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local-web-server

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Requires node v7.6 or above. Upgraders, please read the release notes.

local-web-server

The modular web server for productive full-stack development, powered by lws.

Use this tool to:

  • Build any flavour of web application (static site, dynamic site with client or server-rendered content, Single Page App, Progessive Web App, Angular or React app etc.)
  • Prototype any CORS-enabled back-end service (e.g. RESTful HTTP API or Microservice using websockets, Server Sent Events etc.)
  • Monitor activity, analyse performance, experiment with caching strategies etc.
  • Build your own, personalised CLI web server tool

Features:

  • Modular, extensible and easy to personalise. Create, share and consume only plugins which match your requirements.
  • Powerful, extensible command-line interface (add your own commands and options)
  • HTTP, HTTPS and experimental HTTP2 support
  • URL Rewriting to local or remote destinations
  • Single Page Application support
  • Response mocking
  • Configurable access log
  • Route blacklisting
  • HTTP Conditional Request support
  • Gzip response compression, HTTP Basic Authentication and much more

Synopsis

This package installs the ws command-line tool (take a look at the usage guide).

Static web site

The most simple use case is to run ws without any arguments - this will host the current directory as a static web site. Navigating to the server will render a directory listing or your index.html, if that file exists.

$ ws
Serving at http://mbp.local:8000, http://127.0.0.1:8000, http://192.168.0.100:8000

Single Page Application

Serving a Single Page Application (an app with client-side routing, e.g. a React or Angular app) is as trivial as specifying the name of your single page:

$ ws --spa index.html
Serving at http://mbp.local:8000, http://127.0.0.1:8000, http://192.168.0.100:8000

By default, requests for typical SPA paths (e.g. /user/1, /login) return 404 Not Found as a file at that location does not exist. By marking index.html as the SPA you create this rule:

If a static file is requested (e.g. /css/style.css) then serve it, if not (e.g. /login) then serve the specified SPA and handle the route client-side.

Read more.

URL rewriting and proxied requests

Another common use case is to re-route certain requests to a remote server if, for example, you'd like to use data from a different environment. The following command would proxy requests with a URL beginning with http://127.0.0.1:8000/api/ to https://internal-service.local/api/:

$ ws --rewrite '/api/* -> https://internal-service.local/api/$1'
Serving at http://mbp.local:8000, http://127.0.0.1:8000, http://192.168.0.100:8000

Mock responses

Imagine the network is down or you're working offline, proxied requests to https://internal-service.local/api/users/1 would fail. In this case, Mock Responses can fill the gap. Mocks are defined in a module which can be reused between projects.

Trivial example - respond to a request for /rivers with some JSON. Save the following Javascript in a file named example-mocks.js.

module.exports = MockBase => class MockRivers extends MockBase {
  mocks () {
    return {
      route: '/rivers',
      responses: [
        {
          response: {
            type: 'json',
            body: [
              { name: 'Volga', drainsInto: 'Caspian Sea' },
              { name: 'Danube', drainsInto: 'Black Sea' },
              { name: 'Ural', drainsInto: 'Caspian Sea' },
              { name: 'Dnieper', drainsInto: 'Black Sea' }
            ]
          }
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

Launch ws passing in your mocks module.

$ ws --mocks example-mocks.js
Serving at http://mbp.local:8000, http://127.0.0.1:8000, http://192.168.0.100:8000

GET your rivers.

$ curl http://127.0.0.1:8000/rivers
[
  {
    "name""Volga",
    "drainsInto""Caspian Sea"
  },
  {
    "name""Danube",
    "drainsInto""Black Sea"
  },
  {
    "name""Ural",
    "drainsInto""Caspian Sea"
  },
  {
    "name""Dnieper",
    "drainsInto""Black Sea"
  }
]

More detail can be added to mocks. This example, a RESTful /users API, adds responses handling PUT, DELETE and POST.

const users = [
  { id: 1, name: 'Lloyd', age: 40 },
  { id: 2, name: 'Mona', age: 34 },
  { id: 3, name: 'Francesco', age: 24 }
]
 
module.exports = MockBase => class MockUsers extends MockBase {
  mocks () {
    /* response mocks for /users */
    return [
      {
        route: '/users',
        responses: [
          /* Respond with 400 Bad Request for PUT and DELETE requests (inappropriate on a collection) */
          { request: { method: 'PUT' }, response: { status: 400 } },
          { request: { method: 'DELETE' }, response: { status: 400 } },
          {
            /* for GET requests return the collection */
            request: { method: 'GET' },
            response: { type: 'json', body: users }
          },
          {
            /* for POST requests, create a new user and return its location */
            request: { method: 'POST' },
            response: function (ctx) {
              const newUser = ctx.request.body
              users.push(newUser)
              newUser.id = users.length
              ctx.status = 201
              ctx.response.set('Location', `/users/${newUser.id}`)
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    ]
  }
}

Launch ws passing in your mocks module:

$ ws --mocks example-mocks.js
Serving at http://mbp.local:8000, http://127.0.0.1:8000, http://192.168.0.100:8000

Test your mock responses. A POST request should return a 201 with an empty body and the Location of the new resource.

$ curl http://127.0.0.1:8000/users -H 'Content-type: application/json' -d '{ "name": "Anthony" }' -i
HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Vary: Origin
Location: /users/4
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 7
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:31:19 GMT
Connection: keep-alive
 
Created

A GET to /users should return our mock user data, including the record just added.

$ curl http://127.0.0.1:8000/users
[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "name""Lloyd",
    "age": 40
  },
  {
    "id": 2,
    "name""Mona",
    "age": 34
  },
  {
    "id": 3,
    "name""Francesco",
    "age": 24
  },
  {
    "id": 4,
    "name""Anthony"
  }

See the tutorials for more information and examples about mock responses.

HTTPS

Launching a secure server is as simple as setting the --https flag. See the wiki for further configuration options and a guide on how to get the "green padlock" in your browser.

$ ws --https
Serving at https://mbp.local:8000, https://127.0.0.1:8000, https://192.168.0.100:8000

Further Documentation

See the wiki for plenty more documentation and tutorials.

Install

Requires node v7.6 or above. Install the previous release for node >= v4.0.0.

$ npm install -g local-web-server

© 2013-17 Lloyd Brookes 75pound@gmail.com. Documented by jsdoc-to-markdown.