25 KB
Newer Older
# ROOMLIST [![build status](]( [![coverage report](](
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

Roomlist is a secure, privacy-oriented service for Mason students to find their on-campus neighbors.
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

## On Contributing
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

Roomlist welcomes all the help it can get. Even if you don't feel like you can be helpful the more technical aspects, we definitely need designers, technical writers, and testers.
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed
8 9 10

There are many things that can be done with this project (see the "To Do" section), but sometimes it's the small things that count, so don't be afraid of contributing just a small spelling mistake.

Jason D Yeomans's avatar
Jason D Yeomans committed
If you need help at all please contact a SRCT member. We want people to contribute, so if you are struggling, or just want to learn we are more than willing to help.
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

The project manager for this project is [Jason Yeomans](, and a lead developer is [Daniel Bond](
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed
14 15 16

Please visit the [SRCT Wiki]( for more information on this and other SRCT projects, along with other helpful links and tutorials.

## Setting everything up for development
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

### Prerequisities and Package Installation
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

21 22
First, install python, pip, and git on your system. Python is the programming language used for Django, the web framework used by Roomlist. 'Pip' is the python package manager. Git is the version control system used for SRCT projects.

Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed
23 24

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Open a terminal and run the following commands.

`sudo apt-get update`

This retrieves links to the most up-to-date and secure versions of your packages. Next, with

`sudo apt-get install python python-dev python-pip git`

you install python and git.

Next, install these packages from the standard repositories

`$ sudo apt-get install libldap2-dev mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient-dev python-mysqldb libsasl2-dev libjpeg-dev redis-server`

If prompted to install additional required packages, install those as well.

When prompted to set your mysql password, it's advisable to set it as the same as your normal superuser password.

Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed
Now you're ready to set up the Roomlist repository on your machine.

Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed
**macOS (Formerly OS X)**

Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed
47 48 49
This tutorial uses the third party Homebrew package manager for macOS, which allows you to install
packages from your terminal just as easily as you could on a Linux based system. You could use another
package manager (or not use one at all), but Homebrew is highly reccomended.

51 52
In order to use homebrew, you must first install XCode Command Line Tools. For users of OS X Mavericks and all newer
versions, this can be done by running ``xcode-select --install`` and clicking "Install" on the popup that appears.

54 55
On older versions of OS X, you should simply install the entirety of XCode, which can be found online.

Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed
56 57 58 59 60
To get homebrew, run the following command in a terminal:
``/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"`

**Note**: You do NOT need to use `sudo` when running any Homebrew commands, and it likely won't work if you do.

Now you want to Python, pip, git, and MySQL (macOS actually ships with some of these, but we want to have the latest versions). We'll also install Redis, though this package is only relevant when testing the production environment. To do so, run the following command in your terminal:
Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed

`brew install python git mysql redis`
Zach Knox's avatar
Zach Knox committed
64 65 66 67 68

Now you're ready to set up the Roomlist repository on your machine.

#### Git Setup

Now, we're going to clone down a copy of the Roomlist codebase from, the SRCT code respository.
70 71 72 73 74 75

Configure your ssh keys by following the directions at

Now, on your computer, navigate to the directory in which you want to download the project (perhaps one called development/ or something similar), and run

`git clone`

77 78
### The Virtual Environment

Virtual environments are used to keep separate project packages from the main computer, so you can use different versions of packages across different projects and also ease deployment server setup.
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92

It's often recommended to create a special directory to store all of your virtual environments together, but some prefer keeping their virtual environment in the top level of their project's director. If you choose the latter, make sure to keep the virtual environment folders out of version control.

(For example, `mkdir ~/venv`, `cd ~/venv`)

Run `sudo pip install virtualenv`

to install virtualenv system-wide, and then run

`virtualenv roomlist`

in your virtual environment directory to create your virtual environment. Activate it by typing

`source roomlist/bin/activate`
94 95 96 97 98

If you ever need to exit your virtual environment, simply run


Now, the packages you need to install for Roomlist are in in the top level of the project's directory structure. Run
100 101 102 103 104 105

`pip install -r requirements.txt`

to in install all of the packages needed for the project.

