0. Install node.js and essential build tools
Install node.js, which will in turn install npm, which is used to manage all your dependencies.
In order for the
npm install command to work, you need these essential build tools:
- Python 2.6 or 2.7
- C++ compiler (GCC 4.2 or newer)
The method of installing these pre-requisites will vary by operating system.
1. Install the generator
Start by installing the generator globally using npm:
[sudo] npm install -g yo generator-kraken bower grunt-cli
2. Create a project
Once installed, you can create a basic project using the generator. Type
yo kraken and follow the prompts:
The generator will create a new directory for your application, set up an empty project and download all the necessary dependencies.
3. Start your server
To run your project, just go into the newly created directory and type
Your kraken application will start up on port 8000. You can visit it at http://localhost:8000. If all goes well, your very polite application will say hello.
Structure of a Project
Kraken keeps your code organized by splitting up the configuration, content+templates and routing logic into different places so that it’s easy to keep track of everything and to easily swap out components. Let’s start by looking at the base structure of the project you just created:
Let’s say you want to create a simple application. As your application grows, this becomes unmanageable and messy. Kraken helps you stay organized by imposing a sound structure and strategy.
First let’s look at our basic
index.js entry point:
As you can see from the
index.js entry point, kraken is just an express middleware. The configuration is just an object that defines an
onconfig. That function is called when the application begins configuration.
There are a few other options that can be set as well as the
So, where’s all the configuration? Where are the routes?
Kraken’s configuration can be found in the
This JSON file contains key value pairs that are loaded at runtime. The advantage of this is that all your application configuration is in a single, well-known place; and you can swap it out without having to touch a single line of code.
This config file is also where you can define middleware and specify its load-order. To find out more, check out meddleware.
Development vs. Production environments
A common scenario is that development environments have slightly different parameters than production. Kraken allows you to define a second file
config/development.json with alternate values.
You can control which file is loaded by defining an environment variable:
NODE_ENV and setting its value to
development as appropriate.
- Cross Site Request Forgery
- Content Security Policy
- Platform for Privacy Preferences Project
- And more!
If you want to disable or configure them, please see the Lusca README.
Kraken moves the routing logic into separate files in the
controllers folder, allowing you to group routes by functionality.
For example, a route for your home page, would use a
controllers/index.js file that looks as follows:
This file would define the routes and the logic for the home page. The advantage of keeping routes and logic segregated in individual files starts to show as the application grows. If something fails, it’s very easy to pinpoint where things went wrong.
Kraken is built on top of express, so the rest of the logic should be familiar to Node developers.
New to 1.x, your controllers are given an instance of your top-level
router instead of the
app instance, and routes are automatically determined for you based on folder-structure. For example, if you wanted to specify a handler for
/users, simple drop this in
With 1.x, route registration is supercharged and very flexible. Check out express-enrouten to learn more.
Kraken also separates data models from the controller logic, resulting in cleaner, more organized code. Data models live in the
When a new controller is created, the framework will also create a simple model for you.
While not very complex, this model serves as a base to build upon. See the Kraken Shopping Cart example for more complex usage of models.
Templates are loaded from the
public/templates directory. Because they reside in the public folder, this allows kraken to use the same templates on the server side as well as the client side, allowing you to reuse code.
If we wanted to greet our customers, a basic template would be:
Thanks to Makara, kraken has the ability to load content bundles on the fly, based on the request context. If we wanted to greet a user in their native language (e.g.: Spanish), we can simply add this context to the response before rendering the template:
We would also change our template as follows, using a
@pre type="content" tag:
This instructs the framework to pick up the index.greeting string from one of the locale content bundles.
locales directory holds these bundles, organized by country and language. The bundles are nothing more than simple
key=value .property files. If our sample application caters to English and Spanish speakers, we would create two bundles:
locales/US/en/index.properties to hold
locales/ES/es/index.properties to hold
So, in the above example, since the language and country are set to
ES respectively, the framework would pick the second bundle and display:
Generated projects include the following grunt tasks by default:
$ grunt buildwill localize and compile your templates to the
.builddirectory, and also copy static assets there
$ grunt testwill run jshint as well as any mocha tests
How can I disable CSRF for specific routes?
If you need to disable the CSRF protection provided by the lusca module for certain paths –a common use case for APIs– you can accomplish this through the configuration file, on the middleware section. The strategy is to first disable the default CSRF handling, and then re-enable it for the routes we want to protect. This can be done using a negative lookahead regular expression.
Example: Protect all routes, except those starting with
How can I register middleware in config?
We use meddleware to facilitate the registration of middleware.
Example: Let’s define a middleware to let any origin access the resource. Say it’s in ‘./middlewares/cors’
I can include above middleware in my config like so:
TypeError: Cannot call method 'replace' of undefined when I run my app. Help!
If you’re running in production mode, Kraken will look for pre-compiled templates in the
This error likely indicates that you have not built your project. Try running
How should I access configuration values in my application?
Since kraken compiles your configuration at runtime – taking in to account the environment plus shortstop handlers – you should not attempt to
require the JSON directly.
You can access the configuration from the request:
You can also access the configuration in an
onconfig handler as discussed here: https://github.com/krakenjs/kraken-js#options
If you are using an onconfig handler, just be aware that startup is asynchronous. I.e. don’t rely on the config value until onconfig has fired, or the app emits the start event.
How can I contribute to this project?
Bugs and new features should be submitted using GitHub issues. Please include with a detailed description and the expected behavior. If you would like to submit a change yourself do the following steps.
- Fork it.
- Create a feature branch.
- Commit a test that fails due to the bug
- Commit a fix that makes the test pass
- Open a pull request.
Here’s a few examples to get you going with kraken:
Kraken Shopping Cart
An end-to-end example showing how to build a shopping cart that integrates with PayPal
Kraken Passport Integration
Authenticate and securely store user credentials using Passport, Mongo and bcrypt
Localization and Internationalization
Greet users in different languages. Shows support for localized content bundles.
Show different layouts to different users based on a set of rules (locality, A/B testing, etc).