x/ruck@v5.0.0

Ruck is an open source buildless React web application framework for Deno.
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Ruck

Ruck is an open source buildless React web application framework for Deno. It can be used to create basic sites or powerful apps.

Work with cutting edge standard technologies such as ESM, dynamic imports, HTTP imports, and import maps to avoid build steps like transpilation or bundling. Deno and browsers directly run the source code. Ruck is extremely lean with few dependencies. Modules are focused with default exports that are only deep imported when needed.

Some things that are complicated or impossible with traditional frameworks are easy with Ruck, for example…

  • Matching dynamic routes with RegEx or custom logic. Ideally an invalid slug in a route URL results in a error page without loading the route’s components or data.
  • Components can use the TransferContext React context during SSR to read the page HTTP request and modify the response. This is surprisingly difficult with Next.js, see next-server-context.
  • Proper React rendering of head tags specified by the useHead React hook. React components with a normal lifecycle can be used to render head tags that can be grouped, ordered, and prioritized for overrides. Frameworks like Next.js provide a React component that accepts basic head tags as children that it manually iterates and syncs in the document head DOM.
  • SSR with component level data fetching. This is quite tricky with frameworks like Next.js and Remix that support data fetching at the route level, see next-graphql-react.
  • GraphQL ready to use via React hooks from graphql-react.
  • Declarative system for auto loading and unloading component CSS file dependencies with absolute or relative URLs.
  • Baked-in type safety and IntelliSense via TypeScript JSDoc comments.

Installation

A Ruck project contains:

  • A Deno config file called deno.json or deno.jsonc, containing:

    {
      "compilerOptions": {
        "lib": [
          "dom",
          "dom.iterable",
          "dom.asynciterable",
          "deno.ns",
          "deno.unstable"
        ]
      }
    }

    This enables Deno and DOM types for project and imported dependency modules.

  • Import map JSON files that tell your IDE, Deno, and browsers where to import dependencies from. Ruck automatically uses es-module-shims so you don’t need to worry about poor browser support for import maps.

    Ideally use separate development and production import maps for the server and client. This way a version of React that has more detailed error messages can be used during local development, and server specific dependencies can be excluded from the browser import map for a faster page load.

    Recommended import map file names and starter contents:

    • importMap.server.dev.json

      {
        "imports": {
          "graphql-react/": "https://unpkg.com/graphql-react@18.0.0/",
          "media_types/": "https://deno.land/x/media_types@v3.0.2/",
          "react": "https://esm.sh/react@17.0.2?dev",
          "react-dom/server": "https://esm.sh/react-dom@17.0.2/server?dev",
          "react-waterfall-render/": "https://unpkg.com/react-waterfall-render@4.0.0/",
          "ruck/": "https://deno.land/x/ruck@v5.0.0/",
          "std/": "https://deno.land/std@0.138.0/"
        }
      }
    • importMap.server.json

      {
        "imports": {
          "graphql-react/": "https://unpkg.com/graphql-react@18.0.0/",
          "media_types/": "https://deno.land/x/media_types@v3.0.2/",
          "react": "https://esm.sh/react@17.0.2",
          "react-dom/server": "https://esm.sh/react-dom@17.0.2/server",
          "react-waterfall-render/": "https://unpkg.com/react-waterfall-render@4.0.0/",
          "ruck/": "https://deno.land/x/ruck@v5.0.0/",
          "std/": "https://deno.land/std@0.138.0/"
        }
      }
    • importMap.client.dev.json

      {
        "imports": {
          "graphql-react/": "https://unpkg.com/graphql-react@18.0.0/",
          "react": "https://cdn.esm.sh/v78/react@17.0.2/es2021/react.development.js",
          "react-dom": "https://cdn.esm.sh/v78/react-dom@17.0.2/es2021/react-dom.development.js",
          "react-waterfall-render/": "https://unpkg.com/react-waterfall-render@4.0.0/",
          "ruck/": "https://deno.land/x/ruck@v5.0.0/"
        }
      }
    • importMap.client.json

