1.7.12 • Public • Published

hi_score Coverage Status

The UnFramework for Single Page Web Applications

By the author of Single Page Web Applications, JavaScript end-to-end, a Dr. Dobb's Best Book of 2014.

Why hi_score?

Like other Single Page Web App (SPA) frameworks, hi_score provides an enormous head-start in creating professional, release-ready applications. Yet it is profoundly different from most of them in almost every other way.

The hi_score framework helps developers create, understand, and constantly improve the core technologies used by their SPAs instead of locking them into a large and non-portable ecosystem. It uses a zero-transpile development environment while still providing a rich set of capabilities such as life-cycle management, type safety, run-time CSS, and state management. It consumes far fewer resources and is productive with just a text editor, a terminal, and a browser. Easy problems are easy to solve, and hard problems are possible.

A framework should serve you, not the other way around. You should be free to move your web app to other environments without complex migration away from non-portable dead-end pseudo-languages. You shouldn't be forced to rewrite / refactor / debug all your apps every time your framework releases a new version.

If your framework is making your life more complex, if your teams can't communicate because they are using competing Towers of Babel, perhaps its time to use hi_score so they can all speak the same languages your apps actually use.

Latest News

Version 1.7.12 enhancements:

  • (x) js/xhi/01_util Add return map option to method _makeTmpltStr_. This reports the keys actually used in a given operation through the map reference that is passed. If no map reference is passed, this function operates exactly as before.

Quick start

On Mac, Ubuntu Linux, or WSL please follow these steps.

  git clone git@github.com:mmikowski/hi_score.git
  cd hi_score
  bin/xhi build,dev_start
  # Press 'enter' when prompted to review TODOs

  # Now open in a browser (adjust as needed)
  google-chrome http://localhost:8080/build/latest/dist/app-tb02.html

These steps create a release-ready distribution in around 5 seconds on modern hardware. In that time, hi_score resolves all build dependencies, coordinates with NPM to download and install hundreds of packages, patches and deploys libraries, and runs thousands of quality checks. Subsequent builds take less than half the time thanks to cached environment dependencies.

You should now see the Typebomb 2 web app in a browser and may use the developer tools to inspect the CSS, the DOM, and the JavaScript. Notice how everything is production-ready including compressed CSS class names (yes, we were doing this five years before Facebook). Please compare it with the online version to ensure it is working correctly.

Typebomb 2

Key benefits

  • Manage the full life cycle

  • Integrate with NPM using package.json

  • Never miss a lifecycle step with dependency resolution

  • Avoid the complexity and magic of the Tower of Babel

  • Develop rapidly in with only a browser, terminal, and text editor

  • Create in-line HTML documents from markdown (bin/make-doc)

  • Build multiple related applications in a single project

  • Learn from a non-trivial Typebomb 2 app

  • Debug instantly using browser tools in a zero-compile development environment

  • Get Detailed help with bin/xhi help -v

  • Use best practice reference Style, VDG, Library, Architecture using bin/xhi design.

  • Enjoy type-safety without the complexities of TypeScript or Flow

  • Use a layered MVC arch with designed for testing

  • Leverage the extensively used and tested xhi library to guide the design of every layer of our app.

    • Extensive, highly tested utilities in js/xhi/01_util
    • AJAX and socket methods in js/xhi/02_data
    • State and logic management in js/xhi/03_model
    • Feature modules as shown in js/xhi/06_lb.js
    • Double-buffered dynamic CSS with PowerCSS and js/xhi/06_css
    • Shell design in js/xhi/07_shell
  • Auto-installed a commit-hook (bin/xhi install)

  • Deploy and patch all vendor assets (bin/xhi setup)

  • Run all regression tests in a drop directory (bin/xhi dev_test)

  • Serve content with http-server (bin/xhi dev_start)

  • Upgrade libraries only on request (bin/xhi dev_upgrade)

  • Run suite of static tests (ESLint, whitespace, strict, TODOs) (bin/xhi dev_lint)

  • Report code coverage with Istanbul (bin/xhi dev_cover)

  • Run all tests prior to commit (bin/xhi dev_commit)

  • Build for distribution with a single command (bin/xhi build)

The xhi lifecycle tool

The bin/xhi tool automates good practice for almost every conceivable stage of the SPA life cycle. Configuration for every stage is found in the NPM package.json file. This tool provides all NPM lifecycle scripts such as npm test.

