CommonNet – how to set up tests

Setting up tests’ environment wasn’t easy

Have you ever tried to set up your tests’ environment using Protractor on Vagrant?

I must admit that it was a very difficult task for me. I have recently spent almost three days trying to prepare my tests’ environment for CommonsNet project, and read many different resources. Fortunately, I have finally done it, so now I want to share with you my experience and give you some tips how to do it.


Firstly, I will explain you why I have decided to use Protractor. It is mainly because Proractor is especially designed for end-to-end testing  AngularJS application. Protractor runs tests against your application running in a real browser, interacting with it as a user would.

Writing tests using Protractor is quite easy because you can find working examples in AngularJS docs. Each sample of AngularJS code is enriched by Protractor’s test. It’s amazing.


Selenium is a browser automation library. It is most often used for testing web-applications, and may be used for any task that requires automating interaction with the browser. You can download it from here. You have to choose Selenium for a language you use. I have used Selenium for NodeJS.


You don’t have to necessary use Vagrant to run your tests, but I have implemented it, because I run my local environment on Vagrant and it’s more comfortable for me to use it.

Setting up testing environment

Now I will share with you how to run tests. So first all of, I have created a file called and put all necessary commends there. I have put there several commands. Please take a look at this file.  It helps you to install all of these necessary dependencies using only one command instead of several ones. 


Next, I have prepared provision folder, where I put files to install selenium standalone and chromium driver. You can copy these file from here

Then I have created a simple test case. It’s quite easy at the beginning. You just need two files first – conf. js and next- todo_spec.js  Below, I will provide you with my conf.js As you can see it’s not complicated and really short. It’s a basic configuration file and of course you can adjust it to your needs. You can find many examples of conf.js file in Internet.


And finally a simple test, which I have placed in todo_spec.js file. It’s a ProtracotrJS example available on their website


Now, let me to write a step by step todo list now.

  • Install Vagrant in your folder
vagrant up
  • Connect to Vagrant
vagrant ssh
  • Open your Vagrant folder
cd /vagrant 
  • Then run selenium file
  • Next open provision folder
cd provision
  • Install java-jar
DISPLAY=:1 xvfb-run java -jar selenium-server-standalone-2.41.0.jar 

Your selenium server should be up and running

  • Then open a new terminal – remember not to close the first one!
  • Open your CommonsNet repository again
cd CommonsNet
  • Connect to Vagrant again
vagrant ssh
  • Open Vagrant folder again
cd /vagrant
  • Then open tests folder
cd tests
  • And finally run Protractor test
protractor conf.js 

That’s it. You should see a result of your test in a terminal.


Collecting information. What to choose?

Internet legal restrictions

Our idea in CommonsNet project is to make a  wireless connection transparent. Apart from typical details like ssid, password, security, speed, time limit etc. we think to make also clear  legal restrictions which vary across the world. Because we all know permanent value of the famous maxim ‘Ignorantia iuris nocet’,  we want to provide a great, widespread tool, and make complex law easy-to-understand for an average Internet user. In today’s world more and more people travel a lot, and visit different countries. As Internet is a main part of our life we want to use it everywhere. And we do it, but it may sometimes happen that we use the Internet , thoughtlessly without realizing that somewhere in the world something normal for us may be banned. In this case, we are even exposure to unpleasant consequences . Therefore we believe that access to understandable information is a fundamental human right and can influence on our life much.

Collecting is not an easy task, and it is a place where we need your help. If we want to create a huge database of law restrictions in different countries all over the world we need your support, because you are who understands your country and your language best. And you are able to ask people who are engaged in a law. We simply need information what is the law related to Internet and/or wireless connection, and mainly – what is forbidden.

Poland example

Let me explain it based on Poland example. We are going to focus on downloading music, movies, books from the Internet. In Poland you are allowed to do that for your personal use. It means that you can do it to use them in privacy, but on condition that movie, song or a book has been already made available to the public. If not – it’s illegal. A private use means also that you can share that resources with your family or friends and that you can do single copies of what you download. Very popular peer to peer networks which enable to share our resources with other users at the time we download a file, are unfortunately not defined as private use and are illegal either.

When it comes to uploading files, if we are authors of a song, or a movie, or a book and so on, we can share what and how we only want. But if we want to share our downloaded resources, we have to be very careful. We can do it only in our private area – for our friends and family but we cannot share it in public.

Law is unfortunately silent in regards of downloading files illegaly available in Internet (when someone shares a song, or a book before it has been make available to the public), but many lawyers claim that in the light of law it is permitted only for a personal use.

