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commonlib @ 6438360


WriteToThem lets you contact elected representatives in the United Kingdom.

If you want to build your own site for writing to people, we recommend you take a look at WriteIt instead. WriteToThem is a legacy project with many particular quirks, whereas WriteIt was built from the start to be more flexible and easier to use.

Developing WriteToThem

This repository contains a simple development environment based on Docker Compose.

Currently, this environment can be used for making changes to the front-end of the site - HTML, styles, etc. Additional integration for full back-end testing (such as representative lookup, etc) is not currently available.

Assuming you have Docker installed locally, you should be able to start the development environment by running:

docker-compose up

This will start two containers (one for the app and a Postgres database) in the foreground. You can stop the environment by pressing CTRL-C.

If you'd prefer them to run in the background, add the -d flag:

docker-compose up -d

To stop the environment in this case run:

docker-compose down

The first time you run the environment, a local image will be built for the app container and the database will have the schema loaded automatically.

Once the environment is running, it should be accessible at (note that you'll get an error if you simply visit localhost:8085 at present).

If you need to rebuild the app container, you can do so by running:

docker-compose build

Changes made to styles, etc, (as described in the next section) should be reflected when a page is reloaded as your local working copy is mapped to the document root of the app container.


WriteToThem uses the Foundation framework, and styles are compiled using Compass.

Most people prefer to manage their Ruby Gems using Bundler. If you don’t already have it, you can install it like so:

gem install bundler

Then you can tell Bundler install the Gems for this project:

bundle install

And finally, change into the Sass directory, and compile the Sass into CSS:

cd web/static
bundle exec compass compile

If you are making frequent changes, you can tell Compass to watch the directory for updates, and recompile the CSS files as necessary:

cd web/static
bundle exec compass watch


Thanks to Browserstack who let us use their web-based cross-browser testing tools for this project.