Web server with built-in support for HTTP/2, Lua, Markdown, Pongo2, Amber, Sass(SCSS), GCSS, JSX, BoltDB, Redis, PostgreSQL, MariaDB/MySQL, rate limiting, graceful shutdown, plugins, users and permissions. Uses no external libraries, only pure Go.

Build Status GoDoc License Report Card

Quick installation (development version)

go get -u github.com/xyproto/algernon

Technologies

Written in Go. Uses Bolt (built-in), MySQL, PostgreSQL or Redis (recommended) for the database backend, permissions2 for handling users and permissions, gopher-lua for interpreting and running Lua, http2 for serving HTTP/2, blackfriday for Markdown rendering, amber for Amber templates, Pongo2 for Pongo2 templates, Sass(SCSS) and GCSS for CSS preprocessing. logrus is used for logging, goja-babel for converting from JSX to JavaScript, tollbooth for rate limiting, pie for plugins and graceful for graceful shutdowns.

Design decisions

Features and limitations

Utilities

Installation

OS X
Arch Linux
Any system where go is available

This method is using the latest commit from the master branch:

go get github.com/xyproto/algernon

If needed, first:

Overview

Running Algernon (screenshot from an earlier version):


The idea is that web pages can be written in Markdown, Pongo2, Amber, HTML or JSX (+React), depending on the need, and styled with CSS, Sass(SCSS) or GCSS, while data can be provided by a Lua script that talks to Redis, BoltDB, PostgreSQL or MariaDB/MySQL.

Amber and GCSS is a good combination for static pages, that allows for more clarity and less repetition than HTML and CSS. It˙s also easy to use Lua for providing data for the Amber templates, which helps separate model, controller and view.

Pongo2, Sass and Lua also combines well. Pongo2 is more flexible than Amber.

The auto-refresh feature is supported when using Markdown, Pongo2 or Amber, and is useful to get an instant preview when developing.

The JSX to JavaScript (ECMAscript) transpiler is built-in.

Redis is fast, scalable and offers good data persistence. This should be the preferred backend.

Bolt is a pure key/value store, written in Go. It makes it easy to run Algernon without having to set up a database host first. MariaDB/MySQL support is included because of its widespread availability.

PostgreSQL is a solid and fast database that is also supported.

Screenshots

Markdown can easily be styled with Sass or GCSS.


This is how errors in Lua scripts are handled, when Debug mode is enabled.


One of the poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne, with three rotating tori in the background. Uses CSS3 for the gaussian blur and three.js for the 3D graphics.


Screenshot of the prettify sample. Served from a single Lua script.


JSX transforms are built-in. Using React together with Algernon is easy.

Samples

The sample collection can be downloaded from the samples directory in this repository, or here: samplepack.zip.

Getting started

Run Algernon in “dev” mode

This enables debug mode, uses the internal Bolt database, uses regular HTTP instead of HTTPS+HTTP/2 and enables caching for all files except: Pongo2, Amber, Lua, Sass, GCSS, Markdown and JSX.

Then try creating an index.lua file with print("Hello, World!") and visit the served web page in a browser.

Enable HTTP/2 in the browser (for older browsers)
Configure the required ports for local use
Prepare for running the samples
The “bob” sample, over https
All the samples, over http, with auto-refresh enabled
Create your own Algernon application, for regular HTTP
Create your own Algernon application, for HTTP/2 + HTTPS

Basic Lua functions

// Return the version string for the server.
version() -> string

// Sleep the given number of seconds (can be a float).
sleep(number)

// Log the given strings as information. Takes a variable number of strings.
log(...)

// Log the given strings as a warning. Takes a variable number of strings.
warn(...)

// Log the given strings as an error. Takes a variable number of strings.
err(...)

// Return the number of nanoseconds from 1970 ("Unix time")
unixnano() -> number

// Convert Markdown to HTML
markdown(string) -> string

// Return the directory where the REPL or script is running. If a filename (optional) is given, then the path to where the script is running, joined with a path separator and the given filename, is returned.
scriptdir([string]) -> string

// Return the directory where the server is running. If a filename (optional) is given, then the path to where the server is running, joined with a path separator and the given filename, is returned.
serverdir([string]) -> string

Lua functions for handling requests

// Set the Content-Type for a page.
content(string)

// Return the requested HTTP method (GET, POST etc).
method() -> string

// Output text to the browser/client. Takes a variable number of strings.
print(...)