One of the most protected under polish law group of resources are computer games and various programs. They cannot be downloaded, copied, shared even for a personal use. It’s defined as a criminal offense and is strictly forbidden. Possible punishment are a fine, restriction of liberty and even imprisonment.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to gather all these details. You can do the same in your country, translate it in English and write to us  on Facebook, and become a member of our open source community to build big things together!


The technical question here is how to collect all of these information. This week, i have had many ideas how to solve that problem ranging from PostgreSQL database, through MongoDB (since we use NodeJS) to JSON file. Now, I am going to provide you with a quick and valuable overview each of these options.


PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system.It runs on all major operating systems. It is fully ACID compliant, has full support for foreign keys, joins, views, triggers, and stored procedures (in multiple languages). It includes most SQL:2008 data types, including INTEGER, NUMERIC, BOOLEAN, CHAR, VARCHAR, DATE, INTERVAL, and TIMESTAMP.

I have implemented it to CommonsNet project because I thought that if I want to collect all of details provided above I need it. That’s how I have done it. Because I work on Vagrant I have added all these lines of code to my ( file)

  1.  sudo apt-get install -y postgresql postgresql-contrib
  2. sudo apt-get install -y libffi-dev

and then I have defined database name, user name and password



and then I have created a database

cat << EOF | sudo -u postgres psql
— Create the database user:

— Create the database:

echo “exporting database url for app”
export DATABASE_URL=postgresql://$APP_DB_USER:[email protected]:5432/$APP_DB_NAME

echo “export DATABASE_URL=$DATABASE_URL” >> /home/vagrant/.bashrc

sudo chown -R $(whoami) ~/.npm

Then i have added a new dependency to my package.json file.

“devDependencies”: {
“pg”: “~6.0.3”

And that’s it. My database works. But then, I have realised – thanks to my mentor’s – Mario Behling help – that’s not a good solution for my needs, because CommonsNet is not a huge project and we don’t need to complicate it. What’s more, we need to remember that if database exists it needs to be updated and maintained. I don’t know who can care about it especially if our team is not extended yet. That’s why I have got interested in MongoDB, especially because I use NodeJS in my project, but happily enough my mentor has suggested me take a look at JSON file.

JSON file

Finally I have made the best decision. I have chosen a JSON file, which seems to be enough for my needs. It’s a perfect solution, easy to implement. Take a look at my steps:

  1. First of all I have created a simple .txt file – legalrestrictions.txt. It looks like this: [{ “country”:”Poland”, “restrictions”:[“Poland restrictions1”, “Poland restrictions 2”] }]  It’s of course only a sample of my file. You can extend it as you want to. As you can see ‘restrictions’ are an array, so it helps us to put here a list of legal restrictions. It is simple, isn’t it ?
  2. Then I have written my code and put it in a website.js file. Because I use AngularJS I have had to do it like that. I am sure it is easy to understand.
    $scope.countries = [
    {name:’France’ },
    {name:’Poland’ },
    {name:’Germany’ },
    {name:’USA’ },
    {name:’Russia’ }
    ];// getting data from JSON file on ng-change select
    $scope.update = function() {
    var country =;
    console.log(country);var table = [];
    $http.get(‘restrictions.txt’).success(function(data) {
    for (var i=0; i<table.length; i++) {
    if (country === table[i].country) {
    vm.legalrestrictions = table[i].restrictions;

    The HTML file looks like that:

    <select type=”text” class=”form” ng-model=”vm.countries” ng-options=” for x in countries” ng-change=”update()”>
    <!– <option ng-repeat=” for x in countries” value=”{{}}”>{{}</option> –>
    <label for=”male”>Does your country have any legal restrictions? Type them.</label>
    <!– form group start –>

    <textarea name=”message” id=”legalarea” class=” form textarea” ng-model=”vm.legalrestrictions” placeholder=”You are not allowed to…”></textarea>


And that’s all. Easy to maintain and very transparent solution. I recommend you to use it as well. A perfect tutorial you can find  here:

What is CommonsNet?

It is already a few posts of Commons Net but I suppose you may wonder what CommonsNet is and what can it do for you. I think that it’ s the highest time to talk about CommonsNet. Let me explain it step by step.

CommonsNet is an open source project of FOSSASIA . FOSSASIA has participated for several years as a mentor organization in Google Summer of Code, and  CommonsNet is being developed as this year project.

This is how FOSSASIA sees CommonsNet:


Develop Website for Standardized Open Networks Agreement similar to Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a wonderful example how standardized processes can enable millions of people to share freely. What about sharing your Internet connection? Across the world there are different legal settings and requirements for sharing of Internet connections and specifically Open Wifi connections. The Picopeering Agreement already offered a basis for completely free and open sharing:

However, in many settings people cannot enable unrestricted level of sharing, e.g. if you share Internet in your office, you might need to reserve a certain bandwidth for you and restrict the bandwidth of users.

