This section describes best-practise solutions to the common tasks you are facing when building web applications.

Static Pages

For adding a static page like e.g. a start page, terms of service, privacy, pricing etc. you usually use a normal controller which just renders the view for that page. The only special thing is, that you might want to customize the routing to have SEO-friendly urls.

Let’s say we have a controller like this defined in Web.Types:

data StaticController
    = AboutAction
    | TermsAction
    deriving (Eq, Show, Data)

The controller implementation will look like this in Web.Controller.Static:

module Web.Controller.Static where

import Web.Controller.Prelude
import Web.View.Static.Terms
import Web.View.Static.About

instance Controller StaticController where
    action TermsAction = render TermsView
    action AboutAction = render AboutView

We can now customize the routing in Web.Routes by first deleting the instance AutoRoute StaticController statement to delete the auto generated routing configuration and append:

instance HasPath StaticController where
    pathTo TermsAction = "/terms"
    pathTo AboutAction = "/about"

instance CanRoute StaticController where
    parseRoute' = 
        (string "/terms" <* endOfInput >> pure TermsAction)
        <|> (string "/about" <* endOfInput >> pure AboutAction)

Now the terms can be reached at /terms instead of /Terms. The about is at /about now, instead of /About.

Uploading a user profile picture

You can easily upload a user profile picture using uploadImageWithOptions inside your UpdateUserAction:

action UpdateUserAction { userId } = do
    user <- fetch userId
    accessDeniedUnless (userId == currentUserId)

    let profilePictureOptions = ImageUploadOptions
            { convertTo = "jpg"
            , imageMagickOptions = "-resize '1024x1024^' -gravity north -extent 1024x1024 -quality 85% -strip"

        |> fill @["firstname", "lastname", "pictureUrl"]
        |> uploadImageWithOptions profilePictureOptions #pictureUrl
        >>= ifValid \case
            Left user -> render EditView { .. }
            Right user -> do
                user <- user |> updateRecord
                setSuccessMessage "Your changes have been saved."
                redirectTo EditUserAction { .. }

This accepts any kind of image file compatible with imagemagick, resize it, reduce the image quality, strip all meta information and save it as jpg. The file is stored inside the static/uploads folder in the project (directory will be created if it does not exist).

In your view, just use the image url like <img src={get #pictureUrl currentUser}/>. Note that when you define the picture_url field in your users table that you must check the Nullable select box with a default Null. This ensures your pictureUrl data has a Maybe Text type and can handle cases where the user has not uploaded any image.

There is currently no special form helper for file uploads. Just specificy it manually like this:

instance View EditView ViewContext where
    html EditView { .. } = [hsx|
        <h1>Profil bearbeiten</h1>

        {renderForm user}
            picturePath :: Text
            picturePath = get #pictureUrl user

            renderForm :: User -> Html
            renderForm user = formFor user [hsx|

                    <div style="max-width: 300px">
                        <div class="form-group">
                            <label for="user_picture_url">
                                <img id="user_picture_url_preview" src={picturePath} style="width: 12rem; min-height: 12rem; min-width: 12rem" class="mt-2 img-thumbnail text-center text-muted" alt="Foto auswählen"/>
                                <input id="user_picture_url" type="file" name="pictureUrl" class="form-control form-control-file" style="display: none" data-preview="#user_picture_url_preview"/>
                                <a class="d-block text-muted text-center" href="#" onclick="document.getElementById('user_picture_url_preview').click()">Neues Foto auswählen</a>

                {(textField #firstname) { fieldLabel = "Vorname:" }}
                {(textField #lastname) { fieldLabel = "Nachname:" }}
                {submitButton { label = "Speichern" }}

Checking that the current user has permission to access the action

Use accessDeniedUnless like this:

action EditPostAction { postId } = do
    post <- fetch postId
    accessDeniedUnless (get #authorId post == currentUserId)
    renderHtml EditView { .. }

Creating a custom validator

If needed you can just write your own constraint, e.g. like this:

nonEmpty :: Text -> ValidatorResult
nonEmpty "" = Failure "This field cannot be empty"
nonEmpty _ = Success

isAge :: Int -> ValidatorResult
isAge = isInRange (0, 100)

Checking that an email is unique

Use validateIsUnique.

Don’t auto-open the app in the browser

To prevent the IHP dev server automatically opening the dev tooling in your web browser when running ./start, set the IHP_BROWSER env variable to echo:

export IHP_BROWSER=echo

This will then just print out the url which would be opened on start.

Getting a Id Something from a UUID

Sometimes you have a UUID value which represents some record id. To get the types right, you can transform it like this:

let myUUID = ...
let projectId = (Id myUUID) :: Id Project

In case the id is hardcoded, you can just type UUID value with the right type signature like this:

let projectId = "ca63aace-af4b-4e6c-bcfa-76ca061dbdc6" :: Id Project

Getting a Id Something from a Text / ByteString / String

Sometimes you have a text, bytestring or string which represents some record id. You can transform it to an Id like this:

let myUUID :: Text = ...
let projectId = textToId myUUID

In case the id is hardcoded, you can just type UUID value with the right type signature like this:

let projectId = "ca63aace-af4b-4e6c-bcfa-76ca061dbdc6" :: Id Project

Making a dynamic Login/Logout button

Depending on the user object from the viewContext, we can tell that there is no user logged in when the user is Nothing, and confirm someone is logged in if the user is a Just user. Here is an example of a navbar, which has a dynamic Login/Logout button. You can define this in your View/Layout to reuse this in your Views.

type Html = HtmlWithContext ViewContext

navbar :: Html
navbar = [hsx|
<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">IHP Blog</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarSupportedContent" aria-controls="navbarSupportedContent" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>

  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarSupportedContent">
    <ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto">
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href={PostsAction}>Posts</a>
        loginLogoutButton :: Html
        loginLogoutButton = case (get #user viewContext) of
            Just user -> [hsx|<a class="js-delete js-delete-no-confirm text-secondary" href={DeleteSessionAction}>Logout</a>|]
            Nothing -> [hsx|<a class="text-secondary" href={NewSessionAction}>Login</a>|]

You can see this code in action in the auth branch from our example blog.

Protip: If the user is a Just user you can use the user object to run specific actions or retrieve information from it. This way you could display the username of the logged in user above the logout button.

Making a HTTP request

To make a HTTP request, you need Wreq. You need to add it to your haskell dependencies in the default.nix file, like here:

haskellDeps = p: with p; [
    wreq <-- Add this

Then you need to import it in your controller/script:

import qualified Network.Wreq as Wreq

To simply fetch and render another website, you could use a function like this:

handleFetchAction :: _ => Text -> _
handleFetchAction url = do
    documentBody <- do
        response <- Wreq.get (cs url)
        pure (response ^. Wreq.responseBody)
    renderPlain (cs documentBody)

When using handleFetchAction "", your app would display the google homepage.

To confirm before a link is fired add an onclick to the link.

    <a href={UsersAction} onclick="if (!confirm('Do you really want to delete the internet?')) event.preventDefault();"></a>

How to generate a random string

To generate a random string which can be used as a secure token or hash use generateAuthenticationToken:

import IHP.AuthSupport.Authentication -- Not needed if you're inside a IHP controller

    token <- generateAuthenticationToken
    -- token = "11D3OAbUfL0P9KNJ09VcUfCO0S9RwI"