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Surface is a server-side rendering component library that allows developers to build rich interactive user-interfaces, writing minimal custom Javascript.

Built on top of Phoenix LiveView and its component API, Surface leverages the amazing Phoenix Framework to provide a fast and productive solution to build modern web applications.

Full documentation and live examples can be found at


# Defining the component

defmodule Hello do
  use Surface.Component

  @doc "Someone to say hello to"
  prop name, :string, required: true

  def render(assigns) do
    Hello, {@name}!

# Using the component

defmodule Example do
  use Surface.Component

  def render(assigns) do
    <Hello name="John Doe"/>


  • An HTML-centric templating language, designed specifically to improve development experience.

  • Components as modules - they can be stateless, stateful, renderless or compile-time.

  • Declarative properties - explicitly declare the inputs (properties and events) of each component.

  • Slots - placeholders declared by a component that you can fill up with custom content.

  • Contexts - allows a parent component to share data with its children without passing them as properties.

  • Compile-time checking of the template structure, components' properties, slots, events and more.

  • Integration with editor/tools for warnings/errors, syntax highlighting, jump-to-definition, auto-completion (soon!) and more.


Phoenix v1.7 comes with built-in support for LiveView apps. You can create a new phoenix application with:

mix my_app

Note: In case you want to add Surface to an existing Phoenix application that doesn't have LiveView properly installed, please see Phoenix Liveview's installation instructions at

Add surface to the list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
    {:surface, "~> 0.11.0"}

Configuring the project using mix surface.init

After fetching the dependencies with mix deps.get, you can run the surface.init task to update the necessary files in your project.

In case you want the task to also generate a sample component for you, use can use the --demo option. A liveview using the component will be available at the /demo route.

Additionally, the task can also set up a Surface Catalogue for your project using the --catalogue option. The catalogue will be available at /catalogue.

Note: When using the --demo and --catalogue options together, the task also generates two catalogue examples and a playground for the sample component.

mix surface.init --demo --catalogue

Start the Phoenix server with:

mix phx.server

That's it! You can now access your application at http://localhost:4000.

You can see the full list of options provided by surface.init by running:

mix help surface.init

For further information regarding installation, including how to install Surface manually, please visit the Getting Started guide.

Migrating from previous versions

Please see the Migration Guide for details.



Copyright (c) 2020, Marlus Saraiva.

Surface source code is licensed under the MIT License.