execute a Nodejs script from an html page?


I am currently using Express.js to create my website. My main server script is called index.coffee. I also created a script called request.js that makes a GET request and displays the response with


I have no problems when running the script from the console: node request.js

My question is: How do I make the "Get this list" button on my the page respond to a click by displaying the list on the same page (that is, executing request.js on the server and showing the result)?


 * Module dependencies.

var express = require('express')
  , routes = require('./routes');

var app = module.exports = express.createServer();

// Configuration

  app.set('views', __dirname + '/views');
  app.set ('view engine', 'coffee');
app.register('.coffee', require('coffeekup').adapters.express);

  app.use(express.static(__dirname + '/public'));

app.configure('development', function(){
  app.use(express.errorHandler({ dumpExceptions: true, showStack: true }));

app.configure('production', function(){

app.get('/', function(req, res) {
  res.render('index',{ layout: false });

console.log("Express server listening on port %d in %s mode", app.address().port, app.settings.env);


doctype 5
html ->

  head ->

p -> "hey"

3/12/2012 7:13:32 PM

Accepted Answer

I use plain JS and not coffee script, so here's an example per Fosco's comment (call it server.js):

var express = require('express'),
    list = require('./request.js').Request; // see  template

var app = express.createServer();

app.use(express.static(__dirname + '/public')); // exposes index.html, per below

app.get('/request', function(req, res){
    // run your request.js script
    // when index.html makes the ajax call to www.yoursite.com/request, this runs
    // you can also require your request.js as a module (above) and call on that:
    res.send(list.getList()); // try res.json() if getList() returns an object or array


Write your index.html file, and save it in the /public subfolder of your node app directory (which is exposed above, via express.static).:

    <div id="button">Get this List</div>
    <div id="response"></div>
    <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    $(document).ready(function() {
        $('#button').click(function() {
            // run an AJAX get request to the route you setup above...
            // respect the cross-domain policy by using the same domain
            // you used to access your index.html file!
            $.get('http://www.yoursite.com/request', function(list) {
                $('#response').html(list); // show the list

If you're including your request.js as a module, it could be as follows:

var RequestClass = function() {
    // run code here, or...

// ...add a method, which we do in this example:
RequestClass.prototype.getList = function() {
    return "My List";

// now expose with module.exports:
exports.Request = RequestClass;

Run node server.js on your server. Then head over to www.yoursite.com/index.html

7/20/2012 12:06:50 PM

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