Ruby Clojure CSS HTML JavaScript
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Community is a hybrid forum and mailing list server.

CircleCI Build Status


  • Ruby 2.4.2
    • bundler
  • Postgres 9.5.4
  • redis
  • leiningen
  • Elasticsearch 2.4

Also, note that because Community is tied to the Recurse Center API, you'll need to be a Recurser to run this.

Installing dependencies on macOS


We recommend

Ruby (using rvm):

# if you don't already have rvm, follow the instructions at
$ rvm get stable
$ rvm install ruby-2.4.2
$ rvm use ruby-2.4.2

Leiningen and redis (using Homebrew):

# if you don't already have homebrew, follow the instructions at
$ brew update
$ brew install leiningen redis elasticsearch
# if you'd rather not start redis-server and elasticsearch every time before hacking
# on community, follow the printed instructions to have redis and elasticsearch
# start automatically on boot

elasticsearch may fail to build if Java 1.7+ is not installed---if you run into this, you can just run:

# If you don't already have caskroom:
$ brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
# And then:
$ brew cask install java
$ brew install elasticsearch


We use heroku local which sets environment variables from a .env file. We don't check this into version control because it contains secret information. Here is a sample .env file to get you started:


# See below for instructions on getting this id and secret


# If you want to import accounts from the Recurse Center
# (You won't be able to do this unless you are Recurse Center faculty)
# HACKER_SCHOOL_API_SECRET_TOKEN=hacker_school_api_secret

# If you want to develop against a local copy of the Hacker School API, add:
# HACKER_SCHOOL_SITE=http://localhost:5000

# Needed for batch mail sending in production
# MAILGUN_API_KEY=your_mailgun_api_key

To generate a Recurse Center client id and secret, go to your Recurse Center settings page and make a new OAuth app. The redirect url should be http://localhost:5001/login/complete (or your development host name if you don't develop off of localhost).

Running the code

Before doing anything, make sure that redis-server, elasticsearch, and postgres are running.

The first time you run the code, install necessary gems and set up your database.

$ gem install bundler
$ bundle
$ bin/rake db:setup

After that, start your development server and start building the client JS.

$ heroku local

# In another terminal:
$ cd client
$ lein cljsbuild auto

Lein can take as long as ~30 seconds to build all the Clojurescript, so be patient! The site won't work until it's done. Once it's finished, simply visit localhost:5001.

Running the production ClojureScript

The production client code will sometimes function differently than the development code. This can happen when you forget to add externs for a library you are calling, or if lein cljsbuild auto randomly makes a bad client. Because of this, we should test the production client before deploying. To do that, you can set CLIENT_ENV to production and run heroku local. If you don't set CLIENT_ENV, it defaults to the Rails environment.

$ CLIENT_ENV=production heroku local

Where is db/schema.rb?

Look at db/structure.sql instead. We use this because it supports Postgres views.

Client testing

We use a small ClojureScript wrapper over Jasmine for testing our client. If you're running lein cljsbuild auto (as above), the client tests will be built automatically.

To run the client tests:

$ bin/rake jasmine
# Navigate to localhost:8888 to run the tests.
# Refresh the page to re-run the tests.


Copyright © 2017 the Recurse Center

This software is licensed under the terms of the AGPL, Version 3. The complete license can be found at