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ES6 is here and you can't avoid it. We have great tools to make it work, one of them is jspm.

jspm is great but all-in-one yeoman generators or seed projects (with build/sass/livereload/sourcemaps/unit-tests ...) are still lacking, so I decided to make my own angular/ES6/jspm stack.

This project is the first step: a vanillaJS/ES6/jspm boilerplate (more infos on the Wiki).


  • Simple ES6 app using basic ES6 features
    • so that you won't have to struggle to understand the code base
    • but advanced enough to be used as an example
  • Use ES6 Modules via SystemJS module loader (built on top of ES6 Module Loader Polyfill)
  • Manage development and production workflow with jspm, SystemJS Builder and Gulp.
  • Backend mocking / stubs / overriding of the module loader
  • Karma unit tests (using mocks and stubs)
  • e2e testing with protractor
  • Produce optimized, production ready code for deployment
  • Continuous Integration ready (tests via Travis CI with SauceLabs integration for e2e tests)
  • Automated documentation generation


Want to get started right now and bother about all the great features later ?

$ npm install -g jspm
$ git clone
$ cd vanilla-es6-jspm
$ npm install
$ gulp serve

You're ready to develop in ES6 the project in the src folder!


  • node/npm (tested on both node v4, v5 & v6 - see tests)
  • gulp npm install -g gulp-cli
  • jspm npm install -g jspm

Why all dependencies in local (see wiki) ?


All you need is to run npm install

  • npm install: install all npm dependencies + will automatically triggers the following at postinstall (so you don't need to run those):
    • jspm install: installs front dependencies via jspm
    • npm run webdriver-manager-update installs necessary binaries for Selenium (for e2e testing)


You can launch your app in different modes (dev/dist/test):

  • gulp serve : will launch a dev server
  • gulp serve --env dist : will launch the version of the site built in build/dist folder (need to gulp build before) - usefull to check your site before deploying it.
  • gulp serve --env test : will launch a dev server with test configuration - usefull to debug / create unit tests:
    • jspm configuration overridden by the test/jspm.override.json file
    • the app will appear with "TEST" in background, thanks to test/fixtures/bs.snippet.html injected on the the fly (containing specific css)

You can pass the following flags to the gulp serve command:

  • --env: accepts dev, dist, test (dev by default)
  • --port: overrides the port of the server you'll launch
  • --disable-watch: disables watching/reloading
  • --open false: won't open the site in the browser


  • gulp build : builds a production ready version of the site in build/dist folder
  • gulp build --env test : same as gulp build, but bundles a test version of your website (using test/jspm.override.json)
    • can be usefull if you want to do end-to-end testing on a built version of your website

You can also pass the following flags to gulp build:



The unit tests are in test/unit/spec.

You can see exactly which commands match the following npm tasks in the package.json.

  • npm test: runs all the tests (will be triggered on git-pre-commit)
  • npm run test-unit: runs the unit tests through karma
  • npm run test-build: tests the gulp build task (will be triggered on git-pre-push)
    • if build/dist folder is under git management (see deployment section), this task will git stash/unstash before and after testing.


The e2e tests are in test/e2e/spec. It's using protractor - an end-to-end test framework for AngularJS applications, based on Selenium Webdriver. It can also be used on non-angular websites (more on wiki).

You can run the e2e tests two ways (either way, they need a server in order to run):

  • standalone (no need to have a server launched / make sure you don't) - launch : npm run test-e2e-standalone: this will:
    • start a test server
    • run the e2e tests
    • stop the test server
  • if you want to run them against your current server (this should be a server launched in test mode with gulp serve --env test), open a new terminal tab and run npm run test-e2e

Git workflow & Continuous Integration

Git hooks

To prevent you from sending broken code, some client-side git hooks are enabled:

  • pre-commit: will run npm test (checks jshint, htmlhint and karma unit tests)
  • pre-push: will run npm run test-build (checks if the build runs smoothly)
    • I decided to put this check on pre-push because: it takes time and git stash/unstash build/dist folder repo - it could be put on pre-commit ...

