Matthew Daly's Blog

I'm a web developer in Norfolk. This is my blog...

18th April 2015 3:05 pm

How I Added Search to My Site With Lunr.js

As I mentioned a while back, I recently switched the search on my site from Google’s site-specific search to Lunr.js. Since my site is built with a static site generator, I can’t implement search using database queries, and I was keen to have an integrated search method that would be fast and not require server-side scripting, and Lunr.js seemed to fit the bill.

The first task in implementing it was to generate the index. As I wrote the Grunt task that generates the blog, I amended that task to generate an index at the same time as I generated the posts. I installed Lunr.js with the following command:

npm install lunr --save

I then imported it in the task, and set up the field names:

var lunr = require('lunr');
searchIndex = lunr(function () {
this.field('title', { boost: 10 });
this.field('body');
this.ref('href');
});

This defined fields for the title, body, and hyperlink, and set the hyperlink as the reference. The variable searchIndex represents the Lunr index.

Next, I looped through the posts, and passed the appropriate details to be added to the index:

for (post in post_items) {
var doc = {
'title': post_items[post].meta.title,
'body': post_items[post].post.rawcontent,
'href': post_items[post].path
};
store[doc.href] = {
'title': doc.title
};
searchIndex.add(doc);
}

At this point, post_items represents an array of objects, with each object representing a blog post. Note that the body field is set to the value of the item’s attribute post.rawcontent, which represents the raw Markdown rather than the compiled HTML.

I then store the title in the store object, so that it can be accessed using the href field as a key.

I then do the same thing when generating the pages:

// Add them to the index
var doc = {
'title': data.meta.title,
'body': data.post.rawcontent,
'href': permalink + '/'
};
store[doc.href] = {
'title': data.meta.title
};
searchIndex.add(doc);

Note that this is already inside the loop that generates the pages, so I don’t include that.

We then write the index to a file:

// Write index
grunt.file.write(options.www.dest + '/lunr.json', JSON.stringify({
index: searchIndex.toJSON(),
store: store
}));

That takes care of generating our index, but we need to implement some client-side code to handle the search. We need to include Lunr.js on the client side as well, (I recommend using Bower to do so), alongside jQuery. If you include both, the following code should do the trick:

$(document).ready(function () {
'use strict';
// Set up search
var index, store;
$.getJSON('/lunr.json', function (response) {
// Create index
index = lunr.Index.load(response.index);
// Create store
store = response.store;
// Handle search
$('input#search').on('keyup', function () {
// Get query
var query = $(this).val();
// Search for it
var result = index.search(query);
// Output it
var resultdiv = $('ul.searchresults');
if (result.length === 0) {
// Hide results
resultdiv.hide();
} else {
// Show results
resultdiv.empty();
for (var item in result) {
var ref = result[item].ref;
var searchitem = '<li><a href="' + ref + '">' + store[ref].title + '</a></li>';
resultdiv.append(searchitem);
}
resultdiv.show();
}
});
});
});

This should be easy to understand. On load, we fetch and parse the lunr.json file from the server, and load the index. We then set up an event handler for the keyup event on an input with the ID of search. We get the value of the input, and query our index, and we loop through our results and display them.

I was pleased with how straightforward it was to implement search with Lunr.js, and it works well. It’s also a lot faster than any server-side solution since the index is generated during the build process, and is loaded with the rest of the site, so the only factor in the speed of the response is how quick your browser executes JavaScript. You could probably also use it with a Node.js application by generating the index dynamically, although you’d probably want to cache it to some extent.

4th April 2015 1:47 am

Adding a New Search Engine to My Site

I’ve just finished implementing a new search engine for this site. Obviously, with it using a static site generator, searching a relational database isn’t an option. For a long while I’d just been getting by with Google’s site-specific search, which worked, but meant leaving the site to view the search results.

Now, I’ve implemented a client-side search system using Lunr.js. It wasn’t too time consuming, and as the index is generated with the rest of the site and loaded with the page, the response is almost instantaneous. I may write a future blog post on how to integrate Lunr.js with your site, as it’s very handy and is an ideal solution for implementing search on a static site.

2nd March 2015 11:25 pm

Syntax Highlighting in Fenced Code Blocks in Vim

Just thought I’d share a little trick I picked up recently. As you may know, GitHub flavoured Markdown (which I use for this blog) supports fenced code blocks, allowing you to specify a language for a block of code in a Markdown file.

If you put the following code in your .vimrc, you can get syntax highlighting in those code blocks when you open up a Markdown file in Vim:

"Syntax highlighting in Markdown
au BufNewFile,BufReadPost *.md set filetype=markdown
let g:markdown_fenced_languages = ['bash=sh', 'css', 'django', 'handlebars', 'javascript', 'js=javascript', 'json=javascript', 'perl', 'php', 'python', 'ruby', 'sass', 'xml', 'html']

This does depend on having the appropriate syntax files installed. However, you can easily add in syntax files for many other languages that Vim supports, and there are third-party ones available to install - in my case, I’ve got the handlebars one installed, which doesn’t come with Vim.

2nd March 2015 11:03 pm

Extending Our Node.js and Redis Chat Server

In this tutorial, we’re going to extend the chat system we built in the first tutorial to include the following functionality:

  • Persisting the data
  • Prompting users to sign in and storing their details in a Redis-backed session

In the process, we’ll pick up a bit more about using Redis.

