2.10.14 • Public • Published


The alpha-strike web framework.
A framework with sane defaults, aiming to handle everything for you as automatically as possible.

API Stability: Semi-Unstable

Minimal API

  • new Lance( config )
  • lance.initailize()

What just happened:

  • An HTTP server was started
  • Compiled, minified, bundled and watched Stylus, CoffeeScript, CJSX, CSS, JS
    • Saved to the static directory
  • Populated the static asset directory at ./static
    • Assets like img.png, robots.txt are copied over with their preserved directory structure.
  • Set up request routing
  • Began serving static assets from ./static
  • Began utlizing a templating engine in ./views
  • Began parsing http requests; forms, file transfers

All parts of Lance can be utilized outside of the config. Lance always utilizes promises for async operations.

See the ./config - effectively an API reference.

The minimal example:

Lance = require 'lance'
lance = new Lance {
    routes: [
        [ "GET"'/:api(a|b|c|d)'(o) ->
                console.log 'ayyy' if o.route.api is 'a'
                o.serve { body: 'woo!' }
lance.initialize().then -> # Server is up! 

The full example:

The directory structure:
            image.png (this)
Lance = require 'lance'
lance = new Lance {
        host: ''
        port: 1337
        static: './static' # Automatically intercepts and serves static content 
        findIn: './views'
        saveTo: './static'
        Bundle up all Stylus/Css or Coffee/Js dependencies into a single file
        by utilizing Stylus and browserify.
            # destination : source 
            "my/css/here.css": "style.styl"
            "app.js": ""
            ext: '.jade'
            engine: require 'jade'
# Routes can be defined after instantiation, outside of the config, too 
lance.router.get '/:api(a|b|c|d)'(o) ->
    `o` is a special options object containing request information in a pre-parsed manner. `o` is passed to all route requests in place of `req` and `res`.
    More info on this later.
    if o.route.api is 'a'
        console.log 'ayyy'
    # This will resolve to our ./project/views/index.jade file 
    o.template.view = 'index'
    o.serve() serves a response based on either arguements passed to it or depending on properties in `o`.
    if `o.template.view` is set, the template will be rendered
    if `o.redirect` is set, a redirection will occur
    if neither are set, Lance serves JSON by default.
    You may also instead call `o.serveTemplate()`, `o.serveHttpCode()`, `o.serveJson()`, `o.serveRedirect()` or a basic `o.respond()`
This will build the templates then start the server, all depending on the config. 
lance.initialize().then ->
    # we're ready 
There is a choice between `lance.initialize()`, which initializes everything in order, and manually initializing aspects of lance for more control.
lance.templater.initialize().then ->
    # The bundles have been compiled to: 
    # ./projectDirectory/static/style.css 
    # ./projectDirectory/static/app.js 
    # from the ./projectDirectory/views directory. 
    # and will be watched for changes (and any of their dependencies) 
    # then recompiled automatically 
    lance.start().then ->
        # we're ready 
The new directory structure:
            image.png (this)


Requests from a http server normally use response and request parameters. Lance supplies an object as outlined below:

    Assuming you visited:
lance.router.get '/:api(a|b|c|d)''aRouteName'(o) ->
    # HTTP request object 
    # HTTP response object 
    # Response HTTP code 
    o.code is 200
    # Response headers 
    o.headers is { 'content-type': 'text/html; charset=utf-8' }
    # Fallback body to respond with if not template is used 
    o.body is ''
    # Sent as JSON for JSON responses 
    o.json is {}
    # Relative or absolute path to a template 
    o.template.view is ''
    # Local variable for the template is {}
    # Optional lance.Templater instance 
    o.template.templater is o.lance.templater
    # Redirects to this as a path if set 
    o.redirect is ''
    # Used as a GET response query if redirecting 
    o.redirectQuery is {}
    # Parsed query, whether it be GET, POST etc. 
    o.query is {
        test: {
            a: '1'
    # Any files 
    o.files is {
        # Example file 
        'exampleFile': {
            field      : 'exampleFile'
            filename   : 'file.txt'
            encoding   : 'utf8'
            mimetype   : 'text/plain'
            ext        : 'txt'
            # Temporary file path, saved to the OS's temp directory 
            # Will be auto deleted after a timer 
            file       : tempFilePath
            # Call this to delete the temporary file 
            delete     : [Function]
            truncated  : false
    o.method is 'GET'
    o.route is {
        path     : { api: 'b' }
        splats   : []
        name     : 'aRouteName'
        callback : [ThisFunction]
        pattern  : '/:api(a|b|c|d)'
        regex    : /./ # Final regex from pattern 
    o.path is o.route.path
    o.splats is o.route.splats
    o.cookies is new require('cookies')( o.reqo.res )
    # These properties above are also passed into a template, accessable under the "o" property 
    template = { view: './someTemplate'data: { woo: 1 } }
    template is o.template
    o.serve template
        When `o.serve` is called without parameters it will execute this logic:
        if o.redirect
            o.serveRedirect( o.redirect, o.redirectQuery )
            if o.template.view


You can specify your own templater middleware. If none are specified, then Lance will default to checking whether ect is installed and will use that.

# Uses Jade 
new Lance {
            ext: '.jade'
            engine: require 'jade'
            options: {} # Supplied to the engine on instantiation 
# Uses ECT.js if `ect` is installed 
new Lance {
        templater: {}

Optional modules

For these features to become avaliable, simply make sure they're installed.

  • browserify for bundling coffee/js
    • coffee-reactify for embedding JSX into Coffee
    • coffeeify only normal coffeescript
  • ect fallback templater
  • stylus
  • coffee-script
  • uglify-js for js compression
  • lactate for static file serving


Stylus is compulsary if you're going to bundle css assets; because Stylus can exist as pure css with the benefit of the @require() and @import bundling syntax. Any plain CSS file is concatenated, it is not resolved to an @import.

Static assets

Lance handles these mostly automatically:

  • CSS and Stylus
  • CoffeeScript, CJSX and Javascript
  • Static assets such as images, json, robots.txt etc.

On initialization:

  • Bundles are rendered to the static directory
  • Bundles are watched for changes, then rerendered
  • Assets files are copied over to the static directory
  • Assets files are watched for changes, then resaved
  • Directories are watched for new directories and files

By default all static assets that match the regexp (found in the config's templater.assets.match) will be copied over to the static directory.

  • For some filetypes, such as images, this means they can also be optimized.
    • TODO: Impliment asset stream hooking
new Lance {
        findIn: './views'
        saveTo: './static'
        true by default, this causes `assets` to keep their directory structure inside the saveTo folder.
        preserveDirectory: true
            # destination : source 
            "style.css" : "style.styl"
            "app.js" : ""

The result is that the static directory will always have only what you want to make public, in one place, with a directory structure that will mirror your views.


Cloned via the github repo, tests are manual in nature at the moment. Due to the complexity of a web server, they consist of scenarios for which must be manually tested and interacted with in the browser, currently.

All dependencies have unit tests.

Upgrading from 1.x.x

  • Replacements
    • clone.merge.hard to clone
    • clone.merge to clone
    • slugify to format.slugify
  • Removals
    • toArray
    • helpers.promisify helpers.*
      / /___ _____  ________  
     / / __ `/ __ \/ ___/ _ \ 
    / / /_/ / / / / /__/  __/ 
   /_/\__/_/_/ /_/\___/\___/  




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