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justask (aka. the software behind Retrospring)

This is the source code that powered Retrospring. Yep, all of it. Including all the branches where we left off.


  • UNIX-like system (Linux, FreeBSD, ...)
  • Ruby 2.0.0+
  • Bundler
  • PostgreSQL
  • Redis (for Sidekiq)
  • ImageMagick (for image processing)

Installation (production)

We've installed justask on FreeBSD 10 using rvm. What we also did was creating a new, seperate user just for justask to run in. On FreeBSD, this is done with:

# pw user add justask


At Retrospring, we were using PostgreSQL as the database backend. The software might work on MySQL too, but that was not tested.

Installation from Ports (using portmaster):

# portmaster databases/postgresql93-server


$ sudo -u postgres psql -d template1
template1=# CREATE USER justask CREATEDB;
template1=# CREATE DATABASE justask_production OWNER justask;
template1=# \q

Try connecting to the database:

$ psql -U justask -d justask_production


See docs/nginx.conf for the configuration we used on Retrospring.


Clone the Source

$ git clone justask

Configure It

# Change into the justask directory
$ cd justask

# Copy the example config
$ cp config/justask.yml.example config/justask.yml

# Edit the configuration file
$ vi config/justask.yml

Database Configuration

$ cp config/database.yml.postgres config/database.yml
$ vi config/database.yml

# Make database.yml readable only for you
chmod o-rwx config/database.yml

Install Gems

# Deployment:
$ bundle install --deployment --without development test mysql

# Development:
$ bundle install --without production mysql

Initialize Database

$ bundle exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Compile Assets

$ bundle exec rake assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production

Run the server

# Production mode:
$ foreman start

# Development mode:
$ bundle exec rails server

Now, create an account on your justask installation.

To make yourself an admin, just execute:

$ bundle exec rake 'justask:admin[your_username]' RAILS_ENV=production

If you want to remove admin status from a certain user, you can do this:

$ bundle exec rake 'justask:deadmin[get_rekt]' RAILS_ENV=production

Add/remove moderators (this can be done via the web interface by visiting an user as an admin):

$ bundle exec rake 'justask:mod[someone_else]' RAILS_ENV=production
$ bundle exec rake 'justask:demod[someone_else]' RAILS_ENV=production

Add/remove supporters (this can be done via the web interface by visiting an user as an admin/mod):

$ bundle exec rake 'justask:sup[someone_else]' RAILS_ENV=production
$ bundle exec rake 'justask:desup[someone_else]' RAILS_ENV=production

Export user data:

$ bundle exec rake 'justask:export[jdoe@example.tld]' RAILS_ENV=production

Find the user(s) with the most self-asked anonymous questions:

$ bundle exec rake justask:loners

The Official Retrospring Closedown Soundtrack™