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Minimalist JSON templating DSL.

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README.md

Build Status

Bldr

Bldr is a minimalist templating DSL that provides a simple syntax for generating json documents from ruby objects. Bldr supports Sinatra and Rails 3.2.

Bldr enables to quickly generate json documents from ruby with a simple and intuitive DSL.

# app/views/posts/index.json.bldr

collection @posts do |post|
  attributes :title, :body, :created_at, :slug

  object :author => post.author do |author|
    attribute(:name) { author.display_name }
  end

  collection :comments => post.comments do |comment|
    attribute :spamminess
    attribute :created_at
    attribute(:body) do
      xss_filter(comment.body)
    end
  end
end

This would output the following json document:

[
  {
    "title": "Some title",
    "body": "blah blah",
    "slug": "some-title",
    "created_at": "2013-04-11T15:46:17-07:00",
    "author": {
      "name": "Joe Author"
    },
    "comments": [
      {
        "spamminess": 1.0,
        "created_at": "2013-04-11T15:46:17-07:00",
        "body": "a comment"
      }
    ]
  }
]

Usage

Bldr is a very concise DSL, containing only four core methods:

  • object
  • collection
  • attribute
  • attributes

These four methods provide a great deal of power and flexibility in describing json responses.

Why

If you're building an API, Model#to_json just doesn't cut it. Besides the JSON representation of your models arguably being a presentation concern, trying to cram all of this logic into an #as_json method quickly turns into pure chaos.

There are other json templating libraries available such as rabl or json_builder. Bldr is in the same vein as these libraries, but with a simpler synxtax.

Usage & Examples

See Examples on the wiki for documentation and usage examples.

Installation

In your gemfile:

gem 'bldr'

Configuration

No additional configuration is required for rails applications.

For sinatra apps, dependening on whether you're using a modular or classic application style, do one of the following:

# Method 1: Classic style

require 'sinatra/bldr'

get '/hello' do
  bldr :hello
end


# Method 2: Modular style

require 'sinatra/bldr'

class MyApp < Sinatra::Base
  register Sinatra::Bldr
end

Deprecations & Breaking Changes

0.7.0: current_object deprecation

The use of current_object is now deprecated. Instead of referencing current_object in bldr templates use block variables in object and collection methods:

# OLD (deprecated)
collection :people => people do
  attribute(:name) { current_object.name }
end

# NEW
collection :people => people do |person|
  attribute(:name) { person.name }
end

Make use of block variables the same way for the object method:

# OLD (deprecated)
object :person => person do
  attributes :name, :age

  person = current_object
  object :address => person.address do
    # current_object here would be assigned to person.address
    attribute(:zip) { current_object.zip_code }
    attribute(:address_title) { person.display_name }
  end
end

# NEW
object :person => person do |person|
  attributes :name, :age

  object :adress => person.address do |address|
    attribute(:zip) { address.zip_code }
    attribute(:address_title) { person.display_name }
  end
end

0.7.0: attribute method breaking change

One of the forms of the attribute method has changed in the 0.7.0 release. Previously, using the dynamic block form of attribute, if you did not pass in a block variable, the block would be eval'd in context of the current_object. This behavior fails the "principle of least surprise" test.

0.7.0 changes this behavior by simply executing the block in context of Bldr::Node, which provides access to instance variables and locals available in that context.

# OLD
object :person => person do
  attribute(:name) { display_name } # equivalent to doing attribute(:name) { |person| person.display_name }
end

# NEW
object :person => @person do
  attribute(:name) { @person.display_name }
end

See 941608e and d0bfbd8 for more info.

Editor Syntax Support

Vim

Add this line to your .vimrc:

au BufRead,BufNewFile *.bldr set filetype=ruby

Emacs

Add this to your ~/.emacs.d/init.el:

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.bldr$" . ruby-mode))

TODO

  • XML support

Acknowledgements

  • RABL - Inspiration
  • Tilt - Mega awesome templating goodness

Contributors

  • Ian Hunter (@ihunter)
  • Justin Smestad (@jsmestad)
  • Adam LaFave (@lafave)

Copyright

Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Alex Sharp. See the MIT-LICENSE file for full copyright information.

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