### Creating the Database
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

107 108
Roomlist is configured for using a mysql database, (though you can change this in
By default, the database is called 'roomlist' in the configurations, and the user, 'roommate'.

Load up the mysql shell by running

``mysql -u root -p``

and putting in your mysql password (on MacOS, this will default to an empty string, so you can just press return).

Create the database by running

``CREATE DATABASE roomlist;``

You can choose a different name for your database. Double check your database was created


Though you can use an existing user to access this database, here's how to create a new user and give them the necessary permissions to your newly created database.

126 127
``CREATE USER 'roommate'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';``
For local development, password strength is less important, but use a strong passphrase for deployment. You can choose a different username.

``GRANT ALL ON roomlist.* TO 'roommate'@'localhost';``
This allows your database user to create all the tables it needs on the roomlist database. (Each model in each app's is a separate table, and each attribute a column, and each instance a row.)

132 133
``GRANT ALL ON test_roomlist.* TO 'roommate'@'localhost';`` ``FLUSH PRIVILEGES;``
When running test cases, django creates a test database so your 'real' database doesn't get screwed up. This database is called 'test_' + whatever your normal database is named. Note that for permissions it doesn't matter that this database hasn't yet been created.

The .\* is to grant access all tables in the database, and 'flush privileges' reloads privileges to ensure that your user is ready to go.

Exit the mysql shell by typing `exit`.

Now, to configure your newly created database with the project settings, and set up your project's cryptographic key, **copy the `` in settings/ to ``**. Follow the comment instructions provided in each file to set your secret key and database info. `` also contains a few additional passwords for email and for Slack. The Slack API key will not be necessary unless more 50 people sign into your development instance. The email password is unnecessary in development, because the email settings are configured not to send emails via a server, but to print them out to the terminal wherever you're running ``.

Run `python makemigrations` to create the tables and rows and columns for your database. This command generates sql code based on your database models. If you don't see output noting the creation of a number of models, add the app name to the end of the command, e.g. `python makemigrations housing` and then `python makemigrations accounts`.

143 144
Then run `python migrate` to execute that sql code and set up your database. Migrations also track how you've changed your models over the life of your database, which allows you to make changes to your tables without screwing up existing information.

Finally, run `python createsuperuser` to create an admin account, using the same username and email as you'll access through CAS. This means your 'full' email address, for instance **. Your password will be handled through CAS, so you can just use 'password' here.

(If you accidentally skip this step, you can run `python shell` and edit your user from there. Selectyour user, and set .is_staff and .is_superuser to True, then save.)

## Loading in initial data

The project includes a json file to load majors into the database. Run `python loaddata accounts/major_fixtures.json`. You'll see output saying 'Installed 79 objects from 1 fixture(s) if all goes smoothly.
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

To add all supported housing, with the virtual environment enabled, run `python shell < housing/`. It will take a couple of minutes, but this script will create every building, floor, and room in your database.
Tyler Wrenn's avatar
Tyler Wrenn committed

## Starting up the test server

157 158 159
With your virtual environment active, run

`python runserver` in the directory with ``
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed
160 161 162

Head over to localhost:8000 and see the site!

163 164
## Configuring the Social Media Applications

Social media authentication is provided through a package called [django-allauth]( You can refer to those documentation pages for more information. Though in too many cases, the documenation is annoyingly sparse. The gulf between power of the package as shown through diving into the source and reading the documentation is vast.
166 167 168

What we're trying to accomplish with social media authentication is to verify users are linking to accounts they actually control. If we trusted users sufficiently to not type in gibberish or link to, we could provide a character field for each site.

Head over to localhost:8000/admin. Under 'Social Accounts', click on 'Social Applications'. Click 'Add social application' in the upper right hand corner. We're going to start off by adding Facebook.

