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voie

0.7.0 • Public • Published

Voie.js

Voie /vwa/ (fr. "way") is a simple router / layout manager for Vue.js. Use it to build SPAs of your dreams.

Current status: active development — any feedback is appreciated.

Simple example app is available on GitHub and live on Netlify.

Standalone bundles are also available, mostly for using with jsfiddle, jsbin, codepen, etc. (note, Vue.js is not included in bundles).

You should never use them in real development — use module bundlers instead.

Core concepts

Unlike official vue-router which is organized around URLs, Voie is organized around states. Voie-based apps are basically finite-state machines.

State is simply a named logical "place" within your application.

Each state can optionally have:

  • URL pattern
  • Vue component
  • enter hook to populate state with data
  • leave hook to cleanup things

States are organized into hierarchies: child states will inherit parameters and data from parent state. Also, if child state has a component, then it will be rendered at the location specified by parent (or nearest ancestor) state denoted by <v-view> directive.

Consider this example:

app.add('user', {
  path: '/user/:userId',
  redirect: 'user.dashboard',   // specify "default" sub-state
  enter: (ctx) => {             // can return a Promise
    return fetch('/user/' + ctx.params.userId)
      .then(res => res.json())
      .then(data = ctx.data.user = data);
  },
  component: {
    template: '<div class="user-layout"><v-view></v-view></div>'
  }
});
 
app.add('user.dashboard', {
  component: {
    template: '<h1>Hello, {{ user.name }}!</h1>'
  }
});

In this example visiting /user/123 would fetch a user with id 123 from a server and then render following markup (assuming user has name "Alice"):

<div class="user-layout">
  <h1>Hello, Alice!</h1>
</div>

Note: fragment instances are not supported as components. In other words, make sure all components contain a single top-level element without flow control directives (v-if, v-for, etc.)

Installation

Examples assume ES6 and build environment (browserify + babelify or webpack + babel-loader) which is a mainstream.

npm i --save voie

You also need an es6-shim to make everything go smooth in not-so-modern browsers.

Usage

State manager

Voie app is an instance of StateManager. You provide it with el, which is an "entry-point" DOM node where views will be entered.

import { StateManager } from 'voie'
 
export default new StateManager({
  el: '#app'    // entry point, either a selector or HTMLElement
});

It is a good idea to expose state manager instance as a singleton module (i.e. single instance per application) since you will often want to use it in your Vue methods and stores.

Define states

Next thing you want to do is to register some states. Your app will probably contain plenty of states, so you'll need some structure. I prefer "domain-centric" directory structure:

// states.js
import './users';
import './groups';
// ...
// users/index.js
import app from '../app';
import UsersLayout from './layout.vue';
import UsersList from './list.vue';
 
app.add('users', {
  component: UsersLayout
  ...
});
app.add('users.list', {
  component: UsersList,
  ...
});
app.add('users.create', { ... });
app.add('user', { ... });
app.add('user.view', { ... });
app.add('user.edit', { ... });
app.add('user.delete', { ... });
// groups/index.js
import app from '../app';
 
app.add('groups', { ... });
// ...

Structuring apps is a matter of preference, so you are free to choose whatever suits you best.

Running

Finally, run your state manager like this:

// index.js
import app from './app';
import './states';
 
app.start();

It will begin listening for history events and match-and-render current route.

More usage

States hierarchy

States are automatically organized into a tree-like structure. Each state will have a single parent state. "Root" states would have a null parent

There are two ways of specifying a parent:

  • using dot character . in state name (e.g. user -> user.transaction -> user.transaction.details)

  • explicitly using parent configuration parameter:

    app.add('users', { ... });
    app.add('user', {
      parent: 'users'
    });

Each way has its own advantages, so it's usually OK to use both styles in the same app. Specifically, use qualified names to outline context (e.g. "User's profile page" would be user.profile) or entity-relationship (e.g. "User's transactions list would be user.transactions).

Specifying parent is handy in cases when you want to preserve concise and clean state name while being able to use a different layout or add some global "enter" hook on state subtree.

A typical example would be authentication/authorization:

app.add('root', { ... });
 
app.add('login', {
  parent: 'root',
  ...
});
 
app.add('authenticated', {
  parent: 'root',
  enter: ctx => {
    if (!UserService.isAuthenticated()) {
      return { redirect: 'login' };
    }
  }
});
 
app.add('users', {
  parent: 'authenticated',
  ...
});
 
app.add('groups', {
  parent: 'authenticated',
  ...
});
 

Navigating states

Use stateManager.go to navigate programmatically:

stateManager.go({
  name: 'user.dashboard',
  params: {
    userId: '123'
  }
});

In templates you can use v-link directive with the same semantics:

<a v-link="{ name: 'user.dashboard', params: { userId: 123 } }">
  Dashboard
</a>

In addition to invoking stateManager.go it will also update the href attribute and apply an active class if current state "includes" the state specified by link.

Active class name can be customised globally:

new StateManager({
  el: '#el',
  activeClass: 'highlighted'
});

Enter / leave

State can optionally define enter and leave hooks which are functions that accept state context object.

State context contains:

  • params — a hash of string parameters matched from URL pattern, specified explicitly via stateManager.go(...) and inherited from parent context
  • data — object where you can write data to be exposed to Vue component and inherited states
  • stateState object to which this context corresponds
  • parent — parent context of this object

Typical enter hook will use params to fetch or prepare some data and expose it via data object.