// Return the requested URL path.
urlpath() -> string

// Return the HTTP header in the request, for a given key, or an empty string.
header(string) -> string

// Set an HTTP header given a key and a value.
setheader(string, string)

// Return the HTTP headers, as a table.
headers() -> table

// Return the HTTP body in the request (will only read the body once, since it's streamed).
body() -> string

// Set a HTTP status code (like 200 or 404). Must be used before other functions that writes to the client!
status(number)

// Set a HTTP status code and output a message (optional).
error(number[, string])

// Serve a file that exists in the same directory as the script. Takes a filename.
serve(string)

// Return the rendered contents of a file that exists in the same directory as the script. Takes a filename.
render(string) -> string

// Return a table with keys and values as given in a posted form, or as given in the URL.
formdata() -> table

// Return a table with keys and values as given in the request URL, or in the given URL (`/some/page?x=7` makes the key `x` with the value `7` available).
urldata([string]) -> table

// Redirect to an absolute or relative URL. May take an HTTP status code that will be used when redirecting.
redirect(string[, string])

// Permanent redirect to an absolute or relative URL. Uses status code 302.
permanent_redirect(string)

// Transmit what has been outputted so far, to the client.
flush()

Lua functions for formatted output

// Output rendered Markdown to the browser/client. The given text is converted from Markdown to HTML. Takes a variable number of strings.
mprint(...)

// Output rendered Amber to the browser/client. The given text is converted from Amber to HTML. Takes a variable number of strings.
aprint(...)

// Output rendered GCSS to the browser/client. The given text is converted from GCSS to CSS. Takes a variable number of strings.
gprint(...)

// Output rendered HyperApp JSX to the browser/client. The given text is converted from JSX to JavaScript. Takes a variable number of strings.
hprint(...)

// Output rendered React JSX to the browser/client. The given text is converted from JSX to JavaScript. Takes a variable number of strings.
jprint(...)

// Output rendered HTML to the browser/client. The given text is converted from Pongo2 to HTML. Takes a variable number of strings.
poprint(...)

Lua functions related to JSON

Tips:

// Use, or create, a JSON document/file.
JFile(filename) -> userdata

// Takes a JSON path. Returns a string value, or an empty string.
jfile:getstring(string) -> string

// Takes a JSON path. Returns a JNode or nil.
jfile:getnode(string) -> userdata

// Takes a JSON path. Returns a value or nil.
jfile:get(string) -> value

// Takes a JSON path (optional) and JSON data to be added to the list.
// The JSON path must point to a list, if given, unless the JSON file is empty.
// "x" is the default JSON path. Returns true on success.
jfile:add([string, ]string) -> bool

// Take a JSON path and a string value. Changes the entry. Returns true on success.
jfile:set(string, string) -> bool

// Remove a key in a map. Takes a JSON path, returns true on success.
jfile:delkey(string) -> bool

// Convert a Lua table, where keys are strings and values are strings or numbers, to JSON.
// Takes an optional number of spaces to indent the JSON data.
// (Note that keys in JSON maps are always strings, ref. the JSON standard).
JSON(table[, number]) -> string

// Create a JSON document node.
JNode() -> userdata

// Add JSON data to a node. The first argument is an optional JSON path.
// The second argument is a JSON data string. Returns true on success.
// "x" is the default JSON path.
jnode:add([string, ]string) ->

// Given a JSON path, retrieves a JSON node.
jnode:get(string) -> userdata

// Given a JSON path, retrieves a JSON string.
jnode:getstring(string) -> string

// Given a JSON path and a JSON string, set the value.
jnode:set(string, string)

// Given a JSON path, remove a key from a map.
jnode:delkey(string) -> bool

// Return the JSON data, nicely formatted.
jnode:pretty() -> string

// Return the JSON data, as a compact string.
jnode:compact() -> string

// Sends JSON data to the given URL. Returns the HTTP status code as a string.
// The content type is set to "application/json; charset=utf-8".
// The second argument is an optional authentication token that is used for the
// Authorization header field.
jnode:POST(string[, string]) -> string

