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    Gentleman Caller

    Gentleman Caller

    Express router extensions.


    npm install gencall

    Gentleman Caller is designed for use within Express apps.


    The simplest and most comprehensive way to use the module is with the app and require methods.
        .require("/app", __dirname + "/routes/app", { path: "/example" })

    The app method returns an Express app with require and static methods. The require method uses the file system and javascript modules to define a route hierarchy. Each javascript file that require processes is expected to be in the module form:

    module.exports = function(router, options) {
        // ...
    • If app.require targets a ".js" file, only that file will be loaded.
    • If app.require targets a directory, it is recursively read; the path to the file (e.g. /app/routes.js) defines a url mount point (i.e. endpoints defined within route.js would be accessible at /app/route/*). An index.js file will receive the folder-level router.


    Routers are where the magic happens. An app.require call takes care of router generation and mounting behind the scenes, simply passing router objects into each module for wire-up. Create a router manually with the gencall.router method using the same options that the express.Router() method takes.

    var gencall = require("gencall");
    var router = gencall.router({ 
        caseSensitive: false,
        mergeParams: false,
        strict: false

    A gencall.router is an express.Router will some extra stuff, mainly the call interface. This is an API to make endpoing specification much more flexible. Calls can handle embedded documentation, validation, and security directives. The framework makes use of this endpoint metadata not just to generate interface enforcement mechanisms, but also to generate artifacts like documentation and client libraries.

    It is necessary to maintain a strict router hierarchy to make proper use of interface metadata. IMPORTANT! Don't use app.use or router.use (full explanation below). Instead, use router.mount(parent, paths), which is a bottom up assembly method. This is taken care of automatically when using app.require.

    var app = express(),
        router = gencall.router(),
        sub = gencall.router();
    router.mount(app, "/app");
    sub.mount(router, "/sub");


    The method returns a flexible interface for wiring up url handlers. A call can register with one or more HTTP verbs and paths; it may specify an interface that carries out validation on parameters delivered though params, query, and body; it may expect req.session to be present pass certain security requirements. Finally, it executes some logic, the result of which may be rendered to accomodate a preferred content format (e.g. json, xml, html).
        .name("Lang Call")
        .describe("Generates a client for this router.")
            lang: {
                type: "text",
                length: 10,
                tranform: "lowercase"
        }).process(function(req, res, next) {
            router.generate(res.locals.lang, function(err, src) {

    Requires that the request be made from an authenticated user. If privileges are specified, the user must be authorized for those roles. This directive may also be set at the router level (i.e.[privileges]))."admin", "superuser")

    Gentleman Caller comes with a default security implementation that can be overridden. It assumes that req.session.authenticated is set for an authenticated user and that req.session.privileges contains privileges for authorization. = function(req, res, next) { };


    Performs validation on submitted parameters. Values are looked for first in req.params, then in req.query, then in req.body. All values are then collected in res.locals.

        phone: { type: "phone" },
        email: { type: "email" }

    These transformation operations and validation checks are performed in order. When validation checks fail, the issues are recorded in req.errors. If the abort parameter is true and there are validation errors, an HTTP 400 Invalid Request error will be thrown and the request will not be processed.

    Tranformation Parameters

    sanitize: boolean – use Google Caja algorithm to remove script tags and other dangerous XSS vectors.

    strip: boolean, text, or array – strip all HTML tags, or just tags specified.

    compact: boolean – compact whitespace into single spaces.

    truncate: integer – truncate input at a given number of characters.

    words: integer – truncate input at a given number of words.

    transform: text – transforms textual case

    capitalize, titleize, uppercase, lowercase, dasherize, parameterize, humanize, underscore, spacify, camelcase, titlecase

    Validation Parameters

    required: boolean – cannot be missing or empty

    language: text – ensures text belongs to a specific alphabet

    Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hangul, Han, Kanji, Hebrew, Hiragana, Kana, Katakana, Latin, Thai, Devanagari

    type: text – ensures data type

    integer, number, date, json, boolean, uuid, email, domain, url, ip, mac, phone, uuid, creditcard, base64, currency, ascii, alphanumeric, alpha, hexcolor, location, latitude, longitude

    min: any – a minimum value

    max: any – a maximum value

    maxlength: integer – a maximum length

    minlength: integer – a minimum length

    hasNumber: boolean – convenience flag to check if input has at least one digit

    hasUppercase: boolean – convenience flag to check if input has at least one uppercase character

    hasLowercase: boolean – convenience flag to check if input has at least one lowercase character

    hasSymbol: boolean – convenience flag to check if input has at least one symbol character

    hasWhitespace: boolean – convenience flag to check if input has whitespace

    match: regex – an exact value match, array of candidate values, or regular expression that must test true

    custom: function – a custom synchronous validation function

    Metadata Parameters

    source: string or array – the source of the parameter (params, body, or query)

    default: any – a default value to assign when the parameter is missing or empty

    locale: text – a locale that effects the way alpha, alphanumeric, and phone data types are interpreted

    description: text – a description that can be used in generating documentation

    abort: boolean – determines if an invalid request aborts execution

    error: text – custom error message on failed validation

    Recursive Processing

    properties: object – transformation and validation can be performed recursively on properties of an input

    call.METHOD(... url)

    These methods will bind HTTP methods to the supplied URL route patterns. In addition to standard Express methods, the getpost method will attach to both the GET and POST verbs.

    call.get("/one", "/two", "/three")

    call.process(... handlers)

    If security and validation requirements are met, the execution logic behind the endpoint is invoked and the request is processed.

    call.process((req, res, next) => {
    }, (req, res, next) => {
        // handle the call

    Handlers can implement an interface property containing inputs to be passed to params. In this way, handlers can be authored as reuseable components with execution logic tightly coupled to input validation directives.

    function handler(req, res, next) { next(); }
    // This will accomplish the same thing...
    call.params({ email: { type: "email" } }).process(handler);
    // As this:
    handler.interface = { email: { type: "email" } };

    Content Type Negotiation

    Content type negotiation is supported through a few mechanisms.

