Provided by: libdancer2-perl_0.207000+dfsg-1_all bug

NAME

       Dancer2::Tutorial - An example to get you dancing

VERSION

       version 0.207000

What is Dancer2?

       Dancer2 is a "micro" web framework which is modeled after a Ruby framework called Sinatra
       <http://www.sinatrarb.com> that constructs web applications by building a list of HTTP
       verbs, URLs (called routes) and methods to handle that type of traffic to that specific
       URL.

         use Dancer2;

         get '/' => sub {
           return 'Hello World!';
         };

         start;

       This example shows a single HTTP verb "GET" followed by the root URL "/" and an anonymous
       subroutine which returns the string "Hello World!"  If you were to run this example, it
       would display "Hello World!" when you point your browser at <http://localhost:3000>.

How about a little more involved example?

       That's the reason I wrote this tutorial.  While I was investigating some Python web
       frameworks like Flask <http://flask.pocoo.org/> or Bottle <https://bottlepy.org/docs/dev/>
       I enjoyed the way they explained step by step how to build an example application which
       was a little more involved than a trivial example.

       Using the Flaskr <http://github.com/mitsuhiko/flask/tree/master/examples/flaskr/> sample
       application as my inspiration (OK, shamelessly plagiarised) I translated that application
       to the Dancer2 framework so I could better understand how Dancer2 worked. (I'm learning it
       too!)

       So "Dancr" was born.

       Dancr is a simple "micro" blog which uses the SQLite <http://www.sqlite.org> database
       engine for simplicity's sake.  (You'll need to install sqlite if you don't have it
       installed already.)

Required perl modules

       Obviously you need Dancer2.  You also need the Template Toolkit, File::Slurper, and
       DBD::SQLite.  These all can be installed using your CPAN client, as in:

         cpan Dancer2 Template File::Slurper DBD::SQLite

The database

       We're not going to spend a lot of time on the database, as it's not really the point of
       this particular tutorial.  Open your favorite text editor <http://www.vim.org> and create
       a schema definition called 'schema.sql' with the following content:

         create table if not exists entries (
           id integer primary key autoincrement,
           title string not null,
           text string not null
         );

       Here we have a single table with three columns: id, title, and text.  The 'id' field is
       the primary key and will automatically get an ID assigned by the database engine when a
       row is inserted.

       We want our application to initialize the database automatically for us when we start it,
       so next, create a file called 'dancr.pl'. (The entire file is listed below, so don't worry
       about copying each of these fragments into 'dancr.pl' as you read through this document.)
       We're going to put the following subroutines in that file:

         sub connect_db {
           my $dbh = DBI->connect("dbi:SQLite:dbname=".setting('database')) or
              die $DBI::errstr;

           return $dbh;
         }

         sub init_db {
           my $db = connect_db();
           my $schema = read_text('./schema.sql');
           $db->do($schema) or die $db->errstr;
         }

       Nothing too fancy in here, I hope. Standard DBI except for the "setting('database')" thing
       - more on that in a bit.  For now, just assume that the expression evaluates to the
       location of the database file.

       (Note that you may want to look at the Dancer2::Plugin::Database module for an easy way to
       configure and manage database connections for your Dancer2 apps, but the above will
       suffice for this tutorial.)

Our first route handler

       Let's tackle our first route handler now, the one for the root URL '/'. This is what it
       looks like:

         get '/' => sub {
           my $db = connect_db();
           my $sql = 'select id, title, text from entries order by id desc';
           my $sth = $db->prepare($sql) or die $db->errstr;
           $sth->execute or die $sth->errstr;
           template 'show_entries.tt', {
              'msg' => get_flash(),
              'add_entry_url' => uri_for('/add'),
              'entries' => $sth->fetchall_hashref('id'),
           };
         };

       As you can see, the handler is created by specifying the HTTP verb 'get', the '/' URL to
       match, and finally, a subroutine to do something once those conditions have been
       satisfied.  Something you might not notice right away is the semicolon at the end of the
       route handler.  Since the subroutine is actually a coderef, it requires a semicolon.

       Let's take a closer look at the subroutine.  The first few lines are standard DBI. The
       only new concept as part of Dancer2 is that "template" directive at the end of the
       handler.  That tells Dancer2 to process the output through one of its templating engines.
       In this case, we're using Template Toolkit which offers a lot more flexibility than the
       simple default Dancer2 template engine.

