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Thomas Schühly
Thomas Schühly

Posted on • Updated on

Creating a GO GUI with Alpine.js and Webview

There are a lot of options for building a GUI for Go applications.
Coming from the web development world building the frontend with HTML seems as a no-brainer.


Webview is a tiny cross-platform library for C/C++/Golang to build modern cross-platform GUIs. The goal of the project is to create a common HTML5 UI abstraction layer for the most widely used platforms.

To start using webview you need to install webview:
go get

On windows you need to have these two dlls in the project root folder.

It supports two-way JavaScript bindings (to call JavaScript from C/C++/Go and to call C/C++/Go from JavaScript).
But writing pure javascript code for the interactivity (imo) is awful.

Alpine.js to the rescue

"Alpine.js is a rugged, minimal tool for composing behavior directly in your markup." It fits perfectly for our usecase.

You can load alpine inline or from a file. The newest version is available at

func loadAlpine() string {
    return "paste alpine.js source here"
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First you must initialize webview.

func main() {
    webView := webview.New(true)
    defer webView.Destroy()

    webView.SetSize(600, 600, webview.HintNone)
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To execute go code with alpine we need to call webView.bind("functionName").

webView.Bind("extractSubDirectories", func(sourceFolder string) string {
  folderUrls = extractSubDirectories(sourceFolder)
    tmpl := template.Must(template.New("html").Parse(
      // language=GoTemplate
      {{range $vendor, $folderDetailsArray := .}}
          <h3>Vendor: {{$vendor}}</h2>
        {{range $folderDetails := $folderDetailsArray}}
            <li>{{ .Path }} filecount:: {{ .FileCount }}</li>
  var html bytes.Buffer
  err := tmpl.Execute(&html, folderUrls)
  if err != nil {
    logger.WritePrint("ERROR: " + err.Error())
  return html.String()
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To create your first page you call webView.Navigate() and supply it with your HTML. Then call webView.Run()

webView.Navigate(`data:text/html` + `<!doctype html>
<html lang="de" x-data="{ pathInput: '', table : ''}">
    <body style="padding: 2rem">
        <h1>JPEG Sorter</h1>
        <p>Input the folder where the images are stored</p>
        <input type="text" x-model="pathInput"/>

        <button @click="table = ''; table = await extractSubDirectories(pathInput);">analyse folder</button>

        <div x-html=table></div>
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As you can see there are quite a lot of non standard html attributes, this is the magic of alpine.js.
You can create local alpine data variables in the scope of the element:

<html lang="de" x-data="{ pathInput: '', table : ''}">
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You can bind input data to the local variables with x-model

<input type="text" x-model="pathInput"/>
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But the coolest part comes now. With an @click alpine attribute we can call our go functions from the html. The extractSubDirectories() function we binded earlier in this example.

<button @click="table = await extractSubDirectories(pathInput);">
  analyse folder
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With x-html we can bind the returned html from the go function into our gui.

<div x-html=table></div>
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These are the basic steps to get webview and alpine.js working with Go.

GUI Example

GUI Example

You can look at my recent freelance project for a complete example on Github.

Top comments (4)

sensorario profile image
Simone Gentili

Could you please add some GUI example (I mean, .. images) in your post?

tschuehly profile image
Thomas Schühly

I added one :)

romanesko profile image
Roman Bykovskiy

Could you explain the last line of code. Why we assigning value from variable tbl, if we declared variable table and what’s that ="executionTime">?

tschuehly profile image
Thomas Schühly

It is just a typo, it needs to be x-html=table