Persistence

Our first task is to make our messages persist when the session ends. Now, in order to do this, we’re going to use a list. A list in Redis can be thought of as equivalent to an array or list in most programming languages, and can be retrieved by passing the key in a similar fashion to how you would retrieve a string.

As usual, we will write our test first. Open up test/test.js and replace the test for sending a message with this:

// Test sending a message
describe('Test sending a message', function () {
it("should return 'Message received'", function (done) {
// Connect to server
var socket = io.connect('http://localhost:5000', {
'reconnection delay' : 0,
'reopen delay' : 0,
'force new connection' : true
});
// Handle the message being received
socket.on('message', function (data) {
expect(data).to.include('Message received');
client.lrange('chat:messages', 0, -1, function (err, messages) {
// Check message has been persisted
var message_list = [];
messages.forEach(function (message, i) {
message_list.push(message);
});
expect(message_list[0]).to.include('Message received');
// Finish up
socket.disconnect();
done();
});
});
// Send the message
socket.emit('send', { message: 'Message received' });
});
});

The main difference here is that we use our Redis client to get the list chat:messages, and check to see if our message appears in it. Now, let’s run our test to ensure it fails:

$ npm test
> babblr@1.0.0 test /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr
> grunt test --verbose
Initializing
Command-line options: --verbose
Reading "Gruntfile.js" Gruntfile...OK
Registering Gruntfile tasks.
Initializing config...OK
Registering "grunt-contrib-jshint" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Loading "jshint.js" tasks...OK
+ jshint
Registering "grunt-coveralls" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Loading "coverallsTask.js" tasks...OK
+ coveralls
Registering "grunt-mocha-istanbul" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Loading "index.js" tasks...OK
+ istanbul_check_coverage, mocha_istanbul
Loading "Gruntfile.js" tasks...OK
+ test
Running tasks: test
Running "test" task
Running "jshint" task
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
Verifying property jshint.all exists in config...OK
Files: test/test.js, index.js -> all
Options: force=false, reporterOutput=null
OK
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
Verifying property mocha_istanbul.coverage exists in config...OK
Files: test
Options: require=[], ui=false, globals=[], reporter=false, timeout=false, coverage=false, slow=false, grep=false, dryRun=false, quiet=false, recursive=false, mask="*.js", root=false, print=false, noColors=false, harmony=false, coverageFolder="coverage", reportFormats=["cobertura","html","lcovonly"], check={"statements":false,"lines":false,"functions":false,"branches":false}, excludes=false, mochaOptions=false, istanbulOptions=false
>> Will execute: node /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/istanbul/lib/cli.js cover --dir=/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage --report=cobertura --report=html --report=lcovonly /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/mocha/bin/_mocha -- test/*.js
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (484ms)
Test sending a message
1) should return 'Message received'
Stopping the server
1 passing (552ms)
1 failing
1) server Test sending a message should return 'Message received':
Uncaught AssertionError: expected undefined to include 'Message received'
at /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/test/test.js:62:48
at try_callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/redis/index.js:592:9)
at RedisClient.return_reply (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/redis/index.js:685:13)
at HiredisReplyParser.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/redis/index.js:321:14)
at HiredisReplyParser.emit (events.js:95:17)
at HiredisReplyParser.execute (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/redis/lib/parser/hiredis.js:43:18)
at RedisClient.on_data (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/redis/index.js:547:27)
at Socket.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/redis/index.js:102:14)
at Socket.emit (events.js:95:17)
at Socket.<anonymous> (_stream_readable.js:765:14)
at Socket.emit (events.js:92:17)
at emitReadable_ (_stream_readable.js:427:10)
at emitReadable (_stream_readable.js:423:5)
at readableAddChunk (_stream_readable.js:166:9)
at Socket.Readable.push (_stream_readable.js:128:10)
at TCP.onread (net.js:529:21)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 96.97% ( 32/33 ), 5 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 6/6 ), 1 ignored
Functions : 80% ( 4/5 )
Lines : 96.97% ( 32/33 )
================================================================================
>>
Warning: Task "mocha_istanbul:coverage" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.
npm ERR! Test failed. See above for more details.
npm ERR! not ok code 0

Our test fails, so now we can start work on implementing the functionality we need. First of all, when a new message is sent, we need to push it to the list. Amend the new message handler in index.js to look like this:

// Handle new messages
io.sockets.on('connection', function (socket) {
// Subscribe to the Redis channel
subscribe.subscribe('ChatChannel');
// Handle incoming messages
socket.on('send', function (data) {
// Publish it
client.publish('ChatChannel', data.message);
// Persist it to a Redis list
client.rpush('chat:messages', 'Anonymous Coward : ' + data.message);
});
// Handle receiving messages
var callback = function (channel, data) {
socket.emit('message', data);
};
subscribe.on('message', callback);
// Handle disconnect
socket.on('disconnect', function () {
subscribe.removeListener('message', callback);
});
});

The only significant change is the Persist it to a Redis list section. Here we call the RPUSH command to push the current message to chat:messages. RPUSH pushes a message to the end of the list. There’s a similar command, LPUSH, which pushes an item to the beginning of the list, as well as LPOP and RPOP, which remove and return an item from the beginning and end of the list respectively.

Next we need to handle displaying the list when the main route loads. Replace the index route in index.js with this:

// Define index route
app.get('/', function (req, res) {
// Get messages
client.lrange('chat:messages', 0, -1, function (err, messages) {
/* istanbul ignore if */
if (err) {
console.log(err);
} else {
// Get messages
var message_list = [];
messages.forEach(function (message, i) {
/* istanbul ignore next */
message_list.push(message);
});
// Render page
res.render('index', { messages: message_list});
}
});
});

Here we use the client to return all messages in the list by using the LRANGE command and defining the slice as being from the start to the end of the list. We then loop through the mesages and push each to a list, before passing that list to the view.

