DEV Community

Cover image for Mint 🍃: Routing
Szikszai Gusztáv
Szikszai Gusztáv

Posted on • Updated on

Mint 🍃: Routing

This is the seventh post in a series that showcases the features of Mint, you can find the previous posts here:

In this post I will show you how to set up routes for your application.


In JavaScript land you would use a third party routing library like react-router, vue-router or something similar (depending on the framework) to handle changes in the URL.

In Mint, routing is built into to language itself 🎉 so there is one less dependency to worry about.

Defining routes

You can use the routes block to define routes:

routes {
  /path/to/match {
    /* Do something here... */
  }

  /an/other/path/to/match {
    /* Do something here... */
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Basically you just define the path you want to match and in a block what should happen when that path is matched.

There two things to keep in mind:

  • routes are matched from top to bottom
  • only one route matches per navigation event

Matching parameters

You can use the standard colon parameters (:param) for path variables:

routes {
  /posts/:id (id : String) {
    /* Do something with the id here... */
  }

  /posts/:id/comments/:comment (id : String, comment : String) {
    /* Do something with the id and comment here... */
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

ℹ️ The order of the variables does not matter but the names must match.

You can even match hash and query parameters:

routes {
  /posts?page=:page (page : String) {
    /* Do something with the page here... */
  }

  /#:hash (hash : String) {
    /* Do something with the hash here... */
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

⚠️ Currently type coercion is not implemented in route parameters so everything is a String.

Matching all (not defined) paths

Using the * block matches all (non defined) paths:

routes {
  * {
    /* Matches anything. Useful for displaying a 404 page. */
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

ℹ️ It does not matter where this block is, it will always match last.

Navigating to a new URL

In Mint the language takes care of the navigation, all you have to do is render normal anchor tags <a href="/path/to/navigate"></a> and the runtime will do the rest:

  • if the href attribute matches a route it will navigate to it and call the block without reloading the page, otherwise it will navigate to the URL normally
  • browser specific behavior is kept:
    • if the default behavior was prevented with perventDefault it does not navigate
    • ctrl click opens the URL in a new tab (if applicable)

ℹ️ If you are interested in the actual implementation you can find it here.

Practical usage and example

In a real application what I usually do is to have an enum that represents all the pages that can occur like this:

enum Page {
  NotFound
  Register
  Initial
  Login
  Home
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

I also have a store called Application with a state for the page:

store Application {
  state page : Page = Page::Initial

  fun setPage(page : Page) : Promise(Never, Void) {
    next { page = page }
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Then in the Main component I use that state to render the different pages:

component Main {
  connect Application exposing { page }

  fun render : Html {
    <div>
      <div>
        <a href="/register">"Register"</a>
        <a href="/login">"Login"</a>
        <a href="/asdf">"404"</a>
        <a href="/">"Home"</a>
      </div>

      <hr/>

      case (page) {
        Page::Register => <div>"Register"</div>
        Page::NotFound => <div>"404"</div>
        Page::Login => <div>"Login"</div>
        Page::Home => <div>"Home"</div>
        Page::Initial => <div></div>
      }
    </div>
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

And in the routes set the pages accordingly:

routes {
  /register {
    Application.setPage(Page::Register)
  }

  /login {
    Application.setPage(Page::Login)
  }

  / {
    Application.setPage(Page::Home)
  }

  * {
    Application.setPage(Page::NotFound)
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

And that is pretty much it 🎉 here you can find a repository with the actual code:

mint-example-routing

This is a repository to showcase the routing in Mint.

That's it for today, thank you for reading 🙏


If you like to learn more about Mint check out the guide 📖

In the next part I'm going to show how you can use environment variables 😉 see you there 👋

Discussion (2)

Collapse
gdotdesign profile image
Szikszai Gusztáv Author

Hey,

So I've tested www.mint-lang.com in Google Web Master tools and it's not running JavaScript because it contains ES6 features (like arrow functions =>) so I don't suggest trying to use that for SEO.

You can have mirrored routing:

  • if a crawler loads the page from the server it would render a small HTML page for them with SEO tags
  • if a browser loads the page it would serve the Mint app

Or you can do pre-rendering with prerender.io or some similar technology.


Sorry if I write this here since the question is really more complex than frontend routing, but I don't have your email.

Mint has a Gitter channel gitter.im/mint-lang/Lobby where I'm usually active so you can reach me there :)

And there is a Spectrum thingy (like a forum) as well where you can ask questions: spectrum.chat/mint-lang?tab=posts