mixdown-router

Router for mixdown.js

npm install mixdown-router
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mixdown-router

Bi-directional router for node.js and browsers. This module provides consistent pattern for declaring routes in a web application as well as interpreting http(s) requests and passing controller to a controller action.

Features

  • Bi-directional routers can both interpret and generate urls.
  • Configuration based routes implemented with a route table or manifest.
  • Compatible with node.js on the server
  • Compatible with modern browsers and push state.
  • IN PROCESS: Implement options for older browsers like IE8.

Install

npm install mixdown-router

Usage

This plugin consumes declarative route table configuration. The route table is used to generate urls as well as interpret HTTP requests.

Unit tests startup a simple node server. This could be injected to any framework like mixdown or express.

routes.json

{
  "search": {
    "method": "GET",
    "path": "/dogs/:gender/:bark/:age",
    "handler": "dogs",
    "params": {
      "bark": {
        "regex": "bark-(loud|quiet)",
        "kind": "rest",
        "enabled": true
      },
      "gender": {
        "regex": "(\\w+)",
        "kind": "rest",
        "enabled": true
      },
      "age": {
        "regex": "(\\d+)",
        "kind": "rest",
        "enabled": true
      }
    }
  },

  "single": {
    "method": "GET",
    "path": "/dog/:id",
    "handler": "dog",
    "params": {
      "hidePictures": {
        "kind": "query",
        "regex": "(true|false)",
        "enabled": true
      },
      "id": {
        "regex": "(\\d{1})",
        "kind": "rest",
        "enabled": true
      }
    }
  },

  "home": {
    "method": "GET",
    "path": "/",
    "handler": "index",
    "params": {}
  }
}

server.js

var broadway = require('broadway');
var Router = require('./router.js');
var http = require('http');

var app = {
  id: 'mixdown-router-unit-test',
  plugins: new broadway.App()
};

// attach the router instance, injecting the route table.
app.plugins.use(new Router(), {
  app: app,
  timeout: 3000,  // 3s timeout
  routes: require('./routes.json')
});

// export the start function which sets up the server and app.
// If you use Mixdown to initialize the server, then this is done for you in one of the "main" plugins.

module.exports.start = function(callback) {

  // setup an httpServer
  app.plugins.init(function(err) {

    // if failed, then kill the app b/c the routes are incorrectly configured.
    if (err) {
      console.error(err);
      process.exit();
    }

    // create the server and listen for requests.
    http.createServer(function (req, res) {

      app.plugins.router.create().dispatch(req, res);

    }).listen(8081, function(err) {
      callback(err, { app: app });
    });

  });
};

Plugin Configuration

  • routes: [required] This block contains the route table manifest. See Manifest Specification below.

  • timeout: [optional] Global router setting. Number of milliseconds to wait before sending a 500 and timeout to the client. This will avoid hanging sockets if your controller never writes the response (usually this is in error). Default is set in the pipeline-router dependency here. Currently 120000 or 2 minutes, same as node.js socket timeout.

Routes hash contains format strings for the routes. These are the same as pipeline-router.

Manifest Specification

The routes hash is a list of named routes that look a lot like the node.js url object, but with more properties for specifying parameters.

  • method: [optional] The http verb to interpret. same as the node.js url object. default GET
  • protocol: [optional] Same as the node.js url object. ex: http, https. This is handy for specifying urls to resources from a different domain than your node server. (ex: CDN resource)
  • name: [required] the name of the route. MUST MATCH THE KEY. (backlog: remove this and have mixdown-router handle implicitly)
  • path: [required] the RESTful part of the url. To specify a parameter, then use :name_of_param
  • description: [optional] Plain text hint for people to read about the route.
  • enabled: [optional] if true, then the route will be evaluated by the router. If false, then this route can only be used for url generation. Default: false
  • timeout: Number of milliseconds to wait before sending a 500 and timeout to the client. This overrides the global setting which is described above.
  • browser: If true, then this is a browser only route. It will not be interpreted by the server.

  • handler: [required] The name of the controller function which will process this route. (backlog: if null, then try the route name method).

      NOTE: if there is no handler function defined on the router instance, then the plugin's initialization will fail hard (and mixdown will not start). This is on purpose to encourage folks to be pedantic and define only what is necessary.

  • params: Hash of parameters that are validated and interpreted by the router.
  • params[param_name].kind: [required] Tells the router where to find the parameter on the url. Valid values are rest and query. (backlog: consider supporting cookie or header parsing/validation)
  • params[param_name].description: [optional] Plain language describing the param to humans.
  • params[param_name].regex: [required] Regular Expression used to validate the input. (backlog: make optional and accept anything except url separator)
  • params[param_name].default: [optional] If the parameter is not defined, then this value is used. This is only active for query parameters as using for REST params would cause the full url validation.
  • params[param_name].enabled: This means that users of the route area allowed to send a value. If false, then the param is set as a constant value. Useful if you have a querystring that needs to be dependency injected to a controller, but your users are not allows to touch it. (ex: configuring an apikey)

Url Generation

Since the route table should be the single source for all things routing, then it makes sense that it should be able to generate as well as interpret. (e.g. bi-directional)

To generate a route, here is an example which is disconnected from mixdown config.

var Router = require('mixdown-router');
var app = {
  plugins: new (require('broadway')).App()
};

app.plugins.use(new Router() { 
  app: app, 
  routes: {
    "search": {
      "method": "GET",
      "path": "/dogs/:gender/:bark/:age",
      "handler": "dogs",
      "params": {
        "bark": {
          "regex": "bark-(loud|quiet)",
          "kind": "rest",
          "enabled": true
        },
        "gender": {
          "regex": "(\\w+)",
          "kind": "rest",
          "enabled": true
        },
        "age": {
          "regex": "(\\d+)",
          "kind": "rest",
          "enabled": true
        }
      }
    },

    "single": {
      "method": "GET",
      "path": "/dog/:id",
      "handler": "dog",
      "params": {
        "hidePictures": {
          "kind": "query",
          "regex": "(true|false)",
          "enabled": true
        },
        "id": {
          "regex": "(\\d{1})",
          "kind": "rest",
          "enabled": true
        }
      }
    },

    "home": {
      "method": "GET",
      "path": "/",
      "handler": "index",
      "params": {}
    }
  }
});

// Get the url as a node url object
var uri = app.plugins.router.url('search', {
  age: 6,
  gender: 'female',
  bark: 'quiet'
});

console.log(JSON.stringify(uri)); // ==>
// {
//   "protocol": null,
//   "slashes": null,
//   "auth": null,
//   "host": null,
//   "hash": null,
//   "search": null,
//   "query": null,
//   "pathname": "/dogs/female/bark-loud/6",
//   "path": null,
//   "href": ""
// }

// Get the url as a string url
var href = app.plugins.router.format('search', {
  age: 6,
  gender: 'female',
  bark: 'quiet'
});

console.log(href);  // ==> /dogs/female/bark-quiet/6


// Get the url as a node url object with querystring
var uriSingle = app.plugins.router.url('single', {
  id: 1234,
  hidePictures: true
});

console.log(JSON.stringify(uriSingle)); // ==>
// {
//   "protocol": null,
//   "slashes": null,
//   "auth": null,
//   "host": null,
//   "hash": null,
//   "search": null,
//   "query": { hidePictures: true },
//   "pathname": "/dog/1234",
//   "path": null,
//   "href": ""
// }

// Get url with querystring params
var hrefWithQuery = app.plugins.router.format('single', {
  id: 1234,
  hidePictures: true
});

console.log(hrefWithQuery);  // ==> /dog/1234?hidePictures=true
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