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

Back in Story 4, we used plates to generate the HTML that we used. It seems that since I wrote the entry, hij1nx had the audacity to make plates much better. Kudos!

Clearer option specification through fluency

Before, when I wanted to map values into tags, I had to specify the following dictionary.

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var options = {
'id': ['id', 'value'],
'ctime': 'id',
'desc': 'id'
};

If I want to change that, I have to refer to the documentation because those values have no context to them. What does 'id': ['id', 'value'] really mean, anyway?

Now, plates replaces that with a new Map object. Now, I can write the following that has the same meaning as above.

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var options = plates.Map();
options.where('name') // HTML attribute of tag
.is('id') // Value for attribute
.use('id') // Entry in the binding data
.as('value'); // Target attribute for replacement

I put the comments there for clarification. However, I don’t really need them because the replacement parameters now have context to them.

Changing the to-do list app

The code that I wrote in Story 4 no longer works. I’ll fix that, now.

First, get the newly published version of plates. Mark the version as 0.4.3 in the package.json.

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{
"name": "todo-list",
"version": "0.1.0",
"dependencies": {
"flatiron": "*",
"union": "*",
"plates": "0.4.3",
"resourceful": "git://github.com/flatiron/resourceful.git",
"connect": "git://github.com/senchalabs/connect.git"
}
}

Now, re-install plates using npm.

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todo/%  npm uninstall plates
todo/% npm install

Finally, change the get route to the following. In-line comments explain the changes.

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app.router.get('/', function() {
var self = this;

// Had to add 'utf-8' to my readFile. Don't know what changed, but
// started getting a raw Buffer object rather than a string.
fs.readFile('index.html', 'utf-8', function(err, data) {
if(err) {
self.res.writeHead(404);
self.res.end();
return;
}
var listContent = "";
if(typeof self.req.session.tasks === 'undefined') {
self.req.session.tasks = [];
}

// For the elements with a class of 'ctime', replace its inner value with
// the value stored in 'ctime' in the data object.
var optctime = plates.Map().class('ctime').to('ctime');

// For the elements with a class of 'desc', replace its inner value with
// the value stored in 'desc' in the data object.
var optdesc = plates.Map().class('desc').to('desc');

// For the element with a name attribute of 'id', put the value stored in
// 'id' in the data object into the 'value' attribute of the element.
var optid = plates.Map().where('name').is('id').use('id').as('value');

self.req.session.tasks.forEach(function(task) {
var data = {
'desc': task.desc,
'ctime': new Date(task.ctime).toDateString().substr(4),
'id': task._id
};

// Bind the options on each element that requires the value replacement.
listContent += '<li>' +
'<form method="post" action="/">' +
'<button>Delete Item</button>' +
plates.bind('<span class="ctime"></span>', data, optctime) +
'<span>I need to </span>' +
plates.bind('<span class="desc"></span>', data, optdesc) +
'<input type="hidden" name="method" value="DELETE" />' +
plates.bind('<input type="hidden" name="id" value="" />', data, optid) +
'</form>' +
'</li>';
});
data = plates.bind(data, {'task-list': listContent});
self.res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
self.res.end(data);
})
});

You can get this new code from story5-plates-0.4.3.zip

You can find the updated API documentation at https://github.com/flatiron/plates.