      {
        "imports": {
          "graphql-react/": "https://unpkg.com/graphql-react@18.0.0/",
          "react": "https://cdn.esm.sh/v78/react@17.0.2/es2021/react.js",
          "react-dom": "https://cdn.esm.sh/v78/react-dom@17.0.2/es2021/react-dom.js",
          "react-waterfall-render/": "https://unpkg.com/react-waterfall-render@4.0.0/",
          "ruck/": "https://deno.land/x/ruck@v5.0.0/"
        }
      }

    A DRY approach is to Git ignore the import map files and generate them with a script that’s a single source of truth.

  • A module that imports and uses Ruck’s serve function to start the Ruck app server, typically called scripts/serve.mjs. Here’s an example:

    // @ts-check
    
    import serve from "ruck/serve.mjs";
    
    serve({
      clientImportMap: new URL(
        Deno.env.get("RUCK_DEV") === "true"
          ? "../importMap.client.dev.json"
          : "../importMap.client.json",
        import.meta.url,
      ),
      port: Number(Deno.env.get("RUCK_PORT")),
    });
    
    console.info(
      `Ruck app HTTP server listening on http://localhost:${
        Deno.env.get("RUCK_PORT")
      }`,
    );

    The Deno CLI is used to run this script; Ruck doesn’t have a CLI.

    You may choose to create a scripts/serve.sh shell script that serves the Ruck app:

    #!/bin/sh
    # Serves the Ruck app.
    
    # Asserts an environment variable is set.
    # Argument 1: Name.
    # Argument 2: Value.
    assertEnvVar() {
      if [ -z "$2" ]
      then
        echo "Missing environment variable \`$1\`." >&2
        exit 1
      fi
    }
    
    # Assert environment variables are set.
    assertEnvVar RUCK_DEV $RUCK_DEV
    assertEnvVar RUCK_PORT $RUCK_PORT
    
    # Serve the Ruck app.
    if [ "$RUCK_DEV" = "true" ]
    then
      deno run \
        --allow-env \
        --allow-net \
        --allow-read \
        --import-map=importMap.server.dev.json \
        --watch=. \
        scripts/serve.mjs
    else
      deno run \
        --allow-env \
        --allow-net \
        --allow-read \
        --import-map=importMap.server.json \
        scripts/serve.mjs
    fi

    First, ensure it’s executable:

    chmod +x ./scripts/serve.sh

    Then, run it like this:

    RUCK_DEV="true" RUCK_PORT="3000" ./scripts/serve.sh

    You may choose to store environment variables in a Git ignored scripts/.env.sh file:

    export RUCK_DEV="true"
    export RUCK_PORT="3000"

    Then, you could create a scripts/dev.sh shell script (also ensure it’s executable):

    #!/bin/sh
    # Loads the environment variables and serves the Ruck app.
    
    # Load the environment variables.
    . scripts/.env.sh &&
    
    # Serve the Ruck app.
    ./scripts/serve.sh

    This way you only need to run this when developing your Ruck app:

    ./scripts/dev.sh

    There isn’t a universally “correct” way to use environment variables or start serving the Ruck app; create an optimal workflow for your particular development and production environments.

  • A public directory containing files that Ruck serves directly to browsers, by default called public. For example, public/favicon.ico could be accessed in a browser at the URL path /favicon.ico.

  • A router.mjs module in the public directory that default exports a function that Ruck calls on both the server and client with details such as the route URL to determine what the route content should be. It should have this JSDoc type:

    /** @type {import("ruck/serve.mjs").Router} */

    Ruck provides an (optional) declarative system for automatic loading and unloading of component CSS file dependencies served by Ruck via the public directory or CDN. Ruck’s routePlanForContentWithCss function can be imported and used to create route plan for content with CSS file dependencies.