We need a website, that reflects these details and makes it transparent to the user. Just like at Creative Commons the site should generate a) a human readable file and b) a machine readable file of the level of sharing that is offered by someone. Examples are, that networks are completely free (all ports are open, all services are enabled, bandwidth is unrestricted) compared to networks with restrictions e.g. no torrent sharing, limited bandwidth and an accepted user agreement that is required.

This is how it actually looks, and is being developed on CommonsNet website

We decided to create a simple and user-friendly wizard form to let our users provide their wifi details in a convient way. We divided these different kind of wifi information into four different section like wireless settings – the most basic wifi information like ssid, password, authentication, speed and standard. Then we’ve decided that payment and time limit are also really important part of sharing wireless connection, so we enable our users to mention these details as well.

CommonsNet-wizard 1

Then, you can provide your wireless connection usage’s conditions.

CommonsNet wizard3

And finally we’ve put a section legal restrictions which is one of the most important part of using wireless connection and Internet resources and what vary over the world due to different legal systems.

For now our users are obliged to type legal restrictions on their own, but we are working hard on making it simpler for everyone by creating legal restrictions’ data base, which will let you simply choose your own country and the legal details will be provided and put into wizard form automatically thanks to collected resources.

CommonsNet wizard 4

And as you successfully finish filling form, you will be able to generate your pdf file or code to your website in order to share a transparent wireless connection with your users. It is so simple, but makes our world more transparent and trustworthy.

Feel free to visit us and test it

Don’t forget to join us on our social media profile where you can be up to date with our amazing work, and updates.

CommonsNet – WiFi Standards


There is no doubt that WiFi is a crucial technology that most of us use every day. But have you ever  noticed on wifi router that there are a few different number and letter tagged on the end?  These designations present different properties of the WiFi like speed, allowed devices, range and frequency and they create WiFi standards. If you know what standard you have, you can tell much about your wireless connection, and use it in the way you want. CommonsNet team focuses on providing users with transparent wifi information so let’s talk today about them.

WIFI Standards

802 – this strange number means naming system which is used by networking standards. WiFi uses 802.11. All WiFi varieties has this number, followed by a letter or two which, is very useful for consumers, because as mentioned above it helps to identify wifi properties life maximum speed, range and required devices.

Specific router may support not only single, but multiple standards at the same time. It happens in order to ensure compatibility with different pieces of hardware and network.



This standard was created In 1997 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  It was used for medicine and industrial purposes. Unfortunately, 802.11 supported a maximum network bandwidth up to 1 or 2 Mbps – not fast enough for applications. Therefore this standard was rapidly supplanted and is no longer used.


This standard became the most commonly adopted in consumer devices, especially because of its low-cost. It supports bandwidth up to 11 Mbps. 802.11b uses radio signaling frequency  – 2.4 GHz, and due to this, its signal has good range – about 100m – and is not easily obstructed, but due to the fact that it works on 2, GHz it may interfere with home appliances.


This standard bandwidth is up to 54 Mbps and has signals in a regulated frequency  around 5 GHz. There is no doubt that this higher frequency shortens the range, and needs more power to work correctly. This also means that signal has more difficulties while penetrating obstructions like walls, doors, windows. This standard due to working on different frequency is incompatible with 802.11b standard.


In 2002 products supporting a new standard emerged on the market.I t’s actually the most popular WiFi standard. It focuses on combining the best of both 802.11a and 802.11b. It supports bandwidth up to 54Mbps, and it uses the 2.4 Ghz frequency for greater range. It is compatible with other standards. But it’s impossible to use it in older devices. If you try to do it, the speed will be 4 times slower.


This standard was designed  to improve  802.11g  by utilizing multiple wireless signals and antennas (called MIMO technology) instead of one. It provides up to 600 Mbps  of network bandwidth, but in reality it usually reaches up to 150 Mbps. 802.11n also offers  better range over earlier Wi-Fi standards due to its increased signal intensity, and it is backward-compatible with 802.11b/g gear.


The newest generation of Wi-Fi signaling in popular use, utilizes dual band wireless technology, supporting simultaneous connections on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It offers compatibility to 802.11b/g/n and bandwidth  up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band plus up to 450 Mbps on 2.4 GHz.


As you can see based on above description there are different wifi standard which differ from each other in their speed, range and devices’ support. Some of them are not actual anymore, but some of them can be still used simultaneously. You can choose this one , which is best suitable to your needs.