       Templates all go into the "views/" directory. Optionally, you can create a "layout"
       template which provides a consistent look and feel for all of your views.  We'll construct
       our own layout template cleverly named main.tt a little later in this tutorial.

       What's going on with the hashref as the second argument to the template directive?  Those
       are all of the parameters we want to pass into our template.  We have a "msg" field which
       displays a message to the user when an event happens like a new entry is posted, or the
       user logs in or out.  It's called a "flash" message because we only want to display it one
       time, not every time the / URL is rendered.

       The "uri_for" directive tells Dancer2 to provide a URI for that specific route, in this
       case, it is the route to post a new entry into the database.  You might ask why we don't
       simply hardcode the "/add" URI in our application or templates.  The best reason not to do
       that is because it removes a layer of flexibility as to where to "mount" the web
       application.  Although the application is coded to use the root URL "/" it might be better
       in the future to locate it under its own URL route (maybe "/dancr"?)  - at that point we'd
       have to go through our application and the templates and update the URLs and hope we
       didn't miss any of them.  By using the "uri_for" Dancer2 method, we can easily load the
       application wherever we like and not have to modify the application at all.

       Finally, the "entries" field contains a hashref with the results from our database query.
       Those results will be rendered in the template itself, so we just pass them in.

       So what does the show_entries.tt template look like? This:

         [% IF session.logged_in %]
           <form action="[% add_entry_url %]" method=post class=add-entry>
             <dl>
               <dt>Title:
               <dd><input type=text size=30 name=title>
               <dt>Text:
               <dd><textarea name=text rows=5 cols=40></textarea>
               <dd><input type=submit value=Share>
             </dl>
           </form>
         [% END %]
         <ul class=entries>
         [% IF entries.size %]
           [% FOREACH id IN entries.keys.nsort %]
             <li><h2>[% entries.$id.title | html %]</h2>[% entries.$id.text | html %]
           [% END %]
         [% ELSE %]
           <li><em>Unbelievable. No entries here so far</em>
         [% END %]
         </ul>

       Again, since this isn't a tutorial specifically about Template Toolkit, I'm going to gloss
       over the syntax here and just point out the section which starts with "<ul class=entries>"
       - this is the section where the database query results are displayed.  You can also see at
       the very top some discussion about a session - more on that soon.

       The only other Template Toolkit related thing that has to be mentioned here is the "|
       html" in "[% entries.$id.title | html %]". That's a filter <http://www.template-
       toolkit.org/docs/manual/Filters.html#section_html> to convert characters like "<" and ">"
       to "&lt;" and "&gt;". This way they will be displayed by the browser as content on the
       page rather than just included. If we did not do this, the browser might interpret content
       as part of the page, and a malicious user could smuggle in all kinds of bad code that
       would then run in another user's browser. This is called Cross Site Scripting
       <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_scripting> or XSS and you should make sure to
       avoid it by always filtering data that came in from the web when you display it in a
       template.

Other HTTP verbs

       There are 8 defined HTTP verbs defined in RFC 2616
       <http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec9.html#sec9>: OPTIONS, GET, HEAD, POST,
       PUT, DELETE, TRACE, CONNECT.  Of these, the majority of web applications focus on the
       verbs which closely map to the CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) operations most
       database-driven applications need to implement.

       In addition, the "PATCH" verb was defined in RFC5789 <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5789>,
       and is intended as a "partial PUT" - sending just the changes required to the entity in
       question.  How this would be handled is down to your app, it will vary depending on the
       type of entity in question and the serialization in use.

       Dancer2 currently supports GET, PUT/PATCH, POST, DELETE, OPTIONS which map to Retrieve,
       Update, Create, Delete respectively.  Let's take a look now at the "/add" route handler
       which handles a POST operation.

         post '/add' => sub {
            if ( not session('logged_in') ) {
               send_error("Not logged in", 401);
            }

            my $db = connect_db();
            my $sql = 'insert into entries (title, text) values (?, ?)';
            my $sth = $db->prepare($sql) or die $db->errstr;
            $sth->execute(
                body_parameters->get('title'),
                body_parameters->get('text')
            ) or die $sth->errstr;

            set_flash('New entry posted!');
            redirect '/';
         };

       As before, the HTTP verb begins the handler, followed by the route, and a subroutine to do
       something - in this case, it will insert a new entry into the database.