// Alias for jnode:POST
jnode:send(string[, string]) -> string

// Same as jnode:POST, but sends HTTP PUT instead.
jnode:PUT(string[, string]) -> string

// Fetches JSON over HTTP given an URL that starts with http or https.
// The JSON data is placed in the JNode. Returns the HTTP status code as a string.
jnode:GET(string) -> string

// Alias for jnode:GET
jnode:receive(string) -> string

Lua functions for plugins

// Load a plugin given the path to an executable. Returns true on success. Will return the plugin help text if called on the Lua prompt.
Plugin(string)

// Returns the Lua code as returned by the Lua.Code function in the plugin, given a plugin path. May return an empty string.
PluginCode(string) -> string

// Takes a plugin path, function name and arguments. Returns an empty string if the function call fails, or the results as a JSON string if successful.
CallPlugin(string, string, ...) -> string

Lua functions for code libraries

These functions can be used in combination with the plugin functions for storing Lua code returned by plugins when serverconf.lua is loaded, then retrieve the Lua code later, when handling requests. The code is stored in the database.

// Create or uses a code library object. Optionally takes a data structure name as the first parameter.
CodeLib([string]) -> userdata

// Given a namespace and Lua code, add the given code to the namespace. Returns true on success.
codelib:add(string, string) -> bool

// Given a namespace and Lua code, set the given code as the only code in the namespace. Returns true on success.
codelib:set(string, string) -> bool

// Given a namespace, return Lua code, or an empty string.
codelib:get(string) -> string

// Import (eval) code from the given namespace into the current Lua state. Returns true on success.
codelib:import(string) -> bool

// Completely clear the code library. Returns true on success.
codelib:clear() -> bool

Lua functions for file uploads

// Creates a file upload object. Takes a form ID (from a POST request) as the first parameter.
// Takes an optional maximum upload size (in MiB) as the second parameter.
// Returns nil and an error string on failure, or userdata and an empty string on success.
UploadedFile(string[, number]) -> userdata, string

// Return the uploaded filename, as specified by the client
uploadedfile:filename() -> string

// Return the size of the data that has been received
uploadedfile:size() -> number

// Return the mime type of the uploaded file, as specified by the client
uploadedfile:mimetype() -> string

// Save the uploaded data locally. Takes an optional filename. Returns true on success.
uploadedfile:save([string]) -> bool

// Save the uploaded data as the client-provided filename, in the specified directory.
// Takes a relative or absolute path. Returns true on success.
uploadedfile:savein(string)  -> bool

Lua functions for the file cache

// Return information about the file cache.
CacheInfo() -> string

// Clear the file cache.
ClearCache()

// Load a file into the cache, returns true on success.
preload(string) -> bool

Lua functions for data structures

Set
// Get or create a database-backed Set (takes a name, returns a set object)
Set(string) -> userdata

// Add an element to the set
set:add(string)

// Remove an element from the set
set:del(string)

// Check if a set contains a value
// Returns true only if the value exists and there were no errors.
set:has(string) -> bool

// Get all members of the set
set:getall() -> table

// Remove the set itself. Returns true on success.
set:remove() -> bool

// Clear the set
set:clear() -> bool
List
// Get or create a database-backed List (takes a name, returns a list object)
List(string) -> userdata

// Add an element to the list
list:add(string)

// Get all members of the list
list:getall() -> table

// Get the last element of the list
// The returned value can be empty
list:getlast() -> string

// Get the N last elements of the list
list:getlastn(number) -> table

// Remove the list itself. Returns true on success.
list:remove() -> bool

// Clear the list. Returns true on success.
list:clear() -> bool
HashMap
// Get or create a database-backed HashMap (takes a name, returns a hash map object)
HashMap(string) -> userdata

// For a given element id (for instance a user id), set a key
// (for instance "password") and a value.
// Returns true on success.
hash:set(string, string, string) -> bool

// For a given element id (for instance a user id), and a key
// (for instance "password"), return a value.
// Returns a value only if they key was found and if there were no errors.
hash:get(string, string) -> string