Speaking of which, we also need to update views/index.hbs:

{{> header }}
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-8">
<div class="conversation">
{{#each messages}}
<p>{{this}}</p>
{{/each}}
</div>
</div>
<div class="col-md-4">
<form>
<div class="form-group">
<label for="message">Message</label>
<textarea class="form-control" id="message" rows="20"></textarea>
<a id="submitbutton" class="btn btn-primary form-control">Submit</a>
<div>
</form>
</div>
</div>
</div>
{{> footer }}

This just loops through the messages and prints each one in turn. Now let’s run our tests and make sure they pass:

$ npm test
> babblr@1.0.0 test /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr
> grunt test --verbose
Initializing
Command-line options: --verbose
Reading "Gruntfile.js" Gruntfile...OK
Registering Gruntfile tasks.
Initializing config...OK
Registering "grunt-contrib-jshint" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Loading "jshint.js" tasks...OK
+ jshint
Registering "grunt-coveralls" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Loading "coverallsTask.js" tasks...OK
+ coveralls
Registering "grunt-mocha-istanbul" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Loading "index.js" tasks...OK
+ istanbul_check_coverage, mocha_istanbul
Loading "Gruntfile.js" tasks...OK
+ test
Running tasks: test
Running "test" task
Running "jshint" task
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
Verifying property jshint.all exists in config...OK
Files: test/test.js, index.js -> all
Options: force=false, reporterOutput=null
OK
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
Verifying property mocha_istanbul.coverage exists in config...OK
Files: test
Options: require=[], ui=false, globals=[], reporter=false, timeout=false, coverage=false, slow=false, grep=false, dryRun=false, quiet=false, recursive=false, mask="*.js", root=false, print=false, noColors=false, harmony=false, coverageFolder="coverage", reportFormats=["cobertura","html","lcovonly"], check={"statements":false,"lines":false,"functions":false,"branches":false}, excludes=false, mochaOptions=false, istanbulOptions=false
>> Will execute: node /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/istanbul/lib/cli.js cover --dir=/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage --report=cobertura --report=html --report=lcovonly /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/mocha/bin/_mocha -- test/*.js
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (1262ms)
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (48ms)
Stopping the server
2 passing (2s)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 40/40 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 8/8 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 85.71% ( 6/7 )
Lines : 100% ( 40/40 )
================================================================================
>> Done. Check coverage folder.
Running "coveralls" task
Running "coveralls:app" (coveralls) task
Verifying property coveralls.app exists in config...OK
Files: coverage/lcov.info
Options: src="coverage/lcov.info", force=false
Submitting file to coveralls.io: coverage/lcov.info
>> Failed to submit 'coverage/lcov.info' to coveralls: Bad response: 422 {"message":"Couldn't find a repository matching this job.","error":true}
>> Failed to submit coverage results to coveralls
Warning: Task "coveralls:app" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.
npm ERR! Test failed. See above for more details.
npm ERR! not ok code 0

As before, don’t worry about Coveralls not working - it’s only an issue when it runs on Travis CI. If everything else is fine, our chat server should now persist our changes.

Sessions and user login

At present, it’s hard to carry on a conversation with someone using this site because you can’t see who is responding to you. We need to implement a mechanism to obtain a username for each user, store it in a session, and then use it to identify all of a user’s messages. In this case, we’re going to just prompt the user to enter a username of their choice, but if you wish, you can use something like Passport.js to allow authentication using third-party services - I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Now, Express doesn’t include any support for sessions out of the box, so we have to install some additional libraries:

$ npm install connect-redis express-session body-parser --save

The express-session library is middleware for Express that allows for storing and retrieving session variables, while connect-redis allows it to use Redis to store this data. We used body-parser for the URL shortener to process POST data, so we will use it again here. Now, we need to set it up. Replace the part of index.js before we set up the templating with this:

/*jslint node: true */
'use strict';
// Declare variables used
var app, base_url, client, express, hbs, io, port, RedisStore, rtg, session, subscribe;
// Define values
express = require('express');
app = express();
port = process.env.PORT || 5000;
base_url = process.env.BASE_URL || 'http://localhost:5000';
hbs = require('hbs');
session = require('express-session');
RedisStore = require('connect-redis')(session);
// Set up connection to Redis
/* istanbul ignore if */
if (process.env.REDISTOGO_URL) {
rtg = require('url').parse(process.env.REDISTOGO_URL);
client = require('redis').createClient(rtg.port, rtg.hostname);
subscribe = require('redis').createClient(rtg.port, rtg.hostname);
client.auth(rtg.auth.split(':')[1]);
subscribe.auth(rtg.auth.split(':')[1]);
} else {
client = require('redis').createClient();
subscribe = require('redis').createClient();
}
// Set up session
app.use(session({
store: new RedisStore({
client: client
}),
secret: 'blibble'
}));

This just sets up the session and configures it to use Redis as the back end. Don’t forget to change the value of secret.

Now, let’s plan out how our username system is going to work. If a user visits the site and there is no session set, then they should be redirected to a new route, /login. Here they will be prompted to enter a username. Once a satisfactory username (eg one or more characters) has been submitted via the form, it should be stored in the session and the user redirected to the index. There should also be a /logout route to destroy the session and redirect the user back to the login form.

