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Welcome to the CodeSee Alpha



Today, CodeSee consists of a few pieces. As part of your install, you will:

  • run a local CodeSee server (see docker-compose instructions below)
  • add two npm libraries to your javascript app:
  • a CodeSee babel plugin (@codesee/babel-plugin-instrument), which instruments your code to send data to the CodeSee server
  • the CodeSee Tracker library (@codesee/tracker), which actually sends the data to the CodeSee server

You will be able to create CodeSee recordings of your app so long as you have the CodeSee server running, and have the CodeSee babel plugin as part of your babel setup.


Account Setup

  1. Get access to docker codeseeio/app_node, make sure to have Docker installed, and that you are logged in.
  2. Get access to, and git clone it locally. We recommend putting this repo outside of your app directory. For example:

  3. src/

  4. my-app/
  5. codesee-alpha/
git clone [email protected]:Codesee-io/codesee-alpha.git --depth=1

CodeSee Server Setup

  1. From the local, cloned codesee-alpha directory, run docker compose: docker-compose up
  2. Wait for postgres to report it's ready to receive requests, then hit Control C to stop the server
  3. When you're ready, run docker-compose up and your CodeSee server should be good to go. You'll know everything is working when you see the message: server started at http://localhost:5198

From now on, you can run docker-compose up in the codesee-alpha directory anytime to start up the CodeSee server, and \<ctrl>+c to bring the server back down.

Preparing your javascript app for CodeSee

General instructions for CodeSee setup

  1. From the root of your app, install the two codesee npm packages:
  2. If you are using npm, run: npm install --save-dev @codesee/[email protected] @codesee/[email protected]
  3. If you are using yarn, run: yarn add --dev @codesee/[email protected] @codesee/[email protected]

CodeSee configuration for specific projects/environments

  1. If you are not using any of the listed projects/environments, skip to the generic set up instructions

Configuring CodeSee with Create React App

Add React App Rewired

Add React App Rewired to your project as described.

Add CodeSee to config-overrides.js

You should have created a config-overrides.js file in your project's root directory as part of the React App Rewired install. Add the following to it:

const webpack = require("webpack");

module.exports = function override(config, env) {
  // add CodeSee babel plugin
  if (env === 'development') {
    const babelLoaderConfig = config.module.rules[1].oneOf[2];

  return config;

Configuring CodeSee with Babel and Typescript

In these instructions, we will set up a parallel build system using babel so that your existing flow will be unchanged. You will be able to continue to use tsc to compile and run your typescript files the same as you've always done. We will add new "build:codesee" and "run:codesee" commands to your package.json specifically for CodeSee. They will build your project and put the resulting artifacts into the /codesee directory.

Install Packages We need to install the packages needed for babel. This will allow us to convert your typescript code into javascript using babel. - for npm: npm install --save-dev @babel/cli @babel/core @babel/plugin-proposal-class-properties @babel/plugin-proposal-object-rest-spread @babel/preset-env @babel/preset-typescript - for yarn:yarn add --dev @babel/cli @babel/core @babel/plugin-proposal-class-properties @babel/plugin-proposal-object-rest-spread @babel/preset-env @babel/preset-typescript

Configure Babel In the root of your project, create a .babelrc file with the following:

  "presets": [
  "plugins": [
    /* "@codesee/instrument" */ /* later, we will uncomment "@codesee/instrument" to introduce CodeSee instrumentation */

Create the build and start script commands Add the following line to the "scripts" section of your package.json.

"build:codesee": "./node_modules/.bin/babel ./src --out-dir ./codesee --extensions '.ts' --source-maps inline", Note: replace ./src with the top-level directory where your source code is stored.

Now, make a copy the script command you normally use to run your project (often called start), name the copy start:codesee and modify it to look in the /codesee directory for your source code. For example if you normally have:

"scripts": {
  "start": "node ./dist"

Change it to:

"scripts": {
  "start": "node ./dist"
  "start:codesee": "node ./codesee"


Test it out Reminder, we have not installed CodeSee. Only Babel.

Let's try out our new babel-based build system. Try:

For npm: - npm run build:codesee - npm run start:codesee

For yarn: - yarn build:codesee - yarn start:codesee

And your program should be running the same as it always has.

Tidying up You'll probably want to add codesee/ to your .gitignore file, so you don't accidentally commit any of the babel build products from the /codesee directory.

Configuring CodeSee with Nuxt.js

You'll need to edit your nuxt.config.js to make sure the "codesee" babel plugin is included when in development mode.

1. If you haven't already, store your config in a variable named config. That is, change from:

Before (in your nuxt.config.js)

export default {
  // ... your config goes here

After (in your nuxt.config.js)

const config = {
  // ... your config goes here

export default config;

2. Add the following, which will ensure CodeSee runs when your app is run in development mode The new code goes just before the export default config; line.

