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A service for your website that makes it surprisingly easy to collaborate in real-time.


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TogetherJS - Surprisingly easy collaboration

What is TogetherJS?

TogetherJS is a service for your website that makes it surprisingly easy to collaborate in real-time.

Using TogetherJS two people can interact on the same page, seeing each other's cursors, edits, and browsing a site together. The TogetherJS service is included by the web site owner, and a web site can customize and configure aspects of TogetherJS's behavior on the site.

For more information and to see TogetherJS in action, visit

If you want to integrate TogetherJS onto your site see the wiki and specifically Getting Started.


The remainder of this document is about contributing to TogetherJS - but reports, fixes, features, etc. Look back at those other links if you are looking for something else.

Bug Reports

Please submit bug reports as github issues. Don't worry about labels or milestones. If you use the in-app feedback to give us a bug report that's fine too.

Roadmap & Plans

To see what we're planning or at least considering to do with TogetherJS, look at see our bug tracker.

Setting up a development environment

TogetherJS has two main pieces:

  • The server, which echos messages back and forth between users. The server doesn't do much, you may gaze upon its incredibly boring history.

  • The client in togetherjs/ which does all the real work.

There is a TogetherJS hub server deployed at - and there's little need for other server deployments. If you want to try TogetherJS out we recommend you use our hub server. Note if you include TogetherJS on an https site, you must use an https hub server.

The files need to be lightly "built": we use LESS for styles, and a couple files are generated. To develop you need to build the library using Grunt.

To build a copy of the library, check out TogetherJS:

$ git clone git://
$ cd togetherjs

Then install npm and run:

$ npm install
$ npm install -g grunt-cli

This will install a bunch of stuff, most of which is only used for development. The only "server" dependency is WebSocket-Node (and if you use our hub then you don't need to worry about the server). By default everything is installed locally, i.e., in node_modules/. This works just fine, but it is useful to install the grunt command-line program globally, which npm install -g grunt-cli does.

Now you can build TogetherJS, like:

$ grunt build buildsite --no-hardlink

This will create a copy of the entire site in build/. You'll need to setup a local web server of your own pointed to the build/ directory. To start a server on port 8080, run:

$ node devserver.js

If you want to develop with TogetherJS you probably want the files built continually. To do this use:

$ grunt devwatch

This will rebuild when changes are detected. Note that Grunt is configured to create hard links instead of copying so that most changes you make to files in togetherjs/ don't need to be rebuilt to show up in build/togetherjs/. --no-hardlink turns this behavior off.

You may wish to create a static copy of the TogetherJS client to distribute and use on your website. To do this run:

$ grunt build --base-url --no-hardlink --dest static-myapp

Then static-myapp/togetherjs.js and static-myapp/togetherjs-min.js will be in place, and the rest of the code will be under static-myapp/togetherjs/. You would deploy these on your server.

Running a local server

You shouldn't need to run your own version of the hub server. But if you happen to make changes to the server, you can change the default hub URL by setting the HUB_URL environment variable when building. For example:

$ HUB_URL=http://localhost:8080 grunt devwatch


Tests are in togetherjs/tests/ -- these are doctest.js tests. To actually run the tests build togetherjs, serve it up, and go to http://localhost:PORT/togetherjs/tests/ -- from there the tests are linked to from the top of the page. The actual tests are *.js files in togetherjs/tests/, generally test_*.js for unit-style tests, and func_*.js for functional tests.

The "Manual testing" link is something that lets you simulate different conditions in TogetherJS without setting up a second browser/client.

There is unfortunately no automated runner for these tests. It might be nice if Karma could be setup with doctest.js in general, but so far that isn't done.


This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can obtain one at


A service for your website that makes it surprisingly easy to collaborate in real-time.







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