171 172 173
### Facebook

To fill in the name, id, key, and site for Facebook, (and for all of the social media sites), you'll need to become a Developer for the site in question.
174 175 176

Navigate to, for example, the Facebook web login [documentation page]( On the toolbar across the top of the page, you'll see a tab called 'My Apps'. Hovering over it, you'll see the option to Register as a Developer. Click the link, accept the Facebook platform and privacy policies, and you'll be ready to go. Depending on how fleshed out your profile page is, you may be prompted for more information (such as a phone number).

On the page you'll be [redirected to](, select the website option. You'll be prompted to type the name of your new app. Because Facebook does not require apps to have globally unique names, go with something simple, like 'roomlist'. A dropdown will show an option to create a new app. Put Education as the category. Click on 'Create App ID'. If you see an option for 'namespace', skip over that for now: that's used for specifically defining the app's name via Facebook's API. For the line labeled 'Site URL', type 'localhost:8000'. Hit 'next' and then click the link on the section that lists functionality that says 'Skip to Developer Dashboard'. (For the record, we're implementing the Login functionality.)

You may be prompted to complete a captcha, and you'll then be shown your app's dashboard. The two things you need on roomlist are right up at the top, the App ID and the App Secret.

The user interface might be a bit different, particularly if you've done development with Facebook before, and some of these fields you may need to add after you've created the app. You may need to click 'Add Platform' from the Settings page of your app's Dashboard instead.

Back on the Django admin page, start filling in fields. App Name to Name, App ID to Client id, App Secret to Secret Key. The 'Sites' section is a security measure to ensure your app is only called from the urls you expect, and is what you put in for the 'Site URL' for the Facebook configuration.
184 185 186

Under 'Available Sites', click the little green plus button and add a new site. The Domain Name will be '' and the Display Name 'localhost'. By default, Django has already gone to the trouble of creating '' as a site. Move back to available sites and make sure is added to Chosen Sites.

187 188
By default, is the first site. We'll add our site id, localhost. In, this is already accounted for; the default there is SITE_ID = 2.

Let's add localhost to our Available sites, and then hit save.

Something you'll need to carefully specify is the callback (or redirect) url. This is where your user is sent once they have successfully authenticated with the outside social media site.

### Instagram

195 196
Instagram actually asks you what you want to build and then will choose to give you access or not. Cross your fingers and let's begin the process.

Sign up as developer on Instagram's [developer site]( Click on 'register your application'. You'll be asked a couple things. For your website, use localhost:8000. If your Instagram account does not have a phone number, you'll be asked to provide it here. Finally, for what you want to build with the API, write something along the lines of 'Verify users are linking to social media accounts they in fact control.' Accept the terms and sign up.

Interestingly, you'll be redirected to the 'Register Your Application' page. Click on 'Register Your Application' once more. From the next page, 'Manage clients', click 'Register a New Client ID'. On this form, for your Application name, you can also be generic; this does not need to be globally unique. For the description, you can use the same signup description you used initially. All fields except privacy policy are required, so use 'SRCT' as the company name. The website url will be http://localhost:8000. The 'http://' is required. For the valid redirect URI, Instagram takes a different tact than the other oauth2 applications. You will need the full redirect path. Type http://localhost:8000/accounts/instagram/login/callback/. The trailing slash is for some reason important. Because you can support multiple URIs, then hit tab. Use a real contact email. The privacy policy is not required. Complete the captcha and hit 'Register'.

Now add this information back into the Django admin. Create a new social application, and copy the client name to name, the client id to client id, and client secret to secret key. Make sure localhost is chosen as your site, and hit save.

### Twitter

Create a new social application, selecting Twitter as the provider.

Head to the Twitter [developer's page]( Sign in, and go to and click 'create a new app'. Twitter does not require you to register as a developer up front, there is merely an agreement at the bottom on the new app page. You will, however, be required to add and verify your phone number to your Twitter account profile before submitting any apps.