// For a given element id (for instance a user id), and a key
// (for instance "password"), check if the key exists in the hash map.
// Returns true only if it exists and there were no errors.
hash:has(string, string) -> bool

// For a given element id (for instance a user id), check if it exists.
// Returns true only if it exists and there were no errors.
hash:exists(string) -> bool

// Get all keys of the hash map
hash:getall() -> table

// Remove a key for an entry in a hash map
// (for instance the email field for a user)
// Returns true on success
hash:delkey(string, string) -> bool

// Remove an element (for instance a user)
// Returns true on success
hash:del(string) -> bool

// Remove the hash map itself. Returns true on success.
hash:remove() -> bool

// Clear the hash map. Returns true on success.
hash:clear() -> bool
KeyValue
// Get or create a database-backed KeyValue collection (takes a name, returns a key/value object)
KeyValue(string) -> userdata

// Set a key and value. Returns true on success.
kv:set(string, string) -> bool

// Takes a key, returns a value.
// Returns an empty string if the function fails.
kv:get(string) -> string

// Takes a key, returns the value+1.
// Creates a key/value and returns "1" if it did not already exist.
// Returns an empty string if the function fails.
kv:inc(string) -> string

// Remove a key. Returns true on success.
kv:del(string) -> bool

// Remove the KeyValue itself. Returns true on success.
kv:remove() -> bool

// Clear the KeyValue. Returns true on success.
kv:clear() -> bool

Lua functions for handling users and permissions

// Check if the current user has "user" rights
UserRights() -> bool

// Check if the given username exists
HasUser(string) -> bool

// Get the value from the given boolean field
// Takes a username and field name
BooleanField(string, string) -> bool

// Save a value as a boolean field
// Takes a username, field name and boolean value
SetBooleanField(string, string, bool)

// Check if a given username is confirmed
IsConfirmed(string) -> bool

// Check if a given username is logged in
IsLoggedIn(string) -> bool

// Check if the current user has "admin rights"
AdminRights() -> bool

// Check if a given username is an admin
IsAdmin(string) -> bool

// Get the username stored in a cookie, or an empty string
UsernameCookie() -> string

// Store the username in a cookie, returns true on success
SetUsernameCookie(string) -> bool

// Clear the login cookie
ClearCookie()

// Get a table containing all usernames
AllUsernames() -> table

// Get the email for a given username, or an empty string
Email(string) -> string

// Get the password hash for a given username, or an empty string
PasswordHash(string) -> string

// Get all unconfirmed usernames
AllUnconfirmedUsernames() -> table

// Get a confirmation code that can be given to a user,
// or an empty string. Takes a username.
ConfirmationCode(string) -> string

// Add a user to the list of unconfirmed users
// Takes a username and a confirmation code
AddUnconfirmed(string, string)

// Remove a user from the list of unconfirmed users
// Takes a username
RemoveUnconfirmed(string)

// Mark a user as confirmed
// Takes a username
MarkConfirmed(string)

// Removes a user
// Takes a username
RemoveUser(string)

// Make a user an admin
// Takes a username
SetAdminStatus(string)

// Make an admin user a regular user
// Takes a username
RemoveAdminStatus(string)

// Add a user
// Takes a username, password and email
AddUser(string, string, string)

// Set a user as logged in on the server (not cookie)
// Takes a username
SetLoggedIn(string)

// Set a user as logged out on the server (not cookie)
// Takes a username
SetLoggedOut(string)

// Log in a user, both on the server and with a cookie
// Takes a username
Login(string)

// Log in a user, both on the server and with a cookie
// Takes a username. Returns true if the cookie was set successfully.
CookieLogin(string) -> bool

// Log out a user, on the server (which is enough)
// Takes a username
Logout(string)

// Get the current username, from the cookie
Username() -> string

// Get the current cookie timeout
// Takes a username
CookieTimeout(string) -> number

// Set the current cookie timeout
// Takes a timeout number, measured in seconds
SetCookieTimeout(number)

// Get the current password hashing algorithm (bcrypt, bcrypt+ or sha256)
PasswordAlgo() -> string