First, let’s implement a test for fetching the login form in test/test.js:

// Test submitting to the login route
describe('Test submitting to the login route', function () {
it('should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index', function (done) {
request.post({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/login',
form:{username: 'bobsmith'},
followRedirect: false},
function (error, response, body) {
expect(response.headers.location).to.equal('/');
expect(response.statusCode).to.equal(302);
done();
});
});
});

This test sends a POST request containing the field username with the value bobsmith. We expect to be redirected to the index route.

Let’s run the test to make sure it fails:

$ npm test
> babblr@1.0.0 test /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr
> grunt test --verbose
Initializing
Command-line options: --verbose
Reading "Gruntfile.js" Gruntfile...OK
Registering Gruntfile tasks.
Initializing config...OK
Registering "grunt-contrib-jshint" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Loading "jshint.js" tasks...OK
+ jshint
Registering "grunt-coveralls" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Loading "coverallsTask.js" tasks...OK
+ coveralls
Registering "grunt-mocha-istanbul" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Loading "index.js" tasks...OK
+ istanbul_check_coverage, mocha_istanbul
Loading "Gruntfile.js" tasks...OK
+ test
Running tasks: test
Running "test" task
Running "jshint" task
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
Verifying property jshint.all exists in config...OK
Files: test/test.js, index.js -> all
Options: force=false, reporterOutput=null
OK
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
Verifying property mocha_istanbul.coverage exists in config...OK
Files: test
Options: require=[], ui=false, globals=[], reporter=false, timeout=false, coverage=false, slow=false, grep=false, dryRun=false, quiet=false, recursive=false, mask="*.js", root=false, print=false, noColors=false, harmony=false, coverageFolder="coverage", reportFormats=["cobertura","html","lcovonly"], check={"statements":false,"lines":false,"functions":false,"branches":false}, excludes=false, mochaOptions=false, istanbulOptions=false
>> Will execute: node /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/istanbul/lib/cli.js cover --dir=/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage --report=cobertura --report=html --report=lcovonly /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/mocha/bin/_mocha -- test/*.js
express-session deprecated undefined resave option; provide resave option index.js:9:1585
express-session deprecated undefined saveUninitialized option; provide saveUninitialized option index.js:9:1585
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (45ms)
Test the login route
✓ should return a page with the text Please enter a handle
Test submitting to the login route
1) should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (42ms)
Stopping the server
3 passing (122ms)
1 failing
1) server Test submitting to the login route should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index:
Uncaught AssertionError: expected undefined to equal '/'
at Request._callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/test/test.js:61:58)
at Request.self.callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:373:22)
at Request.emit (events.js:98:17)
at Request.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:1318:14)
at Request.emit (events.js:117:20)
at IncomingMessage.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:1266:12)
at IncomingMessage.emit (events.js:117:20)
at _stream_readable.js:944:16
at process._tickCallback (node.js:442:13)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 45/45 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 8/8 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 87.5% ( 7/8 )
Lines : 100% ( 45/45 )
================================================================================
>>
Warning: Task "mocha_istanbul:coverage" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.
npm ERR! Test failed. See above for more details.
npm ERR! not ok code 0

Now, all we need to do to make this test pass is create a view containing the form and define a route to display it. First, we’ll define our new route in index.js:

// Define login route
app.get('/login', function (req, res) {
// Render view
res.render('login');
});

Next, we’ll create our new template at views/login.hbs:

{{> header }}
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-12">
<form action="/login" method="POST">
<div class="form-group">
<label for="Username">Please enter a handle</label>
<input type="text" class="form-control" size="20" required id="username" name="username"></input>
<input type="submit" class="btn btn-primary form-control"></input>
<div>
</form>
</div>
</div>
</div>
{{> footer }}

Let’s run our tests and make sure they pass:

$ npm test
> babblr@1.0.0 test /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr
> grunt test --verbose
Initializing
Command-line options: --verbose
Reading "Gruntfile.js" Gruntfile...OK
Registering Gruntfile tasks.
Initializing config...OK
Registering "grunt-contrib-jshint" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Loading "jshint.js" tasks...OK
+ jshint
Registering "grunt-coveralls" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Loading "coverallsTask.js" tasks...OK
+ coveralls
Registering "grunt-mocha-istanbul" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Loading "index.js" tasks...OK
+ istanbul_check_coverage, mocha_istanbul
Loading "Gruntfile.js" tasks...OK
+ test
Running tasks: test
Running "test" task
Running "jshint" task
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
Verifying property jshint.all exists in config...OK
Files: test/test.js, index.js -> all
Options: force=false, reporterOutput=null
OK
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
Verifying property mocha_istanbul.coverage exists in config...OK
Files: test
Options: require=[], ui=false, globals=[], reporter=false, timeout=false, coverage=false, slow=false, grep=false, dryRun=false, quiet=false, recursive=false, mask="*.js", root=false, print=false, noColors=false, harmony=false, coverageFolder="coverage", reportFormats=["cobertura","html","lcovonly"], check={"statements":false,"lines":false,"functions":false,"branches":false}, excludes=false, mochaOptions=false, istanbulOptions=false
>> Will execute: node /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/istanbul/lib/cli.js cover --dir=/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage --report=cobertura --report=html --report=lcovonly /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/mocha/bin/_mocha -- test/*.js
express-session deprecated undefined resave option; provide resave option index.js:9:1585
express-session deprecated undefined saveUninitialized option; provide saveUninitialized option index.js:9:1585
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (64ms)
Test the login route
✓ should return a page with the text Please enter a handle
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (78ms)
Stopping the server
3 passing (179ms)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 45/45 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 8/8 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 87.5% ( 7/8 )
Lines : 100% ( 45/45 )
================================================================================
>> Done. Check coverage folder.
Running "coveralls" task
Running "coveralls:app" (coveralls) task
Verifying property coveralls.app exists in config...OK
Files: coverage/lcov.info
Options: src="coverage/lcov.info", force=false
Submitting file to coveralls.io: coverage/lcov.info
>> Failed to submit 'coverage/lcov.info' to coveralls: Bad response: 422 {"message":"Couldn't find a repository matching this job.","error":true}
>> Failed to submit coverage results to coveralls
Warning: Task "coveralls:app" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.
npm ERR! Test failed. See above for more details.
npm ERR! not ok code 0

