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Codebase Overview

BobaBoard's codebase is split within 4 separate repositories, each with its own purpose and set of technologies:

  • BobaEditor: our text editor.
  • BobaBoardUI: our "design system".
  • BobaServer: "makes the magic happen" (i.e. saves and processes data).
  • BobaFrontend: ties verything together into something aspirationally usable and useful.

An overview of how BobaBoard's components fit together

Why this split?
  • Building a functional, multimedial text editor is a lot of work. By splitting it in its own codebase, we want to facilitate its reuse across different projects. This also applies to our design system, albeit at a different level.
  • Logic encapsulation. We want to avoid coupling different part of the system. Especially in an environment where volunteers can come and go, maintainability is a huge concern. This split forces separation of concerns.
  • Bring Your Own Frontend: While this is very aspirational, we want to eventually enable people to create separate clients for BobaBoard. Note that this won't be possible until the project is stable enough to create a solid contract between different parts of the system.
  • Licensing: By splitting the codebase, we can apply different licenses to different parts of the project.

BobaEditor

[code, demo]

BobaEditor is BobaBoard's own extension of the QuillJS text editor, and is responsible for anything related to text formatting and embeds (both in "edit" and "display" mode).

Content created through BobaEditor is stored in the "Quill Delta" format, an abstract representation that can be translated into other formats, including HTML, through various parsers.

Since other BobaBoard codebases should not interact with this format directly, BobaEditor also exports utilities to manipulate the Delta format itself (e.g. extracting images for upload, removing trailing spaces, etc).

tip

Edit this codebase if: you want to give users more input options, including embeds, images and gifs.

BobaBoardUI

[code, demo]

BobaBoardUI is where BobaBoard's UI pieces (components) are developed, as separate from the "frontend/server logic" as possible to facilitate reuse and (one day) ease of testing. This is made possible by using StoryBook, which you can see in action at this demo link.

tip

Edit this codebase if: you want to improve the functionality/look of specific BobaBoard UI elements, like buttons, contributions, sidebar elements, thread stems, etc.

BobaFrontend

code

The BobaBoard frontend repository is in charge of managing the full BobaBoard user experience, putting together the components defined in BobaBoardUI (see above) into logical pages, and handling the communication between the user and the server. Based on NextJS.

tip

Edit this codebase if: you want to change how UI elements come together to create pages like boards, threads, settings and the related user flows.

BobaServer

code

The BobaBoard backend repository is an ExpressJS server, communicating with the BobaFrontend through a REST API.

Other than the server itself, this repository contains table definitions for BobaBoard's PostgreSQL DB.

Other technologies used include a Redis Cache and Jest for testing.

tip

Edit this codebase if: you want to add new functionality to BobaBoard that goes beyond the interaction with the user (or fix existing bugs).