The flatiron library is no more. So, other than reading stuff, there just isn’t all that much relevant stuff, here.

This post continues the creation of a to-do list with flatiron.js.

Previous Stories in this Series

We’ll use connect‘s session middleware to get this going. In the documentation, it shows that we must include the cookieParser middleware first and then pass a token into the session middleware to compute the hash stored in the session cookie. In our server file, let’s implement that.

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// server.js

var session = require('connect').session
, cookieParser = require('connect').cookieParser
, flatiron = require('flatiron')
, app = flatiron.app
;

app.use(flatiron.plugins.http);

app.http.before.push(cookieParser());
app.http.before.push(session({secret: 'todo list secret'}));

app.router.get('/', function() {
this.res.end();
});

app.start(8090);

That should be all there is to it. Run npm start from the command line and navigate to http://localhost:8090.

Problem: Object [object Object] has no method ‘_implicitHeader’

Well, that didn’t work. The server threw an exception and our process exited. The top two entries in the stack trace show us some relevant information.

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"TypeError: Object [object Object] has no method '_implicitHeader'",
" at [object Object].<anonymous> (./node_modules/connect/lib/middleware/session.js:279:31)",
" at Object.<anonymous> (./server.js:15:12)",

There’s a problem in the session middleware. If we head over to its github repo and look at the history of session.js, then we find out that the version of session.js that we installed with version 1.8.5 of connect is at least six months old. Well, let’s update connect to the 2.0.0alpha version by specifying the URL to the tarball. Change package.json to read

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{
"name": "todo-list",
"version": "0.1.0",
"dependencies": {
"flatiron": "*",
"union": "*",
"plates": "*",
"resourceful": "*",
"connect": "https://github.com/senchalabs/connect/tarball/2.0.0alpha1"
}
}

Run the following commands at the command line.

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npm uninstall connect
npm install
npm start

Once again, navigate to http://localhost:8090 and let’s see what we get.

Another problem: connect.cookieParser(\”secret\”) required for security when using sessions

Well, looks like the API changed between connect@1.8.5 and connect@2.0.0. Let’s change the server.js file to honor the error message. Since the cookieParser now takes the secret, I bet that we don’t need to provide it to the session. Change server.js to read

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// server.js

var session = require('connect').session
, cookieParser = require('connect').cookieParser
, flatiron = require('flatiron')
, app = flatiron.app
;

app.use(flatiron.plugins.http);

app.http.before.push(cookieParser('todo list secret')); // secret here
app.http.before.push(session()); // no secret here

app.router.get('/', function() {
this.res.end();
});

app.start(8090);

Run the following commands at the command line.

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npm start

Once again, navigate to http://localhost:8090 and let’s see what we get.

Problem revisited: Object [object Object] has no method ‘_implicitHeader’

Seriously? Don’t they release new versions of connect? Ever?

Fine, we’ll install HEAD instead of 2.0.0.alpha. Change package.json to read

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{
"name": "todo-list",
"version": "0.1.0",
"dependencies": {
"flatiron": "*",
"union": "*",
"plates": "*",
"resourceful": "*",
"connect": "git://github.com/senchalabs/connect.git"
}
}

Run the following commands at the command line.

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npm uninstall connect
npm install
npm start

Once again, navigate to http://localhost:8090 and let’s see what we get.

Problems resolved

Finally, an empty page in the browser and no uncaught exceptions in our server.

“What did you learn today, Ian?”

“I learned that flatiron may be backwards compatible with connect, but connect doesn’t have a new release to make it compatible with node@0.6.”