inspiration-architect

    1.0.0 • Public • Published

    inspiration-architect

    A thin foundation layer for building applications.

    This library provides you with the tools to set up configs for your app, and define the series of procedures (called "providers") that should run in order. This simplistic approach provides the basis for thin, logical, flexible organization of your app.

    This library works in both server-side (node.js) and client-side environments.

    What is an app?

    In the wild west of JavaScript frameworks, an "app" can mean several things, from a server-side Express app, to the multitude of client-side solutions like Angular, React, Meteor, etc.

    Several of these technologies utilize an "app" object or concept of some sort. The goal of this library is not to supplant any of these existing technologies, but rather to provide a consistent foundation compatible with any app.

    To accomplish this, it is necessary to get to the root of what any and all apps should minimally contain:

    1. a variable configuration
    2. a series of procedures run in order

    For example, think of an Express app: you usually start by defining your routes, then listening to a specific port in order to handle requests. Here, the series of procedures could include defining the routes then listening, while the variable configuration could include the specific port you listen to.

    On the client-side, imagine an app that communicates with several external vendor APIs, then displays the data in different types of React components. Here, the series of procedures could include defining network call wrapper functions/classes for each vendor's API then mounting the appropriate React component, while the variable configuration could include the different API base URLs.

    Installation

    If in node.js, run npm install inspiration-architect and require it, or if in the browser and not using a build process, include inspiration-architect.min.js in a script tag.

    Usage

    The basis of using this package is to pass an app object (e.g. an express() app object, or by default, an empty JavaScript object) through a series of functions (called providers) to operate on the app, or simply to run bootstrap/setup code.

    What goes in a provider function? Anything that can logically be separated out.
    For example, you could have a provider that sets up a database connection:

    var mongoose = require('mongoose');
     
    module.exports = function mongoProvider(app, done) {
     
        var uri = app.config('database.mongo.uri');
        var options = app.config('database.mongo.options');
     
        mongoose.connect(uri, options);
     
        app.db = mongoose.connection;
     
        app.db.on('error', function(err) {
     
            done(err);
        });
        app.db.once('open', function () {
            // yay!
            console.log('MongoDB connection open.');
            done();
        });
    };

    And one that sets up caching:

    var redis = require('redis');
     
    module.exports = function redisProvider(app, done) {
     
        var port = app.config('cache.redis.port');
        var host = app.config('cache.redis.host');
        var options = app.config('cache.redis.options');
     
        app.redis = redis.createClient(port, host, options);
     
        app.redis.on('error', function(err) {
     
            done(err);
        });
     
        app.redis.on('ready', function () {
            // yay!
            console.log('Redis connection ready.');
            done();
        });
    };

    Throughout this entire process, there will be a config function available to allow you to access your config values. By default, this function is appended to the app object via app.config(path[, default_value]).

    Example

    Assume the following (very simple) Express.js app:

    project/
        config/
            app.js
        controllers/
            IndexController.js
        providers/
            controllersProvider.js
            routesProvider.js
        start.js
    
    project/config/app.js:
    module.exports = {
        controller_directory: __dirname+'/../controllers/',
        port: 1337,
        providers: [
            'controllersProvider',
            'routesProvider'
        ]
    };
    project/controllers/IndexController.js
    module.exports = {
        getIndex: function(req, res) {
            res.send('hello world.');
        }
    };
    project/providers/controllersProvider.js
    module.exports = function(app, done) {
     
        var controller_directory = app.config('controller_directory');
     
        app.getControllerMethod = function(controller, method) {
            
            var controller = require(controller_directory+controller);
            
            return controller[method];
        };  
        
        done();
    };
    project/providers/routesProvider.js
    module.exports = function(app, done) {
     
        app.get('/', app.getControllerMethod('IndexController', 'getIndex'));
        
        done();
    };
    project/start.js
    var inspirationArchitectFactory = require('inspiration-architect');
    var express = require('express');
    var app = express();
    var path = require('path');
     
    var factory_config = {
        config_files: path.join(__dirname, 'config'),
        provider_files: path.join(__dirname, 'providers')
    };
     
    var InspirationArchitect = inspirationArchitectFactory(factory_config);
     
    var architect = new InspirationArchitect({
        app: app
    });
     
    architect.init(function(err, app) {
     
        if (err) {
            return console.error(err);
        }
        var port = app.config('port', 3000);
        
        app.listen(port, function () {
          console.log('Application running.');
        });
    });

    Then, from the project/ directory, running node start will kick things off.