    Here is an example for a website that has a home page, a /blog page that lists blog posts, and a /blog/post-id-slug-here page for individual blog posts:

    // @ts-check
    
    import { createElement as h } from "react";
    import routePlanForContentWithCss from "ruck/routePlanForContentWithCss.mjs";
    
    // The component used to display a route loading error (e.g. due to an
    // internet dropout) should be imported up front instead of dynamically
    // importing it when needed, as it would likely also fail to load.
    import PageError, {
      // A `Set` instance containing CSS URLs.
      css as cssPageError,
    } from "./components/PageError.mjs";
    
    /**
     * Gets the Ruck app route plan for a URL.
     * @type {import("ruck/serve.mjs").Router}
     */
    export default function router(url, headManager, isInitialRoute) {
      if (url.pathname === "/") {
        return routePlanForContentWithCss(
          // Dynamically import route components so they only load when needed.
          import("./components/PageHome.mjs").then(
            ({ default: PageHome, css }) => ({
              content: h(PageHome),
              css,
            }),
            // It’s important to handle dynamic import loading errors.
            catchImportContentWithCss,
          ),
          headManager,
          isInitialRoute,
        );
      }
    
      if (url.pathname === "/blog") {
        return routePlanForContentWithCss(
          import("./components/PageBlog.mjs").then(
            ({ default: PageBlog, css }) => ({
              content: h(PageBlog),
              css,
            }),
            catchImportContentWithCss,
          ),
          headManager,
          isInitialRoute,
        );
      }
    
      // For routes with URL slugs, use RegEx that only matches valid slugs,
      // instead of simply extracting the whole slug. This way an invalid URL slug
      // naturally results in an immediate 404 error and avoids loading the route
      // component or loading data with the invalid slug.
      const matchPagePost = url.pathname.match(/^\/blog\/(?<postId>[\w-]+)$/u);
    
      if (matchPagePost?.groups) {
        const { postId } = matchPagePost.groups;
    
        return routePlanForContentWithCss(
          import("./components/PagePost.mjs").then(
            ({ default: PagePost, css }) => ({
              content: h(PagePost, { postId }),
              css,
            }),
          ),
          headManager,
          isInitialRoute,
        );
      }
    
      // Fallback to a 404 error page.
      return routePlanForContentWithCss(
        // If you have a component specifically for a 404 error page, it would be
        // ok to dynamically import it here. In this particular example the
        // component was already imported for the loading error page.
        {
          content: h(PageError, {
            status: 404,
            title: "Error 404",
            description: "Something is missing.",
          }),
          css: cssPageError,
        },
        headManager,
        isInitialRoute,
      );
    }
    
    /**
     * Catches a dynamic import error for route content with CSS.
     * @param {Error} cause Import error.
     * @returns {import("ruck/routePlanForContentWithCss.mjs").RouteContentWithCss}
     */
    function catchImportContentWithCss(cause) {
      console.error(new Error("Import rejection for route with CSS.", { cause }));
    
      return {
        content: h(PageError, {
          status: 500,
          title: "Error loading",
          description: "Unable to load.",
        }),
        css: cssPageError,
      };
    }

    For the previous example, here’s the public/components/PageError.mjs module:

    // @ts-check
    
    import { createElement as h, useContext } from "react";
    import TransferContext from "ruck/TransferContext.mjs";
    
    import Heading, { css as cssHeading } from "./Heading.mjs";
    import Para, { css as cssPara } from "./Para.mjs";
    
    // Export CSS URLs for the component and its dependencies.
    export const css = new Set([
      ...cssHeading,
      ...cssPara,
      "/components/PageError.css",
    ]);
    
    /**
     * React component for an error page.
     * @param {object} props Props.
     * @param {number} props.status HTTP status code.
     * @param {number} props.title Error title.
     * @param {string} props.description Error description.
     */
    export default function PageError({ status, title, description }) {
      // Ruck’s transfer (request/response) context; only populated on the server.
      const ruckTransfer = useContext(TransferContext);
    
      // If server side rendering, modify the HTTP status code for the Ruck app
      // page response.
      if (ruckTransfer) ruckTransfer.responseInit.status = status;
    
      return h(
        "section",
        { className: "PageError__section" },
        h(Heading, null, title),
        h(Para, null, description),
      );
    }
  • A components/App.mjs module in the public directory that default exports a React component that renders the entire app. It should have this JSDoc type:

    /** @type {import("ruck/serve.mjs").AppComponent} */

    It typically imports and uses several React hooks from Ruck:

    • useCss to declare CSS files that apply to the entire app.
    • useHead to establish head tags that apply to the entire app such as meta[name="viewport"] and link[rel="manifest"].
    • useRoute to get the current route URL and content, and render it in a persistent layout containing global content such as a header and footer.

