Loading Node.js modules dynamically based on route


Question

I'm doing a project in Node.js using express. Here's my directory structure:

root
|-start.js
|-server.js
|-lib/
|    api/
|        user_getDetails.js
|        user_register.js

The lib/api/ directory has a number of JS files relating to the API. What I need to do is make a sort of hooking system, that whenever one of the API functions gets requested from the express HTTP server, it does whatever action is specified in the according API handler. It's probably confusing, but hopefully you get the idea.

  1. Larry sends request via POST to get user details.
  2. Server looks in lib/api to find the function associated with that request.
  3. Server carrys out action and sends back data to Larry.

Hopefully you can help me out. I was thinking it could be done using prototypes, not sure though.

Thanks!

1
22
6/6/2012 1:53:20 PM

Accepted Answer

If you know where your scripts are, i.e. you have an initial directory, for example DIR, then you can work with fs, for example:

server.js

var fs = require('fs');
var path_module = require('path');
var module_holder = {};

function LoadModules(path) {
    fs.lstat(path, function(err, stat) {
        if (stat.isDirectory()) {
            // we have a directory: do a tree walk
            fs.readdir(path, function(err, files) {
                var f, l = files.length;
                for (var i = 0; i < l; i++) {
                    f = path_module.join(path, files[i]);
                    LoadModules(f);
                }
            });
        } else {
            // we have a file: load it
            require(path)(module_holder);
        }
    });
}
var DIR = path_module.join(__dirname, 'lib', 'api');
LoadModules(DIR);

exports.module_holder = module_holder;
// the usual server stuff goes here

Now your scripts need to follow the following structure (because of the require(path)(module_holder) line), for example:

user_getDetails.js

function handler(req, res) {
    console.log('Entered my cool script!');
}

module.exports = function(module_holder) {
    // the key in this dictionary can be whatever you want
    // just make sure it won't override other modules
    module_holder['user_getDetails'] = handler;
};

and now, when handling a request, you do:

// request is supposed to fire user_getDetails script
module_holder['user_getDetails'](req, res);

This should load all your modules to module_holder variable. I didn't test it, but it should work (except for the error handling!!!). You may want to alter this function (for example make module_holder a tree, not a one level dictionary) but I think you'll grasp the idea.

This function should load once per server start (if you need to fire it more often, then you are probably dealing with dynamic server-side scripting and this is a baaaaaad idea, imho). The only thing you need now is to export module_holder object so that every view handler can use it.

29
6/6/2012 2:18:16 PM

app.js

var c_file = 'html.js';

var controller = require(c_file);
var method = 'index';

if(typeof(controller[method])==='function')
    controller[method]();

html.js

module.exports =
{
    index: function()
    {
        console.log('index method');
    },
    close: function()
    {
        console.log('close method');    
    }
};

dynamizing this code a little bit you can do magic things :D


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