MkTurk Install & Setup Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Setup Firebase Web App Platform
    • Create a Firebase Project
    • Add a Webapp
    • Setup Local Node Environment
    • Install Firebase CLI
    • Install Google Cloud SDK
    • Import Google Cloud Storage Files
  2. Setup MkTurk
    • Clone MkTurk Repository
    • Install Modules (recommended)
  3. Serve MkTurk web app using Firebase Hosting
    • Initialize Firebase on Local Environment
  4. Initialize Firestore Database
  5. Read the Guide

1. Setup Firebase Web App Platform

MkTurk uses Google Firebase for database, storage and backend service needs. Therefore it is imperative that Firebase is setup correctly. In this section, we will guide you through the steps of getting Firebase up and running!

Create a Firebase Project

Navigate to Google Firebase, then click Add project. After following the prompt, you will have created a new project. You can enable or disable Google Analytics but for simplicity, you can disable it now and always enable it later.

Once you click, you will be guided through another set of configuration prompt. Name your app as 'mkturk' and check the box to setup Firebase Hosting.

Add a Webapp

Now that you've created a Firebase project, you need to add a Webapp since MkTurk is a web-based software. Click on the Web icon (pointed by the red arrow in the image below) on the Firebase project landing page.

Setup Local Node Environment

Before continuing to install Firebase CLI, make sure that you have nvm, node and npm installed as you will need a local Node environment to install and use Firebase, gsutil and gcloud CLIs. The following guide has been adapted for MacOS and Linux users.

The recommended way to install Node environment is through the use of nvm ('Node Version Manager'). You can think of nvm as a conda for Node that allows you to install, setup and manage multiple versions of Node.

To check if you have a working installation of nvm, open up your terminal and run:
$ command -v nvm
If you have nvm, the above command should output

If you do not have nvm, please visit nvm for MacOS/Linux and follow their installation steps.

Now that you have installed nvm, install the latest Node v10 by running

$ nvm install 10
$ nvm use 10
At this point, you have successfully installed nvm, node and npm

Installing Firebase CLI

$ npm install -g firebase-tools

Installing Google Cloud SDK

Follow this guide from Google

Import Google Cloud Storage Files

For MkTurk to work out of the box, it is necessary that you have the directory structure and names that we currently have in place. To get you started, we have created a public Google Cloud Storage Bucket that you can import into your project.

  1. Navigate to Google Cloud Platform's Data Transfer console.
  2. On the left sidebar, locate the tab named "Transfer Service | cloud" and click.
  3. Once on the page named "Transfer Service for cloud data", press "Create Transfer Job" and you will be taken through three steps to complete the transfer.
  4. In "Select source", make sure Google Cloud Storage Bucket is toggled and type "mkturkinit" in the field as shown in the image and click Continue.
  5. In "Select Destination", specify your Storage bucket. Make sure that a storage bucket is specified and not a bucket preceded by "staging." Click Select and continue to the next step.
  6. Here you can specify when to execute the data transfer. You can specify "immediately, one time" and proceed.

2. Setup MkTurk

Clone MkTurk Repository

To clone IssaLab's distribution of MkTurk, run:
$ git clone

Install Modules (recommended)

Simply running MkTurk does not require additional module installations. However, you may come to realize that updating, viewing and managing parameter files, images, scenes and datafiles are quite cumbersome when having to use Firestore and Google Cloud Storage on separate windows or tabs. Thus, we include a webapp called MkFiles that centralizes all data viewing, editing and updating operations. To build this webapp, run the following sequence of commands in the terminal.

  1. Navigate to Firebase Console and click icon on the upper left hand corner. Doing so should reveal Firebase SDK snippet. Toggle 'Config' and copy the the firebaseConfig object.
  2. Open ~/mkturk/src/mkfiles/src/main.ts and replace the existing firebaseConfig object with the one you just copied. Save and exit.
  3. Run the following code snippet
    $ cd ~/mkturk/src/mkfiles
    $ npm install
    $ npx webpack
At this point, navigate to ~/mkturk/public/mkfiles and check to see that mkfiles.js was added.

3. Serve MkTurk web app using Firebase Hosting

Initialize Firebase

At this point you are ready to initialize Firebase.

  1. Log into Firebase using your Google account by running. Follow the prompt on your terminal.
    $ firebase login
  2. Test that the CLI is properly installed and that the project you created is associated with your Google account. Run the following command:
    $ firebase projects:list
  3. If the above commands were successful you can now initialize your Firebase project. Run the following commands:
    $ cd ~/mkturk
    $ firebase init
    You should see a prompt as shown in the following image. Make sure to toggle Firestore, Functions, Hosting, Storage and Remote Config and continue with the rest of the prompt.
  4. Congrats on getting this far! You are almost done. Make sure you are still in the root of the project folder (i.e ~/mkturk) and run the following command:
    $ firebase deploy
    You should now be able to direct to or and start using MkTurk!

    If you would like to test it locally before deploying to the web, you can always
    $ firebase serve
    and direct to localhost:5000/

4. Initialize Firestore Database

At this point you are almost ready to start using MkTurk. The final step requires that you initialize Firestore the way that we have setup. Direct to localhost:5000/initfirestore and follow the prompt on the screen. Once you click "Initialize Firestore" and Firestore is correctly initialized, you should see additional messages on the page. Follow instructions on the page. After you have done so, you can nagivate to localhost:5000/mkturk and start using MkTurk.

5. Read the MkTurk Guide!

Read the MkTurk guide to learn more.