    Override Middleware

    The gencall.contentTypeOverride middleware looks for a file extension on the URL path and if found, overrides the Accept header with the mime type returned by mime.lookup(). For example, url http://localhost/some/path.json?q=xxx will be rewritten as http://localhost/some/path?q=xxx and the Accept: application/json; header will be set.


    Multi-Format Responses

    A call may support multiple formats with the call.formats(... formats) directive and the res.respond(data, template) method. The call.defaultFormat(format) directive can be used to specify a default format when no Accept header is present. The formats and defaultFormat directives can also be set at the router level and will be inherited by sub-router's and calls that do not override these directives explicitly.

    call.formats("json", "xml", "html")
        .process((req, res, next) => {
            res.respond({ field: "data" }, "template.ejs");

    The respond method will choose the first acceptable content type listed in the formats directive. If the selected format is html, the template parameter is used in the res.render call. Supported formats are: html, json, xml, and text. If the Accept types specified cannot be accomodated, a HTTP 406 response is generated.

    Custom Behavior

    Validation behavior can be modified by overriding the gencall.validated(req, res, next) method. By default, if validation fails for a request parameter and the abort flag is set, the response status is set to 400 and request processing is aborted.

    Security behavior can be modified by overriding the, res, next) method. The default implementation assumes req.session.authenticated is set for an authenticated user and that req.session.privileges contains privileges for authorization. A response status of 401 or 403 are set and request processing is aborted on failure.

    Create Artifacts

    One of the most powerful features of Gentleman Caller is artifact creation.

    gencall.generate(template, options, cb)

    Client code and documentation can be automatically generated from metadata and built-in templates.

    template: text – the desired output format

    docs, jquery, angular, node, csharp, java

    options: object – a set of options specific to the template format

    call.title(name) and call.describe(desc)

    Call objects have name and describe methods which are used to generated documentation and client code. Router objects have title and describe methods. The discrepancy has to do with the way express.Router objects are constructed.

        .describe("Contains main app routes.")
            .describe("Main route.")
            .execute((req, res, next) => { });


    Artifact creation is facilitates through a structural comprehension of the application. Gentleman Caller tracks the assembly of routing logic and utilizes validation requirements to gain this insight.

    The major challenge is that express.Router has no sense of its place within an Express application. It does not know how it is use'd, so we do not know how to formulate a full URL path to reach an endpoint. To get around this, Gentleman Caller implements a router.mount method, which links a router to a parent and stores the mountpath. This allows a gencall.router to implement a router.paths() method that traverses up the router's ancestry and returns an array of antecedent URL paths.

    All routers that are created with the gencall.router are available through the gencall.routers array.

    Each router keeps track of all Call objects through a router.calls array.

    Each Call object maintains a list of routes (i.e. [ 'get', '/app' ]) in an array called call.routes.


    The parameter metadata passed to the call.params method is stored in call.inputs. When is called, call.authenticated is set to true and anny privileges passed are stored in call.privileges.


    Method Documentation

    The module exposes a top-level app method that returns a modified express() application object. This instance has a mount method which invokes the top-level mount method, as well as a static method which is a convenience call for app.use(express.static(root, options)).

    gencall.mount(parent, filepath, options)

    Constructs a route hierarchy from a file system hierarchy.

    parent is a router or app.
    filepath is either a file or directory of route modules. options are passed to constructed routers and route modules.

    A route module (e.g. /routes/app/call.js) look like this:

    module.exports = function(router, options) {"/some-call").process(function(req, res, next) {
            res.respond({ data: "some data" });
        // ...

    The module is mounted at a url path that matches its file path. For example, the above snippet would be hosted at /example/routes/app/call/some-call. To mount endpoints at the parent-level, name a folder or file index. For example, if the file above were named index.js, the call would be hosted at /example/routes/app/some-call.


    The router object is a direct extension of the ExpressJS Router object. So all the regular stuff works as expected.

    router.all(route, handler)
    router.METHOD(route, handler)
    router.param(name, handler)
    router.use([route], middleware)

    View docs here.

    router.mount(parent, path)

    A bottom up version of use. "Mounting" rather than "using" allows routers to know their parents and establish mountpath's all the way down the route hierarchy. This approach supports artifact generation.


    An error handler in the form of function(err, req, res, next) that will be appended to the end of all call.process handlers.[privileges])

    Requires that the request be made from an authenticated user. If privileges are specified, the user must be authorized for those roles. See below for more info.


    An array of url paths where the router is mounted. This is calculated by performing a cartesian combination of all mountpath's up the route hierarchy.

    router.static(root, options)

    A shortcut for router.use(express.static(root, options)).


    npm i gencall

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