Find help

The lifecycle stages supported by bin/xhi are shown below. Those marked placeholder are those we plan to address in future releases. Use the command bin/xhi help all to see the entire list as shown below.

  $ bin/xhi help all
    xhi>  START Stage 00 help
    xhi>  00 help        : Help on 'xhi' tool, use -v for verbose
    xhi>  01 install     : Download and install npm modules
    xhi>  02 setup       : Patch and distribute vendor npm assets
    xhi>  03 design      : Show architecture, style, and VDG docs
    xhi>  04 dev_pull    : Download and merge SCMS assets (git pull)
    xhi>  05 dev_upgrade : Upgrade packages to latest
    xhi>  06 dev_start   : Start local HTTP server
    xhi>  07 dev_test    : Run regression tests
    xhi>  08 dev_lint    : Lint changed code
    xhi>  09 dev_cover   : Create coverage report
    xhi>  10 dev_commit  : Commit changes with git
    xhi>  11 build       : Build a distribution
    xhi>  12 publish     : Upload to publishers
    xhi>  13 dev_restart : Cycle local HTTP server
    xhi>  14 dev_stop    : Stop local HTTP server
    xhi>  15 deploy      : Upload distribution        # placeholder
    xhi>  16 prod_start  : Start production server(s) # placeholder
    xhi>  17 prod_restart: Cycle production server(s) # placeholder
    xhi>  18 prod_stop   : Stop production server(s)  # placeholder
    xhi>  19 fetch_info  : Fetch feedback             # placeholder
    xhi>  20 uninstall   : Remove xhi                 # placeholder
    xhi>  END Stage 00 help

Use bin/xhi design to see the Architecture Guide, Style Guide, or Visual Design Guide (VDG). Detailed help on a stage or range of stages is shown with the -v flag shown below.

  $ bin/xhi help dev_lint -v
  xhi>  START Stage 00 help
  xhi>  08 dev_lint:
  xhi>    Check lint quality of changed JS code.
  xhi>    Files in 'vendor|node_modules' directories are ignored.
  xhi>    Four tests are performed on each file:
  xhi>      1. Check for tab characters or trailing space
  xhi>      2. Ensure 'use strict'; is employed
  xhi>      3. Run 'eslint' on each file (config in package.json)
  xhi>      4. List TODO items for developer to review and approve
  xhi>    Any failed step causes this stage to report failure.
  xhi>    This stage does not "short-circuit" so any and all issues are
  xhi>    shown for each run.
  xhi>    NPM SCRIPTS      : none.
  xhi>    SUCCESS CRITERIA : All tests complete without error
  xhi>  END   Stage 00 help

Run lifecycle stages

Run a range of lifecycle steps as shown below.

  # Get list of stages
  $ xhi help all

  # Run desired stage-range
  $ xhi dev_cover,build

The bin/xhi tool takes a <stage-range> argument. Stages that are provided out-of-order are sorted before running. A number of examples are shown below.

  # Run a single stage
  $ xhi install

  # Run all stages between 'install' and 'dev_commit' inclusive
  $ xhi install-dev_commit

  # Run individual stages explicitly
  $ xhi update,dev_cover

  # Run a range using stage numbers
  $ xhi 0-5

  # Get help on ranges
  $ xhi help install -v
  $ xhi help install-dev_commit
  $ xhi help update,dev_cover
  $ xhi help 0-5

The bin/xhi tool will often run more than the number of stages requested. That's because many stages have dependencies as discussed in the next section.

Lifecycle dependencies

The bin/xhi <stage-range> command will always run the smallest safe number of steps to complete the target to minimize time and resources required. For example, consider the stages that are run when we enter bin/xhi build,dev_start for the first time as shown below.

  • 01 install Download all vendor assets
  • 02 setup Copy, rename, and patch vendor files. Install commit hook.
  • 06 dev_start Configure and start an HTTP server
  • 07 dev_test Ran all unit test suites found in test.d
  • 08 dev_lint Ran all lint tests (whitespace, TODO, eslint, strict)
  • 09 dev_cover Calculated and report coverage
  • 11 build Minimized, obfuscated, and SuperPacked three apps
  • 11 build Created a unique dist folder for each app with meta-data and build reports

After this initial run, many of these steps will not be repeated. The install and setup stages, for example, will not be needed again unless the installation changes. The code quality checks like linting will only be needed if code files change. These dependencies are resolved by bin/xhi as discussed below.

