What is this repository for?

This repository holds all resources linked to the WebDeb project, a collaborative platform designed to capture debate's arguments with their actors, define relations between them, and run some Natural Language Processing analysis.

WebDeb web application

This project is contains all sources of the WebDeb project, a collaborative platform designed to capture debate's arguments with their actors, define relations between them, and run some Natural Language Processing analysis.

This project is currently at early development stages, in a beta release.

See main file from root directory of this repository for more details. It is based on the PlayStartApp (See for download)

A presentation of the project, as well as other resources, can be found on ResearchGate.


  • User sign up, sign in and profile management.
  • Contribution management, i.e, add/edit actors, folders, texts, arguments and links between them.
  • Browsing and visualization of contributions : search bar (with filters) and graph-based visualizations
  • Group management with custom visibility: create, join, validate contribution in groups, etc.
  • REST API for browsing and retrieval of contributions

Project goals

The aim of the project is to enable the logical storage of arguments used in any kind of public debate (political, scientific, societal,...). It is based on the fact that any text is made of a complex blend of assertions, which may take the form of a descriptive, prescriptive, appreciative or performative statement. By taking these statements as "basic blocks", we are willing to structure a database in which various objects (statements, actors, references, folders (former themes),...) will be connected. These arguments and the texts where they come from are linked to one another in folders. Indeed, Folders regroup them under the same theme. Folders are linked each other within a tree hierarchy (ex : Education -> Education in Europe -> Education in Wallonia). The project aims at developing an application in the form of a collaborative open source platform that will, firstly, display the various positions and justifications of different actors on each assertion and, secondly, that will map the links between assertions. This platform will be accompanied by various extension and importation plug-ins. In addition to teaching and research, the platform will also serve the general public, organizations, the media and, ultimately, the industrial world.

How do I get set up?

Summary of set up

This project relies on the Play Framework, a full-stack web application container. See README file under WebDeb-web folder for more details.

Database configuration

The current development relies on MySQL version 5.7. Initialization scripts are specified in project initialization script

How to run tests

No integration/automated tests are currently defined (under development)

Deployment instructions

See Play documentation for instructions on activator and sbt features. The database must be first prepared with needed initialization scripts, available under webdeb-database folder).

Contribution guidelines

To be defined. If you want to contribute, please contact the repository owner.

System Architecture

The overall system is designed as a three-tier system (presentation layer, core layer and database layer). Every system is specified behind an API and use dependency injections.

Currently, all parts are managed in a play container, but may be easily moved in individual containers by simply changing the implementation and DI binding management.


Play framework full-stack web server (see build.sbt configuration file for more details)

Ebean Java ORM (Java Persistence API)

Deadbolt Authorization layer

MySQL database relational database

Bootstrap 3 front-web framework

JQuery 3 front-web customizations

Typeahead auto-completion features

Highlighter text-highlighting feature

Highcharts 4 Javascript-based front-end charts

JsPlumb Easy free charting library

Clampjs rather old javascript plugin to handle multiline ellipsis

Bootbox A JavaScript library which allows to create programmatic dialog boxes using Bootstrap modals

Bootstrap Tokenfield A jQuery tagging / tokenizer input plugin for Bootstrap

nestedSortable a jQuery plugin that extends jQuery Sortable UI functionalities to nested lists.

jQuery UI a curated set of user interface interactions, effects, widgets, and themes built on top of the jQuery JavaScript Library.

Slider Pips create more aesthetic pipes

pdf.js A general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering PDFs.

imgscalr image resizing facility (pure java)

OpenLayers displaying map feature

trunk8 text truncation plugin

Main sponsors

Other sponsors (tool and infrastructure help)


Twitter : FabGilson LinkedIn : Martin Rouffiange


This software is released under the LGPL license. Part of the initial software is also released under the BSD license. Some libraries and dependencies are released under the MIT or WTFPL licenses. See "licenses" folder for for more details and complete terms of the above licenses.

The code is distributed under the terms of the LGPL license Part of it is also distributed under the BSD-2 license, MIT and WTFPL.