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update page markup when a leveldb database changes


First render some html into a container element with data-start and data-end attributes with the db.createReadStream() start and end parameters that you want to live update:

var http = require('http');
var through = require('through');
var browserify = require('browserify');
var liver = require('liver');
var level = require('level');
var db = level('/tmp/simplest.db', { encoding: 'json' });
var render = require('./render.js');
var server = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
    if (req.url === '/bundle.js') {
        return browserify('browser.js').bundle().pipe(res);
    var params = { start: 'cat!', end: 'cat!\uffff' };
        + '<div data-start="' + params.start + ''
        + 'data-end="' + params.end + '">\n'
    db.createReadStream(params).pipe(through(write, end)).pipe(res);
    function write (row) { this.queue(render(row).outerHTML + '\n') }
    function end () {
        this.queue('</div><script src="bundle.js"></script></body></html>\n');
var shoe = require('shoe');
var sock = shoe(function (stream) { stream.pipe(liver(db)).pipe(stream) });
sock.install(server, '/sock');

Next write a rendering function to share between node and the browser that will take a row from the database as input and produce html elements as output:

var h = require('hyperscript');
module.exports = function (row) {
    return h('', { 'data-key': row.key },;

At this point we can get some html out of our server and rendering function:

$ curl localhost:5000
<html><body><div data-start="cat!" data-end="cat!￿">
<div class="cat" data-key="cat!athena">Athena</div>
<div class="cat" data-key="cat!mr-whiskers">Mr. Whiskers</div>
<div class="cat" data-key="cat!rex">Rex</div>
<div class="cat" data-key="cat!sir-tibbles">Sir Tibbles</div>
</div><script src="bundle.js"></script></body></html>

Finally we can wire up a liver instance that will emit a 'feed' event for every data-{start,end} container element found on the page. liver sets up a level-livefeed using multilevel. Here's the browser code:

var liver = require('liver');
var shoe = require('shoe');
var render = require('./render.js');
var live = liver(function (feed) {
    feed.on('data', function (row) {
        var ex = feed.query(row.key);
        if (ex) feed.element.removeChild(ex);
        if (row.type !== 'del') {
live.pipe(shoe('/sock')).pipe(live); = live; // so you can debug in your browser 

Now open multiple browser windows up to http://localhost:5000 and in a debugger, type:

live.put('cat!cylon', { name: 'Cylon' })

to create a new cat entry. Do:

live.put('cat!mr-whiskers', { name: 'MR WHISK' })

to update an existing entry. Finally you can do:


to delete an existing entry. All the connected browsers automatically update and the changes are persisted into leveldb! Your server can also write to the database with ordinary db.put() calls and browsers will see the updates automatically.

The API is the same as leveldown thanks to multilevel.

Check out the lists/ example for an example of using hyperstream to handle the shared rendering in a different way.


var liver = require('liver')

server methods

liver(db, opts)

Return a duplex multilevel server rpc stream to wire up to the browser over a web socket.

The opts are passed directly to multilevel.

You can use the opts parameter to configure authentication and access functions.

browser mthods

var live = liver(rootElement=document, cb)

The rootElement specifies where elements with data-start and data-end attributes will be searched for. rootElement defaults to document if not provided.

If cb(feed) is given, it will be set up as a listener on the 'feed' event.

live.get(), live.put(), live.del(), live.createReadStream()

These methods are passed through from the multilevel handle.

browser events

live.on('feed', function (feed) {})

When an element with a data-start attribute is found on the page, this event fires with feed, a readable livefeed stream that outputs live row data for every key in the range given by data-start through data-end.

feed also contains:

  • feed.start - the start key
  • feed.end - the end key
  • feed.element - the container element with the data-* attributes
  • feed.query(key) - return the data-key element for the string key


With npm do:

npm install liver