Goal dependencies

Goal dependencies are stages that are always run before before a target stage. For example, if we run bin/xhi dev_commit the dev_lint, and dev_test stages will always be run first to ensure the code quality is acceptable. If either requirement fails, bin/xhi exits immediately (with an exit code of 1) and the target stage is not attempted. Goal dependencies are defined in package.json.xhi_commandTable. Don't change these without careful consideration and testing.

Environment dependencies

Environment dependencies must be successfully completed in the development environment before the target stage. For example, if we run bin/xhi dev_commit but have not run bin/xhi install, the install stage will be run before the dev_commit stage. The success or failure of each stage is saved in the state file (run/xhi_state.json) and the next stage is run. If the install stage succeeds it will not be included in future steps for dev_commit as it will have been completed in the prior run. Environment dependencies are defined in package.json.xhi_commandTable. Don't change these without careful consideration and testing.

Previously completed environment dependencies may be invalidated. For example, if bin/xhi install or bin/xhi upgrade fail, the tool will mark the install stage as failed and the stage will be attempted again in the next invocation that requires this stage as a dependencies.

Explicitly requested stages will always run regardless of their last success status. For example, bin/xhi dev_lint may or may not run the install stage, but bin/xhi install,dev_lint will always run the install stage because it is explicitly listed. bin/xhi help-dev_lint will also run install since it is explicitly within the range provided (help-dev_lint). Reset the status by removing the stage_status_map from the run/xhi_state.json file.

Exit status

If all the stages of a range are successfully run an exit status of 0 is returned. If any stage fails processing stops and an exit status of 1 is provided. In Bash, the return status is available in the $? environment variable. If we apply minor adjustments to disable terminal interaction, bin/xhi should be capable of integration to other tool chains.

Create a new application

We create a new application by adding files as shown below.

├── app-<name>.html              <= Development test page
├── css
│   └── app-<name>/              <= CSS if needed (but consider PowerCSS)
│       └── <name>.css
├── img
│   └── app-<name>/              <= App-specific image files
│       └── <name>.<descr>.svg
└── js
    └── app-<name>/              <= Libraries (discussed below).
        └── <name>.00_root.js

The Typebomb 2 app uses PowerCSS instead of an external CSS file. In addition, there are no external images as it uses embedded SVGs. Our files therefore are as shown below.

├── app-tb02.html              <= Development test page
└── js
    └── app-tb02/              <= Libraries (discussed below).
        ├── tb02.00_root.js
        ├── tb02.01_util.js
        └── ...

Leverage the xhi library

hi_score is build from the ground-up to support feature module architecture. Key tenants of this architecture and the xhi library are shown below.

Feature module architecture

  • All layers are order from most basic 00_root to highest abstraction 08_app.
  • Each layer is created using a corresponding xhi library file.
  • Data flows from the lowest layer 00_root to the highest 08_app.
  • All method calls are made from higher levels to lower. Calls from 02_data to 01_util or 03_model to 01_util are expected. Calls from a high layer like 07_shell to a low layer like 02_data should be scrutinized because one probably be calling all intermediate layer to safe state. All method calls from a lower layer to a higher layer or across modules of the same level are not allowed.
  • Use event registration to communicate changes up the stack. For example, the 03_model may communicate an online status by publishing event data. All registered feature modules may then update their display.
  • Create feature modules that contain their own isolated data and models when appropriate. This is pragmatic and recognizes the fractal nature of MVC.

The Typebomb 2 app has files for each layer as shown below.

Module layers
tb02.00_root.js            |        ^    \
tb02.01_util.js          load       |     |
tb02.02_data.js          order      |     |
tb02.02_01_data_mock.js    |        |     |
tb02.03_model.js           |      call,   |
tb02.04_utilb.js           |      init     >  xhi library
tb02.05_02_css_base.js   events   order   |
tb02.05_03_css_lb.js       |        |     |
tb02.05_css.js             |        |     |
tb02.06_lb.js              |        |     |
tb02.07_shell.js           |        |     |
tb02.08_app.js             v        |    /

All these modules claim a slice of the application name-space (tb02) and use js/xhi libraries in one of three ways:

  1. Create a configured instance and use as-is
  2. Create an instance and decorate
  3. Use the module to guide development

More specific notes about Typebomb 2 app are provide in README.app-tb02.md. One can omit unused layers for a given app. However, for illustrative purposes, we have included all layers here. One can copy these to a new name-space to create a new app and edit from there. One can easily create a generator to automate these steps, but we show them in full for now.