// Set the current password hashing algorithm (bcrypt, bcrypt+ or sha256)
// ‘bcrypt+‘ accepts bcrypt or sha256 for old passwords, but will only use
// bcrypt for new passwords.
SetPasswordAlgo(string)

// Hash the password
// Takes a username and password (username can be used for salting sha256)
HashPassword(string, string) -> string

// Change the password for a user, given a username and a new password
SetPassword(string, string)

// Check if a given username and password is correct
// Takes a username and password
CorrectPassword(string, string) -> bool

// Checks if a confirmation code is already in use
// Takes a confirmation code
AlreadyHasConfirmationCode(string) -> bool

// Find a username based on a given confirmation code,
// or returns an empty string. Takes a confirmation code
FindUserByConfirmationCode(string) -> string

// Mark a user as confirmed
// Takes a username
Confirm(string)

// Mark a user as confirmed, returns true on success
// Takes a confirmation code
ConfirmUserByConfirmationCode(string) -> bool

// Set the minimum confirmation code length
// Takes the minimum number of characters
SetMinimumConfirmationCodeLength(number)

// Generates a unique confirmation code, or an empty string
GenerateUniqueConfirmationCode() -> string

Lua functions that are available for server configuration files

// Set the default address for the server on the form [host][:port].
// May be useful in Algernon application bundles (.alg or .zip files).
SetAddr(string)

// Reset the URL prefixes and make everything *public*.
ClearPermissions()

// Add an URL prefix that will have *admin* rights.
AddAdminPrefix(string)

// Add an URL prefix that will have *user* rights.
AddUserPrefix(string)

// Provide a lua function that will be used as the permission denied handler.
DenyHandler(function)

// Return a string with various server information.
ServerInfo() -> string

// Direct the logging to the given filename. If the filename is an empty
// string, direct logging to stderr. Returns true on success.
LogTo(string) -> bool

// Returns the version string for the server.
version() -> string

// Logs the given strings as INFO. Takes a variable number of strings.
log(...)

// Logs the given strings as WARN. Takes a variable number of strings.
warn(...)

// Logs the given string as ERROR. Takes a variable number of strings.
err(...)

// Provide a lua function that will be run once, when the server is ready to start serving.
OnReady(function)

// Use a Lua file for setting up HTTP handlers instead of using the directory structure.
ServerFile(string) -> bool

Functions that are only available for Lua server files

This function is only available when a Lua script is used instead of a server directory, or from Lua files that are specified with the ServerFile function in the server configuration.

// Given an URL path prefix (like "/") and a Lua function, set up an HTTP handler.
// The given Lua function should take no arguments, but can use all the Lua functions for handling requests, like `content` and `print`.
handle(string, function)

// Given an URL prefix (like "/") and a directory, serve the files and directories.
servedir(string, string)

Commands that are only available in the REPL

Extra Lua functions

// Pretty print. Outputs the values in, or a description of, the given Lua value(s).
pprint(...)

// Takes a Python filename, executes the script with the `python` binary in the Path.
// Returns the output as a Lua table, where each line is an entry.
py(string) -> table

// Takes one or more system commands (possibly separated by `;`) and runs them.
// Returns the output lines as a table.
run(string) -> table

// Lists the keys and values of a Lua table. Returns a string.
// Lists the contents of the global namespace `_G` if no arguments are given.
dir([table]) -> string

Markdown

Algernon can be used as a quick Markdown viewer with the -m flag.

Try algernon -m README.md to view README.md in the browser, serving the file once on a port >3000.

In addition to the regular Markdown syntax, Algernon supports setting the page title and syntax highlight style with a header comment like this at the top of a Markdown file:

<!--
title: Page title
theme: dark
code_style: obsidian
replace_with_theme: dark
-->

Code is highlighted with highlight.js and several styles are available.

The string that follows replace_with_theme will be used for replacing the current theme string (like dark) with the given string. This makes it possible to use one image (like logo_dark.png) for one theme and another image (logo_dark.png) for the dark theme.

The theme can be light, dark, redbox, default or a path to a CSS file. Or style.gcss can exist in the same directory.

Releases

Requirements

Other resources

General information