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Simple web framework for go, still quite beta at this point

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WFDR Framework - Beta Release

New 18/Feb/2012: Updated for go 1.0, new directory layout to take advantage of the go build tool.


There's a million different web frameworks out there, each for a different language. Ruby has rails, java has grails, python has django. However, although each of these frameworks has many merits, they are designed for a single language, and none of them work with go. Regardless, I had a website to write, and go's strengths in that area lead me to chose it as my language of choice. The framework has evolved along with the website, and has been in development for almost a year now. Although the initial builds were not really a framework at all, in the past few months it has evolved to become quite viable for others to use. As a result, I am publishing the source in the hope that others many find it useful, perhaps giving me some constructive feedback and criticism along the way. Expect a few rough edges.

tl;dr: Web framework designed for go, has the ability to work with other languages, not production ready.


  • Serves Files: Static (or dynaically generated!) js, css, and image files are automatically served by the framework for you.
  • Customizable Layouts: Customize as little or as much as you want between mobile and desktop clients, with more to come. (More on layouts)
  • Language Agnostic: Although several features only have bindings for go, implementing them for other languages would be trivial.
  • Encourages Modular Design: Each Module consists of an isolated and functionally independent section of a site. This separation occurs both in the source code (more on modules), and at runtime (more on jails). A bug in one module will leave other modules completely unaffected.
  • Leaves You Alone: Does not force you to write your module as a library, use heavily hacked and customized http libraries, or any other uglyness. The only library that is highly recommended (any only for modules with a UI) is the template library, based on mustache.
  • Customizable: Easy to understand and hack, thanks to a design inspired by UNIX and git.

Getting Started

cd $GOPATH/src
git clone git://
go install wfdr/...

If all goes well, you've now built the framework. If there is an error while compiling, please let me know by filing a bug report.

Now, you probably want to know how you can actually use this shiny new framework :). First, clone the example repository:

git clone git://
cd wfdr-example

Now, to start the framework, open up two terminals. In both terminals, cd $GOPATH/wfdr-example. In the first terminal, run wfdr-daemon. This daemon process manages your various module processes, as well as starting some other programs to make sure that files are synced automatically when changed (currently Linux only). In the second terminal, you can now use the wfdr command to control modules by communicating with the daemon. Let's start a few of the included example modules:

wfdr start base main auth photos pages news

In order to ensure that they started properly (and didn't fail to register ports or have another fatal failure), you can use the wfdr list command, which shows an asterisk (*) next to running modules.

If all goes well, you should now be able to navigate to http://localhost:8080/ and see these modules running. If not, that's a bug, either in the framework or the documentation. Let me know.

What's Next?

The WFDR framework is designed to be simple to get started with, and should work with whatever your favorite HTTP library is.

Check out the wiki for documentation on how the framework works.

The HelloWorld tutorial is a good place to go if you want to start writing a module.


Simple web framework for go, still quite beta at this point






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