    Process

    The process for use includes:

    1. set up the configs
    2. set up the providers
    3. set up an entry point file, and import the factory function
    4. provide the necessary arguments for the factory function to provide you with an InspirationArchitect class
    5. create a new instance of InspirationArchitect with the appropriate initial values
    6. call init() on the instance
    1. set up the configs

    Your application should have a directory to store its config files.

    In the above example, this corresponds to project/config/;

    The files will then be merged into a single object, whose values can be accessed via a function assigned to the app object.

    The config directory should at the very least include an "app.js" file, that exports a plain JavaScript object with config key/value pairs. There are no restrictions on the structure of this object, and can be arbitrarily complex.

    Other config files added to this directory should likewise export a plain JavaScript object. The contents of these files will be appended to the object in "app.js", using the filename as the key.

    Config values can be overwritten using a .gitignore'd ".env.js" environment file.

    For example, let's say you have an "app.js":

    module.exports = {
        a_sample: 1,
        b_sample: 'two',
        c_sample: [
            true, {
                d_sample: 4
            }
        ],
        e_sample: {
            f_sample: {
                g_sample: 5
            }
        }
    };

    And another file called "external.js":

    module.exports = {
        h_sample: 'hello',
        i_sample: 'goodbye'
    };

    And an ".env.js" file:

    module.exports = {
        a_sample: 'one'
    };

    The contents of these three files will then be automatically merged into a single object at runtime that looks like:

    {
        a_sample: 'one',
        b_sample: 'two',
        c_sample: [
            true, {
                d_sample: 4
            }
        ],
        e_sample: {
            f_sample: {
                g_sample: 5
            }
        },
        external: {
            h_sample: 'hello',
            i_sample: 'goodbye'
        }
    }

    You can then access these values via app.config(path[, default_value]), using lodash's path syntax e.g.

    var g_sample = app.config('e_sample.f_sample.g_sample');

    You may also supply a default value when accessing, in case the value is not available:

    var j_sample = app.config('j_sample', 6);

    The path used to append the config function to the app object can be set in the factory config, by providing your own app_config_path key (the default is "config"), e.g. supplying "my.config.values" as app_config_path will make the config function available via app.my.config.values(path[, default_value]).

    2. set up the providers

    Your application should have a directory to store its provider functions.

    In the above example, this corresponds to project/providers/;

    Each file in that directory should export a function that looks like:

    module.exports = function(app, done) {
        // do some stuff.
        done();
    };

    This function is asynchronous, so you must call done(err), when done. If an err is specified, the sequence will be halted, much like Express-style middleware.

    Each provider function will then execute in the order specified by the appropriate array in the config values. By default, the config key is set to providers, but that can be changed by providing your own config_providers_path key to the factory config object.

    For example, in your providers directory, lets say you had files called "someProvider.js", "someOtherProvider.js", and "yourProvider.js", and each file exported a function as described above. You can then specify the order of execution of these functions in the config. e.g. in your "app.js" config file:

    module.exports = {
        providers: [
            'someOtherProvider',
            'yourProvider',
            'someProvider'
        ]
    };

    This configuration will execute "someOtherProvider" first, "yourProvider" second, and "someProvider" third, with the app object flowing through each of these.

    3. set up an entry point file, and import the factory function

    There should be an entry point file that kicks off your application.

    In the above example, this corresponds to project/start.js;

    In this file, you should set up your initial app object (if there is one), and supply the appropriate values to the inspirationArchitectFactory function.

    4. provide the necessary arguments for the factory function to provide you with an InspirationArchitect class.

    The factory function takes a factory_config plain JavaScript object with the following default values:

    {
        config_files: {},
        config_files_use_ext: '.js',
        app_config_path: 'config',
        config_env_filename: '.env',
        config_app_filename: 'app',
        config_providers_path: 'providers',
        provider_files: {}
    }

    You may override any of these values with an object of your own. Usually you'll want to override config_files and provider_files. Here's a description of each key:

    • config_files: can be either a string of the absolute path to a directory where your config files are stored, or an object whose keys map to various objects.
    • config_files_use_ext: the extension that your config files use.
    • app_config_path: the path that will be used on the app object to create a function that will allow you to access the config values.
    • config_env_filename: the filename of the environment config file.
    • config_app_filename: the filename of the main app config file.
    • config_providers_path the path in the merged config object that will be used to access the list of providers
    • provider_files: can be either a string of the absolute path to a directory where your provider files are stored, or an object whose keys map to various provider functions.