       The first check in the subroutine is to make sure the user sending the data is logged in.
       If not, the application returns an error and stops processing.  Otherwise, we have
       standard DBI stuff. Let me insert (heh, heh) a blatant plug here for always, always using
       parameterized INSERTs in your application SQL statements.  It's the only way to be sure
       your application won't be vulnerable to SQL injection. (See <http://www.bobby-tables.com>
       for correct INSERT examples in multiple languages.) Here we're using the "body_parameters"
       convenience method to pull in the parameters in the current HTTP request. (You can see the
       'title' and 'text' form parameters in the show_entries.tt template above.) Those values
       are inserted into the database, then we set a flash message for the user and redirect her
       back to the root URL.

       It's worth mentioning that the "flash message" is not part of Dancer2, but a part of this
       specific application. We need to implement it ourself.

         sub set_flash {
             my $message = shift;

             session flash => $message;
         }

         sub get_flash {
             my $msg = session('flash');
             session->delete('flash');

             return $msg;
         }

       We need a way to save our temporary message, and a way to get it back out.  Since it is a
       temporary message that should only be shown on the page immediately following the one
       where the value was set, we need to delete it once it was read.

Sessions and logins

       A good way to implement this "flash message" mechanic is to write the message to the
       user's session. The session stores data for a specific user for the whole time she uses
       the application. It persists over all requests this user makes. You can read more about
       how to use the session in our manual.

       Dancer2 comes with a simple in-memory session manager out of the box.  It supports a bunch
       of other session engines including YAML, memcached, browser cookies and others.  For this
       application we're going to stick with the in-memory model which works great for
       development and tutorials, but won't persist across server restarts or scale very well in
       "real world" production scenarios.

   Configuration options
       To use sessions in our application, we have to tell Dancer2 to activate the session
       handler and initialize a session manager.  To do that, we add some configuration
       directives toward the top of our 'dancr.pl' file.  But there are more options than just
       the session engine we want to set.

         set 'database'     => File::Spec->catfile(File::Spec->tmpdir(), 'dancr.db');
         set 'session'      => 'Simple';
         set 'template'     => 'template_toolkit';
         set 'logger'       => 'console';
         set 'log'          => 'debug';
         set 'show_errors'  => 1;
         set 'startup_info' => 1;
         set 'warnings'     => 1;

       Hopefully these are fairly self-explanatory. We want the Simple session engine, the
       Template Toolkit template engine, logging enabled (at the 'debug' level with output to the
       console instead of a file), we want to show errors to the web browser, log access attempts
       and log Dancer2 warnings (instead of silently ignoring them).

       In a more sophisticated application you would want to put these configuration options into
       a configuration file, but for this tutorial, we're going to keep it simple.  Dancer2 also
       supports the notion of application environments, meaning you can create a configuration
       file for your development instance, and another config file for the production environment
       (with things like debugging and showing errors disabled perhaps). Dancer2 also doesn't
       impose any limits on what parameters you can set using the "set" syntax.  For this
       application we're going to embed our single username and password into the application
       itself:

         set 'username' => 'admin';
         set 'password' => 'password';

       Hopefully no one will ever guess our clever password!  Obviously, you will want a more
       sophisticated user authentication scheme in any sort of non-tutorial application but this
       is good enough for our purposes.

   Logging in
       Now that Dancr is configured to handle sessions, let's take a look at the URL handler for
       the "/login" route.

         any ['get', 'post'] => '/login' => sub {
            my $err;

            if ( request->method() eq "POST" ) {
              # process form input
              if ( body_parameters->get('username') ne setting('username') ) {
                $err = "Invalid username";
              }
              elsif ( body_parameters->get('password') ne setting('password') ) {
                $err = "Invalid password";
              }
              else {
                session 'logged_in' => true;
                set_flash('You are logged in.');
                return redirect '/';
              }
           }

           # display login form
           template 'login.tt', {
             'err' => $err,
           };
         };

       This is the first handler which accepts two different verb types, a GET for a human
       browsing to the URL and a POST for the browser to submit the user's input to the web
       application.  Since we're handling two different verbs, we check to see what verb is in
       the request.  If it's not a POST, we drop down to the "template" directive and display the
       login.tt template:

         <h2>Login</h2>
         [% IF err %]<p class=error><strong>Error:</strong> [% err %][% END %]
         <form action="[% login_url %]" method=post>
           <dl>
             <dt>Username:
             <dd><input type=text name=username>
             <dt>Password:
             <dd><input type=password name=password>
             <dd><input type=submit value=Login>
           </dl>
         </form>

       This is even simpler than our show_entries.tt template - but wait - there's a "login_url"
       template parameter and we're only passing in the "err" parameter. Where's the missing
       parameter?  It's being generated and sent to the template in a "before_template_render"
       directive - we'll come back to that in a moment or two.