  cd ~/Github/hi_score;
  export _ns='mine'

  cp /template/app-tb02.html "app-${_ns}.html"

  mkdir "js/app-${_ns}"
  cd "js/app-${_ns}"

  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.00_root.js         "${_ns}.00_root.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.01_util.js         "${_ns}.01_util.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.02_data.js         "${_ns}.02_data.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.02_01_data_mock.js "${_ns}.02_01_data_mock.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.03_model.js        "${_ns}.03_model.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.04_utilb.js        "${_ns}.04_utilb.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.05_02_css_base.js  "${_ns}.05_02_css_base.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.05_03_css_lb.js    "${_ns}.05_03_css_lb.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.05_css.js          "${_ns}.05_css.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.06_lb.js           "${_ns}.06_lb.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.07_shell.js        "${_ns}.07_shell.js"
  cp ../app-tb02/tb02.08_app.js          "${_ns}.08_app.js"

  git add .

There is a lot less duplicate code here than it may appear. For example, any 01_util layer is just a singleton instance of the js/xhi/01_util utilities. And any model almost certainly inherits and reuses state values and methods from an instance of the js/xhi/03_model.

We change all references from tb02 in these new files to our new name-space, ${_ns}. We also create a new build manifest in package.json using the xhi_11_BuildMatrix configuration for tb02 as a guide. Once we confirm our new app builds as expected using bin/xhi build (check the output in build/latest/dist/app-${_ns}.html) we proceed to customize it as desired.

Vendor assets

The bin/xhi setup stage patches and deploys vendor assets using the xhi_02_SetupMatrix configuration found in package.json. This field is correlated with the with the devDependencies map to ensure assets are properly label, patched, distributed, and ignored by Git.

Assets are copied to their destination directory with their version number appended to their names. The .gitignore file instructs git to ignore all these files as their development management is external to our project. Every time bin/xhi setup is run the vendor directories are deleted and recreated.

Executable assets

Vendor executables are copied to the bin/vendor directory.

Font assets

Vendor font files are copied to the font/vendor directory. These fonts are currently installed:

Image assets

Vendor images are be copied to the img/vendor directory.

JavaScript assets

Client JS libraries

Client libraries are copied to the js/vendor directory. This makes them available to the web server. The following libraries are installed:

The jQuery name-space is changed to xhiJQ and the PowerCSS name-space is changed from pcss to xhiCSS. This avoids conflicts with other libraries. The naming may be updated by adjusting bin/rename-vendor-symbols. When coding, please use these symbol (xhiJQ and xhiCSS) instead of their usual names (jQuery and pcss). Also, we do not expect the $ symbol to represent jQuery. Rely on local mapping if we want that behavior, e.g. (function ($) { ... }( xhiJQ )).

Node JS libraries

NodeJS libraries are not copied to a vendor directory. We may change this if we decide to create a server distribution. The following libraries are installed:

Development JS libraries

Development libraries are used for testing a building code. They are not copied to a vendor directory. The following libraries are installed:

Styling assets

Vendor CSS libraries are copied to the css/vendor directory. The following CSS files are installed:


The xhi_02_SetupMatrix.patch_matrix directs patch application. This capability allows us to use great tools tweaked for our needs while maintaining the upstream source. For example, we patch uglify-js to support object property name compression and shuffling by superpack. We also patch font-awesome CSS files to have the correct path for our environment. The bin/xhi setup stage applies patches after vendor assets are copied to their directories. The configuration for patches are in package.json in the xhiPatchMatrix map. The patches are stored in the patch directory. Patches can be created as follows:

cd js/vendor
cp jquery-3.5.1.js jquery-3.5.1.js.O

# Now change jquery-3.5.1.js as required

# And create the diff
cd ../..
diff -u js/vendor/jquery-3.5.1.js.O js/vendor/jquery-3.5.1.js
  > patch/jquery-3.5.1.patch


Use bin/xhi build or bin/xhi make to build a distribution. The tool concatenates, compresses, and obfuscates and SuperPacks JavaScript and CSS. It copies only the required assets into the the distribution directory (build/<build_id>/dist). The result loads faster, runs faster, and typically consumes roughly 1/50th the space of the development environment.

  $ ## Show disk usage of all development files
  $ cd hi_score && export PATH=`pwd`/bin:$PATH;
  $ du -sh .

  $ ## Get disk usage of all distribution files
  $ xhi build && cd build/latest && du -sh .

