A collaborative newsroom documentation site, powered by Google Docs.
Table of Contents
Documentation about how to get started with Library is hosted as a working (read only) demo on Heroku. Consult the site for more detailed instructions than this readme about how to get the most out of Library: https://nyt-library-demo.herokuapp.com.
Love Library? Let us know by joining our Google Group and dropping us a line. You'll also stay up to date with the latest Library features via our release notes, which get sent to this list.
Here are some of the organizations using Library so far.
If you have questions about how to get your copy of Library up and running, join our Google Group) and let us know what you're running into. We also keep an eye on the #proj-library channel in the News Nerdery Slack. We'll do our best to answer your questions.
cd into the repo:
git clone email@example.com:nytimes/library.git && cd library
From the Google API console, create or select a project, then create a service account with the Cloud Datastore User role. It should have API access to Drive and Cloud Datastore. Store these credentials in
npm install --no-optional
.env file at the project root. An example
.env might look like
# node environment (development or production) NODE_ENV=development # Google oAuth credentials GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID=123456-abcdefg.apps.googleusercontent.com GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET=abcxyz12345 GCP_PROJECT_ID=library-demo-1234 # comma separated list of approved access domains. APPROVED_DOMAINS="nytimes.com,dailypennsylvanian.com" SESSION_SECRET=supersecretvalue # Google drive Configuration # team or folder ("folder" if using a folder instead of a team drive) DRIVE_TYPE=team # the ID of your team's drive or shared folder. The string of random numbers and letters at the end of your team drive or folder url. DRIVE_ID=0123456ABCDEF
Make sure to not put any comments in the same line as
Ensure you share your base drive or folder with the email address associated with the service account created in step 2.
Be careful! Setting NODE_ENV to
development changes the built in behaviors for site authentication to allow accounts other than those in the APPROVED_DOMAINS list. Never use NODE_ENV=development for your deployed site, only locally.
Start the app:
npm run watch
The app should now be running at
localhost:3000. Note that Library requires Node v8 or higher.
You can run functional and unit tests, which test HTML parsing and routing logic, with
npm test. A coverage report can be generated by running
npm run test:cover.
The HTML parsing tests are based on the Supported Formats doc. To download a fresh copy of the HTML after making edits, run
Styles, text, caching logic, and middleware can be customized to match the branding of your organization. This is covered in the customization readme.
A sample customization repo is provided at nytimes/library-customization-example.
If you wish to deploy Library with customizations, create a git repo with the files you would like to include. Set the
CUSTOMIZATION_GIT_REPO environment variable to the cloning URL. Files in the repo and packages specified in the
package.json will be included in your library installation.
For more detailed instructions, consult the Getting Started section of the demo site: https://nyt-library-demo.herokuapp.com/get-started
Set your app's
GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET with values from the service account and Oauth client. Add <your-heroku-app-url>.com as an authorized domain in the general OAuth consent screen setup and then add http://<your-heroku-app-url>.com/auth/redirect as the callback url in the OAuth credential setup itself.
You can also deploy Library to GAE, using the included
app.yaml. Note that you will need to enable billing on your GCP project in order to use Google App Engine. More detailed instructions are provided on the demo site.
Library can be used as a base image for deployment using Docker. This allows you
to automate building and deploying a custom version of Library during Docker's
build phase. If you create a repo with the contents of your
custom folder, you
could deploy library from that repo with a Dockerfile like the following:
FROM nytimes/library # copy custom files to library's custom repo COPY . ./custom/ # move to a temporary folder install custom npm packages WORKDIR /usr/src/tmp COPY package*.json .npmrc ./ RUN npm i # copy node modules required by custom node modules RUN yes | cp -rf ./node_modules/* /usr/src/app/node_modules # return to app directory and build WORKDIR /usr/src/app RUN npm run build # start app CMD [ "npm", "start" ]
Library is a standard node app, so it can be deployed just about anywhere. If you are looking to deploy to a standard VPS, Digital Ocean's tutorials are a great resource.
The main entry point to the app is
This file contains the express server which will respond to requests for docs in the configured team drive or shared folder. Additionally, it contains logic about issuing 404s and selecting the template to use based on the path.
Views (layouts) are located in the
layouts folder. They use the
extension, which uses a syntax similar to underscore templates.
Base styles for the views are in the
styles directory containing Sass files.
These files are compiled to CSS and placed in
Doc HTML fetch and parsing is handled by
fetchDoc takes the ID of a
Google doc and a callback, then passes the HTML of the document into the
callback once it has been downloaded and processed.
Traversing the contents of the NYT Docs folder is handled by
are two exported functions:
getTree is an async call that returns a nested hash (tree) of Google Drive
Folder IDs mapped to their children. It is used by the server to determine
whether a route is valid or not.
getMeta synchronously returns a hash of Google Doc IDs to metadata objects
that were saved in the course of populating the tree. This metadata includes
edit history, document authors, and parent folders.
The tree and file metadata are repopulated into memory on an interval (currently 60s). Calling getTree multiple times will not return fresher data.
Authentication with the Google Drive v3 api is handled by the auth.js file, which exposes a single method
getAuth will either return an already instantiated authentication client or produce a fresh one. Calling
getAuth multiple times will not produce a new authentication client if the credentials have expired; we should build this into the auth.js file later to automatically refresh the credentials on some sort of interval to prevent them from expiring.