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Sideline, a CoffeeScript shell for your server

Use Sideline in development to troubleshoot bugs, munge data, live-edit functions, test code snippets.

Connect Sideline over SSH to troubleshoot production instance.

Run Sideline in standalone mode and use model objects to mess with the database.

Sideline talks CoffeeScript.

Add a shell to your Web server

With Express you could:

Sideline = require("sideline")

server.configure "development", ->
  Sideline.using(server: server).listen()

Connect to the running server and do stuff:

$ sideline
> server.settings.env
> (r)-> r.path
[ '/signin', '/signup', '/v1/push', '/upload' ]
> server.settings.cache = false

Things you will always find in the global scope:


The _ property hold the result of the last statement.

Use sideline.using() to add more properties to the global scope.

Edit code snippets with the scratchpad

The .edit command opens a text editor, and runs the code when you’re done:

$ sideline
> .show

> .edit
> .show
c = "foo:bar:baz"

Use .show to see the contents of the scratchpad.

You can also use .edit and .show to edit functions:

$ sideline
> .show = ->
> .edit
> .show = ->

Sideline uses the editor from the SIDELINE_EDITOR or EDITOR environment variable.

For example, for Vim you would want to use: vim --nofork -c "set syntax=coffee".

See more commands by typing .help.

For example, try this:

$ sideline --self
> .expand require("./lib/sideline")

Add an application shell

You can run Sideline as standalone shell by connecting to itself:

#!/usr/bin/env coffee
app = require("config/app")
Sideline = require("sideline")
Sideline.using(app: app).connect()

Sideline defaults to port 1973, but when used in this way will upgrade to port 1974.

Or use the --self command line option:

$ sideline --self
Sideline listening on port 1974
Sideline client connected from

Teleporting into production

Use your SSH access to tunnel into production instance:

$ ssh -f -L 1973:localhost:1973 -N
$ sideline


Sideline is copyright of Assaf Arkin, released under the MIT License