Getting Started


Installing rustup: edit-text is written in Rust, and so you will need a Rust compiler in order to serve the application. Rust may be installed using your system package manager, but the preferred way to download and install Rust is through the rustup toolchain available at To check if you have rustup installed, you can run the following command:

$ rustup show active-toolchain
nightly-2018-09-25-x86_64-apple-darwin  # for example

This command should print a rust version that is equivalent to the contents of the ./rust-toolchain file. This is the version of the nightly Rust compiler the project currently depends on. This file is updated periodically; rustup will automatically manage downloading and using the correct compiler version for you.

Installing Node.js: To build the frontend you will need to install something called Node.js and Yarn. To install Node.js, see installation instructions for your OS. To check if you have a recent version of Node.js installed, see if the output of this command is >= v6.0.0:

$ node -v
v10.12.0  # for example

The frontend is written partly in TypeScript, and the build tool uses Yarn to install and manage its JavaScript package dependencies. To install yarn, follow the installation instructions for your OS or just run npm i -g yarn. To see if Yarn is installed and available:

$ yarn -v
v1.10.1  # for example


Clone the repository from Github:

git clone

Build commands are executed using the ./tools script. You can rebuild individual edit-text components with ./tools server-build, ./tools frontend-build, etc. Run ./tools help for more information.

Run the server

The production configuration of edit-text is a long-running server process, and one or many WebAssembly + TypeScript clients running in the browser that connect to it.

You can build the WebAssembly client as well as the frontend webpack module using the following command:

./tools frontend-build

This cross-compiles all frontend code and pulls in the compiled WebAssembly binary, using wasm-bindgen to talk to the frontend.

In your terminal session, you can then run this command to start the server:

./tools server

Now open http://localhost:8000/ and you are brought to a welcome page to start editing text!

Development Workflow

A simple development pattern is to launch ./tools server in one window, and to watch and recompile frontend code whenever it's modified with this command in another window:

./tools frontend-watch

This command watches the edit-frontend directory and continuously builds its after each change. The frontend will periodically display a notification if a newer version of the client code has been compiled.

After you make changes to edit-server/, edit-common/, or oatie/, you should kill and re-run the ./tools server command to rebuild and launch it. The frontend-watch command will automatically rebuild code that it depends on for you.