    Here’s an example public/components/App.mjs module for a website with home and blog pages:

    // @ts-check
    
    import { createElement as h, Fragment, useMemo } from "react";
    import useCss from "ruck/useCss.mjs";
    import useHead from "ruck/useHead.mjs";
    import useRoute from "ruck/useRoute.mjs";
    
    import NavLink, { css as cssNavLink } from "./NavLink.mjs";
    
    const css = new Set([
      ...cssNavLink,
      "/components/App.css",
    ]);
    
    /**
     * React component for the Ruck app.
     * @type {import("ruck/serve.mjs").AppComponent}
     */
    export default function App() {
      const route = useRoute();
    
      useHead(
        // Head tag fragments render in the document head in key order. A good
        // convention is to use group and subgroup numbers, followed by a
        // descriptive name.
        "1-1-meta",
        // Must be memoized. If it’s dynamic use the `useMemo` React hook,
        // otherwise define it outside the component function scope.
        useMemo(() =>
          h(
            Fragment,
            null,
            h("meta", {
              name: "viewport",
              content: "width=device-width, initial-scale=1",
            }),
            h("meta", {
              name: "og:image",
              content:
                // Sometimes an absolute URL is necessary.
                `${route.url.origin}/social-preview.png`,
            }),
            h("link", { rel: "manifest", href: "/manifest.webmanifest" }),
            // More head tags here…
          ), [route.url.origin]),
      );
    
      // This loop doesn’t break React hook rules as the list never changes.
      for (const href of css) useCss(href);
    
      return h(
        Fragment,
        null,
        // Global nav…
        h(
          "nav",
          { className: "App__nav" },
          h(NavLink, { href: "/" }, "Home"),
          h(NavLink, { href: "/blog" }, "Blog"),
        ),
        // Route content…
        route.content,
        // Global footer…
        h("footer", { className: "App__footer" }, "Global footer content."),
      );
    }

    Ruck app route navigation links make use of these React hooks from Ruck:

    • useRoute to get the current route URL path for comparison with the link’s URL path to determine active state.
    • useOnClickRouteLink to replace the default browser navigation that happens when a link is clicked with a Ruck client side route navigation.

    For the previous example, here’s the public/components/NavLink.mjs module:

    // @ts-check
    
    import { createElement as h } from "react";
    import useOnClickRouteLink from "ruck/useOnClickRouteLink.mjs";
    import useRoute from "ruck/useRoute.mjs";
    
    export const css = new Set([
      "/components/NavLink.css",
    ]);
    
    /**
     * React component for a navigation link.
     * @param {object} props Props.
     * @param {string} props.href Link URL.
     * @param {import("react").ReactNode} [props.children] Children.
     */
    export default function NavLink({ href, children }) {
      const route = useRoute();
      const onClick = useOnClickRouteLink();
    
      let className = "NavLink__a";
      if (href === route.url.pathname) className += " NavLink__a--active";
    
      return h("a", { className, href, onClick }, children);
    }

Examples

Requirements

Contributing

Scripts

These CLI scripts are used for development and GitHub Actions CI checks.

Install

To install development dependencies (primarily Puppeteer):

./scripts/install.sh

Test

Beforehand, run the install script. To run the tests:

./scripts/test.sh

Serve

To serve the Ruck project files for testing in other local projects (argument 1 is the localhost port for the HTTP server to listen on):

./scripts/serve.sh 3001

Format

To format the project:

deno fmt

Lint

To lint the project:

deno lint