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HTTP methods

Sinatra's routes are designed to respond to the HTTP request methods.

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT



get '/hi' do

With params

get '/:name' do
  # matches /sinatra and the like and sets params[:name]



get '/say/*/to/*' do
  # matches /say/hello/to/world
  params["splat"] # => ["hello", "world"]

get '/download/*.*' do
  # matches /download/path/to/file.xml
  params["splat"] # => ["path/to/file", "xml"]

User agent

get '/foo', :agent => /Songbird (\d\.\d)[\d\/]*?/ do
  "You're using Songbird version #{params[:agent][0]}"

get '/foo' do
  # matches non-songbird browsers

Other methods

Other methods are requested exactly the same as "get" routes. You simply use the post, put, or delete functions to define the route, rather then the get one. To access POSTed parameters, use params[:xxx] where xxx is the name of the form element that was posted.

post '/foo' do
  "You just asked for foo, with post param bar equal to #{params[:bar]}"

The PUT and DELETE methods

Since browsers don't natively support the PUT and DELETE methods, a hacky workaround has been adopted by the web community. There are two steps to using this workaround with Sinatra:

First, add a hidden element in your form with the name "_method" and the value equal to the HTTP method you want to use. The form itself is sent as a POST, but Sinatra will interpret it as the desired method. For example:

<form method="post" action="/destroy_it">
  <input type="hidden" name="_method" value="delete" />
  <div><button type="submit">Destroy it</button></div>

Then, add use Rack::MethodOverride to your app, like so:

require 'sinatra'

use Rack::MethodOverride

delete '/destroy_it' do
  # destroy it

Or, if you are subclassing Sinatra::Base, do it like this:

require 'sinatra/base'

class MyApp < Sinatra::Base
  use Rack::MethodOverride

  delete '/destroy_it' do
    # destroy it

When you want to use PUT or DELETE from a client that does support them (like Curl, or ActiveResource), just go ahead and use them as you normally would, and ignore the _method advice above. That is only for hacking in support for browsers.

How routes are looked up

Each time you add a new route to your application, it gets compiled down into a regular expression that will match it. That is stored in an array along with the handler block attached to that route.

When a new request comes in, each regex is run in turn, until one matches. Then the the handler (the code block) attached to that route gets executed.

Splitting into multiple files

Because Sinatra clears out your routes and reloads your application on every request in development mode, you can't use require to load files containing your routes because these will only be loaded when the application starts (and reloaded even on the first request!) Instead, use load:

# application.rb
require 'rubygems'
require 'sinatra'

get '/' do
  "Hello world!"

load 'more_routes.rb'


# more_routes.rb

get '/foo' do
  "Bar?  How unimaginative."
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