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hotcode makes frontend development easier by auto reloading the page/assets on file changes. Backend independent.
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hotcode screenshot

Since it is a totally separate tool you don't have to integrate it into your project's backend and it works with any language.

What does hotcode do?

hotcode is a local development tool that allows you to watch for file changes on a local file path and reloads your web project as a result of a change.

This means you don't have to hit refresh every time you make a change and if the change is a css file it allows you to refresh the CSS without loosing state on the current page.


npm install hotcode

How to use

  • Run hotcode in terminal
  • Insert the "injected.js" script into your project as a script tag or through a http proxy. (semi optional)
  • A browser window should now open up (it runs open http://host:port)
  • Insert url ( in "Url" input, press return.
  • Insert path (/var/www/projectname/) in "Watch path" input, press return.
  • Start making changes to files in the path and see how hotcode reloads the view.
  • Be more productive.

"Required script"

To get extra features like updating the url while browsing the site and in page CSS refresh you must include the "injected.js" script in your page. This can be done using a script tag or through a http proxy like Glimmerblocker.

If the script isn't included cross origin policies negate the ability do these things.

But hotcode will fallback to a "dumb" reload of the iframe on file change when the script isn't present.


hotcode -p 8000 -u vhost.local -s
  • -p [int] , port, 8080
  • -h [str] , host, vhost.local
  • -s, silent, doesn't open a browser window on start

Helper file (predefined paths for urls)

You can add a helper file to hotcode so that you don't have to enter the watch path every time you enter an url.

At ~/.hotcode you can insert:

module.exports = [
		'regex': /http:\/\/(.+?)
		, 'watches': function(regexMatches, callback) {
			callback(null, '/var/www/'+regexMatches[1]);

This makes it so that hotcode will insert the path /var/www/subdomain automatically when you insert an url matching the regex supplied.

Ordinary script tag

<script src="http://yourhost:8080/static/injected.js" type="text/javascript"></script>


  • Open Glimmerblocker pref pane.
  • New rule.
  • Action: Whitelist URL, optinally modifying content.
  • Enter a match for the host.
  • Paste the following code (modified) in the javascript tabs input area:


var hcH = document.getElementsByTagName('HEAD').item(0);
var hcS= document.createElement("script");
hcS.type = "text/javascript";


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