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README.md

Lobsters Rails Project Build Status

This is the quite sad source code to the site operating at https://lobste.rs. It is a Rails 5 codebase and uses a SQL (MariaDB in production) backend for the database.

You are free to use this code to start your own sister site because the code is available under a permissive license (3-clause BSD). We welcome bug reports and code contributions that help use improve lobste.rs. As a volunteer project we're reluctant to take on work that's not useful to our site, so please understand if we don't want to adopt your custom feature.

2019-05-29 experiment: Are you interested in running your own sister site and not technical, or otherwise willing to pay for hosting/support? Maybe you're a Reddit community unhappy with their redesign, want an internal site for your company, or want to experiement with community design? Please contact Peter (email that name @push.cx). I'm exploring the idea of a hosting company to run sites using the codebase, or maybe consulting on custom features, and would love to hear from you. (The only change to Lobsters would be that someone's getting paid to PR back bug fixes.)

Contributing bugfixes and new features

We'd love to have your help. Please see the CONTRIBUTING file for details.

Initial setup

Use the steps below for a local install or lobsters-ansible for our production deployment config. There's an external project docker-lobsters if you want to use Docker.

  • Install Ruby 2.3.

  • Checkout the lobsters git tree from Github

    $ git clone git://github.com/lobsters/lobsters.git
    $ cd lobsters
    lobsters$
  • Install Nodejs, needed (or other execjs) for uglifier

    Fedora: sudo yum install nodejs
    Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install nodejs
    OSX: brew install nodejs
  • Run Bundler to install/bundle gems needed by the project:

    lobsters$ bundle
    • If when installing the mysql2 gem on macOS, you see ld: library not found for -l-lpthread in the output, see this solution for a fix. You might also see ld: library not found for -lssl if you're using macOS 10.4+ and Homebrew openssl, in which case see this solution.
  • Create a MySQL (other DBs supported by ActiveRecord may work, only MySQL and MariaDB have been tested) database, username, and password and put them in a config/database.yml file. You will also want a separate database for running tests:

    development:
      adapter: mysql2
      encoding: utf8mb4
      reconnect: false
      database: lobsters_dev
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      username: *dev_username*
      password: *dev_password*
      
    test:
      adapter: mysql2
      encoding: utf8mb4
      reconnect: false
      database: lobsters_test
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      username: *test_username*
      password: *test_password*
  • Load the schema into the new database:

    lobsters$ rails db:schema:load
  • Define your site's name and default domain, which are used in various places, in a config/initializers/production.rb or similar file:

    class << Rails.application
      def domain
        "example.com"
      end
    
      def name
        "Example News"
      end
    end
    
    Rails.application.routes.default_url_options[:host] = Rails.application.domain
  • Put your site's custom CSS in app/assets/stylesheets/local.

  • Seed the database to create an initial administrator user, the inactive-user, and at least one tag:

    lobsters$ rails db:seed
  • On your personal computer, you can add some sample data and run the Rails server in development mode. You should be able to login to http://localhost:3000 with your new test user:

    lobsters$ rails fake_data
    lobsters$ rails server
  • Deploying the site in production requires setting up a web server and running the app in production mode. There are more tools and options available than we can describe; find a guide or an expert. The lobsters-ansible repo has our config files to crib from. Some app-specific notes:

  • Set up crontab or another scheduler to run regular jobs:

    */5 * * * *  cd /path/to/lobsters && env RAILS_ENV=production sh -c 'bundle exec ruby script/mail_new_activity; bundle exec ruby script/post_to_twitter; bundle exec ruby script/traffic_range'
    
  • See config/initializers/production.rb.sample for GitHub/Twitter integration help.

Administration

Basic moderation happens on-site, but most other administrative tasks require use of the rails console in production. Administrators can create and edit tags at /tags.

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