The bin/xhi build stage uses uses SuperPack to analyze symbols (variable names, object properties, and labels) and replace them with shortened and shuffled keys. The shortest keys are used for the most frequently found symbols. SuperPack reports the key-to-symbol mapping and the frequency of use which makes further optimizations by pruning code easier (see build/<build-number>/stage/<name>-sp.diag for mapping and key use). Projects with many object properties can be compressed up to an additional 50% by SuperPack, and it hinders reverse-engineering of code.

The build process enhances security because only a tiny, curated, obfuscated portion of our code is published and sensitive data such as SCMS information, documentation, lookup-maps, and development assets are omitted. We can publish these assets elsewhere at our discretion. The distribution also reduces the dozens of HTTP calls to just a few. This too reduces load time as illustrated below.

Attribute Original (%) Minified (%) SuperPack (%)
Size 601,027 (100.0%) 215,400 ( 35.8%) 162,494 ( 27.1%)
Gzipped 151,716 ( 25.2%) 62,895 ( 10.4%) 57,275 ( 09.5%)
HTTP reqs 27 (100.0%) 4 ( 15.4%) 4 ( 15.4%)
Local ms 231 (100.0%) 166 ( 71.2%) 144 ( 62.3%)
Deploy Size 121 MB 8 MB ( 6.6%) 8 MB ( 6.5%)

The load time measurements were made using a local HTTP server. Remote devices over slow networks would have a much larger delta in favor of SuperPack.


Name-spaces enable us to provide a suite of web apps that share a great deal of code but have instances and data cleanly isolated. Name-spacing across JS and CSS can help one trace behaviors to the controlling code faster and with greater accuracy. We open them in the browser (bin/xhi install && google-chrome ex*.html) and use the developer tools to see this in practice.

When we view Example 1 (ex01.html) we can open the browser development tools (press <shift>-<ctrl>-i or <shift>-<cmd>-i on a Mac), type ex01 into the JavaScript console and press <return> to inspect that value. We see that this single variable that contains our entire application. When we enter ex02 we see that it is undefined. When we visit the Example 2 (ex02.html) instead we see that ex01 is undefined and ex02 contains our app code using a similar process.

We also name-space our CSS classes to avoid collisions. When we inspect the HTML of the Example 1 app we see that nearly all classes start with an ex01- prefix. When we inspect Example 2 tab we find the prefix is ex02-. As with the JavaScript name-spacing, the prefixes are hierarchical. For example, the ex02-_lb_ class was generated for use by the ex02-_lb_ module. During the build process selectors are shortened along with property values as long as they use the property-name structure. For example, ex02-_shell_title_underscore_ will compress to something like ex02-jp.

Using an upstream source

A good way to integrate the hi_score repository is to use it as a git upstream source. One may then create new application using the hi_score infrastructure without missing upstream improvements or bug fixes.

First create a new empty repository on Github and copy the ssh repository URL, which should look similar to git@github.com:<user>/<repo_name> and then proceed as below:

  # Create and use Github directory
  mkdir -p ~/Github && cd ~/Github

  # Set up variables - change these as needed

  # Clone the empty repository
  git clone "git@github.com:${_git_user}/${_repo_name}"
  cd "${_repo_name}"

  # Create master branch
  touch "README.${_app_name}.md" # Add app specific docs here
  git add .
  git commit -m "First commit for ${_repo_name}"
  git push

  # Verify origin
  git remote -v
  # origin  git@github.com:<user>/<repo_name>.git (fetch)
  # origin  git@github.com:<user>/<repo_name>.git (push)

  # Add upstream repository
  git remote add upstream git@github.com:mmikowski/hi_score.git

  # Verify upstream
  git remote -v
  # origin    git@github.com:<user>/<repo_name>.git (fetch)
  # origin    git@github.com:<user>/<repo_name>.git (push)
  # upstream  git@github.com:mmikowski/hi_score.git (fetch)
  # upstream  git@github.com:mmikowski/hi_score.git (push)

  # Merge changes from upstream and push to origin
  git fetch -a --prune upstream
  git merge --allow-unrelated-histories upstream/master
  git push

One can delete all the example apps (tb02, ex01, ex02) from the project if they get in the way. However we recommend retaining at least tb02 for reference because it will continue to be refined along with the hi_score project. One can refresh upstream at any time as shown below.

  # Refresh view of branches
  git fetch -a --prune

  # Pull latest master or dev branch
  git checkout master
  git pull

  # Create a new branch to test merge
  git checkout -b upstream-check

  # Refresh view of upstream and test merge
  git fetch -a --prune upstream
  git merge --no-commit upstream/master

We recommend running bin/xhi install,setup after any such merge.

