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Programming language: Haskell
License: MIT License
Tags: Web     Herringbone    

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herringbone is a Haskell library for compiling and serving web assets. It aims to make it dead simple to create a 'Network.Wai.Middleware' or 'Network.Wai.Application' which deals with all of your static assets, including preprocessing for languages like Fay, CoffeeScript, Sass, and LESS.

It takes most of its inspiration from the Ruby library, Sprockets, hence the name.



How to use it

Suppose you're building a web application, and you have an assets directory, like this:


You want CSS, JavaScript, and jpg files to be served as-is, but you want to compile Sass into CSS, and Haskell into JavaScript (let's say via Fay) before serving it. Additionally you want to be able to edit any of these files, hit refresh in your browser, and immediately get the new version. Finally, when it's time to deploy your application, you want to compile all the assets before you start servicing requests. Herringbone can handle all of this for you.

Start by creating a Herringbone, which holds configuration data, such as the source directory to search for assets in, the destination directory to place compiled assets into.

{-# LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings #-}
import Web.Herringbone
import Web.Herringbone.Preprocessor.Sass (sass)
import Web.Herringbone.Preprocessor.Fay (fay)

hb' = IO Herringbone
hb' = herringbone
    ( setSourceDir "assets"
    . setDestDir   "compiled_assets"
    . setPreprocessors [fay, sass]

All assets in Herringbone are referenced by their logical path, which is a relative path to the asset from the source directory. Logical paths are represented as [Text], where each element in the list represents a path segment. So, for example, if you wanted to get js/jquery.js, you could do:

example1 :: IO ()
example1 = do
    hb <- hb'
    let path = unsafeMakeLogicalPath ["js", "jquery.js"]

(Using unsafeMakeLogicalPath is ok in this context; the safe version is only there to make sure there are no .. in the path, to prevent people requesting ../../../../etc/passwd, for example.)

You can now access assets using findAsset:

    asset <- findAsset hb path
    print . assetSize $ asset           -- file size, in bytes
    print . assetSourcePath $ asset     -- full source path on disk
    print . assetFilePath $ asset       -- full destination path on disk
    print . assetModifiedTime $ asset   -- modification time
    print =<< assetContent asset        -- the contents of the file

But you probably want to use an adapter, like the one for Wai, so that you can access assets over HTTP:

serveAssets :: IO ()
serveAssets = do
    hb <- hb'
    Network.Wai.Handler.Warp.run 3000 (toApplication hb)

Preprocessors work on files based on their filenames. Each preprocessor contains information about the kinds of files it consumes and produces. When a request comes in for js/Main.js, Herringbone will match up the Fay preprocessor with js/Main.hs to serve the correct file.

You can create your own preprocessors; for example, here is one that puts the date on the second line of a HTML5 Application Cache manifest:

{-# LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings #-}
import Data.Time
import Data.Monoid
import qualified Data.ByteString.Char8 as B
import Control.Monad.IO.Class
import System.Locale
import Web.Herringbone

myPP :: PP
myPP = PP { ppName = "my preprocessor"
          , ppConsumes = ".manifestWithDate"
          , ppProduces = ".manifest"
          , ppAction = insertDate
    insertDate string = do
        datetime <- liftIO getCurrentTime
        let commentLine = "# " <> showTime datetime
        let result = B.unlines . insertAt2 commentLine . B.lines $ string
        return . Right $ result
    showTime = B.pack . formatTime defaultTimeLocale
                            (dateTimeFmt defaultTimeLocale)
    insertAt2 y (x:xs) = x : y : xs
    insertAt2 _ []     = error "oops"

Herringbone defines a data type for preprocessor actions: PPM. It has typeclass instances to allow you to perform arbitrary IO actions, and also to obtain information about the asset and the Herringbone that is being used to compile it.

Once you're ready to deploy your app, use precompile to compile all of your assets in one go:

main :: IO ()
main = do
    hb <- hb'
    errors <- precompile hb
    when (not . null $ errors) $ do
        putStrLn "warning: compilation errors:"
        mapM_ (print . show) errors


Alternatively you can use the herringbone-embed package to embed all of your assets into your executable with Template Haskell:

import Web.Herringbone.Embed

assets :: [(LogicalPath, ByteString)]
assets = $(embedAssets hb')

main :: IO ()
main = do
    serveYourAppWithAssets assets

For more information, go and look at the documentation on Hackage!