Basic MVC Web Application in Go
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Small fixes for MySQL and relative path to config.json
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README.md

GoWebApp

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Basic MVC Web Application in Go

I recommend you use Blue Jay which is the latest version of this project: https://github.com/blue-jay/blueprint.

This project demonstrates how to structure and build a website using the Go language without a framework. There is a blog article you can read at http://www.josephspurrier.com/go-web-app-example/. There is a full application I built with an earlier version of the project at https://github.com/verifiedninja/webapp. There is an API version of this project at https://github.com/josephspurrier/gowebapi.

To download, run the following command:

go get github.com/josephspurrier/gowebapp

If you are on Go 1.5, you need to set GOVENDOREXPERIMENT to 1. If you are on Go 1.4 or earlier, the code will not work because it uses the vendor folder.

Quick Start with Bolt

The gowebapp.db file will be created once you start the application.

Build and run from the root directory. Open your web browser to: http://localhost. You should see the welcome page.

Navigate to the login page, and then to the register page. Create a new user and you should be able to login. That's it.

Quick Start with MongoDB

Start MongoDB.

Open config/config.json and edit the Database section so the connection information matches your MongoDB instance. Also, change Type from Bolt to MongoDB.

Build and run from the root directory. Open your web browser to: http://localhost. You should see the welcome page.

Navigate to the login page, and then to the register page. Create a new user and you should be able to login. That's it.

Quick Start with MySQL

Start MySQL and import config/mysql.sql to create the database and tables.

Open config/config.json and edit the Database section so the connection information matches your MySQL instance. Also, change Type from Bolt to MySQL.

Build and run from the root directory. Open your web browser to: http://localhost. You should see the welcome page.

Navigate to the login page, and then to the register page. Create a new user and you should be able to login. That's it.

Overview

The web app has a public home page, authenticated home page, login page, register page, about page, and a simple notepad to demonstrate the CRUD operations.

The entrypoint for the web app is gowebapp.go. The file loads the application settings, starts the session, connects to the database, sets up the templates, loads the routes, attaches the middleware, and starts the web server.

The front end is built using Bootstrap with a few small changes to fonts and spacing. The flash messages are customized so they show up at the bottom right of the screen.

All of the error and warning messages should be either displayed either to the user or in the console. Informational messages are displayed to the user via flash messages that disappear after 4 seconds. The flash messages are controlled by JavaScript in the static folder.

Structure

Recently, the folder structure changed. After looking at all the forks and reusing my project in different places, I decided to move the Go code to the app folder inside the vendor folder so the github path is not littered throughout the many imports. I did not want to use relative paths so the vendor folder seemed like the best option.

The project is organized into the following folders:

config		- application settings and database schema
static		- location of statically served files like CSS and JS
template	- HTML templates

vendor/app/controller	- page logic organized by HTTP methods (GET, POST)
vendor/app/shared		- packages for templates, MySQL, cryptography, sessions, and json
vendor/app/model		- database queries
vendor/app/route		- route information and middleware

There are a few external packages:

github.com/gorilla/context				- registry for global request variables
github.com/gorilla/sessions				- cookie and filesystem sessions
github.com/go-sql-driver/mysql 			- MySQL driver
github.com/haisum/recaptcha				- Google reCAPTCHA support
github.com/jmoiron/sqlx 				- MySQL general purpose extensions
github.com/josephspurrier/csrfbanana 	- CSRF protection for gorilla sessions
github.com/julienschmidt/httprouter 	- high performance HTTP request router
github.com/justinas/alice				- middleware chaining
github.com/mattn/go-sqlite3				- SQLite driver
golang.org/x/crypto/bcrypt 				- password hashing algorithm

The templates are organized into folders under the template folder:

about/about.tmpl       - quick info about the app
index/anon.tmpl	       - public home page
index/auth.tmpl	       - home page once you login
login/login.tmpl	   - login page
notepad/create.tmpl    - create note
notepad/read.tmpl      - read a note
notepad/update.tmpl    - update a note
partial/footer.tmpl	   - footer
partial/menu.tmpl	   - menu at the top of all the pages
register/register.tmpl - register page
base.tmpl		       - base template for all the pages

