Truffle hands-on

Install ganache and truffle, run ganache in the background

Note that ganache is a GUI, install it using these instructions on their website.

For truffle, we can install it via npm.

# install ganache, and run it (GUI)
npm i -g truffle

Create a blank truffle project

mkdir dadc-cars
cd dadc-cars
truffle init
$EDITOR truffle-config.js

When editing truffle-config.js uncomment networks.development and set to match the ganache instance.

Note that on the truffle website, they tell you to use truffle unbox - we do not want to do this for the purposes of our session.

Create and deploy the contract

truffle create contract Cars
# paste the cars contract into the new file

truffle create migration Cars
# paste the contents of `1_initial_migration.js` file into the new file,
# and replace all `Migrations` with `Cars`

truffle migrate

Start the truffle REPL

REPL: Read-evaluate-print-loop

truffle console --network development

Note that truffle console uses whatever is in truffle-config.js, so connects to ganache. On the other hand, truffle develop will start its own simulated blockchain, which we do not want in this case.

Also, if you have used the node REPL before, this will seem familiar, with some differences:

  • You may not end your statements with a ;.
  • Top level truffle commands are invokable, e.g. migrate within the REPL does the same thing as truffle migrate outside of the REPL.

Access accounts, and get the contract

contract = await Cars.deployed()
accounts = await web3.eth.getAccounts()
// should match the first account's address in ganache

Behind the scenes, truffle has done a few things to make this happen:

  • Truffle has access to the compiled/ deployed contract and the ABI, which were used to create Cars
  • We're creating contract from Cars, and this uses truffle-contract - think of this as an instance.

Invoke an auto-generated getter for a public variable

numCars = await contract.numCars()
// this is a *transaction*, so we used up some gas

numCars = await
// this is a *call*, so we used up no gas

We expect the result to be '0' since we haven't run anything yet. Note that the actual returned value is a BigNumber, so we need to use .toString() or .toNumber().

Generally speaking, use .call() where you can, as it executes locally and thus does not cost any gas. Submit transactions only when you are doing something that changes the state of the contract.

Invoke a function

result = await contract.addCar('0x00FF00', 4, 0, 0, 0, { from: accounts[0], value: web3.utils.toWei('0.09', 'ether') })
// expect an error, as this function rejects payments less or equal to 0.1 ETH

result = await contract.addCar('0xFFFF00', 4, 0, 1800000, 1800000, { from: accounts[0], value: web3.utils.toWei('0.11', 'ether') })
// expect this to succeed - yellow car owned by account[0]

result = await contract.addCar('0xFF00FF', 4, 0, 1800000, 1800000, { from: accounts[1], value: web3.utils.toWei('0.11', 'ether') })
// expect this to succeed - purple car owned by account[1]

Try out some of the other functions. Is there anything wrong with them?

State of the contract after invoking the functions

We have previously modified the state of the contract, so let's inspect this.

numCars = await
//  should now be 2
// output the cars that have been saved to the mapping - auto-generated getter takes 1 arg for the key

Generate an event

Some functions emit events, and we can tell by looking at the logs property of the result of the contract call.

result = await contract.honkCar(1, 999, { from: accounts[0] })
// expect this to fail, other car must exist

result = await contract.honkCar(2, 1, { from: accounts[0] })
// expect this to fail, you need to own this car

result = await contract.honkCar(2, 1, { from: accounts[1] })
// expect this to succeed

result.logs[0]// event: 'CarHonk', `args.fromCar: <BN: 2>`, `args.atCar: <BN: 1>`