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    1.7.1 • Public • Published


    Build Status

    A web framework with automatic Browserify + Less + Express + Handlebars.


    • Browserify is automatic
    • Less compilation is automatic
    • Express routing is automatic
    • Handlebars precompilation is automatic for both server and browser
    • Serves static files
    • Secure cookie-based sessions

    Quick start

    npm install -g bleh
    mkdir my-app && cd my-app
    npm init
    bleh init
    npm run dev


    const bleh = require('bleh')
    const express = require('express')
    const app = express()
    const port = process.env.PORT || 8080
    app.use('/', bleh())
    app.on('ready', () => {
      app.listen(port, () => {
          'My App',
          `Running: http://localhost:${port}`,
          `NODE_ENV: ${process.env.NODE_ENV}`,

    File structure

    ├─ layouts/
    ├─ node_modules/
    ├─ pages/
    │  ├─ home/
    │  │  ├─ home.browserify.js
    │  │  ├─ home.less
    │  │  ├─ home.node.js
    │  │  └─ home.html
    │  └─ $name/
    │     └─ $name.node.js
    ├─ partials/
    ├─ public/
    │  ├─ dist/
    │  └─ robots.txt
    ├─ test/
    ├─ server.js
    └─ package.json

    See also the sample app.


    Routes are generated automatically based on the pages/ folder structure. Each page has a controller (.node.js file) and normally has .html, .less and .browserify.js files located together in that page's folder.

    The page's js and css files are automatically embedded via the html5 layout.

    Words beginning with $ in the page name are URL params. See example.


    You can set the layout for the page by calling $.layout(name). Layouts have automatic Browserify, LESS and Handlebars compilation just like pages but the layout's .html file must contain {{{main}}}.


    Partials can be included in other templates. Partials are just plain ol' handlebars templates. Put your Handlebars helper methods in lib/handlebars-helpers.js.

      {{> partials/hello}}


    All files in the public folder are served as static files.


    The build process generates the public/dist/ folder containing the js and css for your app.

    The build is generated at runtime (except in production) and the app's ready event fires when the build is complete.

    In the production environment, the build step is skipped and the ready event fires immediately to avoid a brief delay starting the app.

    When deploying to production, bleh build will run automatically after npm install (i.e. you should have "postinstall": "bleh build" in package.json).

    Use npm run dev for development so your app restarts and rebuilds when a source file changes.


    If you add your commonly used client-side npm modules to the browserifyCommonDependencies array in your package.json, then an external browserify bundle will be used. This will reduce the size of your page-specific js bundles.


    You can reference any other .less file to gain access to its variables/classes/mixins. For example, the html5 layout provides a .clearfix style for convenience.

    @import (reference) 'layouts/html5/html5.less';
    .something {
      color: @black;


    Your handlebars helpers will work on both the server and client if you specify them in lib/handlebars-helpers.js (assuming you're using the html5 layout).

    For example: handlebars-helpers.js

    Also, if you're using the html5 layout, you can use window.render() to render any of your .html templates on the client side. You can see the templates you have available with console.log(Handlebars.templates).

    var html = window.render('partials/hello', data)


    All options are optional.

    var app = bleh({
      // default options
      dist: 'public/dist',
      helpers: {},
      home: '/home',
      https: false,
      log: console.log,
      root: __dirname,
      sessions: false // {secret: 'My EncRypT10n k3Y'}
    • dist - The folder to contain the build files.
    • helpers - This object gets merged into the context of the controller.
    • home - The page (uri) to be used as the homepage. By default, /home redirects to /.
    • https - This option forces a redirect to https only in production.
    • log - The function for log output. Defaults to console.log.
    • root - The path to the root folder of your app (which contains pages/). See file structure.
    • sessions - Configuration for cookie-based sessions. To enable sessions, you need a secret value. See client-sessions.


    The build automatically creates routes for .node.js files (controllers) that exist in the pages/ folder.

    For example:

    // uri: /beep.json
    module.exports = function ($) {
        beep: 'boop'
    // uri: /hello
    module.exports = function ($) {
      $.title = 'Hello' // set data to be rendered
      // add additional css or js to the page
      $.layout('website') // specify the layout and call its controller function
      $.render() // send the rendered html
    // uri: /will123195
    module.exports = function ($) {
      console.log($.$user) // will123195
    module.exports = function ($) {
      $.now =  // set data for all pages using this layout
      $.layout('html5')   // html5 boilerplate + link css & js

    Each layout has a controller that runs when the layout method is invoked. A generic html5 layout is provided that magically links the corresponding css and js onto the page if invoked.

    Controller methods and properties

    • accessDenied() - sends 403 response
    • body - the request body (i.e. POST data)
    • error(err) - sends 400 response
    • get(fn) - calls fn if request method is GET
    • layout(name) - invokes a layout
    • notFound() - sends 404 response
    • post(fn) - calls fn if request method is POST
    • query - the parsed querystring
    • redirect([301|302], uri) - sends redirect response
    • render() - sends rendered html using this data
    • req - the http request object
    • res - the http response object
    • send(obj|str) - sends a text or json response
    • session - the values encrypted in a cookie
    • set(helpers) - merges new properties into this context
    • templates - the array of precompiled template functions
    • view(name) - changes the default template to be render()ed

    Additional helpers specified in the options are merged into the controllers' context. For example, adding your db as a helper will make it accessible in all controllers as this.db.

    Note: req, res and templates are hidden for convenience so you can console.log(this) without so much noise.


    npm i bleh

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    • will123195