Templates

There are a few template funcs that are available to make working with the templates and static files easier:

<!-- CSS files with timestamps -->
{{CSS "static/css/normalize3.0.0.min.css"}}
parses to
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/static/css/normalize3.0.0.min.css?1435528339" />

<!-- JS files with timestamps -->
{{JS "static/js/jquery1.11.0.min.js"}}
parses to
<script type="text/javascript" src="/static/js/jquery1.11.0.min.js?1435528404"></script>

<!-- Hyperlinks -->
{{LINK "register" "Create a new account."}}
parses to
<a href="/register">Create a new account.</a>

<!-- Output an unescaped variable (not a safe idea, but I find it useful when troubleshooting) -->
{{.SomeVariable | NOESCAPE}}

<!-- Time format -->
{{.SomeTime | PRETTYTIME}}
parses to format
3:04 PM 01/02/2006

There are a few variables you can use in templates as well:

<!-- Use AuthLevel=auth to determine if a user is logged in (if session.Values["id"] != nil) -->
{{if eq .AuthLevel "auth"}}
You are logged in.
{{else}}
You are not logged in.
{{end}}

<!-- Use BaseURI to print the base URL of the web app -->
<li><a href="{{.BaseURI}}about">About</a></li>

<!-- Use token to output the CSRF token in a form -->
<input type="hidden" name="token" value="{{.token}}">

It's also easy to add template-specific code before the closing and tags:

<!-- Code is added before the closing </head> tag -->
{{define "head"}}<meta name="robots" content="noindex">{{end}}

...

<!-- Code is added before the closing </body> tag -->
{{define "foot"}}{{JS "//www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js"}}{{end}}

JavaScript

You can trigger a flash notification using JavaScript.

flashError("You must type in a username.");

flashSuccess("Record created!");

flashNotice("There seems to be a piece missing.");

flashWarning("Something does not seem right...");

Controllers

The controller files all share the same package name. This cuts down on the number of packages when you are mapping the routes. It also forces you to use a good naming convention for each of the funcs so you know where each of the funcs are located and what type of HTTP request they each are mapped to.

These are a few things you can do with controllers.

Access a gorilla session:

// Get the current session
sess := session.Instance(r)
...
// Close the session after you are finished making changes
sess.Save(r, w)

Trigger 1 of 4 different types of flash messages on the next page load (no other code needed):

sess.AddFlash(view.Flash{"Sorry, no brute force :-)", view.FlashNotice})
sess.Save(r, w) // Ensure you save the session after making a change to it

Validate form fields are not empty:

// Ensure a user submitted all the required form fields
if validate, missingField := view.Validate(r, []string{"email", "password"}); !validate {
	sess.AddFlash(view.Flash{"Field missing: " + missingField, view.FlashError})
	sess.Save(r, w)
	LoginGET(w, r)
	return
}

Render a template:

// Create a new view
v := view.New(r)

// Set the template name
v.Name = "login/login"

// Assign a variable that is accessible in the form
v.Vars["token"] = csrfbanana.Token(w, r, sess)

// Refill any form fields from a POST operation
view.Repopulate([]string{"email"}, r.Form, v.Vars)

// Render the template
v.Render(w)

Return the flash messages during an Ajax request:

// Get session
sess := session.Instance(r)

// Set the flash message
sess.AddFlash(view.Flash{"An error occurred on the server. Please try again later.", view.FlashError})
sess.Save(r, w)

// Display the flash messages as JSON
v := view.New(r)
v.SendFlashes(w)

Handle the database query:

// Get database result
result, err := model.UserByEmail(email)

if err == sql.ErrNoRows {
	// User does not exist
} else if err != nil {
	// Display error message
} else if passhash.MatchString(result.Password, password) {
	// Password matches!	
} else {
	// Password does not match
}

Send an email:

