Developer Guide

Are you new to hacking on graviton and graviton based services? This document aims at getting your local development infrastructure up and running.

It assumes that you have a general idea of how modern multitier architecture works and tries to contain enough information to help getting people from various it backgrounds started.


Our gravity-platform services are written in a few different languages and are organized into the following tiers.

  • mongodb as data tier
  • graviton, a symfony based JSON/REST server generation toolkit as api tier
  • several workers as logic tier
  • various presentation tiers that stay in-house for the most part

Along with several supporting services all these services make out what we consider a gravity platform.


For you to start developing on most parts of the platform you will need a suitable workstation.

We recommend copious amounts of RAM as well as a fast SSD for being able to work effectivly. You will probably get away with HDD based systems and 4 GB of RAM but you will certainly incur a noticable performance penalty.

Due to the fact that all parts of the stack run on GNU/Linux at runtime, the single most efficient way to develop with the platform is on a linux box. Using a virtual box is fine and actually encouraged since it leads to a more stable development environment in all cases.

The most used cases used by platform developers at the moment are usually using VirtualBox on either OS X or Windows.

In theory it is also possible to run all the tools native. Using a modern GNU/Linux distribution this is easy to set up and do, on OS X it is only for the brave (and maybe slightly mad) and on Windows running natively is mostly likely for the insane. We don’t remember anyone returning from going down the last path.

Where wild codes are

Large parts of our code are in the open and available through github. The following list points out the key repositories and what they contain.

Have a look at the organizations the repos are in if you are looking for more bits and pieces.

The commons

All our repos have some things in common. They all contain a that explains what the repository is about. They follow git-flow conventions and contain the bare code without any build artefacts. We strive to keep the code in a deployable state and the repos usually contain automation to that effect. To aid proper communication about the code we follow the semver versioning standard.


If you want to use the model effectively it is highly recommend that you look into tooling to do so. Regular git users may find the gitflow tool handy and there are also implementations for many major platforms.

Further reading on git-flow may be found on the excellent git-flow cheatsheet.

We usually use the default branch prefixes given by git-flow except for the version tag prefix which is v. If you stray from this well lit path you should add documentation on the effect to the repos readme.

Semantic Versioning

It is very import for packages to not only be versioned but for these versions to convey a clear and semantic meaning. This is why we follow the rules given in the Semantic Versioning 2.0.0 specification.

Incrementing the version is done on a release branch after carefully considering all the merges in develop or in hotfixes.

Package Repositories

The gravity-platform makes heavy use of multiple package repositories. The repositories being used are detailed in this guide.

The PHP package archive packagist is used for all open PHP code. Additionally there are some private bundles only available to select partners on our internal satis server.

Node packaged modules npm are used during the build phase of JavaScript based projects.

Precompiled JavaScript components for the browser can be installed with Bower components or with npm as required.

Developer box

You can find tools needed to run graviton on vagrant for dev purposes in our vagrant-centos-7-php repo.

The vagrant setup makes it possible for you to do graviton development on non GNU/Linux platform by emulating them on you existing machine. After intalling vagrant you may clone the Vagranfile and start the install.

git clone
cd vagrant-centos-7-php
vagrant up

Further reading