Unlike the previous two sites, your app name must actually be globally unique. Pick, for example, 'roomlist-1234'. Next, your description will actually be shown to users when they sign in, so make sure it's reasonably coherent. Write something like 'verify your twitter account for roomlist'. For the website, use Use the same address for the callback, Agree to the developer terms, and click 'create your application'.

Next, by default, Twitter gives you more permissions than you actually need. On the app's page. click to the 'Permissions' tab. As we do not need to write to the users' Twitter account pages, select 'Read Only', and update your settings.

Now, click to the tab 'Keys and Access Tokens', and copy the 'Consumer Key' to Client ID on your new social application, and the 'Consumer Secret' to Secret Key. Make sure the name is the unique one you gave your app. Set localhost as your Site, and click Save.

### Google

Google's auth setup process is unquestionably the most confusing of the bunch, and yet we proceed, despite the ceiling of students who will link their Google+ page being approximately four.

Verify you have your phone number associated with your Google account, and then head to Google's [developer page]( On that page, click 'Web'. Under the column titled 'Develop', click 'Sign In', and then click 'Get Started'.

The first step, will link you to the Google Developer's console. Click that link, then, intuitively (/s) click 'Select a Project' in the navbar, and then 'Create a Project' in the dropdown.

Type 'roomlist' in the project name field. Google will give you a globally unique project name underneath the field. Agree to the terms, and click 'create'.

Project name-- google gives you the project name

Go now to 'enable and manage APIs'. On the new screen under 'social APIs', click Google+ API. Click 'enable API', and then on the sidebar click 'credentials'. Then click 'add credentials', and 'oauth2 client id' under the dropdown. You will be asked to first configure a user consent screen (similar to the description we wrote for the Twitter client's authentication page). The only required field is your project name. Save, and then on the screen 'create client ID', click 'web application'. Name your project roomlist (this is only for your piece of mind, the actual name you'll use for Django is still the one Google generated for you), the authorized javascript origin is, without the trailing slash. For the authorized redirect url, type the full path like with Instagram, but inexplicably use 'localhost': http://localhost:8000/accounts/google/login/callback/, and *with* the trailing slash. Click 'Create'.

Copy the Client ID and Client Secret from the popup window that you'll then see into the Django social app's Client ID and Secret Key, respectively. Unless you delete the preceeding and trailing space when you copy the hashes, you will be sad because your string will be wrong.

If you've forgotten the name with the number, back on Google's page it's in the navbar, if you click on the more human-readable app's name.

Add localhost as the site, click save, and throw a party, because thank goodness, you're finally all set.

235 236 237 238 239
### Github

Github's auth setup is mercifully comparatively easy. Sign in and go to (Note if you're creating a token for an organization, you'll need to instead go to App names do not need to be universally unique. Set http://localhost:8000 as your Homepage URL. Your description will be shown to your users; write something like 'Verify your Github account with Roomlist!'. For the authorization callback, use http://localhost:8000/accounts/github/login/callback/. Note your Client ID and Client Secret in the refreshed page, and add a new social application. Copy everything over directly from your just configured Github OAuth Application page, and add localhost as your chosen site.

240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250
### Tumblr

Head to The page is predominantly about Tumblr's mobile apps, but there's a faint gray line of text at the bottom. 'Wanna make an app? Cool. Register to use the Tumblr API, then have at it.' You'll need to verify your email address with Tumblr before continuing.

Click the '+ Register application' button, and then you'll have another page ahead of you to fill of OAuth information.
A couple of notes: the Application Name is not universal. Use the application description you've been using throughout, 'Verify your Tumblr account with Roomlist!'. The administrative contact email will be your Tumblr default account email. Set the callback url as http://localhost:8000/accounts/tumblr/login/callback/. Your application page icons cannot have transparent background. All right, you're ready to register!

On the Applications page that you'll be redirected to, the 'OAuth Consumer Key' is the Client ID you'll need when you add a new Social Application. Click 'Show Secret Key' to get the Client Secret. Use the name you gave your app, add localhost for your site, and you're off to the races.

