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README.md

connectables

Middleware extras for the excellent connect Node.js middleware layer.

Overview

This project exists, because particular parts of the connect middleware started to be removed from the project. While I agree that Connect should be as light as possible, I really don't need some of the functionality that Express provides and really, really like connect.

So this project aims to provide a router compatible with the previous connect router middleware, which is Sinatra-like in its route definition and behaviour. Additionally, I expect that some additional rack-like middleware will also make an appearance...

Using the Router

Initializing the router is quite simple and uses the same general approach that the original connect router did, for instance,

var server = connect.createServer(
    connect.logger(),

    connectables.router(function(router) {
        router.get('/', function(req, res, next) {
            res.end('Hi');
        });
    })
);

is an example of a simple route registration, which if you are familiar with the existing connect router should look pretty much exactly the same.

RESTful URL parameters

If you are keen to use RESTful urls to drive your web application, then you can register urls that act as parameter values:

var server = connect.createServer(
    connect.logger(),

    connectables.router(function(router) {
        router.get('/doc/:id', function(req, res, next) {
            res.end('You asked for doc id: ' + req.params.id);
        });
    })
);

Optional Parameters

Using similar code to what is shown above, you can make parameterized urls with optional parameters:

var server = connect.createServer(
    connect.logger(),

    connectables.router(function(router) {
        router.get('/docs/:category?', function(req, res, next) {
            if (! req.params.category) {
                res.end('No category specified, guess I should list all the docs');
            }
            else {
                res.end('You asked for the doc category: ' + req.params.category);
            }
        });
    })
);

Wildcard Sections

In similar fashion to Sinatra routes, the connectables router supports wildcards:

var server = connect.createServer(
    connect.logger(),

    connectables.router(function(router) {
        router.get('/the/*/*/on/the/*', function(req, res, next) {
            var splat = req.params['*'],
                phrase = 'the ' + (splat[0] || '') + ' ' + 
                    (splat[1] || '') + ' ' + 
                    'on the ' + (splat[2] || '');

            res.end(phrase);
        });
    })
);

Having a look at the code above, you can probably see that the multiple wildcard parameter matches are added to the * parameter values. You will also see that in the case above the parameter values are passed back as an array rather than a single value. This is the default behaviour when multiple parameters with the same name are encountered.

Query Parameter Handling

The connectables router patches the request object to supply query string parameters as an object literal. This might be duplication with core connect and/or node functionality and this is being investigated...

Alternative Initialization

An alternative way to use the router and define / remove the routes is to initialize the router without providing the callback function:

var connectables = require('connectables'),
    router = connectables.router();

Initializing the router in this way returns the the router instance instead of the request handler function. You can then reference use this router instance to programmatically add and remove routes as required:

router.get('/', function(req, res, next) {
    res.end('Hi again');
});

You do of course, still need to register the router as connect middleware though. This is done by calling the init method of the router instance:

var server = connect.createServer(
    connect.logger(),
    router.init()
);
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