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Middleware filters for Meteor.methods and friends
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README.md

Middleware Filters for Meteor

Middleware filters for Meteor.methods and friends

What problem does this solve?

The whole point of this library is to avoid boilerplate code and duplication. Let's say you have some Meteor.methods that looks like this:

Meteor.methods({

  // I hope my bank is more secure than this!
  withdraw: function(bankAccountNumber, amount) {
    if (!bankAccountNumber) {
      throw Meteor.Error(500, "Gotta have an account number silly!");
    }
    // etc...
  },

  // Save some money fool!
  deposit: function(bankAccountNumber, amount) {
    if (!bankAccountNumber) {
      throw Meteor.Error(500, "Gotta have an account number silly!");
    }
    // etc...
  }
});

And on the client you're calling withdraw like:

var bankAccountNumber = Session.get('bankAccountNumber');
Meteor.call('withdraw', bankAccountNumber, 1);

And somewhere else on the client you're calling deposit like:

var bankAccountNumber = Session.get('bankAccountNumber');
Meteor.call('deposit', bankAccountNumber, 2);

Lots of boilerplate. Lots of duplication. Right?

The filter solution!

When you write and apply a filter your server code becomes:

Meteor.methods({

  withdraw: function(amount) {
    // etc...
  },

  deposit: function(amount) {
    // etc...
  }
});

And your client code becomes:

Meteor.call('withdraw', 1);
Meteor.call('deposit', 2);

Nice, eh?

Usage

Server-side

Setup your Meteor.methods, nothing new!

Meteor.methods({
  echoMike: function(text) {
    return text;
  },
  echoRebecca: function(text) {
    return text;
  },
  echoYngwie: function(text) {
    return text;
  }
});

Next, define some filters

var helloFilter = function(name) {
  return '<strong>Hello</strong> ' + name + '!';
};

var howdyFilter = function(name) {
  return '<strong>Howdy</strong> ' + name + '!';
};

var countFilter = function(name) {
  var countForPerson = Counts.findOne({ name: name })
  if (countForPerson) {
    Counts.update({ name: name }, { $inc: { count: 1 } })
  } else {
    Counts.insert({ name: name, count: 1 })
  }
  return name;
};

Finally, configure Meteor.methods to use your filters

Or like this if you prefer
Filter.methods([
  { handler: countFilter },
  { handler: helloFilter, only: 'echoYngwie' },
  { handler: howdyFilter, only: 'echoRebecca' }
]);

Or if you prefer you can use this sexier(?) syntax

Filter.methods([
  countFilter,
  helloFilter, { only: 'echoYngwie' },
  howdyFilter, { only: 'echoRebecca' }
]);

If you only have one filter just slap it in there in all it's scalar glory

Filter.methods(howdyFilter);

Filter.methods({ handler: howdyFilter, only: 'southernMethod' });

Call handlers

Being able to apply filters to Meteor.methods that do common work is helpful but sometimes you'll find that when you're making calls from the client using Meteor.call and Meteor.apply you end up with boilerplate code that prepares the arguments. Call handlers help by letting you define this behavior as a filter that gets applied when you invoke Meteor.call and Meteor.apply. Think of the bank example where every Meteor.call needs the to get the bank account number from the environment and every Meteor.method needs to verify the account number. Your filter setup might look like this:

Filter.methods([
  {
    handler: verifyAccountNumber,
    callHandler: prependAccountNumberToArguments
  }
]);

Some libraries, like session management or analytics, for example, can use this feature to add transparent functionality to all (or some) functionality by adding arguments with a call handler and removing them with the method handler before they reach the actual Meteor.method.

Writing filters (client or server)

Return values

When you write a filter the idea is that it receives the arguments intended for the target Meteor.method and then it either passes those arguments to the next filter and eventually to the target Meteor.method. Filter.methods is very flexible about how how the next filter is called, these are all equivalent:

var myFilter1 = function(a, b, c) {
  // do something!
  return [a, b, c];
};

var myFilter2 = function(a, b, c, next) {
  // do something!
  next(a, b, c);
};

var myFilter3 = function(a, b, c, next) {
  // do something!
  return next(a, b, c);
};

Returning nothing causes the current filter's arguments to be passed on as-is making these equivalent:

var myFilter4 = function(a, b, c) {
  // do something!
};

var myFilter5 = function(a, b, c) {
  // do something!
  return _.toArray(arguments);
};

TODO

Think more about client side method stubs, right now it's a problem because we're using Filter.methods to filter Meteor.call/apply

Make the examples suck a lot less

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