Next, we need to process the submitted form, set the session, and redirect the user back to the index. First, let’s add another test:

// Test submitting to the login route
describe('Test submitting to the login route', function () {
it('should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index', function (done) {
request.post({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/login',
form:{username: 'bobsmith'},
followRedirect: false},
function (error, response, body) {
expect(response.headers.location).to.equal('http://localhost:5000');
expect(response.statusCode).to.equal(301);
done();
});
});
});

This test submits the username, and makes sure that the response received is a 301 redirect to the index route. Let’s check to make sure it fails:

$ npm test
> babblr@1.0.0 test /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr
> grunt test --verbose
Initializing
Command-line options: --verbose
Reading "Gruntfile.js" Gruntfile...OK
Registering Gruntfile tasks.
Initializing config...OK
Registering "grunt-contrib-jshint" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Loading "jshint.js" tasks...OK
+ jshint
Registering "grunt-coveralls" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Loading "coverallsTask.js" tasks...OK
+ coveralls
Registering "grunt-mocha-istanbul" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Loading "index.js" tasks...OK
+ istanbul_check_coverage, mocha_istanbul
Loading "Gruntfile.js" tasks...OK
+ test
Running tasks: test
Running "test" task
Running "jshint" task
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
Verifying property jshint.all exists in config...OK
Files: test/test.js, index.js -> all
Options: force=false, reporterOutput=null
OK
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
Verifying property mocha_istanbul.coverage exists in config...OK
Files: test
Options: require=[], ui=false, globals=[], reporter=false, timeout=false, coverage=false, slow=false, grep=false, dryRun=false, quiet=false, recursive=false, mask="*.js", root=false, print=false, noColors=false, harmony=false, coverageFolder="coverage", reportFormats=["cobertura","html","lcovonly"], check={"statements":false,"lines":false,"functions":false,"branches":false}, excludes=false, mochaOptions=false, istanbulOptions=false
>> Will execute: node /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/istanbul/lib/cli.js cover --dir=/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage --report=cobertura --report=html --report=lcovonly /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/mocha/bin/_mocha -- test/*.js
express-session deprecated undefined resave option; provide resave option index.js:9:1585
express-session deprecated undefined saveUninitialized option; provide saveUninitialized option index.js:9:1585
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (476ms)
Test the login route
✓ should return a page with the text Please enter a handle
Test submitting to the login route
1) should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (42ms)
Stopping the server
3 passing (557ms)
1 failing
1) server Test submitting to the login route should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index:
Uncaught AssertionError: expected undefined to equal 'http://localhost:5000'
at Request._callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/test/test.js:61:58)
at Request.self.callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:373:22)
at Request.emit (events.js:98:17)
at Request.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:1318:14)
at Request.emit (events.js:117:20)
at IncomingMessage.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:1266:12)
at IncomingMessage.emit (events.js:117:20)
at _stream_readable.js:944:16
at process._tickCallback (node.js:442:13)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 45/45 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 8/8 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 87.5% ( 7/8 )
Lines : 100% ( 45/45 )
================================================================================
>>
Warning: Task "mocha_istanbul:coverage" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.
npm ERR! Test failed. See above for more details.
npm ERR! not ok code 0

Now, in order to process POST data we’ll need to use body-parser. Amend the top of index.js to look like this::

/*jslint node: true */
'use strict';
// Declare variables used
var app, base_url, bodyParser, client, express, hbs, io, port, RedisStore, rtg, session, subscribe;
// Define values
express = require('express');
app = express();
bodyParser = require('body-parser');
port = process.env.PORT || 5000;
base_url = process.env.BASE_URL || 'http://localhost:5000';
hbs = require('hbs');
session = require('express-session');
RedisStore = require('connect-redis')(session);
// Set up connection to Redis
/* istanbul ignore if */
if (process.env.REDISTOGO_URL) {
rtg = require('url').parse(process.env.REDISTOGO_URL);
client = require('redis').createClient(rtg.port, rtg.hostname);
subscribe = require('redis').createClient(rtg.port, rtg.hostname);
client.auth(rtg.auth.split(':')[1]);
subscribe.auth(rtg.auth.split(':')[1]);
} else {
client = require('redis').createClient();
subscribe = require('redis').createClient();
}
// Set up session
app.use(session({
store: new RedisStore({
client: client
}),
secret: 'blibble'
}));
// Set up templating
app.set('views', __dirname + '/views');
app.set('view engine', "hbs");
app.engine('hbs', require('hbs').__express);
// Register partials
hbs.registerPartials(__dirname + '/views/partials');
// Set URL
app.set('base_url', base_url);
// Handle POST data
app.use(bodyParser.json());
app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({
extended: true
}));

Next, we define a POST route to handle the username input:

// Process login
app.post('/login', function (req, res) {
// Get username
var username = req.body.username;
// If username length is zero, reload the page
if (username.length === 0) {
res.render('login');
} else {
// Store username in session and redirect to index
req.session.username = username;
res.redirect('/');
}
});

This should be fairly straightforward. This route accepts a username parameter. If this parameter is not present, the user will see the login form again. Otherwise, they are redirected back to the index.

