Diving into the codebase of the Open Event Front-end Project

This post aims to help any new contributor to get acquainted with the code base of the Open Event Front-end project.

The open event front-end is primarily the front-end for the Open Event API server. The project provides the functionality of signing up, add, update and view events details and many other functions to the organisers, speakers and attendees of the event which can be concert, conference, summit or a meetup. The open event front-end project is built on a JavaScript web application framework Ember.js. Ember uses a library Ember data for managing the data in the application and for communicating with server API via endpoints. Ember is a battery included framework which means that it creates all the boilerplate code required to set up the project and create a working web application which can be modified according to our needs.

The open event front-end is primarily the front-end for the Open Event API server. The project provides the functionality of signing up, add, update and view events details and many other functions to the organisers, speakers and attendees of the event which can be concert, conference, summit or a meetup. The open event front-end project is built on a JavaScript web application framework Ember.js. Ember uses a library Ember data for managing the data in the application and for communicating with server API via endpoints. Ember is a battery included framework which means that it creates all the boilerplate code required to set up the project and create a working web application which can be modified according to our needs.

For example: When I created a new project using the command:

$ ember new open-event-frontend

It created a new project open-event-frontend with all the boilerplate code required to set up the project which can be seen below.

create .editorconfig
create .ember-cli
create .eslintrc.js
create .travis.yml
create .watchmanconfig
create README.md
create app/app.js
create app/components/.gitkeep
Installing app
create app/controllers/.gitkeep
create app/helpers/.gitkeep
create app/index.html
create app/models/.gitkeep
create app/resolver.js
create app/router.js
create app/routes/.gitkeep
create app/styles/app.css
create app/templates/application.hbs
create app/templates/components/.gitkeep
create config/environment.js
create config/targets.js
create ember-cli-build.js
create .gitignore
create package.json
create public/crossdomain.xml
create public/robots.txt
create testem.js
create tests/.eslintrc.js
create tests/helpers/destroy-app.js
create tests/helpers/module-for-acceptance.js
create tests/helpers/resolver.js
create tests/helpers/start-app.js
create tests/index.html
create tests/integration/.gitkeep
create tests/test-helper.js
create tests/unit/.gitkeep
create vendor/.gitkeep
NPM: Installed dependencies
Successfully initialized git.

Now if we go inside the project directory we can see the following files and folders have been generated by the Ember-CLI which is nothing but a toolkit to create, develop and build ember application. Ember has a runtime resolver which automatically resolves the code if it’s placed at the conventional location which ember knows.

➜ ~ cd open-event-frontend
➜ open-event-frontend git:(master) ls
app  config  ember-cli-build.js  node_modules  package.json  public  README.md  testem.js  tests  vendor

What do these files and folders contain and what is their role in reference to the project, “Open event front-end”?

Directory structure of open event frontend project

Fig 1: Directory structure of the Open Event Front-end project

Let’s take a look at the folders and files Ember CLI generates.

App: This is the heart of the project. It is responsible for deciding how our application will look and work. This is the place where folders and files for models, components, routes, templates and styles are stored. The majority of our application’s code is written in this folder. The adapter directory contains the application.js file which is responsible for authorising all outgoing API requests. Since our application is an event application so it has various screens which display the list of events, sessions, schedule, speakers, functionality to add, delete, modify the event details etc. Most of the screens have some features in common which can be reused everywhere inside the application which is kept in components directory. The controllers directory contains the files which will be responsible for the front-end behaviour which is not related to the models of our application. For example actions like sharing the event details. The data of the event is fetched by API but when the share functionality has to work is decided by the controller. Models directory helps in mapping the format of data i.e. in which format the data is fetched from the API. As we interact with the application, it moves through many different states/screens using different URLs. The routes directory decides which template will be rendered and which model will be loaded to display the data in the current template. The services directory contains the services which kept on running in the application like authentication service to check whether the current user has logged in or not, translation service to translate the details into some other language other than English which is supported by the app if required. The styles directory contains .scss files for styling of layouts. The template directory contains the layouts for the user interface of the application in form of Handlebar Templates which contains the HTML code which will be rendered on the screen when the template will be called via routes. The utils directory contains all the utility files like the format of date and time, demographic details, event type, type of topics etc.   

Directory structure of App folder

Fig 2: Directory structure of the app folder

Config: It contains files where we can we configure the settings of our application. The environment.js file contains the details like application name and API endpoints and other details required to configure the application. The deploy.js file contains the configurational details about the deployment.

Directory structure of config folder

Fig 3: Directory structure of config folder

Mirage: It contains the files which are required to mock the API server. Since we need to fetch the data from the server so whenever we make a request to get and post the data, mirage will respond to that data. It also contains the file which helps in seeding fake data for the application. Here mocking means creating objects that simulate the behaviour of real objects. The default.js application handles the seeding the fake data but currently, we don’t require that hence it’s empty. The config.js file has the method which sets the API host and namespace of the application.

Directory structure of mirage folder

Fig 4: Directory structure of mirage folder

Node_modules: As we know that Ember is built with Node and uses various node.js modules for functioning. So this directory contains all the files generated from the running the npm package manager which we run at starting while installing and setting up the project on the local device. The package.json file contains all the file maintains the list of npm dependencies for our app.

Public: This directory contains all the assets such as images and fonts related to the application. In the case of our application, to add images apart from the ones that are fetched from the API, they have to be placed here.

Directory structure of public folder

Fig 5: Directory structure of public folder

Translations: Since our application provides various languages support so this directory contains the files to translate the messages.

Directory structure of translations folder

Fig 6: Directory structure of translations folder

Tests: This is the best feature which Ember has provided. We don’t have to generate test they are automatically generated by the Ember-CLI which can be modified according to our requirements. Ember generates three types of test which are Acceptance, Integration and Unit tests. Other than that Ember offers testing for helpers, controllers, routes and models. Test runner of Ember-CLI testem is configured in testem.js. All three types of test have been used in our application.

Directory structure of test folder

Fig 7: Directory structure of test folder

ember-cli-build.js: This file contains the detail how Ember CLI should build our app. In the case of our project, it contains all the metadata such as app imports and other details to build the app.   

Vendor: This directory usually contains all the front-end dependencies (such as JavaScript or CSS) which are not managed by Bower go (which is a package manager for managing components that contain HTML, CSS, JavaScript, fonts). But in the case of our project, we have only kept .gitkeep inside this since we have not included any dependency which Bower doesn’t maintain.

To summarise, this post explains about the content and the role of different files and folders in the directory structure of the Open Event Front-end Project which may help a new contributor to get started by getting a basic understanding of the project.