You can bypass those checks by adding to your git command the flag --no-verify (but know that the Travis CI build will fail).

Travis CI

On each push, Travis CI will run the following tests/builds (see complete steps in .travis.yml):

  • gulp build: runs the build routine (to make sure it works fine)
  • gulp build --env test: builds a test version of the app (to be served for e2e tests)
  • npm test: runs unit tests
  • npm run test-e2e: runs end to end tests via SauceLabs

If either one of them fails, the build will be flagged as failed.

  • Travis CI setup
  • The WITH_DOCS=true env var is exported at the beginning so that the doc generation should also be tested on the gulp build task (without changing the commands)
  • As you'll see e2e tests don't run on pull requests. See explanation on the FAQ.


You can skip this if e2e testing isn't part of your Continuous Integration workflow.

SauceLabs is a cross-browser automation tool built on top of Selenium WebDriver (Protractor uses Selenium WebDriver). It lets you run e2e tests accross multiple devices and is well integrated to Travis CI.

If you want to set it up for your own project, read this post.

To avoid traffic on the Sauce Connect tunnel that could lead to timeouts, SauceLabs tests are run against a server serving the build/dist folder, containing a bundled version of the site in test mode (to benefit from the stubs and mocks) which was created thanks to gulp build --env test.

More infos on this commit: #7898239

See the SauceLabs Report (much like Travis but for e2e tests)

Generate Docs

Documentation generation is currently based on YUIDoc. A set of tasks is at your disposal:

  • npm run yuidoc: Will generate documentation in build/docs
  • gulp build --with-docs: Same as above, but will also copy the generated documentation to build/dist/docs (can be usefull if you have an opensource project and want to share docs)

The configuration of YUIDoc is specified in the package.json, in the yuidoc entry - you can override this config (the theme for example).

Here is an example of the output.


  • I'm still looking for a replacement for yuidoc, feel free to use your own doc generator - if you have one more suited for ES6, please let me know.
  • I opened an issue here, for the moment, the doc doesn't display well when served over https.


On github pages

You can host your project on github pages like this (source), pushing to the github pages the dist folder where the project is built.

$ gulp build
$ cd build/dist
$ git init
$ git remote add origin
$ git fetch origin
$ git checkout --orphan gh-pages
$ gulp build
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "first push to production"
$ git push -u origin gh-pages

Next time, you'll only have to do the last 4 steps ...

Folder Organization


├── 404.html
├── analytics.snippet.html  --> analytics snippet (only added at build)
├── app                     --> folder containing app js files
│   ├── bootstrap.js        --> js module entry point
│   ├── components
│   ├── main.js
│   └── services
├── favicon-128x128.png
├── favicon-32x32.png
├── favicon.ico
├── images                  --> images files
├── index.html              --> app main file
└── styles                  --> styles folder (.scss)


├── dist                    --> distribution source code that goes to production
│   ├── 404.html
│   ├── docs                --> generate doc with "gulp build --with-docs"
│   ├── favicon-128x128.png
│   ├── favicon-32x32.png
│   ├── favicon.ico
│   ├── images              --> images files
│   ├── index.html          --> app main file
│   ├── scripts             --> js files
│   │   └──  --> concat, minify, reved app js files and cached templates
│   └── styles              --> css files
│       └── main.min-b8451af87d.css  --> concat & minify app css files
└── docs                    --> generate doc with "npm run yuidoc"


├── e2e
│   ├── spec             --> e2e tests run by protractor with jasmine
│   └── utils.js
├── fixtures
│   └── bs.snippet.html  --> html snippet added on gulp serve:test
├── forever.gulp.serve.dist.json
├── forever.gulp.serve.test.json
├── jspm.override.json   --> file to override jspm.config.js in test mode
├── stubs                --> replacements for existing modules, injected in test mode (configured in jspm.override.json)
│   └── app
│       └── services
└── unit
    └── spec             --> unit tests run by karma with jasmine
        ├── components
        └── services


See releases section.


This section is in progress, you can still take a look at the public trello board.


See Wiki


See Wiki