Both enter and leave can return a Promise, which makes hooks asynchronous. In case of enter the component will only be entered when promise is resolved.

Example:

{
  enter: (ctx) => UserService.findByEmail(ctx.params.email)
    .then(user => ctx.data.user = user)
}

Before each / after each

Additionally one can configure global beforeEach and afterEach hooks that will be applied before enter hooks and after leave hook on each state respectively.

Global hooks are configured on StateManager:

new StateManager({
 
  beforeEach(ctx) {
    if (ctx.state.name === 'private') {
      return { redirect: 'not_allowed' };
    }
  }
 
});

Redirecting

Enter can optionally redirect to another state by returning (or resolving via promise) an object like this: { redirect: 'state.name' } or { redirect: { name: 'state.name', params: {} }.

When redirect is returned by enter hook the transition will always redirect whenever it enters specified state (even if this state was not a destination).

Redirect can also be specified at state configuration level:

app.add('users', {
  redirect: 'users.list',
  // or with params
  redirect: {
    name: 'users.list',
    params: { sort: '+name' }
  },
  // or even function Transition => Promise(stateName)
  redirect: (transition) => {
    transition.params.sort = '+name';
    return Promise.resolve('users.list');
  }
});

When redirect is specified as state configuration option it will only be effective when moving specifically to this state (in other words, no redirect occurs when transitioning through this state to another one).

State transitions

Consider following components hierarchy:

  A
/   \
B   D
|   |
C   E

Going from C to E implies:

  • leaving state C
  • leaving state B
  • entering state D
  • entering state E

By "leaving" we mean:

  • executing leave hook
  • destroying Vue component, if any
  • restoring the original state of <v-view> element where the component was rendered

By "entering" we mean:

  • preparing new context
  • executing enter hook
  • rendering Vue component, if any
  • preserving the original state of <v-view> so that it could later be restored

Parameters

Each state has a specification of parameters it can accept when entered. Mandatory parameters (e.g. userId for state user) are classically specified in pathname (e.g. /user/28). Optional parameters (e.g. page, limit for lists) are usually specified in querystring (e.g. /users?page=5&limit=100).

Here's how you define both parameter types when registering states:

app.add('user', {
  path: '/user/:userId',   // userId param is mandatory
  params: {
    section: null,        // these are optional
    collapsed: false      // with optional default values
  }
});

Both querystring and pathname parameters are accessible in ctx.params object which is exposed both to enter hook and components.

Example:

location.href = '/user/123?section=profile&collapsed=true';
app.context.params
// { userId: '123', section: 'profile', collapsed: 'true' }

Note: Voie doesn't do any type conversion on params, so they are returned as strings.

When navigating between states specify parameters in go (or v-link):

app.go({
  name: 'user',
  params: {
    userId: '123',
    section: 'profile',
    unknown: 'wut?'     // Important, this will be dropped!
  }
});

Note: params must be listed explicitly when registering states, all other parameters will be dropped. In the example above parameter unknown is not specified in path or params of user state (or its ancestors), so it's not part of user state spec and, therefore, will not be accessible in ctx.params.

History

A common need for any web application is to update browser URL upon navigating to a state with URL mapping, so that when the user presses "Refresh" application loads the most recent state (not the "start" screen). Decent SPAs would also have Back/Forward buttons working as expected. We refer to these features as "history support".

Now there's two ways of implementing history support in your application:

  • hash (uncool, but fairly simple) — state will be maintained using hash portions of URL (e.g. https://myapp/#user/1/transactions)

  • HTML5 (cool, a bit more complex) — state will be maintained using pathname portion of URL (e.g. https://myapp/user/1/transactions)

HTML5 history requires server-side setup: server must reply with the same HTML wrapper to all URLs used by your application.

HTML5 server setup example

Here's an example Express server:

import express from 'express';
 
let app = express();
 
// Allow using static resources with `/static` prefix
app.use('/static', express.static('static'));
 
// Serve application data with `/~` prefix
app.use('/~', appDataRouter);
 
// Serve SPA entry-point HTML to all other routes
app.get('/*', (req, res) => res.sendFile('app.html'))

This example shows potential gotchas: since app.html will be served for all GET requests, in order to serve other resources (e.g. static or compiled assets, scripts, stylesheets, application data, etc.) you'll need separate prefixes. Without these prefixes it won't be easy to configure your front web server (nginx or Apache) for production.

History setup

Voie uses awesome history to provide apps with history support. HTML5 mode is used by default.

Here's how to switch to hash-history (you need to install history):

// app.js
import { StateManager } from 'voie';
import { createHashHistory } from 'history';
 
export default new StateManager({
  el: '#app',
  history: createHashHistory()
});

See history docs for more options.

Base URL

It's a bit easier to setup servers using "base" URL for your app, e.g.:

app.get('/app*', (req, res) => res.sendFile('app.html')) 

In this case all you need to do is to add <base href="/app"/> inside the <head> of your HTML wrapper.

Or you can just specify base configuration parameter (it's only used when history is not present):

// app.js
import { StateManager } from 'voie';
 
export default new StateManager({
  el: '#app',
  base: '/app'
});

More docs

Voie is in active development, so more docs are coming soon.

License (ISC)

Copyright (c) 2015-2016, Boris Okunskiy boris@okunskiy.name

Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

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npm i voie

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0.7.0

license

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