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Streaming human readable command protocol

npm install hprotocol

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What does it do?

hprotocol allows you to easily generate a command protocol that its easy to parse both for programs and human beings.

As an example lets generate a protocol that echoes a value

var hprotocol = require('hprotocol');
var net = require('net');
var protocol = hprotocol()
    .use('echo value > value');
net.createServer(function(socket) {
    var client = protocol();
    // listen for the echo command 
    client.on('echo', function(value, callback) {
        callback(null, 'echo: '+value);
    // setup the pipe chain 
    // print the protocol specification for easier usage 

The echo value > value syntax denotes an echo command that accepts a value and returns a value. Open a new termainal and try interfacing with the server.

$ nc localhost 9999 # create a socket to the server
$ echo test         # send a echo command
$ > test            # this is the reply from the server

Similary you can interface with the server using node:

var client = protocol(); // using the same protocol as above 
var socket = net.connect(9999, 'localhost');
client.echo('test', function(err, value) {
    console.log(value); // prints echo: test 

Optionally you can use pass the stream to protocol to setup the pipe chain for you

var socket = net.connect(9999, 'localhost');
var client = protocol(socket);

Command syntax

Similary to the above example the command syntax is always

command argument1 argument2 ... > response

If the command does not have a response just do

command argument1 arguments2

If a series of arguments should the passed as an array add ... to the syntax

command test args... > response

Similary if your response is an array

command test args... > response...

Some examples of this could be

var protocol = hprotocol()
    .use('add numbers... > number')
    .use('reverse values... > values...')
var client = protocol();
client.on('hello', function() {
    // no response for this since no > in the spec 
    console.log('hello world');
client.on('add', function(numbers, callback) {
    numbers =; // convert to numbers 
    var sum = numbers.reduce(function(a, b) {
        return a+b;
    }, 0);
    callback(null, sum); // return a single value 
client.on('reverse', function(values, callback) {
    callback(null, values.reverse());
// setup a pipe chain 

If the above socket was listening on port 9999 we could do

echo 'add 1 2 3 4' | nc localhost 9999
# prints > 10