       So the user fills out the login.tt template and submits it back to the "/login" route
       handler.  We now check the user input against our application settings and if the input is
       incorrect, we alert the user, otherwise the application starts a session and sets the
       "logged_in" session parameter to the "true()" value. Dancer2 exports both a "true()" and
       "false()" convenience method which we use here.  After that, it's another flash message
       and back to the root URL handler.

   Logging out
       And finally, we need a way to clear our user's session with the customary logout
       procedure.

         get '/logout' => sub {
            app->destroy_session;
            set_flash('You are logged out.');
            redirect '/';
         };

       "app->destroy_session;" is Dancer2's way to remove a stored session.  We notify the user
       she is logged out and route her back to the root URL once again.

       You might wonder how we can then set a value in the session in "set_flash", because we
       just destroyed the session.

       Destroying the session has removed the data from the persistence layer (which is the
       memory of our running application, because we are using the "simple" session engine). If
       we write to the session now, it will actually create a completely new session for our
       user. This new, empty session will have a new session ID, which Dancer2 tells the user's
       browser about in the response.  When the browser requests the root URL, it will send this
       new session ID to our application.

Layout and static files

       We still have a missing puzzle piece or two.  First, how can we use Dancer2 to serve our
       CSS stylesheet? Second, where are flash messages displayed?  Third, what about the
       "before_template_render" directive?

   Serving static files
       In Dancer2, static files should go into the "public/" directory, but in the application
       itself be sure to omit the "public/" element from the path.  For example, the stylesheet
       for Dancr lives in "dancr/public/css/style.css" but is served from
       <http://localhost:3000/css/style.css>.

       If you wanted to build a mostly static web site you could simply write route handlers like
       this one:

         get '/' => sub {
            send_file 'index.html';
         };

       where index.html would live in your "public/" directory.

       "send_file" does exactly what it says: it loads a static file, then sends the contents of
       that file to the user.

   Layouts
       I mentioned near the beginning of this tutorial that it is possible to create a "layout"
       template. In Dancr, that layout is called "main" and it's set up by putting in a directive
       like this:

         set layout => 'main';

       near the top of your web application.  This tells Dancer2's template engine that it should
       look for a file called main.tt in "dancr/views/layouts/" and insert the calls from the
       "template" directive into a template parameter called "content".

       For this web application, the layout template looks like this:

         <!doctype html>
         <html>
         <head>
           <title>Dancr</title>
           <link rel=stylesheet type=text/css href="[% css_url %]">
         </head>
         <body>
           <div class=page>
           <h1>Dancr</h1>
              <div class=metanav>
              [% IF not session.logged_in %]
                <a href="[% login_url %]">log in</a>
              [% ELSE %]
                <a href="[% logout_url %]">log out</a>
              [% END %]
           </div>
           [% IF msg %]
             <div class=flash> [% msg %] </div>
           [% END %]
           [% content %]
         </div>
         </body>
         </html>

       Aha! You now see where the flash message "msg" parameter gets rendered. You can also see
       where the content from the specific route handlers is inserted (the fourth line from the
       bottom in the "content" template parameter).

       But what about all those other *_url template parameters?

   Using "before_template_render"
       Dancer2 has a way to manipulate the template parameters before they're passed to the
       engine for processing. It's "before_template_render".  Using this directive, you can
       generate and set the URIs for the "/login" and "/logout" route handlers and the URI for
       the stylesheet. This is handy for situations like this where there are values which are
       re-used consistently across all (or most) templates.  This cuts down on code-duplication
       and makes your app easier to maintain over time since you only need to update the values
       in this one place instead of everywhere you render a template.

         hook before_template_render => sub {
            my $tokens = shift;

            $tokens->{'css_url'} = request->base . 'css/style.css';
            $tokens->{'login_url'} = uri_for('/login');
            $tokens->{'logout_url'} = uri_for('/logout');
         };

       Here again I'm using "uri_for" instead of hardcoding the routes.  This code block is
       executed before any of the templates are processed so that the template parameters have
       the appropriate values before being rendered.