Now, if you check coverage/index.html after running the tests again, you’ll notice that there’s a gap in our coverage for the scenario when a user submits an empty username. Let’s fix that - add the following test to test/test.js:

// Test empty login
describe('Test empty login', function () {
it('should show the login form', function (done) {
request.post({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/login',
form:{username: ''},
followRedirect: false},
function (error, response, body) {
expect(response.statusCode).to.equal(200);
expect(body).to.include('Please enter a handle');
done();
});
});
});

Let’s run our tests again:

$ npm test
> babblr@1.0.0 test /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr
> grunt test --verbose
Initializing
Command-line options: --verbose
Reading "Gruntfile.js" Gruntfile...OK
Registering Gruntfile tasks.
Initializing config...OK
Registering "grunt-contrib-jshint" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-contrib-jshint/package.json...OK
Loading "jshint.js" tasks...OK
+ jshint
Registering "grunt-coveralls" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-coveralls/package.json...OK
Loading "coverallsTask.js" tasks...OK
+ coveralls
Registering "grunt-mocha-istanbul" local Npm module tasks.
Reading /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Parsing /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/grunt-mocha-istanbul/package.json...OK
Loading "index.js" tasks...OK
+ istanbul_check_coverage, mocha_istanbul
Loading "Gruntfile.js" tasks...OK
+ test
Running tasks: test
Running "test" task
Running "jshint" task
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
Verifying property jshint.all exists in config...OK
Files: test/test.js, index.js -> all
Options: force=false, reporterOutput=null
OK
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
Verifying property mocha_istanbul.coverage exists in config...OK
Files: test
Options: require=[], ui=false, globals=[], reporter=false, timeout=false, coverage=false, slow=false, grep=false, dryRun=false, quiet=false, recursive=false, mask="*.js", root=false, print=false, noColors=false, harmony=false, coverageFolder="coverage", reportFormats=["cobertura","html","lcovonly"], check={"statements":false,"lines":false,"functions":false,"branches":false}, excludes=false, mochaOptions=false, istanbulOptions=false
>> Will execute: node /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/istanbul/lib/cli.js cover --dir=/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage --report=cobertura --report=html --report=lcovonly /Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/mocha/bin/_mocha -- test/*.js
express-session deprecated undefined resave option; provide resave option index.js:9:1669
express-session deprecated undefined saveUninitialized option; provide saveUninitialized option index.js:9:1669
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (44ms)
Test the login route
✓ should return a page with the text Please enter a handle
Test submitting to the login route
✓ should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index
Test empty login
✓ should show the login form
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (41ms)
Stopping the server
5 passing (145ms)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 54/54 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 10/10 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 88.89% ( 8/9 )
Lines : 100% ( 54/54 )
================================================================================
>> Done. Check coverage folder.
Running "coveralls" task
Running "coveralls:app" (coveralls) task
Verifying property coveralls.app exists in config...OK
Files: coverage/lcov.info
Options: src="coverage/lcov.info", force=false
Submitting file to coveralls.io: coverage/lcov.info
>> Failed to submit 'coverage/lcov.info' to coveralls: Bad response: 422 {"message":"Couldn't find a repository matching this job.","error":true}
>> Failed to submit coverage results to coveralls
Warning: Task "coveralls:app" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.
npm ERR! Test failed. See above for more details.
npm ERR! not ok code 0

Our test now passes (bar, of course, Coveralls failing). Our next step is to actually do something with the session. Now, the request module we use in our test requires a third-party module called tough-cookie to work with cookies, so we need to install that:

$ npm install tough-cookie --save-dev

Next, amend the login test as follows:

// Test submitting to the login route
describe('Test submitting to the login route', function () {
it('should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index', function (done) {
request.post({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/login',
form:{username: 'bobsmith'},
jar: true,
followRedirect: false},
function (error, response, body) {
expect(response.headers.location).to.equal('/');
expect(response.statusCode).to.equal(302);
// Check the username
request.get({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/', jar: true }, function (error, response, body) {
expect(body).to.include('bobsmith');
done();
});
});
});
});

Here we’re using a new parameter, namely jar - this tells request to store the cookies. We POST the username to the login form, and then we get the index route and verify that the username is shown in the request. Check the test fails, then amend the index route in index.js as follows:

// Define index route
app.get('/', function (req, res) {
// Get messages
client.lrange('chat:messages', 0, -1, function (err, messages) {
/* istanbul ignore if */
if (err) {
console.log(err);
} else {
// Get username
var username = req.session.username;
// Get messages
var message_list = [];
messages.forEach(function (message, i) {
/* istanbul ignore next */
message_list.push(message);
});
// Render page
res.render('index', { messages: message_list, username: username });
}
});
});