Tumblr doesn't seem to have a way to only request specific permissions-- it will ask if it's okay both to access information and to post on your behalf. We're not interested in the latter, but keep in mind it will ask users if that's okay.

251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266
### Pinterest

Stop on over at If this is the first time you're playing with their API, you'll be asked to accept their terms of service. This then pops a modal to name your app and write a description. Note that while you may name your app anything (it does not have to be universally unique) it cannot be changed later. For the description, hit the standard: 'Verify your Pinterest account with Roomlist!'.

Pinterest has a fascinating approval process. When you get redirected to your app's page, you'll see 'You're almost ready! You still need at least 1 collaborator to authorize your app before you can submit.' That's right, just like an elementary school field trip to a pool, app approval is a buddy process. You and your buddy must follow each other. Thus, for deployment you must have a friend, but this step is unnecessary for development.

Pinterest has the unique requirement additionally of requiring that redirect URIs use https. We don't have certs for dev, so just go ahead and drop in an 's' to https://localhost:8000/accounts/pinterest/login/callback/. If you're going to change the picture that shows up when users connect your account, you'll need to hover over the large image at the top next to your app's name. There's no button otherwise.

Now, you're not going to be able to test this in development. You can get close by adding the `ACCOUNT_DEFAULT_HTTP_PROTOCOL` to https in `` like it is in ``, and you'll be able to see most of the process. But for the final redirect, your browser will tell you something like 'This site can’t provide a secure connection: localhost sent an invalid response. ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR', and Django will print you out 'You're accessing the development server over HTTPS, but it only supports HTTP.'. This is lame, but trust that if you get to that point it's working.

Add in your site information, and click on the button to reveal the 'App Secret'. Copy that and the 'App ID' into 'Client id' and 'Secret Key' in the Django admin interface when adding a new Pinterst app. Move over your chosen sites, and strap in, because it's still a while to go.

You have to submit your app for approval as detailed here in their documentation As they state, be as descriptive as possible when putting in your request.

Phew. You're finished. Get a stiff drink.

267 268 269 270 271
### Spotify

Visit You'll land on a big splash page with a green login button. A window will pop up, and after you've put in your username and password, it will ask to "Connect Spotify Developer to your Spotify account." Hit "Okay" and accept the Terms of Service.

The next page will be for creating your application. The app name does not have to be universally unique. User 'Verify your Spotify account with Roomlist!' as the app description. The next page will ask for your site's location and the callback url. You **must** include the trailing slash, so http://localhost:8000/accounts/spotify/login/callback/. This page already provides you the Client ID and Client Secret. Copy these to the Client ID and Secret Key when adding an app in the django admin interface, and add your site to the chosen sites.

Thankfully, there isn't any scope handling we need to deal with-- by default, we are limited to 'Read your publicly available information'.

275 276 277 278
## Modifying search

If you make changes to the search indexes, you will need to re-indexing your models for searching. Run `python update_index`.

279 280
## Deployment

Configure and use `` instead of `` in the production environment, to turn on caching, turn off debug mode, set up email, support https, and a whole lot more. To use this settings file, pass an additional argmument when running the project. `python runserver --settings=settings.production`

283 284 285 286 287 288
### Docker

For server deployment, not for most local work

## To-do

The list of to-do items is kept track of on the gitlab Roomlist issues page.
290 291

Each issue includes details about the bugs and features, and links to documentation and tutorials to help with fixing that specific issue.
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

Contact the project manager or any of its developers if you'd like help picking an unassigned issue.
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed

## About Mason SRCT
Daniel W Bond's avatar
Daniel W Bond committed
296 297

**S**tudent - **R**un **C**omputing and **T**echnology (*SRCT*, pronounced "circuit") is a student organization at George Mason University which enhances student computing at Mason. SRCT establishes and maintains systems which provide specific services for Mason's community.