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A starting point for Polymer 1.0 apps
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Polymer Starter Kit

A starting point for building web applications with Polymer 1.0

Included out of the box:

  • Polymer, Paper and Iron elements
  • Material Design layout
  • Routing with Page.js
  • Unit testing with Web Component Tester
  • Offline-first setup through Service Worker elements
  • End-to-end Build Tooling (including Vulcanize)

Getting Started

To take advantage of Polymer Starter Kit you need to:

  1. Get a copy of the code.
  2. Install the dependencies if you don't already have them.
  3. Modify the application to your liking.
  4. Deploy your production code.

Getting the code

Download and extract Polymer Starter Kit to where you want to work.

Install dependencies

With Node.js and npm installed, run the following one liner from the root of your Polymer Starter Kit download:

$ npm install -g gulp && npm install -g bower && npm install && bower install

This will install the element sets (Paper, Iron, Platinum) and tools we will use to serve and build apps.

Serve / watch

$ gulp serve

This outputs an IP address you can use to locally test and another that can be used on devices connected to your network.

Run tests

$ gulp test:local

This runs the unit tests defined in the app/test directory through web-component-tester.

Build & Vulcanize

$ gulp

Build and optimize the current project, ready for deployment. This includes linting as well as vulcanization, image, script, stylesheet and HTML optimization and minification.

Application Theming

Polymer 1.0 introduces a shim for CSS custom properties. We take advantage of this in app/elements/app-theme.html to provide theming for your application. You can also find our presets for Material Design breakpoints in this file.

Unit Testing

Web apps built with Polymer Starter Kit come configured with support for Web Component Tester - Polymer's preferred tool for authoring and running unit tests. This makes testing your element based applications a pleasant experience.

Dependency Management

Polymer uses Bower for package management. This makes it easy to keep your elements up to date and versioned. For tooling, we use NPM to manage Node-based dependencies.

Service Worker

Polymer Starter Kit offers an offline-first experience thanks to Service Worker and the Platinum Service Worker elements. New to Service Worker? Read the following introduction to understand how it works.

Our default offline setup should work well for relatively simple applications. For more complex apps, we recommend learning how Service Worker works so that you can make the most of the Platinum Service Worker element abstractions.

Filing bugs in the right place

If you experience an issue with Service Worker support in your application, check the origin of the issue and use the appropriate issue tracker:

I get an error message about "Only secure origins are allowed"

Service Workers are only available to "secure origins" (HTTPS sites, basically) in line with a policy to prefer secure origins for powerful new features. However http://localhost is also considered a secure origin, so if you can, developing on localhost is an easy way to avoid this error. For production, your site will need to support HTTPS.

How do I debug Service Worker?

If you need to debug the event listener wire-up use chrome://serviceworker-internals.

What are those buttons on chrome://serviceworker-internals?

This page shows your registered workers and provides some basic operations.

  • Unregister: Unregisters the worker.
  • Start: Starts the worker. This would happen automatically when you navigate to a page in the worker's scope.
  • Stop: Stops the worker.
  • Sync: Dispatches a 'sync' event to the worker. If you don't handle this event, nothing will happen.
  • Push: Dispatches a 'push' event to the worker. If you don't handle this event, nothing will happen.
  • Inspect: Opens the worker in the Inspector.

Development flow

In order to guarantee that the latest version of your Service Worker script is being used, follow these instructions:

  • After you made changes to your service worker script, close all but one of the tabs pointing to your web application
  • Hit shift-reload to bypass the service worker as to ensure that the remaining tab isn't under the control of a service worker
  • Hit reload to let the newer version of the Service Worker control the page.

If you find anything to still be stale, you can also try navigating to chrome:serviceworker-internals (in Chrome), finding the relevant Service Worker entry for your application and clicking 'Unregister' before refreshing your app. This will (of course) only clear it from the local development machine. If you have already deployed to production then further work will be necessary to remove it from your user's machines.

Not yet ready for Service Worker support?

If for any reason you decide that Service Worker support isn't for you, you can disable it from your Polymer Starter Kit project using these 3 steps:

  • Remove 'precache' from the list in the 'default' gulp task (gulpfile.js)
  • Remove the two Platinum Service Worker elements (platinum-sw/..) in app/elements/elements.html
  • Remove references to the platinum-sw elements from your application index.

You will also want to navigate to chrome://serviceworker-internals and unregister any Service Workers registered by Polymer Starter Kit for your app just in case there's a copy of it cached.


Polymer Starter Kit is a new project and is an ongoing effort by the Web Component community. We welcome your bug reports, PRs for improvements, docs and anything you think would improve the experience for other Polymer developers.

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