Princeton Prosody Archive documentation

Django web application for Princeton Prosody Archive version 3.x.

Code and architecture documentation for the current release available at

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2400705 Unit test status Code coverage CodeFactor code style Black imports: isort

This repo 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.

Python 3.9 / Django 4.0 / Node 18.12 / Postgresql 13 / Solr 8

Development instructions

Initial setup and installation:

  • recommended: create and activate a python 3.9 virtual environment, perhaps with virtualenv or venv

  • Use pip to install required python dependencies:

    pip install -r requirements.txt
    pip install -r dev-requirements.txt
  • Copy sample local settings and configure for your environment:

    cp ppa/ ppa/
  • Create a database, configure in local settings in the DATABASES dictionary, change SECRET_KEY, and run migrations:

    python migrate
  • Create a new Solr configset from the files in solr_conf

    cp -r solr_conf /path/to/solr/server/solr/configsets/ppa
    chown solr:solr -R /path/to/solr/server/solr/configsets/ppa

    and configure SOLR_CONNECTIONS in local settings with your preferred core/collection name and the configset name you created.

    See developer notes for setup instructions for using docker with solr:8.4 image.

  • Bulk import (provisional): requires a local copy of HathiTrust data as pairtree provided by rsync. Configure the path in and then run:

    python hathi_import
  • Then index the imported content into Solr:

    python index -i work
    python index_pages

Frontend development setup:

This project uses the Fomantic UI library in addition to custom styles and javascript. You need to compile static assets before running the server.

  • To build all styles and js for production, including fomantic UI:

    npm install
    npm run build

Alternatively, you can rebuild just the custom files or fomantic independently. This is useful if you make small changes and need to recompile once:

npm run build:qa # just the custom files, with sourcemaps
npm run build:prod # just the custom files, no sourcemaps
npm run build:semantic # just fomantic UI

Finally, you can run a development server with hot reload if you’ll be changing either set of assets frequently. These two processes are separate as well:

npm run dev # serve just the custom files from memory, with hot reload
npm run dev:semantic # serve just fomantic UI files and recompile on changes
  • 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.


Python 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 development requirements:

pip install -r dev-requirements.txt

Run tests using py.test. Note that this currently requires the top level project directory be included in your python path. You can accomplish this either by calling pytest via python:

python -m pytest

Or, if you wish to use the pytest command directly, simply add the top-level project directory to your python path environment variable:

setenv PYTHONPATH .  # csh
export PYTHONPATH=.  # bash

Make sure you configure a test solr connection and set up an empty Solr core using the same instructions as for the development core.

Note that python unit tests access a test server over HTTP, and therefore expect static files to be compiled – see “Frontend development setup” above for how to do this.

In a CI context, we instead use a webpack-stats.json file that mocks the existence of the static files so they aren’t required. This file is located in the ci/ directory and needs to be updated if new entrypoints are configured in webpack.config.js.

Javascript unit tests are written with Jasmine and run using Karma. To run them, you can use an npm command:

npm test

Automated accessibility testing is also possible using pa11y and pa11y-ci. To run accessibility tests, start the server with python runserver and then use npm:

npm run pa11y

The accessibility tests are configured to read options from the .pa11yci.json file and look for a sitemap at localhost:8000/sitemap.xml to use to crawl the site. Additional URLs to test can be added to the urls property of the .pa11yci.json file.

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 and clean python code with black and ruff.

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


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

pip install -r dev-requirements.txt

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

cd sphinx-docs
make html

To check documentation coverage, run:

make html -b coverage

This will create a file under _build/coverage/python.txt listing any python classes or methods that are not documented. Note that sphinx can only report on code coverage for files that are included in the documentation. If a new python file is created but not included in the sphinx documentation, it will be omitted.

Documentation will be built and published with GitHub Pages by a GitHub Actions workflow triggered on push to main.

The same GitHub Actions workflow will build documentation and checked documentation coverage on pull requests.


This project is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.

©2019-2023 Trustees of Princeton University. Permission granted via Princeton Docket #20-3624 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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