Note we get the username and pass it through to the view. We need to adapt the header view to display the username. Amend views/partials/header.hbs to look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<!--[if lt IE 7]> <html class="no-js lt-ie9 lt-ie8 lt-ie7"> <![endif]-->
<!--[if IE 7]> <html class="no-js lt-ie9 lt-ie8"> <![endif]-->
<!--[if IE 8]> <html class="no-js lt-ie9"> <![endif]-->
<!--[if gt IE 8]><!--> <html class="no-js"> <!--<![endif]-->
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
<title>Babblr</title>
<meta name="description" content="">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<!-- Place favicon.ico and apple-touch-icon.png in the root directory -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/bower_components/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/bower_components/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap-theme.min.css">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/style.css">
</head>
<body>
<!--[if lt IE 7]>
<p class="browsehappy">You are using an <strong>outdated</strong> browser. Please <a href="http://browsehappy.com/">upgrade your browser</a> to improve your experience.</p>
<![endif]-->
<nav class="navbar navbar-inverse navbar-static-top" role="navigation">
<div class="container-fluid">
<div class="navbar-header">
<button type="button" class="navbar-toggle" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#header-nav">
<span class="icon-bar"></span>
<span class="icon-bar"></span>
<span class="icon-bar"></span>
</button>
<a class="navbar-brand" href="/">Babblr</a>
<div class="collapse navbar-collapse navbar-right" id="header-nav">
<ul class="nav navbar-nav">
{{#if username}}
<li><a href="/logout">Logged in as {{ username }}</a></li>
{{else}}
<li><a href="/login">Log in</a></li>
{{/if}}
</ul>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</nav>

Note the addition of a logout link, which we will implement later. Let’s check our tests pass:

$ grunt test
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
express-session deprecated undefined resave option; provide resave option index.js:9:1669
express-session deprecated undefined saveUninitialized option; provide saveUninitialized option index.js:9:1669
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (44ms)
Test the login route
✓ should return a page with the text Please enter a handle
Test submitting to the login route
✓ should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index
Test empty login
✓ should show the login form
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (45ms)
Stopping the server
5 passing (156ms)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 55/55 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 10/10 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 88.89% ( 8/9 )
Lines : 100% ( 55/55 )
================================================================================
>> Done. Check coverage folder.
Running "coveralls:app" (coveralls) task
>> Failed to submit 'coverage/lcov.info' to coveralls: Bad response: 422 {"message":"Couldn't find a repository matching this job.","error":true}
>> Failed to submit coverage results to coveralls
Warning: Task "coveralls:app" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.

Excellent! Next, let’s implement the test for our logout route:

// Test logout
describe('Test logout', function () {
it('should log the user out', function (done) {
request.post({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/login',
form:{username: 'bobsmith'},
jar: true,
followRedirect: false},
function (error, response, body) {
expect(response.headers.location).to.equal('/');
expect(response.statusCode).to.equal(302);
// Check the username
request.get({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/', jar: true }, function (error, response, body) {
expect(body).to.include('bobsmith');
// Log the user out
request.get({ url: 'http://localhost:5000/logout', jar: true }, function (error, response, body) {
expect(body).to.include('Log in');
done();
});
});
});
});
});

This is largely the same as the previous test, but adds some additional content at the end to test logging out afterwards. Let’s run the test:

$ grunt test
Running "jshint:all" (jshint) task
>> 2 files lint free.
Running "mocha_istanbul:coverage" (mocha_istanbul) task
express-session deprecated undefined resave option; provide resave option index.js:9:1669
express-session deprecated undefined saveUninitialized option; provide saveUninitialized option index.js:9:1669
Listening on port 5000
server
Starting the server
Test the index route
✓ should return a page with the title Babblr (536ms)
Test the login route
✓ should return a page with the text Please enter a handle
Test submitting to the login route
✓ should store the username in the session and redirect the user to the index
Test empty login
✓ should show the login form
Test logout
1) should log the user out
Test sending a message
✓ should return 'Message received' (49ms)
Stopping the server
5 passing (682ms)
1 failing
1) server Test logout should log the user out:
Uncaught AssertionError: expected 'Cannot GET /logout\n' to include 'Log in'
at Request._callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/test/test.js:105:45)
at Request.self.callback (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:373:22)
at Request.emit (events.js:98:17)
at Request.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:1318:14)
at Request.emit (events.js:117:20)
at IncomingMessage.<anonymous> (/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/node_modules/request/request.js:1266:12)
at IncomingMessage.emit (events.js:117:20)
at _stream_readable.js:944:16
at process._tickCallback (node.js:442:13)
=============================================================================
Writing coverage object [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage/coverage.json]
Writing coverage reports at [/Users/matthewdaly/Projects/babblr/coverage]
=============================================================================
=============================== Coverage summary ===============================
Statements : 100% ( 55/55 ), 7 ignored
Branches : 100% ( 10/10 ), 2 ignored
Functions : 88.89% ( 8/9 )
Lines : 100% ( 55/55 )
================================================================================
>>
Warning: Task "mocha_istanbul:coverage" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.

Now we have a failing test, let’s implement our logout route. Add the following route to index.js:

// Process logout
app.get('/logout', function (req, res) {
// Delete username from session
req.session.username = null;
// Redirect user
res.redirect('/');
});

If you run your tests again, they should now pass.