In your nuxt.config.js:

// Use CodeSee instrumentation in development mode
if (process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'production') {
  const babel = = || {};
  const plugins = babel.plugins = babel.plugins || [];

  const render = config.render = config.render || {};
  const bundleRenderer = render.bundleRenderer = render.bundleRenderer || {};
  bundleRenderer.runInNewContext = false;

export default config;

Configuring CodeSee with Storybook

This configuration uses a custom storybook preset, which should be compatible with Storybook version 4.0.0 or newer.

Place codesee-storybook-preset.js in your .storybook directory

Copy storybook/codesee-storybook-preset.js from the codesee-alpha repository into your .storybook directory.

Add the preset to addons in main.js

You should have a main.js in your .storybook directory.

You will need to add the following to the addons section of main.js:


If you haven't already, you may need to require the path module:

const path = require('path');

An example of a final main.js would look something like the following:

const path = require('path');

module.exports = {
  "stories": [
    "../src/**/*[email protected](js|jsx|ts|tsx)"
  "addons": [

Ember installation instructions

WARNING: Ember support is very early and experimental. At this point, we've only tested on a couple of relatively simple apps. If you are willing to give this a shot on your codebase, we would love to hear about your experience so we can continue to improve support.

We'll need to modify your babel config, and import @codesee/tracker both which we can do in the ember-cli-build.js file. Here is an example structure that should work well for your app. Note that: 1. We detect development mode 2. We construct an object that is our babel options, and pass that into the EmberApp constructor. We add the @codesee/instrument babel plugin to those options with the frameworks: ["ember"] option, but only in development mode. 3. We use app.import to load the @codesee/tracker npm package, but only in development mode

module.exports = function (defaults) { 
  const isDevelopment = process.env.EMBER_ENV === 'development';

  let babel = {
    /* If you have any existing babel configuration, move it here */

  // Adds CodeSee instrumentation, but only in development mode
  if (isDevelopment) {
    babel.plugins ||= [];
    babel.plugins.push( ["@codesee/instrument", {frameworks: ["ember"]}] );

  let app = new EmberApp(defaults, { 
    /* Any additional EmberApp configuration for your app goes here */

  // Loads CodeSee, but only when in development mode
  if (isDevelopment) {

  /* ... */

  return app.toTree();

Generic babel setup instructions if your environment is not listed above

  1. If you don't have babel compilation setup in your app, you will need to add it. Please use Babel's excellent guide for getting set-up in your specific environments.
  2. Once you've added your babel setup, add the "codesee" plugin for development. For example, if you have a .babelrc file, add the following to "env":
  "env": {
    "development": {
      "plugins": [
        /* ... other dev plugins ... */

If your project does not include a .babelrc file and you have a webpack.config.js file instead, you can add the "@codesee/instrument", to this file. Look for an options block where your babel settings, presets and plugins are being declared. Please add "@codesee/instrument" to the list of your project's plugins as in the example below.

   options: {
      presets: [
        //your project's babel presets go here
      plugins: [
        //other babel plugins go here

Did it work? 1. Re-build your app and you should see the CodeSee eye icon towards the top right of your screen. Then you can celebrate!

Updating to the latest version

WARNING: If you are updating from pre-0.7.0, this update will erase all your existing recordings. We do apologize! We will do our best to avoid this in the future.

  1. In your local codesee-alpha directory, git pull the latest changes from this repo
  2. Restart your docker compose by shutting down the docker container (Ctrl-C), and then running docker-compose up again.
  3. From the root of your app, install the latest codesee packages:
  4. If you are using npm, run: npm install --save-dev @codesee/[email protected] @codesee/[email protected]
  5. If you are using yarn, run: yarn add --dev @codesee/[email protected] @codesee/[email protected]
  6. Rebuild and restart your application

TROUBLESHOOTING ADVICE: If it appears that nothing has changed, your application may be cacheing its babel artifacts. If you can do a clean build, try that. Or, if not, try removing your node_modules/.cache directory, or even remove your entire node_modules directory.

CodeSee options

We will be adding configuration options over time. Today, there is only a single one: includeLibs.

includeLibs By default, CodeSee avoids instrumenting library code imported into your app. However, if you would like to see CodeSee data flows that include your framework, we are beginning to support that. Add the includeLibs option to the @codesee/instrument plugin config like so:

    plugins: [
      ["@codesee/instrument", {"includeLibs": ["gatsby"]}],
      <other plugins>

Currently, this option allows the following libraries: - "gatsby"

Running CodeSee on the Backend

If you'd like CodeSee to run on the backend, CodeSee needs to start recording immediately. This is how:

Two options, either: - set the env variable CODESEE_RECORD_ON_START to true - use webpack's DefinePlugin (or similar) to set up a find-replace for "CODESEE_RECORD_ON_START": "true" or "process.env.CODESEE_RECORD_ON_START": "true"

For example, on the command line:

CODESEE_RECORD_ON_START=true node codesee/index.js

For example, in webpack:

const webpack = require('webpack');

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    new webpack.DefinePlugin({