The Swiss Army Knife of Vector Graphics Scripting
If you want to work with Paper.js, simply download the latest "stable" version from http://paperjs.org/download/
You can download prebuilt packages from http://paperjs.org/download/.
As of July 2013, the recommended way to install and maintain Paper.js is through Bower for browsers, and through NPM for Node.js.
For OSX see http://madebyhoundstooth.com/blog/install-node-with-homebrew-on-os-x/ for a tutorial explaining how to install Node.js, NPM and Bower.
For Linux see http://nodejs.org/download/ to locate 32-bit and 64-bit nodejs binaries as well as sources. It is recommended that you download directly from the nodejs site; the version available via many OS-supplied package managers is out-of-date and doesn't work with many of the packages paper uses. NPM is now included with the nodejs distribution. Once nodejs (with npm) has been installed you can install bower using the following command:
npm install -g bower
With Bower installed, simply type this command in your project folder:
bower install paper
Upon execution, you will find a
paper folder inside the project's
bower_components folder. For more information on Bower and to learn about its features for dependence tracking, see http://bower.io/.
The various distributions come with three different pre-build versions of Paper.js, in minified and normal variants:
paper-full.js– The full version for the browser, including PaperScript support and Acorn.js
paper-node.js– The version for Node.js. It is recommended to install this through NPM, see below.
You can also use NPM to install Paper.js for Node.js. But before doing so, you need the Cairo Graphics library installed, see http://cairographics.org/.
Installing Cairo on OSX:
The easiest way to install Cairo is install Homebrew http://mxcl.github.io/homebrew/ then issue the command:
brew install cairo
Note that currently there is an issue on OSX with Cairo. If the above causes errors, the following will most likely fix it:
PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/X11/lib/pkgconfig/ npm install paper
Also, whenever you would like to update the modules, you will need to execute:
PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/X11/lib/pkgconfig/ npm update
Installing Cairo on Debian/Ubuntu Linux:
sudo apt-get install libcairo2-dev
You might also need these additional packages if you don't usually build from c++ sources:
sudo apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev libjpeg8-dev libgif-dev
After Cairo has been installed:
You should now be able to install the Paper.js module from NPM:
npm install paper
Get the source (for building):
git clone --recursive git://github.com/paperjs/paper.js.git
Get the source (for contributing):
If you want to contribute to the project you will have to make a fork. Then do this:
git clone --recursive firstname.lastname@example.org:yourusername/paper.js.git cd paper.js git remote add upstream git://github.com/paperjs/paper.js.git
To fetch changes from origin (your fork), run
git fetch origin
If you are working with a fork and would like to fetch from upstream, run
git fetch upstream
To update the
jsdoc-toolkit submodule inside the
build folder, used to generate the documentation, run
git submodule update --init
Paper.js has a couple of dependencies as Bower and NPM modules. See http://madebyhoundstooth.com/blog/install-node-with-homebrew-on-os-x/ for a tutorial explaining how to install Node.js, NPM and Bower on OSX.
In order to be able to build Paper.js, after checking out the repository, paper has dependencies that need to be installed. Install them by issuing the following commands from the paper.js directory:
npm install bower install
You might find that the npm command fails attempting to fetch packages needed for dependencies due to using https (the default protocol to access the npm registry). If that is the case you can switch to using http for registry access with the following command:
npm config set registry http://registry.npmjs.org/
Next you need to create minified versions of some of these dependencies. This is handled by the
minify-components.sh script inside the
cd build ./minify-components.sh
The Paper.js sources are distributed across many separate files, organised in subfolders inside the
src folder. To compile them all into one distributable file, you can run the
build.sh script inside the
cd build ./build.sh
You will then find the built library inside the
dist folder, named
build.sh offer two modes:
commented Preprocessed but still formated and commented stripped Formated but without comments (default)
In order to minify the resulting built versions, you can run the
cd build ./minify.sh
Similarly to building the library, you can run
docs.sh inside the
build folder to build the documentation.
cd build ./docs.sh
Your docs will then be located at
As a handy alternative to building the library after each change to try it out in your scripts, there is a helper script
src/load.js that loads the library directly from all the separate source files in the
src folder. The shell script
load.sh in the
build folder produces a
paper.js library in
dist that does nothing else than loading the source files through
src/load.js. This means you can switch between loading from sources and loading a built library simply by running
load.sh inside the
cd build ./load.sh
And to go back to a built library
cd build ./build.sh
Note that your PaperScripts examples do not need to change, they can keep loading
dist/paper-full.js, which will always do the right thing. Note also that
src/load.js handles both browsers and Node.js, through the handy PrePro JS preprocessing library http://github.com/lehni/prepro.js.
Paper.js was developed and tested from day 1 using proper unit testing through jQuery's Qunit. To run the tests after any change to the library's source, simply open
index.html inside the
test folder in your web browser. There should be a green bar at the top, meaning all tests have passed. If the bar is red, some tests have not passed. These will be highlighted and become visible when scrolling down.
We prefer that you send a pull request here on GitHub which will then be merged into the official main line repository. You need to sign the Paper.js CLA to be able to contribute (see below).
Also, in your first contribution, add yourself to the end of
AUTHORS.md (which of course is optional).
As mentioned earlier in this article, we prefer that you send a pull request on GitHub.
Clone of your repository:
git clone https://email@example.com/yourusername/paper.js.git
This is important: Create a so-called topic branch:
git checkout -tb name-of-my-patch where "name-of-my-patch" is a short but descriptive name of the patch you're about to create. Don't worry about the perfect name though -- you can change this name at any time later on.
Hack! Make your changes, additions, etc., commit them then push them to your github fork:
git push origin name-of-my-patch
Use one topic branch per feature -- don't mix different kinds of patches in the same branch. Instead, merge them all together into your master branch (or develop everything in your master and then cherry-pick-and-merge into the different topic branches). Git provides for an extremely flexible workflow, which in many ways causes more confusion than it helps you when new to collaborative software development. The guides provided by GitHub at http://help.github.com/ are a really good starting point and reference.
If you are fixing a ticket, a convenient way to name the branch is to use the URL slug from the bug tracker, like this:
git checkout -tb 53-feature-manually-select-language.
Before we can accept any contributions to Paper.js, you need to sign this CLA:
The purpose of this agreement is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to Paper.js and thereby allow us to defend the project should there be a legal dispute regarding the software at some future time.
For a list of contributors, please see AUTHORS
See the file LICENSE