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Presents various tools for development.

Admin page

After the development module is enabled a menu item Development is added to the System menu in the admin.

On the development page it is possible to set debugging options, trace template compilation, and test dispatch rules.

Options

This can toggle various development options:

Show paths to included template files in generated templates
Checking this will add comments in the compiled templates. The comments will list the exact file included at that point.
Show defined blocks in generated templates
Checking this will add comments in the compiled templates. The comments will show the start and end of any template {% block %} ... {% endblock %}.
Download css and javascript files as separate files (ie. don’t combine them in one url).
Checking this will generate separate <link/> and <script/> tags for all files mentioned in a single {% lib %} tag. This makes debugging those files easier but makes loading pages slower as more requests will be done per page.
Enable API to recompile & build Zotonic
The api on /api/development/recompile can be accessed to trigger a full compilation and cache flush of Zotonic. This checkbox must be checked to enable this api.

Template debugging

The template selection mechanism is quite complicated. It takes into account all modules, their priority, the user-agent class (desktop, tablet, phone or text) and optionally the category of a resource.

With this debugging tool you can optionally select a category, and fill in the name of the template. Per user-agent class the selected template will be shown.

/img/development_template_debug.png

The second debug option is a page with a live display of all templates being compiled. With this it is possible to get greater insight in the template selection and compilation.

Dispatch rule debugging

With this it is possible to see for a request path which dispatch rules are matched and/or how it is rewritten.

/img/development_dispatch_debug.png

Automatic recompilation

The core Zotonic system starts either inotify-tools or fswatch, depending on which one is available. You have to install one of these to enable auto-compile and auto-load of changed files.

Note

The system can only scan for changed files if either inotify-tools or fswatch is installed.

See below for platform-specific installation instructions.

If a changed file is detected then Zotonic will:

  • If an .erl file changes then the file is recompiled.
  • If a .scss or .sass file changes then sass is called to compile it to its .css equivalent.
  • If a .less file changes then lessc is called to compile it to its .css equivalent.
  • If a .coffee file changes then coffee is called to compile it to its .js equivalent.
  • If a lib file changes then the module indexer will be called so that any removed or added templates will be handled correctly.
  • If a template file changes then the module indexer will be called so that any removed or added template will be handled correctly.
  • If a dispatch file changes then all dispatch rules are reloaded.
  • If a beam file changes then the module will be loaded. If the beam file is a Zotonic module then it will be automatically restarted if either the function exports or the mod_schema changed.
  • If the .yrl definition of the template parser changes, then the .erl version of the parser is regenerated. (This will trigger a compile, which triggers a beam load).

Linux installation

On Linux this feature depends on the inotifywait tool, which is part of the inotify-tools package. For displaying notifications, it uses notify-send:

sudo apt-get install inotify-tools libnotify-bin

Mac OS X installation

On Mac OS X (version 10.8 and higher), we use the external programs fswatch and terminal-notifier:

sudo brew install fswatch
sudo brew install terminal-notifier

Configuration options

mod_development.libsep
Boolean value. If true, :ref:`tag-lib` files will be included separately instead of in one big concatenated file.