CDH website documentation

Unit test status Code coverage Requirements Status dbdocs build Visual regression tests "code style Black" "imports: isort"

Python 3.6 / Django 2.2 / Node 10 / PostgreSQL 10 cdhweb is a Django+Mezzanine application that powers the CDH website with custom models for people, events, and projects.

View software and architecture documentation for the current release.

This repository uses git-flow conventions; main contains the most recent release, and work in progress will be on the develop branch. Pull requests should be made against develop.

Development instructions

Initial setup and installation:

  • Recommended: create and activate a python 3.6 virtualenv:

    virtualenv cdhweb -p python3.6
    source cdhweb/bin/activate
  • Use pip to install required python dependencies. To install production dependencies only:

    pip install -r requirements.txt

    To install all development requirements:

    pip install -r requirements/dev.txt
  • Install django-compressor dependencies:

    npm install
  • Copy sample local settings and configure for your environment:

    cp cdhweb/ cdhweb/

Remember to add a SECRET_KEY setting!

  • Download licensed fonts and install locally under /sitemedia/fonts/

  • If running this application on MariaDB/MySQL, you must make sure that time zone definitions are installed. On most flavors of Linux/MacOS, you may use the following command, which will prompt for the database server’s root password:

    mysql_tzinfo_to_sql /usr/share/zoneinfo | mysql -u root mysql -p

    If this command does not work, make sure you have the command line utilities for MariaDB/MySQL installed and consult the documentation for your OS for timezone info. Windows users will need to install a copy of the zoneinfo files.

    See MariaDB’s info on the utility for more information.

  • Install OpenCV dependencies (if necessary) for [wagtail image feature detection](

Setup pre-commit hooks

If you plan to contribute to this repository, please run the following command:

pre-commit install

This will add a pre-commit hook to automatically style your python code with black.

Because these styling conventions were instituted after multiple releases of development on this project, git blame may not reflect the true author of a given line. In order to see a more accurate git blame execute the following command:

  git blame <FILE> --ignore-revs-file .git-blame-ignore-revs

Or configure your git to always ignore styling revision commits:

  git config blame.ignoreRevsFile .git-blame-ignore-revs

Unit Testing

Unit tests are written with py.test but use Django fixture loading and convenience testing methods when that makes things easier. To run them, first install test requirements (these are included in dev):

pip install -r requirements/test.txt

Run tests using py.test:


Visual Testing

Visual regression tests are written using the Python bindings for Selenium, and DOM snapshots are uploaded to Percy. They run in CI on pushes or pull requests to the develop branch.

Before visual tests are run, the CI build will execute:

python create_test_site

Which uses existing pytest fixtures to populate the database with content approximating a real website in order to execute the tests. It will then run:

npm run test:visual

Which starts a Django development server and calls the ci/ script to upload DOM snapshots to Percy for regression analysis.

You can use both of these commands locally if you need to accomplish either of these tasks. You will need to have the dependencies in requirements/test.txt installed, and set PERCY_TOKEN in your shell environment.


Documentation is generated using sphinx To generate documentation, first install development requirements:

pip install -r requirements/dev.txt

Then build the documentation using the customized make file in the docs directory:

cd sphinx-docs
make html

When building documentation for a production release, use make docs to update the published documentation on GitHub Pages.

On every commit, GitHub Actions will generate and then publish a database diagram to dbdocs @ princetoncdh/cdh-web. But to generate locally, install and log into dbdocs. Then run:

python dbml > cdhweb.dbml
npx dbdocs build cdhweb.dbml --project cdhweb


This project is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.

©2019 Trustees of Princeton University. Permission granted via Princeton Docket #20-2634 for distribution online under a standard Open Source license. Ownership rights transferred to Rebecca Koeser provided software is distributed online via open source.

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