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Realtime apps made easy with templating

branch: master
README.md

Nodestream

Nodestream aims to make the most common use cases for realtime web applications easy to implement, by connecting event listeners to template rendering.

Example

Use-case

Consider the following example, written in Express. The following two routes show and save items respectively

app.get('/', function(req, res){
    database.getItems(function(items){
        res.render('my.items.jade', {locals: { items: items }})
    })
})

app.post('/save/item', function(req, res){
    database.saveItem(req.body, function(){
        res.redirect('/');
    })
})

And the following template displays them

- each item in items
    div.item
        p This is an item titled #{item.title}

When a user loads the page, he'll see all the items that are in the database at that particular moment. When he adds one, he'll be redirected and the page will be refreshed entirely.

The need for realtime

Even though this model works fine for really simple applications, reloading the page after a save is often undesirable. Developers usually turn to ajax, which means after a save a chunk of html is taken and appended it to the list.

This approach has drawbacks:

  • If a user has multiple tabs open with your applicaiton, only one tab will be updated.

  • If multiple users are editing concurrently, only your own changes are shown, but not changes from others.

The nodestream solution

Building on top of the powerful jade template engine filters, nodestream solves the problems listed above by making only two changes to your applications:

1) Firing events

database.saveItem(item){
    ...
    nodestream.emit('newitem', item)
}

2) Adding a line of code to your template (:realtime)

:realtime(append: 'newitem', local: 'items', obj: 'item')
    div.item
        p This is an item titled #{item.title}

How to use

  1. Include socket.io and nodestream:

    var io = require('socket.io'); require('nodestream');

  2. Attach socket.io to your http.Server and load nodestream

    var nodestream = io.listen(httpserver).nodestream();

  3. In the client side, load public/nodestream.js and attach it to your io.Socket

    var mySocket = new io.Socket(): mySocket.connect(); Nodestream(mySocket);

  4. In your code, fire events and edit your templates!

API

The :realtime filter takes the following options

local: The local variable passed to your template that your piece of html interacts with

obj: Required for append, the name of the local used when the collection is looped through.

append: Append event

repaint: Repaint event name. If it finished on ., the id property is appended to it for every item on a collection (dynamic event name)

remove: Remove event name. If it finished on ., the id property is appended to it for every item on a collection (dynamic event name)

id: The name of the key to look for an unique identifier to append to events finished in .

Example

Showing how many users are browsing your website

On the server side:

var connections = 0;
var nodestream = io.listen(app).nodestream()
  .on('connect', function(){
    connections++;
    this.emit('connections', connections);
  })
  .on('disconnect', function(){
    connections--;
    this.emit('connections', connections);
  });

On the client side:

:realtime(repaint: 'connections', local: 'connections')
  .connections
    - if (connections > 1)
      p #{connections} people are editing right now
    - else
      p You're all alone, loser

Credits

Guillermo Rauch <guillermo@learnboost.com> (guille)

License

(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2010 LearnBoost <dev@learnboost.com>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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