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First run the first time setup from local development server.
Then, when running for the first time, or whenever frontend changes are made, you need to create optimized frontend assets with:
npm run build-dev
before you finally start the server each time with:
npm start
This setup runs the Next.js server in production mode locally. Running this setup locally might help debug some front-end deployment issues.
Building like this notably runs full typescript type checking, which is a good way to find bugs early.
But otherwise you will just normally use the local run as identical to deployment as possible setup instead for development, as that makes iterations quicker are you don't have to re-run the slow npm run build-dev command after every frontend change.
build-dev is needed instead of build because it uses NODE_ENV_OVERRIDE which is needed because Next.js forces NODE_ENV=production and wontfixed changing it: github.com/vercel/next.js/issues/4022#issuecomment-374010365, and that would lead to the PostgreSQL database being used, instead of the SQLite one we want.
build runs npm run build-assets on toplevel which repacks ourbigbook itself and is a bit slow. To speed things up during the development loop, you can also use:
npm run build-dev-nodeps
instead, which builds only the stuff under web/.
TypeScript type checking an also be run in isolation as mentioned at Section "OurBigBook Web TypeScript type checking" with:
npm run tsc


  1. OurBigBook Web development
  2. OurBigBook Web
  3. OurBigBook Project