// Email a user
err := email.SendEmail(email.ReadConfig().From, "This is the subject", "This is the body!")
if err != nil {
	log.Println(err)
	sess.AddFlash(view.Flash{"An error occurred on the server. Please try again later.", view.FlashError})
	sess.Save(r, w)
	return
}

Validate a form if the Google reCAPTCHA is enabled in the config:

// Validate with Google reCAPTCHA
if !recaptcha.Verified(r) {
	sess.AddFlash(view.Flash{"reCAPTCHA invalid!", view.FlashError})
	sess.Save(r, w)
	RegisterGET(w, r)
	return
}

Database

It's a good idea to abstract the database layer out so if you need to make changes, you don't have to look through business logic to find the queries. All the queries are stored in the models folder.

This project supports BoltDB, MongoDB, and MySQL. All the queries are stored in the same files so you can easily change the database without modifying anything but the config file.

The user.go and note.go files are at the root of the model directory and are a compliation of all the queries for each database type. There are a few hacks in the models to get the structs to work with all the supported databases.

Connect to the database (only once needed in your application):

// Connect to database
database.Connect(config.Database)

Read from the database:

result := User{}
err := database.DB.Get(&result, "SELECT id, password, status_id, first_name FROM user WHERE email = ? LIMIT 1", email)
return result, err

Write to the database:

_, err := database.DB.Exec("INSERT INTO user (first_name, last_name, email, password) VALUES (?,?,?,?)", firstName, lastName, email, password)
return err

Middleware

There are a few pieces of middleware included. The package called csrfbanana protects against Cross-Site Request Forgery attacks and prevents double submits. The package httprouterwrapper provides helper functions to make funcs compatible with httprouter. The package logrequest will log every request made against the website to the console. The package pprofhandler enables pprof so it will work with httprouter. In route.go, all the individual routes use alice to make chaining very easy.

Configuration

To make the web app a little more flexible, you can make changes to different components in one place through the config.json file. If you want to add any of your own settings, you can add them to config.json and update the structs in gowebapp.go and the individual files so you can reference them in your code. This is config.json:

{
	"Database": {
		"Type": "Bolt",
		"Bolt": {		
 			"Path": "gowebapp.db"
  		},
		"MongoDB": {
			"URL": "127.0.0.1",
			"Database": "gowebapp"
		},
		"MySQL": {
			"Username": "root",
			"Password": "",
			"Name": "gowebapp",
			"Hostname": "127.0.0.1",
			"Port": 3306,
			"Parameter": "?parseTime=true"
		}
	},
	"Email": {
		"Username": "",
		"Password": "",
		"Hostname": "",
		"Port": 25,
		"From": ""
	},
	"Recaptcha": {
		"Enabled": false,
		"Secret": "",
		"SiteKey": ""
	},
	"Server": {
		"Hostname": "",
		"UseHTTP": true,
		"UseHTTPS": false,
		"HTTPPort": 80,
		"HTTPSPort": 443,
		"CertFile": "tls/server.crt",
		"KeyFile": "tls/server.key"
	},
	"Session": {
		"SecretKey": "@r4B?EThaSEh_drudR7P_hub=s#s2Pah",
		"Name": "gosess",
		"Options": {
			"Path": "/",
			"Domain": "",
			"MaxAge": 28800,
			"Secure": false,
			"HttpOnly": true
		}
	},
	"Template": {
		"Root": "base",
		"Children": [
			"partial/menu",
			"partial/footer"
		]
	},
	"View": {
		"BaseURI": "/",
		"Extension": "tmpl",
		"Folder": "template",
		"Name": "blank",
		"Caching": true
	}
}

To enable HTTPS, set UseHTTPS to true, create a folder called tls in the root, and then place the certificate and key files in that folder.

Screenshots

Public Home:

Image of Public Home

About:

Image of About

Register:

Image of Register

Login:

Image of Login

Authenticated Home:

Image of Auth Home

View Notes:

Image of Notepad View

Add Note:

Image of Notepad Add

Edit Note:

Image of Notepad Edit

Feedback

All feedback is welcome. Let me know if you have any suggestions, questions, or criticisms. If something is not idiomatic to Go, please let me know know so we can make it better.