to the Go Orchids application and its dependencies, then enter:

source dev/activate

If you want to rebuild our minified JavaScript in preparation for a deploy to production, run:


Our various tests can be run with three commands:


Installing Go Orchids on Heroku

Start by checking out this "goorchids-app" repository on your machine:

git clone git@github.com:jazkarta/goorchids-app.git
cd goorchids-app

Follow steps 1–3 at http://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/quickstart_ so that you can run the heroku command, then use the following command to create and provision a new app on Heroku:

heroku create
heroku addons:add heroku-postgresql:basic
heroku addons:add memcache:5mb
heroku addons:add websolr:cobalt
heroku pg:wait
git push heroku master

Once the Postgres database is up and running, note its color (like "RED" or "SILVER"), and promote it to being the "main database" for the app:

heroku pg:promote <color>

Add three configuration variables to your Heroku app, so that Go Orchids will be able to scan its S3 image repository:

heroku config:add AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=...
heroku config:add AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=...
heroku config:add AWS_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME=newfs

The application will now be up and running. You can find its URL with the heroku apps:info command. When you visit, you will see an exception, because the database tables that it needs have not yet been created. To set up the database, run these commands:

heroku config:add DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=goorchids.settings
heroku run django-admin.py syncdb --noinput
heroku run python -m goorchids.core.importer zipimport
heroku run bin/import-images.sh
heroku run bin/import-dkey.sh

Prepare Solr by first generating your Solr schema:

heroku run django-admin.py build_solr_schema > schema.xml

Once this file exists, you can visit the Heroku web site, navigate to your app's configuration, select the addon "Websolr", choose the section "Advanced Configuration", and paste in the contents of schema.xml that you just created. Once the schema is installed (give it a few minutes to make sure the change has the chance to propagate to WebSolr's servers), you can build the Solr index and thereby activate the Go Orchids site's search field:

heroku run django-admin.py rebuild_index --noinput

Running the automated tests

To run our Python tests you can either:

dev/test-python             # to run all tests
dev/test-python api site    # to hand-pick Django apps to test

To run our JavaScript tests, run:

dev/test-js                 # to run all tests
dev/test-js test/Filter.js  # to select which modules to test

Our selenium-powered browser tests are intended to cover things that cannot be tested without a browser and JavaScript. To run them:

dev/test-browser                           # to run all tests
dev/test-browser.sh FilterFunctionalTests  # select which tests

Detailed notes about testing under selenium can be found in:


Testing and adjusting the search feature

The Go Orchids search feature uses Haystack and Solr.

Our unit and functional tests aim to ensure various aspects of the search feature including desired ranking.

Ranking relies mostly on Haystack document boost, as seen in several places in our search_indexes.py. For more fine-grained control where boost is not enough, some hidden repeated keywords are added to search indexes such as in the search_text_species.txt template.

To adjust ranking: cycle through running the functional tests, adjusting the boosts in search_indexes.py, and, if necessary, adjusting the hidden-keyword sections at the end of search_*.txt templates. The Solr Admin full interface, which allows examining details including ranking scores, may also be helpful: