[dancer-users] Opinions for architecture of a new web application

Ruth Holloway ruth at hiruthie.me
Mon Apr 4 16:23:18 BST 2022

Hi Andy,

At $WORK we do a lot of this kind of thing; some of our older apps are... less beautiful... than newer ones.  I've been gradually improving things as I have need to touch the code.

If I was doing it today (and I am, on a personal project), I'd be doing it as a single-page sort of app, where you have a few templates, and use JS on the front-end to make API calls. At $WORK, we use Foundation, jQuery and DevExtreme UI widgets, and on my personal project, jQuery, and WebUI widgetry and layout. There are fancier tools; $WORK experimented with Vue for a bit, but while complexity is not always your enemy, It Is Never, Ever Your Friend.

For the backend, a nice performant DB—PostgreSQL is my hammer-of-choice, with DBIx::Class. In your API routes, you can do things like:

   send_as JSON  => MyApp::GoFetchTheStuff(body_parameters->get('param'));

Nothing wrong at all with using Dancer/Dancer2 as an API-first app. with the REST and AJAX plugins—it may be slight overkill, but I wouldn't hesitate to go that direction.

Authentication—I'd probably stick with session cookies, and D2PAE. There are probably leaner-and-meaner ways, but it's a familiar, functional tool.

I'll take a moment here and put in a plug for a couple of modules I've released, https://metacpan.org/dist/DBIx-Class-Schema-ResultSetNames and https://metacpan.org/dist/Dancer2-Plugin-DBIx-Class. The former adds resultset naming tricks to the Schema object, and the D2 plugin is a forklift upgrade for D2::Plugin::DBIC, that adds the ResultSetNames as D2 DSL words, with optional prefixes. So instead of rset('Whatevah')->search({ foo => 'bar' }), you can just use dh_whatevahs({ foo => 'bar'});
(I'd be interested in seeing your D2PAE Provider class see my plugin as well as the older DBIC plugin... or I can shamelessly plagiarize your plugin to make a new Provider.) The plugins provide a way to make your DB searches and find a little more semantically friendly.

Just my two cents (USD). That, and 498 more, and you might be able to buy a cup of $beverage_of_choice.

Ruth Holloway

On Mon, Apr 4, 2022, at 10:00, Andy Beverley wrote:
> Dear all,
> I'm interested in your opinions on how you would architecture a new web 
> application, if you were to start one today.
> I'll be starting a new application soon and this is a chance to take a 
> fresh look at things. Normally I would go with a simple 
> Dancer/Template::Toolkit setup.
> However, I'm thinking that I should make this an "API first" application 
> (i.e. using static HTML pages and rendering all the content using a 
> Jaavscript framework making API calls)
> That then begs the question as to what the best back-end architecture 
> is, if only using it to render JSON.
> Also, if only serving API requests with the back-end, how would you 
> manage authentication? Would you still use cookies or would you use some 
> sort of tokens?
> Any thoughts welcome!
> Thanks,
> Andy
> _______________________________________________
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> dancer-users at lists.preshweb.co.uk
> https://lists.preshweb.co.uk/mailman/listinfo/dancer-users
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