Created: 2012-03-26 13:46
Updated: 2017-07-10 07:52
License: mit


Daisy Central WebApp


This is the webapp that runs at http://demo.daisyworks.com. Early prototype code was hosted at http://live.daisyworks.com. I'm now working on building out a full-blown app that will provide a web bridge to our hardware devices found at http://daisyworks.com

Draft Architecture Overview

Mailing List

Tech Stack

Dev Setup

This Dev setup is for Ubuntu. I dev on both Mac and Ubuntu. Mac setup is similar, but you can use homebrew to install some of the items below instead of Aptitude.



Install Node

Use Package Manager


Build From Latest Source

node.js release page

Example for v0.8.0:

sudo apt-get install -y make git git-core g++ curl libssl-dev apache2-utils python
git clone https://github.com/joyent/node.git && cd node
git checkout v0.8.0
./configure && make && make install

Install NPM


curl http://npmjs.org/install.sh | sh

Install Debug Tools

Install these tools with the global -g option so you can run them from the command line.

Install nodemon

Allows you to run node as a daemon that reloads if client or server files change

npm install nodemon -g
Install ss-console

Adds REPL support in Chrome devtools console; can call server-side rpc from browser console

npm install ss-console -g
Install node-inspector

Allows you to breakpoint and debug client and server-side code in Chrome devtools

npm install node-inspector -g

Install Redis

sudo apt-get install redis-server

Install Mongo-DB

http://www.mongodb.org/display/DOCS/Ubuntu+and+Debian+packages has the instructions for Ubuntu. You can build from source or install the latest stable package from the 10Gen repo. Latter is recommended.

After you install, you need to create the data directory:

$ sudo mkdir -p /data/db
$ sudo chown `id -u` /data/db

Now, start mongod:

$ mongod &

It should start without error.

Grab The Source & Build & Run

Checkout the source and run sudo npm install. If I've done a good job of keeping the package.json file up to date, then npm install will install all local dependencies for you. If you get an error complaining about a particular library not being found, then run npm install "library-name" and I'll fix the package.json file.

Clone The Repo

git clone git@github.com:davisford/daisycentral.git


I have excluded node_modules from the git repo in favor of using npm shrinkwrap. There is an npm-shrinkwrap.json file that declares explicit dependencies that are known to work. When you run npm install it will use the dependencies defined in that file.

cd daisycentral
sudo npm install

Link SocketStream HEAD rev

I'm running with the HEAD revision of SocketStream, so you will want to clone it and link it yourself.

git clone git://github.com/socketstream/socketstream.git
cd socketstream
sudo npm link
cd ../daisycentral
sudo npm link socketstream


nodemon server.js

Now open browser to http://localhost:3006. Why port 3006? Because I'm running node-proxy with other servers on a Linode.

Rebuilding Twitter Bootstrap

I'm just documenting the process here for building Twitter Bootstrap. You do not need to do this. This step is not strictly necessary unless you want to rebuild it. I have already built bootstrap and copied the files needed into the project...however, if we want to tweak bootstrap with a theme or what-not, then this is how to rebuild:

You need less and uglify-js to build:

npm install less uglify-js -g
git clone https://github.com/twitter/bootstrap/
cd bootstrap && make

Files are under docs/assets/ -- copied them directly over to the correct folders in daisycentral

Debugging with Breakpoints

Start up node-inspector

root@kafka:/home/davis/git/daisycentral# node-inspector &

Now run the app with debug flag

nodemon --debug app.js

Now, open browser to in Chrome

Port 9000 receives Daisy WiFly HTTP data. Port 3006 is the webapp.

You can simulate a new Daisy registration via HTTP if you hit the following URL:


Rebuild Platform Dependent Stuff

Libraries like bcrypt have to be compiled natively, so do it thusly: sudp npm rebuild bcrypt

MongoDB Admin

To start the database server, run mongod & or mongod -dbpath /path/to/data. The default path it uses is /data/. You can then start the REPL in another window via mongo.

The database for this app is named daisycentral so after you start the client by running mongo do: use daisycentral. Example:

davis@pluto:$ mongo
MongoDB shell version: 1.2.2
url: test
connecting to: test
Sun May 20 13:18:19 connection accepted from #1
type "exit" to exit
type "help" for help
> use daisycentral          

Add Admin Role To Your User Account

After you register on the webapp, you can add yourself to the admin users role so you can access the admin features.
I explicitly only allow this by manipulating the database directly to avoid security holes. You first need to login to the webapp and register with your email address. Then go to the mongo REPL and do this (substitute your email):

Example for my email:

> use daisycentral
> db.users.update({email:"davisford@gmail.com"}, {$set: {roles: ["admin"]}})

Now you have access to /admin section of the app. To reach the admin section, first login to the main app. After you have logged in go to http://localhost:3000/admin

nodemon on Ubuntu

Current version is 0.6.14 but this doesn't work on Ubuntu 11.10, so drop it down:

sudo npm remove nodemon -g
sudo npm install nodemon@0.5.7 -g

Increase open file limit on Ubuntu

By default the number of open files is 1024 for a user. The live reload features scans all the files under the subdir and it will hit this limit and the app will crash. To fix it, you have to increase the nofile limit in Ubuntu like this:

$ sudo gedit /etc/security/limits.conf

Now add the lines:

*   hard   nofile   65534
*   soft   nofile   65534

Now, uncomment the line session required pam_limits.so in /etc/pam.d/su and reboot your system. To test it, after you reboot run ulimit -n and you should see 65534.

Modified Libs

Here's a list of libs I have modified from their master / source and why


The original maintainer got too busy, but this proved to be the best charting tool after looking at some alternatives. There are a couple people picking up as maintainers for flot, but I forked it myself:


I made some changes to it, so that is the version used in DaisyCentral. Note to self: this library looks really nice.

I made some changes to support angles on x-axis labels.


I forked it and updated the google module to pull through google profile information (gives full name, etc.)


There isn't yet a giant suite of tests, but I'm working on adding more. I'm using mocha, should, and sinon for testing.

There is a Makefile for running the tests:

$ make
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