Now that we have the user’s name stored in the session, we can make use of it. First, let’s amend static/js/main.js so that it no longer adds a default username:

$(document).ready(function () {
'use strict';
// Set up the connection
var field, socket, output;
socket = io.connect(window.location.href);
// Get a reference to the input
field = $('textarea#message');
// Get a reference to the output
output = $('div.conversation');
// Handle message submit
$('a#submitbutton').on('click', function () {
// Create the message
var msg;
msg = field.val();
socket.emit('send', { message: msg });
field.val('');
});
// Handle incoming messages
socket.on('message', function (data) {
// Insert the message
output.append('<p>' + data + '</p>');
});
});

Then, in index.js, we need to declare a variable for our session middleware, which will be shared between Socket.IO and Express:

// Declare variables used
var app, base_url, bodyParser, client, express, hbs, io, port, RedisStore, rtg, session, sessionMiddleware, subscribe;

Then we amend the session setup to make it easier to reuse for Socket.IO:

// Set up session
sessionMiddleware = session({
store: new RedisStore({
client: client
}),
secret: 'blibble'
});
app.use(sessionMiddleware);

Towards the end of the file, before we set up our handlers for Socket.IO, we integrate our sessions:

// Integrate sessions
io.use(function(socket, next) {
sessionMiddleware(socket.request, socket.request.res, next);
});

Finally, we rewrite our session handlers to use the username from the session:

// Handle new messages
io.sockets.on('connection', function (socket) {
// Subscribe to the Redis channel
subscribe.subscribe('ChatChannel');
// Handle incoming messages
socket.on('send', function (data) {
// Define variables
var username, message;
// Get username
username = socket.request.session.username;
if (!username) {
username = 'Anonymous Coward';
}
message = username + ': ' + data.message;
// Publish it
client.publish('ChatChannel', message);
// Persist it to a Redis list
client.rpush('chat:messages', message);
});
// Handle receiving messages
var callback = function (channel, data) {
socket.emit('message', data);
};
subscribe.on('message', callback);
// Handle disconnect
socket.on('disconnect', function () {
subscribe.removeListener('message', callback);
});
});

Note here that when a message is sent, we get the username from the session, and if it’s empty, set it to Anonymous Coward. We then prepend it to the message, publish it, and persist it.

One final thing…

One last job remains. At present, users can pass JavaScript through in messages, which is not terribly secure! We need to fix it. Amend the send handler as follows:

// Handle incoming messages
socket.on('send', function (data) {
// Define variables
var username, message;
// Strip tags from message
message = data.message.replace(/<[^>]*>/g, '');
// Get username
username = socket.request.session.username;
if (!username) {
username = 'Anonymous Coward';
}
message = username + ': ' + message;
// Publish it
client.publish('ChatChannel', message);
// Persist it to a Redis list
client.rpush('chat:messages', message);
});

Here we use a regex to strip out any HTML tags from the message - this will prevent anyone injecting JavaScript into our chat client.

And that’s all, folks! If you want to check out the source for this lesson it’s in the repository on GitHub, tagged lesson-2. If you want to carry on working on this on your own, there’s still plenty you can do, such as:

  • Adding support for multiple rooms
  • Using Passport.js to allow logging in using third-party services such as Twitter or Facebook
  • Adding formatting for messages, either by using something like Markdown, or a client-side rich text editor

As you can see, it’s surprising how much you can accomplish using only Redis, and under certain circumstances it offers a lot of advantages over a relational database. It’s always worth thinking about whether Redis can be used for your project.

15th February 2015 6:11 pm

Switching to My Own Static Site Generator

As you may have seen if you’re visiting the site, I’ve finally switched over from Octopress to the static site generator I’ve been working on for the last few months. Apologies if you’re seeing lots of old posts in your RSS reader - there must have been an inconsistency between the RSS feed for this and that for Octopress.

I actually still really like Octopress, however I’m not and have never been a big fan of Ruby. Python and JavaScript are my two main go-to languages (although I do a lot of work professionally with PHP as well), so I wanted a solution in one of those languages, but I wanted something that was very similar to Octopress in every other way. I also wanted the facility to easily concatenate and minify static files as part of my deployment process to make the whole thing as lean as possible, so it made sense to build it as a Grunt plugin and create a Yeoman generator for building the boilerplate for the blog. Also, it’s always easier to work with your own code, and so using templates I wrote myself should make it quicker and easier for me to customise the blog how I want.

While deploying it did throw up a few errors that I’ve had to fix, it’s gone fairly smoothly and I’m pretty happy with it, although I will no doubt spend some time tweaking it over the next few weeks. It’s built with GitHub Pages in mind, but the fact that it’s built using Grunt should make it straightforward to switch to a different deployment method - during development I’ve actually used grunt-rsync to deploy to my Raspberry Pi and grunt-bitbucket-pages to deploy to Bitbucket in order to test it and both work absolutely fine. There are also Grunt plugins for deploying via FTP around, so if you want to check it out, then as long as you have at least some familiarity with Grunt you should be able to deploy it however you wish. The generator is meant to be only a starting point for your own site, so by all means check it out, tinker with the styling and templates, and make it your own. I will be very happy indeed if I see someone else using it in the wild.

Static site generators are generally somewhat harder to use than a CMS like WordPress, but they have many advantages:

  • Lighter - you can quite easily host a static site with just Nginx on a Raspberry Pi
  • Faster - with no database or actual dynamic content on the server, just flat HTML, your site will be far quicker to load than a WordPress blog
  • Cheaper to host
  • Easy to deploy - if your workflow is very command-line based like mine is, it’s very quick and easy to get blogging

If you can get away with using a static site generator rather than a database-driven blogging system, then it’s well worth doing so.

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About me

I'm a web and mobile app developer based in Norfolk. My skillset includes Python, PHP and Javascript, and I have extensive experience working with CodeIgniter, Laravel, Django, Phonegap and Angular.js.