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bare-bones virtual-dom starter for universal (node+browser) routing and rendering
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bare-bones virtual-dom starter for universal (node+browser) routing and rendering

using main-loop, routes, single-page, catch-links, and browserify/watchify with npm run scripts

This application renders html from the server on the first page load, and then renders each additional page load completely on the client, updating the address bar automatically with html pushState.

quick start

$ npm install
$ npm run watch &
$ npm start


  • npm run build - build js for production
  • npm run watch - automatically build js on file changes for development
  • npm start - start a development server

starter code

browser code

var h = require('virtual-dom/h')
var xtend = require('xtend')

var main = require('main-loop')
var state = {
  path: location.pathname
var router = require('./router.js')
var loop = main(state, render, require('virtual-dom'))
var target = document.querySelector('#content')
target.parentNode.replaceChild(, target)

var show = require('single-page')(function (href) {
  loop.update(xtend({ path: href }))
require('catch-links')(window, show)

function render (state) {
  var m = router.match(state.path)
  if (!m) return h('div.error', 'not found')
  else return m.fn(xtend(m, { state: state }))

server code

var fs = require('fs')
var path = require('path')
var xtend = require('xtend')
var hyperstream = require('hyperstream')

var ecstatic = require('ecstatic')
var st = ecstatic(path.join(__dirname, 'public'))
var createElement = require('virtual-dom/create-element')

var http = require('http')
var router = require('./router.js')

var server = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  var state = { path: req.url }
  var m = router.match(req.url)
  if (m) {
    var elem = createElement(m.fn(xtend(m, { state: state })))
      '#content': elem.toString()
  else st(req, res)

function read (x) {
  return fs.createReadStream(path.join(__dirname, 'public', x))

shared routing code

var h = require('virtual-dom/h')
var router = require('routes')()
module.exports = router

router.addRoute('/', function (m) {
  return layout(m.state, h('div', 'welcome!'))

router.addRoute('/wow', function (m) {
  return layout(m.state, h('div', 'wowsers!'))

router.addRoute('/amaze', function (m) {
  return layout(m.state, h('div', [
    h('div', 'such universal javascript!'),
    h('div', 'very client server')

function layout (state, page) {
  var links = [ '/', '/wow', '/amaze' ]
  var titles = {
    '/': 'home',
    '/wow': 'wow',
    '/amaze': 'amaze'
  return h('div', [
    h('h1', titles[state.path]),
    h('div.links', (href) {
      return h(
        'a' + (state.path === href ? '.active' : ''),
        { href: href },


If you like what you see, but want to add something more, fork this repo and add your additional feature to the name of the fork. Try to be specific with the name of your fork, listing the technologies used plus what features the fork adds.


Check out the list of forks to see how other people have customized this starter repo.


This software is released into the public domain.

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