Towers of Babel

If we want to create a single page web application these days there is no shortage of help. Developers are lured into using a starter project which we will call a Tower of Babel. Typically these projects include a not-yet-abandoned SPA framework (maybe React, Vue, Angular, Aurelia or Ext.js) along with a static CSS compiler (like SASS or LESS or Stylus or SCSS), a run-time CSS manager (like BootStrap), a JavaScript compiler (typically Babel with JSX and Typescript and ES5.2), a build system (like Brunch or Webpack or Parcel) so on and ad-nauseum. This requires a sophisticated management server orchestrate the numerous cross-dependencies and transpiles. There are a few guarantees beside the system will be Magic.

Sorry Gandalf but we don't mean Magic in a good way. Sure, we'll be able to create that sample-TODO-application-designed-to-impress-the-CTO in record time because of the built-in-demo-on-rails. But once one moves away from the demo even a little bit, things tend to go south fast. The build path from source code to the rendered HTML + CSS + JavaScript (HCJ) is so complex that it's impossible for a human to trace. When it breaks - and it will - all that Magic becomes Evil Curses. That's because these Tower of Babel solutions have traded HTML + CSS + Javascript for a Mötley Crüe of transpiled languages that are often larger, more numerous, harder to learn, poorly documented, poorly integrated, and much easier to break. Problems that should be easy to solve - like adding an app to share resources - can be effectively impossible.

hi_score is designed to avoid the Tower of Babel, automate processes around the HCJ, and help the developers continuously improve their skills and understanding on the core technologies of web apps. We hope you like it.


Linux, Ubuntu or Debian Based

When using Ubuntu Linux 16.04+ or a derivative -- such a Linux Mint, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or similar -- ensure the following libraries are installed. Run the attached commands one at a time to ensure all prerequisites are met.

  # Install required libraries
  sudo apt install build-essential git \
    libfile-slurp-perl liblist-moreutils-perl \
    net-tools openssh-server pandoc pandoc-citeproc \
    unzip zip;

  # Install recommended libraries
  sudo apt install apt-file htop kdiff3 \
    mysql-client mysql-server \
    meld ppa-purge sysstat vim-gtk vim-nox vim-syntax-gtk

  # Install nodejs
  curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash -
  sudo apt-get install -y nodejs

Return to Quick Start

Linux: Other

Other Linux distributions should generally work as long as the same libraries can be installed as with Ubuntu. With Fedora 30, for example, the following should be pretty close.

  yum install gcc gcc-c++ make openssl-devel

  # Now make sure the perl libraries and node.js 10+ is installed

See this guide for NodeJS package installation on other Linux distros. Here is a more generic guide for Kubuntu and Ubuntu.

Return to the Quick Start

Macintosh Prerequisites

MacOS Catalina is reported to work with the following commands:

  1. Install NodeJS
  # Install Pandoc
  brew install pandoc
  # Install cpanm
  cpan App::cpanminus
  # Install CPAN modules
  cpanm Getopt::Simple File::Slurp

Another path is to use Parallels or VMFusion to import the Virtual Appliance vmx.zip file (unzip this file before use). VirtualBox also will work but does not integrate as well to MacOS.

Windows 10 Prerequisites

In theory, the Windows Subsystem for Linux running an Ubuntu distro should work as with the prerequisites listed above. However, we haven't tested it. One may also use the virutal appliance detailed above.

Return to the Quick Start

Virtual Appliance Prerequisites

Download the latest latest virtual appliance to try hi_score by running a host in a virtual machine. Pick the latest ova2 image for virtual box, and the latest vmx.zip image for VMware or Parallels. The login and password are hi_score.


After signing in, change the password for safety, and upgrade the software to the latest security patches. Open a terminal and enter the following lines, waiting for each command to complete before proceeding to the next.

  sudo apt update
  sudo apt upgrade
  sudo apt dist-upgrade

Return to the Quick Start

Reference notes

Browser compatibility

Our baseline compatibility is IE9+. Those supporting IE 8 have our sympathy.

Deployment platform

The server component of hi_score is designed to run on industry-standard hardware, cloud instances like Amazon EC2, and containers. Our server platform is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Later version of Ubuntu and other distributions should work well.

Code Style

We use the code style presented in Single Page Web Applications - JavaScript end-to-end (see reviews on Amazon) in the upcoming 2nd edition. The full code standard is found in the docs directory.

