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    A Rails like middleware for routes loading on expressjs applications. (heavily inspired from

    Purposes & use

    This module provide a Rails like approach for defining routes. It also add helpers for the views appending it to the res.locals object.

    Required configuration:

    First of all define your controllers. They are simple exported objects where the filename is the controller name, object keys are the controller's actions, and the object values are the route handlers. Default location of the controllers is process.cwd() + '/controllers'

    // controllers/welcomeController.js
    module.exports = {
      index: function(req, res) {
        return res.json({ hello: 'welcome' });
      about: function(req, res) {
        return res.json({ hi: 'this is guidance' });

    Routes should be defined as a module that exports a function accepting the router object as parameter. Use the router object to define your routes.

    Define your routes like this (usually in a separated routes.js file):

    // routes.js
    module.exports = function(router) {
      router.get('/', { to: 'welcome#index' });
      router.get('/about', { to: 'welcome#about' });

    This snippets indicate that on GET / the express app respond with welcome controller's index action, and GET /about is mapped to the welcome controller's about action.

    Finally use the middleware like this:

    const express = require('express');
    const guidance = require('guidance');
    const routes = require('routes'); // the module defined above (routes.js)
    const app = express();

    Naming conventions

    Some conventions are adopted for the correct mapping of the routes.


    When referring to a controller name, the controller file is resolved to <controllersPath>/<controllerName>.js where:

    • controllersPath is default to process.cwd() + '/controllers' (overridable with guidance.initialize options).
    • controllerName resolves to the controller name without an eventual Controller suffix (welcomeController and welcome both becomes welcome)


    When referring to an action name, the action handler is mapped to the relative controller's property with the same name. An eventual Action suffix is removed from the name (indexAction and index both becomes index)

    The controller's property should be obviously a callable.



    guidance.initialize(routes, options)

    guidance middleware.

    Accepted parameters:

    • routes the defined routes module
    • options.controllersDir the absolute path where to locate the controller modules. Defaults to process.cwd() + '/controllers'


    Basic routing

    Connect URLs to code in the following way (using the to key)

    router.get('/home', { to: 'welcome#index' })'/login', { to: 'session#create' })

    When the express app receive a GET /home request, the index action handler of the welcome controller is used; the express app responds also on POST /login with the session controller's create action.

    Any express supported method (router.METHOD) can be used.


    You can specify how to route GET / with the root method:

    router.root({ to: 'welcome#index' })
    router.root('welcome#index') // shortcut for the above

    Named parameters

    Named parameters are also supported:

    router.get('/patients/:id', { to: 'patients#show' })

    the id parameter is available to the req.params object of the action.

    Named routes (views helpers)

    A name can be assigned to the route (using the as key):

    router.get('/hp', { to: 'welcome#homepage', as: 'homepage' });
    router.get('/patients/:id', { to: 'patients#show', as 'patient' })

    This helpers are available to the views:

    homepage()  // returns '/hp'
    patient(42) // returns '/patients/42'


    Resources can also be defined:


    This statement creates the following routes:

    • GET /photos to photos#index
    • GET /photos/new to photos#new
    • POST /photos to photos#create
    • GET /photos/:id to photos#show with id as parameter
    • GET /photos/:id/edit to _photos#edit with id as parameter
    • PATCH /photos/:id to _photos#update with id as parameter
    • PUT /photos/:id to _photos#update with id as parameter
    • DELETE /photos/:id to _photos#delete with id as parameter

    It also creates the following helpers:

    • photosPath() returns /photos
    • newPhotoPath() returns /photos/new
    • editPhotoPath(42) returns /photos/42/edit
    • photoPath(42) returns /photos/42

    Multiple resources can be defined at the same time:

    router.resources(['photos', 'books']);

    Single resource

    Single resource can be defined:


    This statement creates the following routes:

    • GET /geocoder/new to geocoder#new
    • POST /geocoder to photos#create
    • GET /geocoder to geocoder#show
    • GET /geocoder/edit to _geocoder#edit
    • PATCH /geocoder to _geocoder#update
    • PUT /geocoder to _geocoder#update
    • DELETE /geocoder to _geocoder#delete

    It also creates the following helpers:

    • geocoderPath() returns /geocoder
    • newGeocoderPath() returns /geocoder/new
    • editGeocoderPath(42) returns /geocoder/42/edit

    Multiple single resources can be defined at the same time:

    router.resource(['geocoder', 'profile']);

    Nesting resources

    Resources can be nested:

    router.resources('magazines', function() {

    In this case for example the express app can respond to GET /magazines/42/ads/7 path. It adds to req.params the following attributes:

    • magazineId (in this case: 42)
    • id (in this case: 7)


    Routes can be namespaced. In this case the controller should exists in a directory with the same name of the namespace.

    router.namespace('admin', function() {

    In this case the article resource's actions are mapped to the following paths:

    • GET /admin/articles
    • GET /admin/articles/new
    • POST /admin/articles
    • GET /admin/articles/:id
    • GET /admin/articles/:id/edit
    • PATCH /admin/articles/:id
    • PUT /admin/articles/:id
    • DELETE /admin/articles/:id


    Routes can be also scoped. In this case the controller should exists in a directory with the same name of the scope.

    router.scope('admin', function() {

    The difference with the namespace is that the routes paths don't have a prefix, but the controller lives inside a directory with the same name of the scope.

    Fluent interface

    Guidance router have a fluent interface, so it can be used in this way:

      .get('/geocoder', { to: 'geocoder#show' })
      .namespace('admin', function() {})
      .scope('admin', function() {})
      .post('/photos', { to: 'photos#create' })


    A modern version of node is required (due to harmony syntax). Actually tested with node v4.4.1 LTS.


    npm i guidance

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