Nixon's Pants Missing


    1.0.15 • Public • Published

    Direct Javascript to Web interpreted server inspired by PHP


    js-lightning (invoked from within a directory containing website files)

    js-lightning -port=80 —siteDirectory /path/to/siteDirectory

    js-lightning -generateControlFiles

    js-lightning --help (for many more options)


    js-lightning presents a website instantly. All the behind the scenes wiring is done automatically to allow http access to a directory of web files.


    The simplest usage (and one that is completely valid) is to navigate to a directory that has web pages (.html) or apps (.js) and type js-lightning. This will publish that directory as a website on the default port, 7000.

    By default, the file paths map one-to-one with the structure of the directory with the exception that js-lightning does not require a file extension for .js files. It also understands Node module directories and treats them as if they were files.

    If a file has a usual HTML extension, it is served as normal (using expressjs static routing). If the path points to a ‘path/filename.js’ or to a module ‘path/moduleDirName’, js-lightning treats it as a dynamic element.

    To support javascript front-end script elements, js-lightning will not interpret .js files contained in any directory that has the string static in it. This can be used, for example, to add jQuery to a page.


    Dynamic elements are provided with the usual request and response objects and are expected to calculate their own HTML and headers and to send those to the web browser. No callback is provided. Each page is the final step in the request processing.

    In addition to request and response, each dynamic page is provided with a system object that contains utilities and other system access tools including any site specific configuration and utility elements.

    The simplest use case is when js-lightning is invoked with a path to docRoot containing no ‘systemConfig.ini’. In this case, jsl serves the contents of that directory on port 80. New files added to the directory do not require a restart.

    If a systemConfig.ini is present, it is parsed and made available to each page. There are (will be) js-lightning specific parameters (eg, port), most of which will be static counterparts to command line flags.

    If a directory, public, is present, it will be served instead and the parent is considered to be a siteDirectory. In this case, it is expected that a systemConfig.ini and additional code directories will also be present in the siteDirectory although they are not required.


    1. make project directory and install (npm install js-lightning)

    2. make another directory (siteDirectory) containing index.html

    3. node path/to/system/code/startAll.js path/to/siteDirectory

    4. visit http://localhost:7000/index.html

    You can also add a node module, say, test.js, that exports a function like

    module.exports=({req, res, userConfiguration})=>res.send('hello world’);

    Visit it with http://localhost:7000/test.js


    node path/to/system/code/startAll.js -help

    for current features.


    (Note: Command line options are specified according to qtools-parse-command-line. Especially, a double-hyphen specifies a flag that takes a value not an alias of a short flag. All flags must be specified before files. Flags that take values can be joined to the value (sometimes a comma-separated list) with an equal sign or a space.)

    Flags specified in the command line take precedence over those specified in systemConfig.ini (if any).

    --help is the place to look for command line options


    js-lightning —-port=7500

    These bits are here pending the creation of a supporting website.


    Things that work:

    • Simple .js module files
    • CommonJS modules
    • Plain HTML
    • Static served Javascript.
    • Automatic inclusion of new pages without restart
    • Specification of siteDirectory based on flag (--SiteDirectory), file path in command line (js-lightning path/to/dir) and from the current working directory when nothing else is specified.
    • DocRoot is automatically set to siteDirectory/docRoot if docRoot is present. Otherwise, docRoot==siteDirectory.
    • EXAMPLE_SITES exists and has README.
    • A configuration file (default name ‘systemParameters.ini’) can be placed in the siteDirectory. It can specify any of the parameters that can be specified on the command line (if they are also specified on the command line, that takes precedence).
    • The configuration file can be located outside of a siteDirectory and specified with the --configDirectoryPath parameter. This takes precedence over any default config file location.
    • -generateControlFiles files works


    Q: Where is the tutorial?

    A: Here it is:

    1. Make a directory. Activate js-lightning on it (here’s the command js-lightning path/to/dir).

    2. Save a Javascript file containing module.exports=({req, res, userConfiguration})=>res.send('hello world’);

    3. Have fun.

    Q: What if I want to have a normal web page?

    A: Have one. All non-JS (and soon to be non-markdown) pages are just passed on through. JS pages in a directory with the string ‘static’ in its name are passed through, too.


    (Not in order.)

    Add interpreter support for markdown files so they are converted to html.

    Add html template mechanism so that interpreted results can be embedded in html automatically, especially markdown.

    Add routing.

    Add restart all processes signal.

    Figure out npm mechanism to install ln -s path/to/js-lightning /usr/local/bin/js-lightning for convenient usage. ateControlFiles; automatically creates all control files.)*

    Add get valid pages list system function

    DONE Add generate scripts to deploy nginx, systems, etc

    DONE Implement systemParameters.ini with specs for all command line flags.








    npm i js-lightning@1.0.15




    The MIT License

    Unpacked Size

    8.59 MB

    Total Files


    Last publish


    • tqwhite