    You can then get the InspirationArchitect class by calling the factory function:

    var InspirationArchitect = inspirationArchitectFactory(factory_config);
    5. create a new instance of InspirationArchitect with the appropriate initial values.

    Once you have an InspirationArchitect class, you can create an instance of it by supplying some optional initial values.

    The default initial values are as follows:

    {
        app: {},
        config: {},
        providers: []
    }

    You may override any of these values with an object of your own. Usually you'll want to override app with an app of your own. Here's a description of each key:

    • app: an object to be passed through the providers, e.g. an express() object.
    • config: an object that can override the combined config values (useful for setting up tests).
    • providers: initial providers that will run before any of the providers specified in the config.

    You can then get an instance by calling new:

    var architect = new InspirationArchitect(initial);
    6. call init() on the instance

    Once you have an instance of InspirationArchitect, you are ready to call init(callback), which will load the configs, then iterate through and execute the providers. Once the final provider has called its done method, or an error is passed to a provider's done method, the callback will be triggered. The callback is of signature function(err, app){}.

    architect.init(function(err, app) {
     
        if (err) {
            return console.error(err);
        }
        var port = app.config('port', 3000);
        
        app.listen(port, function () {
          console.log('Application running.');
        });
    });

    Client-side Examples

    The main difference between using this library client-side vs. server-side is that the browser cannot read files from the filesystem, so you must provide it with a way to do so as part of your build process.

    Via Browserify

    Here's an example of how to do so via Browserify + require-globify. Compare the Express.js example's start.js file to this:

    var inspirationArchitectFactory = require('inspiration-architect');
     
    var config_files = require('./config/*.js', {mode: 'hash', options: {dot: true}});
    var provider_files = require('./providers/*.js', {mode: 'hash'});
     
    var factory_config = {
        config_files: config_files,
        provider_files: provider_files
    };
     
    var InspirationArchitect = inspirationArchitectFactory(factory_config);
     
    var architect = new InspirationArchitect();
    architect.init(function(err, app) {
     
        console.log('This is running on the browser!');
    });

    You'd then point Browserify to this entry point file to generate your bundle file to include in your script tag:

    var gulp = require('gulp');
    var browserify = require('browserify');
    var babelify = require('babelify');
    var source = require('vinyl-source-stream');
    var globify = require('require-globify');
     
    gulp.task('browserify', function() {
     
        browserify({
            entries: './start.js',
            debug: true,
            standalone: 'browserify'
        })
        .transform(babelify, {presets: ['es2015']}) // npm install --save-dev babel-preset-es2015
        .transform(globify)
        .bundle()
        .pipe(source('bundle.js'))
        .pipe(gulp.dest('./'));
    });
     
    Via Webpack

    Without any external packages, you can get access to your files like so:

    var inspirationArchitectFactory = require('../inspiration-architect.min');
     
    function requireAll(r) {
     
        var hash = {};
        r.keys().forEach(function(key) {
            var pieces = key.split('/');
            hash[pieces[pieces.length - 1]] = r(key);
        });
        return hash;
    }
     
    var config_files = requireAll(require.context('./config/', true, /\.js$/));
    config_files['.env'] = require('./config/.env');
    var provider_files = requireAll(require.context('./providers/', true, /\.js$/));
     
    var factory_config = {
        config_files: config_files,
        provider_files: provider_files
    };
     
    var InspirationArchitect = inspirationArchitectFactory(factory_config);
     
    var architect = new InspirationArchitect();
    architect.init(function(err, app) {
     
        console.log('This is running on the browser!');
    });

    Notice that in the above example, we're using inspiration-architect.min.js, since Webpack does not polyfill the fs module by default, which is already polyfilled in the minified version of this library.

    Tests

    Run npm test to run all tests. You may also individually run the Browserify and Webpack tests individually in the browser by opening the test/browser/browserify.html and test/browser/webpack.html files in your browser.

    Install

    npm i inspiration-architect

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads

    6

    Version

    1.0.0

    License

    MIT

    Last publish

    Collaborators

    • shaunpersad