Hello Kraken

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A guest post by Lenny Markus, who has been involved in technology in one way or another over the last 15 years. He is a problem solver at heart and has spent the last two years at @PayPal working on a variety of interesting challenges, trying to find elegant solutions that make life easier for others. He always mentors and try to raise the bar for everyone around him. He can be reached at @lennymarkus.

Care and feeding of your pet Kraken

Before we get started, let’s make sure you’ve set up your system correctly. Kraken works best with NodeJS version >= 0.10.12. Be sure that your npm installation is up to date.

In this post, I’m going to create a basic KrakenJS application, explain its structure and point out the features of the Kraken suite.

Installing the generator

The first step in creating a Kraken application is to install the code generator. This generator is written for Yeoman, and similarly to Rails, it can help you quickly create scaffolding for an application.

You install the generator globally (-g flag), using npm:

$ sudo npm install generator-kraken –g

This command will install the generator and all its dependencies. Once done, we can proceed to create an application.

Generating an application

Go ahead and type the following:

$ yo kraken

This will invoke Yeoman, and run the Kraken generator. You will be asked a few questions about the new project you want to set up: the Project Name, Description, Author, and optional usage of RequireJS (Say no for now):

, '""`. hh / _ _ \ |(@)(@)| Release the Kraken! ) __ ( /, '))((`.\ (( () )) `\ `)(' /' [?] Application name: helloKraken [?] Description: A simple kraken application [?] Author: @LennyMarkus [?] Use RequireJS? (Y/n) n

The generator will proceed to create a new directory (Project Name), and set up your new application.

Once complete, you can run your application right away:

$ cd helloKraken $ npm start

By default, your application will start on port 8000. You can visit it on and it will greet you.

This is your plain vanilla Kraken app.

What just happened?

The generator created a new application with the following structure:

There are a few more files, but let’s focus on these in the figure for the time being, going in order of interest.


This is your package definition file. It contains the name and description of your application, based upon the description you provided, as well as all of the necessary dependencies.

Source: blog.safaribooksonline.com

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