As a CommonsNet team we believe that we will create a great CommonsNet website which helps users to be aware of wifi’s properties they have or use, and if necessary improve it to provide and share with other people the transparent wireless connection of the best quality.

With support of

One step at a time – The beginnings of CommonsNet

The beginnings

If you have been accepted to a serious project like Google Summer of Code is, you can feel lost and scared. I think it’s nothing special and probably everyone experiences it. You can feel that pressure because you want to fulfill all expectations, follow your obligations and to do your best, but working in such project is something different from working on your own, private and small one.  Your organisation and mentors require something from you, and they can even provide you with a detailed guideline how to behave but doubts may occur anyway.

My advice is not to give up and go through that tought period in order to experience the joy of results and sense of satisfaction, and to learn something to be better in the future. I am going to tell about my beginnings and to provide you with some tips  from my own experience


CommonsNet (feel free to see it) is a new project of FOSSASIA. It focuses on providing users with transparent information about WiFi they may use in public places like hotels, restaurants, stations. The thing is that for now, if you go to a new place, and want to connect to Internet, you look for a free WIFI sign and as soon as you find it you try to connect. But think about it, how much do you know about this connection? Is is safe for your private data? How fast is it? Does the Internet connection have any legal restrictions?  I suppose that you answer ‘no’ to all these questions. But what if you know? Or if you can compare details of different WIFI available in a specific public place and connect to more suitable for your needs. I am sure you will appreciate it. I hope to run this project successfully and I am going to tell you more about it in next posts.

How to start?

Due to the fact that CommonsNet is a new project as I have mentioned before, and for now apart from mentor @agonarch and FOSSASIA leaders @mariobehling @hpdang, I am an only contributor, I am in a good position to tell you what are my steps. Remember not to think about all at once. It will make you crazy.

So first of all – prepare your work. Try to get to know about your project as much as possible. Follow group chat, GitHub repositories, do research in Internet about the subject of area of your project or don’t be afraid to ask your team member. That’s what I have done at first. I have prepared a Google Doc about all WiFi details. I  have tried to get to know as much as possible and to gather this information in a clear, easy-to-understand way.

project details

I need it because I will be preparing a wizard form for users to let them provide all important details about their WiFi. I need to think seriously which data are important and have to be used to do it. It is not finished yet and will be changing (yes, I am going to share it with you and update you about changes!) but for now I want you to follow my view about it, how am I going to use the gathered information. wizard-ui

Next step is to prepare user stories. I think it’s a crucial point before you start to implement your project. I think there is no point of developing something until you think who will your user be. You need to imagine him/her and try to predict what he or she may expect from your app. Remeber – even if app is well coded it’s useless until somebody wants to use it. You can find many tutorials how to write a good user story in Internet. Just type ‘user stories’ in Google search. Some of them are here;

You can also see my user stories created for CommonsNet .

Furthermore, I have prepared a mockups to visualize my ideas. I think it’s also an important part of running your project. It will help you to express and concretize your ideas and let the whole team discuss about it. And there is no doubt that it’s easier to change a simple draft of mockups than coded views. You can see my mockups here: CommonsNet MockupsScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.38.20

As soon as you finish all these activities is a high time to start creating issues on GitHub. Yes, of course, you probably have already started, so have I, but I am talking about further issues which help you to take control over your progress and work, discuss on specific subject and share it with other.

Lost on GitHub?

Is is possible at all? I suppose we all know and use GitHub. It’s a perfect place of working to all programmers. Its possibilities seems to be unlimited. But maybe some of you experience the difficulties which I have experienced at first, because just like me you have used GitHub so far only for your private aims and simply just pushed code and have not worried about creating issues, following discussions and  organizing your work step by step . Let me to explain you why and how to follow GitHub flow.

GitHub issues let you and your team take control over your work. It’s really important to create bigger, let’s say main issues, and then subissues, which help you to divide your work into small parts. Remember – only one step at a time! Using my mockups first I have created some issues which present main tasks like ‘deploying app to Heroku’ or different pages in my app like ‘Home’, ‘About us’. And then I have created many smaller issues – subissues to present what tasks I have to do in each section like ‘Home’ -> ‘Impementing top menu’, ‘Implementing footer’, ‘Implementing big button’. It helps me to control where I am, what have been done, and what do I need to do next. And I think the smaller the tasks are, the more fruitful the discussion and work can be, because you can simply refine each detail. Please feel free to see CommonsNet issues. It’s not finished yet, and while working I am going to add further issues but it presents the main idea I am talking about.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.57.48.png

I hope these tips help you to run your work and to go through harder time – easier. And remember even the longest journey starts from the first step!

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