Putting it all together

       Here's the complete 'dancr.pl' script from start to finish.

        use Dancer2;
        use DBI;
        use File::Spec;
        use File::Slurper qw/ read_text /;
        use Template;

        set 'database'     => File::Spec->catfile(File::Spec->tmpdir(), 'dancr.db');
        set 'session'      => 'Simple';
        set 'template'     => 'template_toolkit';
        set 'logger'       => 'console';
        set 'log'          => 'debug';
        set 'show_errors'  => 1;
        set 'startup_info' => 1;
        set 'warnings'     => 1;
        set 'username'     => 'admin';
        set 'password'     => 'password';
        set 'layout'       => 'main';

        sub set_flash {
            my $message = shift;

            session flash => $message;
        }

        sub get_flash {
            my $msg = session('flash');
            session->delete('flash');

            return $msg;
        }

        sub connect_db {
            my $dbh = DBI->connect("dbi:SQLite:dbname=".setting('database')) or
                die $DBI::errstr;

            return $dbh;
        }

        sub init_db {
            my $db = connect_db();
            my $schema = read_text('./schema.sql');
            $db->do($schema) or die $db->errstr;
        }

        hook before_template_render => sub {
            my $tokens = shift;

            $tokens->{'css_url'} = request->base . 'css/style.css';
            $tokens->{'login_url'} = uri_for('/login');
            $tokens->{'logout_url'} = uri_for('/logout');
        };

        get '/' => sub {
            my $db = connect_db();
            my $sql = 'select id, title, text from entries order by id desc';
            my $sth = $db->prepare($sql) or die $db->errstr;
            $sth->execute or die $sth->errstr;
            template 'show_entries.tt', {
                'msg' => get_flash(),
                'add_entry_url' => uri_for('/add'),
                'entries' => $sth->fetchall_hashref('id'),
            };
        };

        post '/add' => sub {
            if ( not session('logged_in') ) {
                send_error("Not logged in", 401);
            }

            my $db = connect_db();
            my $sql = 'insert into entries (title, text) values (?, ?)';
            my $sth = $db->prepare($sql) or die $db->errstr;
            $sth->execute(
                body_parameters->get('title'),
                body_parameters->get('text')
            ) or die $sth->errstr;

            set_flash('New entry posted!');
            redirect '/';
        };

        any ['get', 'post'] => '/login' => sub {
            my $err;

            if ( request->method() eq "POST" ) {
                # process form input
                if ( body_parameters->get('username') ne setting('username') ) {
                    $err = "Invalid username";
                }
                elsif ( body_parameters->get('password') ne setting('password') ) {
                    $err = "Invalid password";
                }
                else {
                    session 'logged_in' => true;
                    set_flash('You are logged in.');
                    return redirect '/';
                }
           }

           # display login form
           template 'login.tt', {
               'err' => $err,
           };

        };

        get '/logout' => sub {
           app->destroy_session;
           set_flash('You are logged out.');
           redirect '/';
        };

        init_db();
        start;

Advanced route moves

       There's a lot more to route matching than shown here. For example, you can match routes
       with regular expressions, or you can match pieces of a route like "/hello/:name" where the
       ":name" piece magically turns into a named parameter in your handler for manipulation.

Next Steps

       Hopefully this effort has been helpful and interesting enough to get you exploring Dancer2
       on your own. Dancer2 is suitable for projects of all shapes and sizes, and you can easily
       build a solution tailored to your particular needs.

       There is certainly a lot left to cover. We suggest you take a stroll through the manualfor
       more detailed information about the topics covered in this tutorial, and for a more
       thorough explanation of all things Dancer2-related. The cookbook will show you how to
       handle some handy tips and tricks when working with Dancer2. Additionally, there are a lot
       of great plugins <https://metacpan.org/search?q=Dancer2%3A%3APlugin> which extend and
       enhance the capabilities of the framework.

       Happy dancing!

SEE ALSO

       ·   <http://perldancer.org>

       ·   <http://github.com/PerlDancer/Dancer2>

       ·   Dancer2::Plugins

CSS COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

       The CSS stylesheet is copied verbatim from the Flaskr example application and is subject
       to their license:

       Copyright (c) 2010, 2013 by Armin Ronacher and contributors.

       Some rights reserved.

       Redistribution and use in source and binary forms of the software as well as
       documentation, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following
       conditions are met:

       ·   Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of
           conditions and the following disclaimer.

       ·   Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of
           conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials
           provided with the distribution.

       ·   The names of the contributors may not be used to endorse or promote products derived
           from this software without specific prior written permission.

AUTHOR

       Dancer Core Developers

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

       This software is copyright (c) 2018 by Alexis Sukrieh.

       This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as
       the Perl 5 programming language system itself.