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Requests GoDoc Go Report Card Gocover.io Mentioned in Awesome Go

Requests logo

HTTP requests for Gophers.

The problem: Go's net/http is powerful and versatile, but using it correctly for client requests can be extremely verbose.

The solution: The requests.Builder type is a convenient way to build, send, and handle HTTP requests. Builder has a fluent API with methods returning a pointer to the same struct, which allows for declaratively describing a request by method chaining.

Requests also comes with tools for building custom http transports, include a request recorder and replayer for testing.

Examples

Simple GET into a string

// code with net/http
req, err := http.NewRequestWithContext(ctx, http.MethodGet, "http://example.com", nil)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
res, err := http.DefaultClient.Do(req)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
defer res.Body.Close()
b, err := io.ReadAll(res.Body)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
s := string(b)

// equivalent code using requests
var s string
err := requests.
	URL("http://example.com").
	ToString(&s).
	Fetch(context.Background())

// 5 lines vs. 13 lines

POST a raw body

err := requests.
	URL("https://postman-echo.com/post").
	BodyBytes([]byte(`hello, world`)).
	ContentType("text/plain").
	Fetch(context.Background())

// Equivalent code with net/http
body := bytes.NewReader(([]byte(`hello, world`))
req, err := http.NewRequestWithContext(ctx, http.MethodPost, "https://postman-echo.com/post", body)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
req.Header.Set("Content-Type", "text/plain")
res, err := http.DefaultClient.Do(req)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
defer res.Body.Close()
_, err := io.ReadAll(res.Body)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
// 5 lines vs. 14 lines

GET a JSON object

var post placeholder
err := requests.
	URL("https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com").
	Pathf("/posts/%d", 1).
	ToJSON(&post).
	Fetch(context.Background())

// Equivalent code with net/http
var post placeholder
u, err := url.Parse("https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com")
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
u.Path = fmt.Sprintf("/posts/%d", 1)
req, err := http.NewRequestWithContext(ctx, http.MethodGet, u.String(), nil)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
res, err := http.DefaultClient.Do(req)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
defer res.Body.Close()
b, err := io.ReadAll(res.Body)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
err := json.Unmarshal(b, &post)
if err != nil {
	// ...
}
// 6 lines vs. 23 lines

POST a JSON object and parse the response

var res placeholder
req := placeholder{
	Title:  "foo",
	Body:   "baz",
	UserID: 1,
}
err := requests.
	URL("/posts").
	Host("jsonplaceholder.typicode.com").
	BodyJSON(&req).
	ToJSON(&res).
	Fetch(context.Background())
// net/http equivalent left as an exercise for the reader

Set custom headers for a request

// Set headers
var headers postman
err := requests.
	URL("https://postman-echo.com/get").
	UserAgent("bond/james-bond").
	ContentType("secret").
	Header("martini", "shaken").
	Fetch(context.Background())

Easily manipulate query parameters

var params postman
err := requests.
	URL("https://postman-echo.com/get?a=1&b=2").
	Param("b", "3").
	Param("c", "4").
	Fetch(context.Background())
	// URL is https://postman-echo.com/get?a=1&b=3&c=4

Record and replay responses

// record a request to the file system
var s1, s2 string
err := requests.URL("http://example.com").
	Transport(requests.Record(nil, "somedir")).
	ToString(&s1).
	Fetch(context.Background())
check(err)

// now replay the request in tests
err = requests.URL("http://example.com").
	Transport(requests.Replay("somedir")).
	ToString(&s2).
	Fetch(context.Background())
check(err)
assert(s1 == s2) // true

FAQs

Why not just use the standard library HTTP client?

Brad Fitzpatrick, long time maintainer of the net/http package, wrote an extensive list of problems with the standard library HTTP client. His four main points (ignoring issues that can't be resolved by a wrapper around the standard library) are:

  • Too easy to not call Response.Body.Close.
  • Too easy to not check return status codes
  • Context support is oddly bolted on
  • Proper usage is too many lines of boilerplate

Requests solves these issues by always closing the response body, checking status codes by default, always requiring a context.Context, and simplifying the boilerplate with a descriptive UI based on fluent method chaining.

Why requests and not some other helper library?

There are two major flaws in other libraries as I see it. One is that in other libraries support for context.Context tends to be bolted on if it exists at all. Two, many hide the underlying http.Client in such a way that it is difficult or impossible to replace or mock out. Beyond that, I believe that none have acheived the same core simplicity that the requests library has.

How do I just get some JSON?

var data SomeDataType
err := requests.
	URL("https://example.com/my-json").
	ToJSON(&data).
	Fetch(context.Background())

How do I post JSON and read the response JSON?

body := MyRequestType{}
var resp MyResponseType
err := requests.
	URL("https://example.com/my-json").
	BodyJSON(&body).
	ToJSON(&data).
	Fetch(context.Background())

How do I just save a file to disk?

It depends on exactly what you need in terms of file atomicity and buffering, but this will work for most cases:

	err := requests.
		URL("http://example.com").
		ToFile("myfile.txt").
		Fetch(context.Background())

For more advanced use case, use ToWriter.

How do I save a response to a string?

var s string
err := requests.
	URL("http://example.com").
	ToString(&s).
	Fetch(context.Background())

How do I validate the response status?

By default, if no other validators are added to a builder, requests will check that the response is in the 2XX range. If you add another validator, you can add builder.CheckStatus(200) or builder.AddValidator(requests.DefaultValidator) to the validation stack.

To disable all response validation, run builder.AddValidator(nil).

Contributing

Please create a discussion before submitting a pull request for a new feature.