IDE Configuration

We provide configs for JetBrain's IDE IntelliJ or Webstorm in the repository. Other IDEs will work fine, but you will need to manually adjust them to support the code style. One should only need to do this once per IDE and then it can be added to the repository. Contributions for VSCode, VIM, and other environments are welcome.


While hi_score is opinionated, it is also modular and designed for change. For example, the bin/xhi tool is easily extended by dropping a short module into the the lib/ directory. The architecture and code style docs used by bin/xhi are easily edited in the docs/ directory. Developers are encouraged to add vendor libraries and patches as needed. Any improvements or suggestions are welcome through the issues tracker. Pull requests are appreciated!

Release Notes

Copyright (c)

2016 - 2019 Michael S. Mikowski (mike[dot]mikowski[at]gmail[dotcom])



Version 0.0.x

  • (x) Initial preparation

Version 0.1.x

  • (x) Library updates

Version 0.2.x

  • (x) Regression and integration testing
  • (x) Rudimentary sample app

Version 0.3.x

  • (x) Add code coverage
  • (x) Replace getDeepMapVal and setDeepMapVal with more powerful and tested getStructData and setStructData
  • (x) Updates to xhi/01_util.js

Version 0.4.x

  • (x) Replace jscoverage with much more complete and recent istanbul
  • (x) Add cast routines and detail their use
  • (x) Consolidate utilities to increase coverage
  • (x) Update lite-box using cast methods

Version 0.5.x

  • (x) Add jsdom to expand testing to modules that use jQuery
  • (x) Continue regression test expansion
  • (x) Rationalize libraries
  • (x) Add lite-box regression tests

Version 0.6.x

  • (x) Remove vendor code from repo and auto-copy on install
  • (x) Add native utils makeThrottleFn and makeDebounceFn
  • (x) Add links to revised code style guides
  • (x) Replace install script with prep-libs (v0.6.17+)

Version 0.7.x

  • (x) Move to constructor approach to easily create multiple concurrent name-spaced apps using the common xhi core
  • (x) Update index page to illustrate
  • (x) Make example app less trivial
  • (x) Number code library level

Version 0.8.x

  • (x) Work on build system
  • (x) Unify shell scripts nomenclature
  • (x) Add constructor where only selected components are added
  • (x) Add dependency levels for xhi libs

Version 0.9.x

  • (x) Add distribution build system npm run buildify
  • (x) Add utilities and tests

Version 1.0.x

  • (x) Initial feature complete
  • (x) Add utils and tests

Version 1.1.x

  • (x) Rename npm run prep-libs to npm run setup
  • (x) Rename npm run cover to npm run coverage
  • (x) Rename npm run covera to npm run publish-coverage
  • (x) Rename npm run buildify to npm run make
  • (x) Syntax refinements
  • (x) Update libs, add express
  • (x) Add utils and tests

Version 1.2.x

  • (x) Convert bin/setup in JavaScript
  • (x) Configure setup completely in package.json

Version 1.3.x

  • (x) Replace JSLint with ESLint for ES2015 support
  • (x) Convert from var => let
  • (x) Implement bin/xhi tool development capabilities
    • (x) 00 xhi help
    • (x) 01 install
    • (x) 02 setup
    • (x) 03 design
    • (x) 04 dev_pull
    • (x) 05 dev_upgrade
    • (x) 06 dev_start
    • (x) 07 dev_test
    • (x) 08 dev_lint
    • (x) 09 dev_cover
    • (x) 10 dev_commit
    • (x) 11 build
    • (x) 12 publish
    • (x) 13 dev_restart
    • (x) 14 dev_stop
  • (x) Tool enhancements
    • (x) bin/xhi setup : Implement env dependencies and lib/xhi_state.json
    • (x) bin/xhi setup : Auto-create lib/xhi_state.json if required
    • (x) bin/xhi build : Create build directory like dist/\<build-number\>
    • (x) bin/xhi build : Link dist/latest to latest build
    • (x) bin/xhi build : Do not auto-increment build until next commit
    • (x) bin/xhi dev_cover : Move to dist/\<build-number\> directories
  • (x) Update all NPM lifecycle scripts to use bin/xhi
    • (x) "help" : "bin/xhi help"
    • (x) "make" : "bin/xhi make"
    • (x) "setup": "bin/xhi setup"
    • (x) "test" : "bin/xhi test"
  • (x) Move build manifest to package.json
  • (x) Implement build numbers and link last build to latest
  • (x) Move coverage reports into build directories
  • (x) Store build and env state in lib/xhi_state.json
  • (x) Create and update virtualBox OVA for development
  • (x) Create and update Parallels VMX image
  • (x) Replace JSLint setting from per-file to config/jslint.conf
  • (x) Expect browser env for js/xhi libraries
  • (x) Fix js/xhi/01_util.js::makeSeriesMap across timezones
  • (x) Update code standard
  • (x) Create AMI image for deployment

Versions 1.4.x

2017-10-10 through 2019-01-01

  • (x) Add Typebomb 2 example application
  • (x) Convert build system to JavaScript using package.json as manifest
  • (x) Enhance js/xhi libs and docs
  • (x) Expand and enhance utility functions (xhi/01_util.js)
  • (x) Expand doc for bin/xhi help build
  • (x) Fix bin/xhi dev_cover dependency resolution
  • (x) Fix superpack to be more reliable
  • (x) Fix font path errors with patch for font-awesome CSS
  • (x) Revise code standards and images
  • (x) Update AMI image for deployment and add screen shot
  • (x) Update README with images
  • (x) Add symbol renaming to avoid conflicts (jQuery => xhiJQ, pcss => xhiCSS)
  • (x) Replace JSLint with ESLint and package.json for config

Versions 1.5.x

2019-01-01 through 2019-06-15

  • (x) Add capabilities and documentation to js/xhi/01_utils.js
  • (x) Update all libs to latest
  • (x) Revised templates per latest best practice
  • (x) Include event pub-sub system in the js/xhi/03_model.js instance. This provides an integrated event log system for use in regression tests

Version 1.6.x

2019-06-16 through 2019-07-25

  • (x) Significantly updated documentation.
  • (x) Move lib/xhi_state.json to run/xhi_state.json
  • (x) Update quick reference, VDG, and code standard
  • (x) Updated docs, no code changes
  • (x) Added check for GIT when using bin/xhi. NPM installs are not yet supported.

Version 1.7.x

2019-07-25 ongoing


  • (x) Enhance utility capabilities
    • (x) Replace makeDeepKeyList with more-useful makeDeepData
    • (x) Make getStructData more reliable for named objects
  • (x) Update test to match new capabilities
  • (x) Improve default symbol contents
  • (x) Fix ex01 and ex02 example apps to show again
  • (x) Update docs to current practices


  • (x) Update js code standard to recent developments
  • (x) Fix js code standard to render correctly
  • (x) Update dependent library (bin/xhi dev_upgrade)


  • (x) server/index.js Replace http-server with express server Supports .env, directory listing
  • (x) package.json Add cloud storage libs, update libs to lastest
  • (x) bin/make_doc Improve techniques used in bash utility
  • (x) doc/js-code-standard.adoc Add section on value passing to
  • (x) xhi/02_data.js Remove no-auth hack from
  • (x) xhi/03_model.js Extend event publish capability
  • (x) xhi/05_02_css_base.js Remove unused code from CSS module
  • (x) lib/xhi_06, lib/xhi_13 Adjust to start and stop server/index.js


  • (x) js/app-tb02/tb02.07_shell.js Fix audio on chrome over http by appending audio elments to body.
  • (x) js/xhi/01_util and tests: replace makePadNumStr to makePadStr
  • (x) Eslint fixes in ~20 files for redundant global symbols

1.7.4 - 1.7.7

  • (x) doc/spa-manuscript-v2 Add wip for maniscript for Single Page Web Applications JavaScript End-to-end - Second Edition.
  • (x) Improve diagnostics when superpack install is missing libs

1.7.8 - 1.7.9

  • (x) Improve correctness of makeThrottleFn and makeDebounceFn

1.7.10 - 1.7.12

  • (x) js/xhi/01_util Add return map option to method _makeTmpltStr_. This reports the keys actually used in a given operation through the map reference that is passed. If no map reference is passed, this function operates exactly as before.


  • (i) Improve CLI presentation of bin/xhi design reference by searching and using platform viewers
  • (i) Add generator to create new apps cleanly and very quickly
  • (i) Update tb02 libs to latest best practice (events)
  • (i) Update virtual appliance
  • (i) Add CSS => PowerCSS parser
  • (o) Convert SuperPack Perl to JS and use package.json config
  • (o) Add UUID snippet from Git to build number, for example, 000025-1c002d
  • (o) Test load times using remote server
  • (o) Implement bin/xhi deploy
  • (o) Push to NPM using bin/xhi publish


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